Posts by Andrew:

    Breath

    August 10th, 2018

    Pontificating about life and being a man is the aim of the game with Tim Winton’s seventies surfing focused novel, Breath, and first time director Simon Baker, with the help of co-writer Gerard Lee, manage to allay any fears that Winton’s work wouldn’t be given the honour it deserves. It also helps that the film is carried by three major forces at work: newcomers Samson Coulter and Ben Spence, and the stunning scenery of Denmark. 

    The plot is threadbare – Pikelet (Coulter) and Loonie (Spence) are best mates, and in their downtime they need something to keep them occupied. That thing ends up being surfing. As they watch in awe the skilled surfers carving paths through the angry waves, they’re lead to Simon Baker’s Sando, a world class surfer who help guide Pikelet and Loonie in the skill of surfing. That’s about it.

    Prolific writer Tim Winton is as West Aussie as The Triffids, great beaches, and Quokkas. His books litter the households of Australia and make up a fair amount of the syllabus for high school and university English classes. Odds are, if you’re Australian, you’ve encountered at least one of Tim’s books along your book reading life. Whether you like his explorations of the Aussie male or not is another thing. Given Tim Winton also provides vocal assistance in the way of narration, well, your tolerance of the man will be tested if he’s not your thing. 

    Sure, Winton’s writing carries many of the same themes – growing up in rural Australia, the way Aussie males refuse to grapple with their emotions, and surfing, oh gosh, so much surfing -, but when isolated (as they are in Breath) these themes are well worth exploring. The predominant theme at work in Breath is how men deal with fear and anxiety, and what better way to explore such a theme than by having young guys surfing on raging waves.

    It’s worthwhile shouting out the combined cinematography efforts of Marden Dean and Rick Rifici. Dean tackled the land cinematography, and as he’s shown with the stunning Boys in the Trees and Fell, he knows how to capture the Australian landscape perfectly. Rick Rifici showcases his talents as the water cinematographer perfectly. You feel like you’re in the water with the boys, the smell of the sea permeating out of the screen. If anything, watch Breath for some of the best surfing scenes in cinema.

    The casting of surfers Samson Coulter and Ben Spence in the lead is inspired. As Simon Baker said, it’s harder to surf than it is to act, and while it would have been easy to cast stunt doubles to do the surfing scenes, it would have created a disconnect between the viewer and the narrative. It’s part of what makes Tom Cruise such an enjoyable actor to watch – you know it’s him hanging off the side of the worlds largest tower, and not some stunt guy with Cruise’s face CGI’d over theirs. Knowing that the actors are out there in the thick of the churn, working their ways towards the surf, and in turn, are the guys conquering the waves, adds to the experience of the story. 

    Not only do Coulter and Spence show their great talents as surfers on the water, they also impress with their natural performances. Winton’s dialogue is as ocker as it gets, as if he’s stuck a recorder in rural Australia and just crafted a narrative around the best lines. Coulter’s Pikelet is reserved and observant. He’s anxious, fearful, always questioning himself – and, as a typical male, he’s also not got much to say, which in turn relies on Coulter to deliver a lot of Pikelet’s emotions just through a look. 

    Ben Spence’s casting is inspired. His performance is one of the best of the year, portraying a true blue ocker Aussie male growing up. Thanks to an abusive father, Loonie doesn’t know how to release his pent up emotions, in turn goading himself into achieving difficult and dangerous feats – a huge wave, or a notorious surfing spot where a Great White is known to lurk. Self harm and destructive behaviours are peppered through Loonie’s life.

    It’s impressive that Simon Baker’s Sando doesn’t become a wise, all knowing father figure that the boys need. He’s as flawed as they are. When Loonie acts out, there’s no reparation or guidance to help Loonie realise he’s doing something wrong. Instead, Sando whisks Loonie off to Indonesia for an impromptu surfing trip. 

    With that said, it’s disappointing that great actors like Richard Roxburgh, Rachael Blake, and Elizabeth Debicki, are given weak characters to work with. Sure, Roxburgh’s father is afraid of going out into the surf to do his fishing, but other than a few concerned glances, that’s all we get. Blake is wasted as an underwritten mother – a role that instead manages to show how talented Blake is as an actress, where you can easily see her filling in the gaps of the screenplay.

