'Lucky' to open, compete in film festival

SYDNEY — The Sydney Film Festival has unveiled its inaugural competition program with Mike Leigh’s “Happy-Go-Lucky” both competing and opening the fest June 4.

Dozen pics chosen by fest director Clare Stewart will vie for a A$60,000 ($55,000) cash prize, judged by a five-person jury to be announced at the Cannes Film Festival.

Receiving world preems in competition are “Rain of the Children” from Kiwi Vincent Ward; “The Square” from stuntman-turned-helmer Nash Edgerton; and “Three Blind Mice” from Aussie thesp-turned-helmer Matthew Newton.

Other competing pics are “Hunger” from Steve McQueen; “In Bruges” from Martin McDonagh; “Lake Tahoe” from Fernando Eimbcke; “My Winnipeg” from Guy Madden; “Quiet Chaos” by Antonello Grimaldi; Carlos Reygada’s “Silent Night”; “Stop-Loss” from Kimberly Peirce; and Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata.”

Full fest program will be announced May 8. Event, staged at Sydney’s State Theater and nearby cinemas, ends June 22.

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