Director nabs gig at film festival

Gillian Armstrong has been tapped prexy of the Sydney Film Festival’s inaugural jury for its 12-pic competition.

Oz helmer will be joined by Iranian multihyphenate Majid Majidi and Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi, with two more members still to be locked in.

Fest, which unspools June 4-22, will award the A$60,000 ($55,000) Sydney Film Prize on June 16 at the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney is Oz’s first fest with a FIAPF-accredited Official Competition. The biennial Adelaide Film Festival has an unaccredited competition.

World premieres among the competition pics include “Rain of the Children,” from Kiwi director Vincent Ward; “The Square,” Oz stuntman-turned-helmer Nash Edgerton’s debut; and “Three Blind Mice,” from Oz thesp-turned-helmer Matthew Newton.

The competition, a significant upgrade for the 55-year-old fest, is backed by the New South Wales state government.

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