    Worst is Debicki, who takes up the thankless role of damaged girlfriend who exists to reflect the men’s inhibitions and self worth. Sure, there’s a basis to her character – a skier who has had her dreams taken away from her because of an injury – that reflects the core themes of the film, but that’s still no excuse for how weak the character of Eva is written. When the film shifts focus to her in the third act, you can’t help but wish we were back out on the surf with the boys, watching the waves come crashing down in the ocean. 

    Which is where we’re left with Breath. It’s like a splash of ocean water – first it’s refreshing, exciting, and rejuvenating, then gradually as the salt water settles in your skin, it starts to dry out and makes you feel weathered and lifeless. Winton’s work has been faithfully transferred to the screen under the assured guidance of Simon Baker. The strengths are amplified (exploration of masculinity), and the weaknesses are equally amplified (poorly written women characters). 

    Given this will likely become a staple in English Literature classes around school rooms in Australia, kids of the future could have a lot worse to watch in regards to Australian literature transferred to films. Either way, teachers, keep an eye out for essays about fear and how sometimes you conquer it, sometimes it consumes you, and sometimes it makes you feel worthless, but it’s how you live with it that defines you.

    Director: Simon Baker
    Cast: Samson Coulter, Ben Spence, Simon Baker
    Writers: Gerard Lee, Simon Baker (Based on Breath by Tim Winton)

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    The Wife

    August 2nd, 2018

    Within the first five minutes of Björn Runge’s The Wife, we’re reminded how lucky we are that there are actors like Glenn Close in the world. Laying in bed with her husband Joe (Johanthan Pryce), Joan Castlemane (Close) is woken for some late night sex. Joe is giddy with nervousness over the impending announcements of who will be the recipients of the Nobel Prize for that year, and the sex is a good way of relieving this built up energy. Cut to early morning, as a phone cuts through the restless sleepers slumber – it’s the Swedish Academy announcing that Joe has won the Nobel Prize for literature.

    As Close’s Joan sits on the other extension, we see a wealth of emotions wash over her face. Pride, confusion, excitement, depression, anxiety, stress, and joy. With only having spent mere moments with this couple, it’s through Close’s expressions we see a lifetime of memories and experiences that they have gone through together to end up at this point.

    To say more about The Wife would be to spoil the intricacies of Jane Anderson’s powerful script (working from Meg Wolitzer’s book of the same name). In turn, avoid the trailer for this film at all costs as it plays out like a two minute version of the film, revealing plot points that come naturally and with great weight as the film progresses.

    What there is to talk about is the revealing tête-à-tête that Pryce’s Joe and Close’s Joan have in public as Joe is wheeled out to endless social events, with equally endless nobodies fawning over him for his aptitude for creating profoundly affecting literature. Pryce is flawless as he portrays an aged writer who laps up the attention whenever he can. He feels he has been long overdue for such an accolade, and isn’t afraid to hide that through his weathered expressions. Joan watches diligently as ‘the wife’ who stands and fields questions about what it’s like to support a genius like Joe, all the while Joe interrupts the ones about whether Joan would have liked to have been a writer by saying ‘she doesn’t write’.

    In the world of man, the role of women is to always support and never to take the spotlight. An exchange with a mathematician whose wife is also a mathematician highlights this toxic notion – yes, the husband knows she is more brilliant than he is, but he daren’t ever let another man know this. It’s an unspoken truth that the men never acknowledge, instead leaving harmful nuggets of pain the path of their children and their wives. Joe’s lack of support and encouragement for his son is perceived by him to be character building and helpful, but instead it’s more misguided toxic behaviour wrapped up in disguise as positive reinforcement. There is this subtle chest beating that exists in this intellectual bro club, where every man needs to belittle everyone else to reinforce his needless masculinity and show other men that, yes, indeed, he is a man.

