2017 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award presented to Indigenous filmmaker Leah Purcell

Acclaimed Indigenous  Australian director, writer and performer Leah Purcell has been awarded the 2017 Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award at last night’s closing of the Sydney Film Festival.

The award follows a huge year for Leah, from adapting and starring in the theatre adaptation of acclaimed Australian novel The Drover’s Wife, with which she won the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting and was the first play to ever win the Book of the Year prize at the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the Victorian Prize for Literature earlier this year.

She has also been nominated for an Australian Directors’ Guild Award for her work directing Cleverman and has also directed episodes of the popular TV series The Secret Daughter and Redfern Now.

“Leah is a trailblazer in every sense and her extraordinary career only continues to grow in stature and range. She is one of our greatest talents and an inspiration to the creative community of NSW.” said Create NSW CEO Michael Brealey.

As well as a $10,000 cash prize awarded by Create NSW, Leah will be offered the opportunity to take a desk at ‘Charlie’s’, the networking hub for the Australian film-making community in Los Angeles, opened by Australians in Film, in partnership with Create NSW, AFTRS and Screen Queensland.


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