Dialog Box


Documentary Australia Foundation Award 2016

Documentary Australia Foundation is proud to present the Award for Australian Documentary at the 63rd Sydney Film Festival. This prestigious competition is now in its eighth year.

The prize is supported by Documentary Australia Foundation with a $10,000 cash partnership and an additional donation of $5,000 from an anonymous Sydney Film Festival Director’s Cut Patron. 

Up to 10 films are selected for the competition, which acknowledges excellence in documentary production and is open to films of any length. The jury awards a cash prize of $15,000, presented at the Closing Night ceremony on Sunday 19 June. The contenders for the award this year have been announced as follows:

Baxter and Me

In this charming documentary, award-winning Sydney director Gillian Leahy (My Life Without Steve) combines her two great passions: dogs and films. Find out more and donate to this film here


Constance on the Edge

The challenge of settling in a new country is compounded by memories of the past in this poignant documentary, focusing on a gutsy and big-hearted mother of six living in Wagga Wagga. Find out more and donate to this film here 


Destination Arnold  

The moving story of two determined Indigenous women with a dream to make it to the Arnolds – an amateur bodybuilding competition being held in Australia for the first time.



When Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photograph, millions saw it worldwide. In her documentary debut, Brumfitt explores the global issue of body loathing. Find out more and donate to this film here


Hotel Coolgardie

Two Finnish girls on working visas head to a remote WA mining town for a three-month stint behind the bar of the local pub. Shocking, amusing and unexpectedly moving.


On Richard's Side

Filmed over three decades, this intimate documentary charts the life-story of Richard, a young man with a complex disability since birth. Find out more and donate to this film here


 Zach's Ceremony

Shot over six years, this is a remarkable portrait of a young man struggling with identity and his father's expectations, as he heads towards adulthood. Find out more and donate to this film here



The Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe

Four traumatised refugees perform in a challenging theatre production about their lives: the film debut of theatre director Ros Horin. Find out more and donate to this film here


The Opposition

A David-and-Goliath battle between the residents of the Paga Hill settlement, Port Moresby, and a development company with plans for an international five-star hotel and marina. Find out more and donate to this film here


In the Shadow of the Hill

The residents of Rio de Janeiro's largest slum seek justice for a local man they believe has been murdered by the , a documentary debut from Australian Dan Jackson.


 The 2015 Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary was awarded to Only the Dead, directed by journalist Michael Ware and two-time Oscar winner Bill Guttentag; with a special mention going to The Lost Aviator directed by Andrew Lancaster.


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