    The toll of this long marriage on Joan begins to appear at each new social event. Joan’s patience with Joe and his swanning around as a newly branded laureate begins to wear thin, with her finding solace in Christian Slater’s wannabe Joe Castlemane-biographer, Nathaniel Bone. Slater’s presence is always welcome, and for the most part he matches Close and Pryce. Bone is a snooping journalist who wants to explode Joe Castlemane’s history wide open – and Joe isn’t having a bar of it. Slater walks the thin line of being a creepy sleaze, and being a man who just wants to explore an interesting story.

    It’s through Bone’s investigation and some inciting incidents that we’re given flashbacks to Joe and Joan’s early life as academics. Given The Wife is set in 1992, these flashbacks take place in the sixties, where Joe is a lecturer, and Joan is his student. The casting of Harry Lloyd as young Joe, and Annie Starke as young Joan is inspired. Lloyd plays a younger, naive version of Joe, allowing a clear through line to Johnathan Pryce’s older version of the writer. Annie Starke looks the part of a younger Glenn Close (which, of course, is helped by the fact that she’s Close’s daughter), and shows the talents of young Glenn Close as well. Here’s hoping she’s not perennially cast as younger versions of Glenn Close in everything heading forward as she definitely is a talent that deserves to grow outside of the shadow of her mother.

    Which brings us back to Johnathan Pryce and Glenn Close. Pryce is stunning, with each plot reveal unveiling a new layer of his character. Pryce is a seasoned actor who has honed his craft impeccably throughout the years, and it’s a joy to see such a great talent stand up alongside and against another great talent like Glenn Close.

    Close has consistently been one of the finest actors working – tracking back to her work in The Big Chill, to her iconic villain in Fatal Attraction (both of which lead to Oscar nominations), to recent genre fair like Guardians of the Galaxy and the underseen The Girl With All the Gifts, Close’s talent is undeniable. Yet, after six Oscar nominations and countless other awards, it’s with The Wife that Close delivers a career best performance.

    Portraying a diligent, supportive wife appears to be a thankless task given how average the writing has been for such roles in the past. With Jane Anderson’s great script, Close is given the material she deserves, allowing her to take a deep, real character like Jane Castlemane and bring her to life. As the film comes to a close, one can’t wish that we were privy to the writing of Jane and to see the possibilities that would have come to her if her voice was given a platform.

    It’s also worth taking a short moment to applaud the work of cinematographer Ulf Brantås who manages to amplify the chill and coldness of winter drenched Stockholm.

    (As a sidenote, if there’s one thing from stopping The Wife from being a full five star film, it’s the unnecessary final shot that appears to exist to remind viewers one last time that Concordes used to exist as a form of travel.)

    The Wife comes at a vital point in the #MeToo era. It portrays a story that may feel all too familiar to women working from the sixties onwards, trying to prove themselves in male driven fields and continually being denied a way forward because of their gender (also see: RBG for how difficult it was for such a great like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to find a footing in a world driven by men). It shows what happens when women are denied a voice or a career simply because they are women. Sexism is strong, and sexism is inherent in life, work, marriages, and motherhood. This is a vital, unmissable, powerful film. Go for Glenn Close, stick around for the story that won’t leave your mind.

    Director: Björn Runge
    Cast: Glenn Close, Johnathan Pryce, Annie Starke
    Writer: Jane Anderson (based on the novel “The Wife” by Meg Wolitzer)

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    Here I Am

    August 1st, 2018

    Shai Pittman’s Karen Burden is getting out of prison.  A few years behind bars has changed her life. Sure, she’s clean, but she’s also lost her daughter and has no work experience. She heads to a women’s shelter to find some stability and get her life back on track. From there, things are going to change, the future will be brighter.

    Here I Am is writer/director Beck Cole’s feature film debut, after creating some great documentaries and short films. This powerful film takes a look at three generations of women – Karen Burden, her daughter, and her mother, Lois (Marcia Langton) – and how their lives adjust to Karen being out of prison. This is a story we’ve seen told countless times before, but not from the perspective of indigenous women in Australia. Familiar stories transform into something completely different when told from different perspectives.

