Caitlin Yeo Wins Sydney UNESCO City Of Film Award

Caitlin Yeo
Sydney Film Festival

Caitlin Yeo is the first screen composer to take home the Sydney UNESCO City Of Film Award, announced Monday evening at the closing night of the 69th Sydney Film Festival.

During her acceptance speech, Yeo acknowledged her filmmaker collaborators for sharing a desire to “push the boundaries of what music can do, how it is created, and its poetic ability to illuminate vision.”

“We are all allies together, and of course, my music would not exist if it were not for the remarkable Australian stories, I have had the privilege to compose for,” she said.

One of these collaborators, Sally Aitken, presented her with the award.

“Caitlin Yeo is one of the most perceptive and intuitive artists working in Australia today,” Aitken said in her speech.

“For the past 10 years, we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on a number of films, each time bringing an unorthodox idea to the score arising from our rich, far-ranging discussions.”

With 60 TV and film credits to her name, Yeo wrote music for films including “Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan” (2019), “Power Meri” (2018), “Jucy” (2010), “All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane” (2007), “The Rocket” (2013), “My America” (2011), “The Matilda Candidate” (2009) and “The Long Goodbye” (2009).

Acting head of Screen NSW David Gordon praised Yeo’s “immensely powerful, emotive and creative work, which has elevated so many homegrown screen projects.”

The $10,000 cash prize is presented annually by Screen NSW, under the auspice of Sydney UNESCO City of Film, to an outstanding NSW-based screen practitioner whose work stands for innovation, imagination, and impact.

Previous winners are Karina Holden (2021), Blackfella Films (2019), Warwick Thornton (2018), Leah Purcell (2017), and Lynette Wallworth (2016).

The prize also includes a four-week residence at Charlie’s, a hub for the Australian film-making community in Los Angeles, opened by Australians in Film in partnership with Screen NSW, AFTRS, Screen Queensland, Film Victoria and South Australian Film Corporation.

Yeo is currently working on the Stan/Matchbox Pictures drama series “Bad Behaviour”, and the feature documentary “Kindred” for NITV.