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
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.
Tickets: Purchase Tickets via Ticketek
*Please note that there will be No Allocated seating
Follow “the Ozzies” to keep up to date with the latest news and events:
Hash Tag: #OZZIESawards