    There’s little need for extensive backstories, or the reasons why the women are in the shelter that they are in, when their stories can be read from the looks on their faces. Whether it’s getting off drugs, finding refuge from an abusive partner, or centering themselves after a stint in prison, these women have the world on their shoulders, and Beck Cole’s assured direction and empathetic writing allows their stories to breath. In lesser hands, this could easily become a film that over amplifies its themes and underlines them to ensure the audience understands what’s going on, but Cole understands this kind of story is essential for audiences to understand the lives of indigenous women in Australia.

    Additionally, Cole allows the weight of the difference between generations to be felt. In one powerful scene, Karen confronts her mother – who has custody of her daughter – and asks why she can’t see her daughter. Karen’s previous life of drug use is brought up, at which Karen reminds her mother that grog was her poison instead of drugs. It’s a small line, but it reminds that from each generation, the addiction is different, even if the damage they do to families and lives is no different.

    There’s a powerful resilience to Karen – even as things appear to go bad, or threaten to upturn her progress to a better life, she reassures herself that she’s going to be ok. A visit to a job office has Karen being hit with the realisation that she may have some life experience, but without ‘that certificate from the white man’, she is going to struggle to get a job. This comes after a shopkeeper clearly racially profiles Karen and denies her a basic job of delivering newspapers that he’s advertised in the shop window. Yet, she persists.

    Later, in the standout scene of the film, the women of the shelter unwind with music and booze, and talk about how the proportion of indigenous women in Australia is so small, but a startling 25% are imprisoned. This film was made in 2011, and devastatingly, the statistics haven’t improved since then, with women being locked up for unpaid fines (as in the death of Yamatji woman Ms Dhu), and deaths in custody being a way of life. In turn, 80% of indigenous women in prison are mothers, with their children often heading into child protection system, or worse, in the criminal justice system.

    Then there’s the domestic abuse that causes unseen scars on the soul of women. Betty Sumner’s vibrant Anita stands in the small room, demanding the radio to be turned up so she can sing at the top of her lungs along to Archie Roach’s Walking Into Doors. She sings at the top of her lungs that she’s tired of walking into doors. It’s a powerful moment as the women hug and unite. They may not always be smiles and hugs to each other, but they are there to support each other when they need it. Later, when sitting in a sharing circle, Anita shows warmth and support for another woman who has finished her meth addiction treatment and doesn’t visibly appear proud of having done so, but as Anita reminds her, inside she’s proud, and the other women in turn are proud for her.

    Here I Am is not a message movie, instead feeling more like a beacon for the indigenous women of Australia to say, hey, y’know, life can be really shit, and the system works against you, and the world will try drag you down, but keep your head up as you’re not alone, and together we can get through this. Shai Pittman’s performance is initially subdued as she reenters the world, but gradually opens up with a vulnerability, showing a steadfast and proud mother who wants to reconnect with her daughter. She’s matched by Marcia Langton’s mother – fiery, protective, and clearly the mother of Karen, Langton’s performance shows the weight of generations of indigenous mothers trying to make sure that the world doesn’t tear their daughters down like they’ve seen happen to countless other indigenous women.

    This kind of tragedy can be oppressive, but there’s moments of beautiful comedy – mostly from Betty Sumner’s Anita – and inviting moments of warmth. When Karen and her housemate, Skinny (Pauline Whyman), head out to catch up with some men, they down a few beers around a fire, as Bruce R. Carter’s Jeff sings a country song on his guitar. It’s a small moment, but in the lives of these women, sometimes all they have are the small moments.

    Here Am I ends on a powerful moment that feels like a helping hand being invited to women in need everywhere. As Karen meets up with her parole officer after a particularly tough week, the officer asks, ‘so Karen, you’ve had a rough week, but how are you doing?’ With a moments pause, Karen looks up and says, ‘yeah, I’m going to be alright’.

    Beck Cole feels like a hidden gem in the landscape of Australian indigenous cinema, but her work is definitely one you’ll feel better for having sought out.

    Director: Beck Cole
    Cast: Shai Pittman, Marcia Langton, Vanessa Worrall
    Writer: Beck Cole

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    Australian Revelations August Screening – Dead Calm

    July 23rd, 2018

    No rest for the wicked! The dust hasn’t even settled on the 21st Revelation Film Festival, and the hard at work team at Revelation have already announced their next monthly Australian Revelations film.

