A Closer Look at the Nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary

2011 Nominees-for-Best-Feature-Length-Documentary

Last week the nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Short Fiction Film and Best Short Animation were announced. You can see them all listed again in this previous post. AACTA and AFI members, as well as the film loving general public will be able to see these films on the big screen (along with the 22 Feature Films in Competition) at the Samsung AFI | AACTA Festival of Film, to be held in Sydney and Melbourne from 6 October to 14 November. The winners will be announced at the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards to be held in Sydney in January 2012.

In today’s post, let’s focus on the Feature Length Documentaries: Life In Movement, Mrs Carey’s Concert, Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure and The Tall Man.  Interestingly, all four of these documentaries were made with assistance from the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund (AFIF) and each of them premiered at the 2011 Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival (24 Feb – 6 Mar), with the exception of Shut Up Little Man! which premiered at Sundance in January this year. The nomination of these fine films is yet another reminder of how fruitful this judiciously managed fund (AFIF) has been, and also the talent that’s currently shining forth from the South Australian screen community.

Note: For offical synopses and key cast and crew details, visit the AACTA website here. This blog post is intended as an informal look at the nominees, with extra information, social media details and editorial commentary provided for keen readers. The information is by no means comprehensive.

Life In Movement

Producer: Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason
Director: Bryan Mason, Sophie Hyde
Writer: Bryan Mason, Sophie Hyde
Cinematographer: Bryan Mason
Editor: Bryan Mason
Sound: DJ Tr!p, Adrian Medhurst, Tom Heuzenroeder, Pete Smith

Festivals, links and screenings:

  • World Premiere: 2011 Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival (BAFF).Also played 2011 Sydney Film Festival (SFF) where it won the Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize.
  • Screened at2011 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), and official selection of Edinburgh International Film Festival (June 2011).
  • Was screened as part of the Sydney Spring Dance Festival on 3 September. Stay tuned for more info on the film’s release.
  • Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) are currently putting together a study guide to accompany the film.
  • Connect:  Website, Facebook and Twitter @closer_prods (Closer Productions).

What’s it about? Life In Movement tells the story of dancer and choreographer Tanja Liedtke who on the brink or artistic stardom and just after being announced as the new Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Company was tragically killed in 2007.  The film looks at her work, her creativity and the legacy and inspiration she has left behind for those she most closely worked with.

Mrs Carey’s Concert

Producer: Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond
Director: Bob Connolly, Sophie Raymond
Cinematographer: Bob Connolly
Editor: Sophie Raymond, Ray Thomas, Nick Meyers
Sound: Sophie Raymond, Bob Scott, Doron Kipen

Festivals, links and screenings:

  • Premiered as opening night film at the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival on 24 February, 2011.
  • Mrs Carey’s Concert was also part of a program of films curated by Laurence Kardish at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, honouring the contribution by the Adelaide Film Festival to Australian film (MOMA program ran 7 – 14 April 2011).
  • The film then had an extremely successful platform release in Australian cinemas from 28 April, 2011. Opened in New Zealand on 21 July.
  • Mrs Carey’s Concert is available on DVD from 21 September, 2011. Special features include director’s commentary, deleted scenes, deleted characters, ‘Emily’s advice on performing’ featurette and more.
  • Connect: Website, Facebook. Twitter: @MrsCsConcert (Sophie Raymond).

What’s it about? The film follows Karen Carey, music director at a Sydney girls’ school, as she prepares her students for a classical concert at the Sydney Opera House. Mrs Carey requires participation from every student, while setting a dauntingly high performance standard. Mrs Carey’s Concert is a documentary about making music, coming of age and pushing against one’s own inner limitations.

Box Office info:  Of the four films in competition for the AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary,  only Mrs Carey’s Concert has had a general release in cinemas at the time of writing, and the film had an enormously successful run in Australia, exceeding $1 million at the Australian box office (Source: MPDAA).

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure

Producer: Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate
Director: Matthew Bate
Writer: Matthew Bate
Cinematographer: Bryan Mason
Editor: Bryan Mason
Editor: Bryan Mason
Sound: Johnny Elk Walsh, Pete Best, Tom Heuzenroeder, Emma Bortignon, Scott Illingworth

Festivals, links and screenings:

  • Premiered at Sundance 2011.
  • Australian premiere Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival 2011.
  • Sydney Film Festival 2011 – Finalist Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize.
  • Official selection Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011 and Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011.
  • Screened Melbourne International Film Festival 2011.
  • Due for Australian DVD release October (TBC).
  • Currently in US release at these cinemas.
  • Connect: Website, Facebook and Twitter @closer_prods (Closer Productions).

What’s it about? The film captures an archive of two friends’ audio tape recording of their noisy, drunken neighbours fighting and cursing. The recordings created one of the world’s first ‘viral’ pop culture sensations, sprouting zines, comics, a stage play and film adaptations.

The Tall Man

Producer: Darren Dale
Director: Tony Krawitz
Cinematographer: Germain McMicking
Editor: Rochelle Oshlack
Sound: Sam Petty, Guntis Sics, Ian Grant, Robert Mackenzie, Antony Partos, David McCormack

Festivals, links and screenings:

  • The Tall Man had its world premiere at the 2011 Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival.
  • The film has been selected to screen in the ‘Real to Reel’ program of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (8 – 18 Sept) where it has its international premiere.
  • The Tall Man will be released in Australia through Hopscotch on 17 November.
  • Connect: Hopscotch Website

What’s it about? Based on Chloe Hooper’s acclaimed book of the same name, the documentary looks at the tragic tale surrounding the death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee on Palm Island in 2004. The film traces the Palm Islanders’ reaction, the trial, the police officer at the centre of the case and the Doomadgee family as they struggle to understand what happened to their brother.

So there they are, our four impressive nominees for the inaugural AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary. Be sure to see them, and if you’re an AACTA member, make your vote count.

Stay tuned for subsequent posts, where we’ll take a closer look at the nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Short Animation and Best Short Fiction Film.

One thought on “A Closer Look at the Nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary

  1. Pingback: A new kind of intimacy: Tony Krawitz, director of The Tall Man | AFI blog

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