    For the month of August, it’s director Philip Noyce’s killer thriller, Dead Calm. Featuring a trio of great performances from Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman, and Billy Zane, Dead Calm is one heck of a film to see on the big screen.

    If you’re in Perth, pick up your tickets right here, and make sure to head along on August 27th at 6:30pm for what will be another great night of Aussie films on the big screen.

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    James Joyce, Hannah Gadsby Nanette, Call Me By Your Name, Camp Cope Courtney Barnett and Violence Against Women – Not A Knife

    June 26th, 2018

    Well, this is some episode of Not A Knife.

    There’s an interview with David Blake Knox – the writer of the documentary James Joyce: A Shout in the Streets, which is screening as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on the 6th of July at 7:00pm. Tickets available here.

    Then, there’s a look at Hannah Gadsby’s essential Netflix stand up comedy show, Nanette. It’s at this point of the show that a trigger warning comes into effect, so if discussions about violence against women or sexual assault is too much, then please be forewarned that the discussion heads in that direction.

    Then, a look at one of the great films from 2017, Call Me By Your Name, and the value of bisexual representation in cinema.

    Finally, a wrap up look at the music of Camp Cope and Courtney Barnett and how they have weaved stories about sexual assault and violence against women into their music.

    It’s a long one. It’s not an easy discussion to have recorded, but it’s out there.

    Find The Curb on all the socials here:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCurbAU
    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheCurbAU
    Website: https://www.TheCurb.com.au

    If you want to get in touch, send an email to TheCurbAU@gmail.com

    The relevant links mentioned in the show:

    Victoria Against Violence Call It Out’ ad campaign
    Women’s Community Shelters
    Junkee article on State of Origin domestic violence spike
    Lifeline – 13 11 14
    Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
    Top 20 charities that support Women
    Minus18 article on busting 7 myths about being bisexual
    Destroy the Joint facebook page

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    Residue Interview with Director/Writer Kori Reay-Mackey and Producer Dan Thom – Not A Knife

    June 22nd, 2018

    On this episode of Not A Knife, Andrew sits down with writer/director Kori Reay-Mackey and producer Dan Thom to chat about their upcoming short film Residue. In this discussion, the foundations of the filmmaking process are given a going over – with discussions about the search for a viral hit, how entering advertising competitions shaped the filmmaking perspective, working with bands, and most importantly, the process of getting a first short film off the ground.

    To support Residue you can head over to the GoFundMe page right here: https://www.gofundme.com/residue

    Check out the Doritos entry here.

    Music used in this episode is Decoder Ring‘s More Than Scarlet.

    Check out other great shows on the Auscast Network here.

    Support The Curb on Patreon.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCurbAU
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    Website: https://www.TheCurb.com.au

    If you want to get in touch, send an email to TheCurbAU@gmail.com

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    Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, Brothers’ Nest, Clayton Jacobson Interview, Disability in Films, Srey Channthy, Refugee Week – Not A Knife

    June 18th, 2018

    It’s another bumper episode of Not A Knife this week. A review of Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, a review of Brothers’ Nest, an interview with director Clayton Jacobson – all covers the film side of the show. Then there’s a discussion about disability in cinema thanks to a listener email. A short look at the voice of the late, great Srey Channthy who headed the superb Cambodian Space Project and guested on Astronomy Class‘ superb album Mekong Delta Sunrise. Finally, a quick look at what’s going on this week for Refugee Week.

    Links as mentioned in the show:

    The episode of Like I’m A Six-Year-Old with actor/comedian Quentin Kenihan
    Frances Ryan’s article: We wouldn’t accept actors blacking up, so why applaud ‘cripping up’?
    Information about the ASRC World Refugee Day Telethon
    Read up about Refugee Week in Australia
    Read Dr Amy Kavanagh’s twitter thread about sight impairment navigation
    Find all about the Cambodian Space Project and the great Srey Channthy
    Check out the great Astronomy Class 
    Read about the deaths of Manus and Nauru Island here and here

    Check out other great shows on the Auscast Network here. Show featured in this episode: Yeah, G’day!

    Support The Curb on Patreon.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCurbAU
    Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/TheCurbAU
    Website: https://www.TheCurb.com.au

    If you want to get in touch, send an email to TheCurbAU@gmail.com

     

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    Ozflix Major Film Category Award Nominees Announced

    March 23rd, 2018

    It feels like just yesterday that the categories for nominations for the inaugural Ozzies (aka Ozflix Independent Film Awards) were announced. Well, now we’ve gotten the first round of major film category nominations… and they’re very darn exciting.

    It’s great to see films like Sweet CountryZelosPawno and Blue get recognition among a bunch of other great independent films.

    Check them out here:

    It is with great pleasure that we are announcing the Major Film finalists for the 2018 Ozflix Independent Film Awards. With over one hundred films and web-series entered the competition was fierce. We’d like to congratulate all of the submitted films for their achievements, it is so great to see how much talent there is in the independent Australian film industry and we cannot wait to see their future work. But now without further ado (and listed in alphabetical order) here are the nominees:

    Best Feature Narrative Film Under $5Million:

    Bad Girl
    The Butterfly Tree
    Colour of Darkness
    Sweet Country

    Best Feature Narrative Film Under $2million:

    EMO – The Musical
    Hounds of Love
    The Legend of Ben Hall
    What if it Works?
    Zelos

    Best Feature Narrative Film under $500k:

    The Hunters Club:Skateboard or Die
    Lazybones
    Pawno
    Pulse
    That’s Not Me

    Best Documentary:

    Blue
    Deep Water: The True Story
    The Family
    The Opposition
    The Song Keeper

    Best Achievement in an Indigenous Filmmaking:

    After the Apology
    Bastard
    In My Own Words
    Occupation:Native
    Sweet Country

    The Award ceremony will be held on April 7th at the Alex Theatre, St Kilda.

    Tickets are on sale now and selling fast, to get yours now visit – http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=OZFLIXAW18&v=LXT

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    Meal Tickets Hitting On Demand Streaming March 31

    March 20th, 2018

    If you’ve been a visitor of this humble website, you’ll have noticed the huge bunch of coverage for a film that we love dearly – Meal Tickets.

    Maybe it was Andrew’s 4½ star review. Or the interview with director Mat de Koning. Or the fact it was the third best Australian film of 2017.

    As you may have gathered, we’re a big fan of this film.

    Meal Tickets had a bunch of successful screenings around Australia at different festivals, and a short theatrical run with Q&A sessions. But, you still may have been unable to catch the film… and now you can. It’ll be hitting On Demand streaming on March 31st worldwide.

    For more info, check out the link/video right here:

    Meal Tickets from Fighting Chance Films on Vimeo.

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    Independent Oz Films To be Celebrated At New Ozflix Awards – the Ozzies

    March 16th, 2018

    Ozflix has announced the details for the inaugural Ozflix Independent Film Awards (aka the ‘Ozzies‘) and it’s got me excited. One of the things that has bothered me of late about the AACTA Awards, is the focus on the higher marketed Australian films, as well as the high entry fee cost to have a film be considered for a nomination.

    I wrote a piece up about the AACTA Awards and the Australian Cinema Conundrum last year, and it looks like Ozflix are correcting some of those wrongs, with award categories for films under $500K, Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking and separate categories for Best Director – Narrative Film and Best Director – Documentary. All films that will be nominated will have had to have had a budget of under $5 million. Add the fact that the entrance fee is as little as $50, and the Ozzies are proving to be a very inclusive awards show for Australian independent cinema.

    Have a read over the press release here and then take a look at the categories:

    To acknowledge the shifting landscape of Australian cinema, Ozflix, Australia’s movie global streaming service, will present the inaugural Ozflix Independent Film Awards (the “Ozzies”) on Saturday 7 April 2018 at The Alex Theatre, St Kilda, in Melbourne.

    The Australian Film Future Foundation Limited (AFFF Ltd.) a non-profit organization whose mandate is restore and digitise Australia’s lost films will run the Awards of which Ozflix are the naming sponsor.  AFFF Ltd. Chairman, Alan Finney, renowned for his unwavering lifetime support of Australian cinema, co-founded Ozflix in 2015 with the organisation’s CEO, Ron Brown.

    A national and on-going annual gala event, the “Ozzies” will celebrate the achievements of independent Australian films, that have been made for a budget of $5 million or less, via multiple sub-categories ranging from Best Film, Best Performance, Best Script, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, to Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Visual Effects and Best Score.

    Over the last decade, the financial divide between local features has increased significantly, resulting in the emergence of two distinct groups; those films with multi-million budgets that are in stark contrast to the majority of projects, which are produced for often less than $5 million.

    It is the former category that frequently reaps accolades and recognition at industry Award Ceremonies, to the detriment of features and documentaries produced with leaner resources.

    Ozflix believes that it is vital that Australia have an Awards event that recognises the important “indie” sector of our film industry and the sterling efforts of the many fine practitioners, from both sides of the camera, who work within.

    Therefore, the “Ozzies” will celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of production crew in tandem with their high-profile on-screen counterparts by honouring all at the one Awards Ceremony, rather than relegating the ‘foot soldiers’ to a separate, low-key event.  The “Ozzies” will also concentrate on film, and not television.

    Said Ozflix Co-Founder and CEO Ron Brown, “We have created the Ozflix Independent Film Awards to recognize the great achievement of making a successful film for under $5 million as opposed to a budget in excess of $20 million.  When you consider that 76% of all local features are produced for less than $6 million, we are long overdue in celebrating this consistently tenacious industry sector.  Extracting a good result within the restraints of a tiny budget, rather than a large one, requires substantially more ingenuity, creativity and sheer commitment. Therefore, every achievement is that much greater.”

    An industry-based Steering Committee has been formed to establish rules, protocols and prizes for the “Ozzies.” Drawn from ‘indie’ film alumni, committee members are noted industry practitioners including producer/director/writer Jocelyn Moorhouse, producer/distributor Tait Brady, producer/director/writer Enzo Tedeschi, director Beck Cole, writer/director Matthew Holmes, documentary writer/director Sally Aitken, actor/producer Rosie Lourde and Ozflix CEO Ron Brown, himself a producer/director.

    Voting Jurors will encompass renowned filmmakers, performers, critics and exhibitors such as, Bruce Spence, Gillian Armstrong, Phil Noyce, Philippe Mora, Nadia Tass, Kriv Stenders, Brian Trenchard-Smith, David Parker, Tony Ayres, Kylie du Fresne, Polly Stanford, David Williamson, Nigel Westlake, David Hirshfelder, and Jules O’Loughlin, to mention but a few.

    Industry celebrities will present the Awards – to include trophies and cash prizes – at the “Ozzies” on 7 April.  Clips from nominated films will be projected into The Alex Theatre’s 500-seat auditorium, whilst the festivities will be streamed globally via Ozflix.

    Voting for the inaugural Ozflix Independent Film Awards will close on 21 March 2018 with nominations to be announced shortly thereafter.

    Any proceeds from the “Ozzies” will be directed towards the AFFF Ltd., for its charitable purposes.

    Full list of categories:

    • Best Film Under $500K
    • Best Film $500K – 2 million
    • Best Film $2 million – $5 million
    • Best Documentary
    • Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking
    • Best Performance – Male
    • Best Performance – Female
    • Special Jury Prize for Emerging Performer
    • Best Director – Narrative Film
    • Best Director – Documentary
    • Best Original Screenplay
    • Best Cinematography
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Sound
    • Best Special Visual Effects
    • Best Editing
    • Best Original Score
    • Best Costume Design
    • Lifetime Achievement

    Alan Finney & Ron Brown

    Ozflix Independent Film Awards listing details:

    Event:                    Ozflix Independent Film Awards  

    When:                    Saturday 7 April at 6.30pm until 10.45pm

    Venue:                   The Alex Theatre, Level 1, 135 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.  Melbourne.

    Website:               https://www.ozflix.org/awards-2018

    Tickets:                 Purchase Tickets via Ticketek

                                    *Please note that there will be No Allocated seating

     

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    Hash Tag:             #OZZIESawards

     

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