AFIcionados – Your Choice, Your Voice…

Now that the six nominees for the AFI Members’ Choice Award have been decided, we’ve been calling all AFI film aficionados* to submit a 200 word max response on why you thought these films were Australia’s best.

*aficionado – a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity.

award-nominees-best-film

In the countdown to the announcement of the winner of the AFI Members’ Choice Award this Sunday 15 January at the Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon, presented by Digital Pictures, we will be profiling two of the six nominated films per week on our blog, along with the best member responses on why you voted for them. This week we’re profiling RED DOG and Snowtown.

Red Dog

RED DOG

RED DOG

“You’ve gotta love a tear-jerker, desert shots and a great underDOG story. RED DOG was the most fun I’ve had at the cinema in a long time!”
– AFI member Jason Rooney, WA.

RED DOG’s fresh and heartwarming take on what its like living in a small mining town in Western Australia has definitely caught the public’s imagination. I’d say there’s nothing like a cheeky kelpie to unite a nation!”
– AFI member Brendan Smythe, QLD.

Snowtown

Snowtown

Snowtown

Snowtown is heartbreaking and hopeless but absolutely captivating. I was glued to the screen. They were some of the most powerful and deeply disturbing performances I have ever seen. ”
– AFI member Rosie Piper, TAS.

“Australian arthouse cinema at its best! Snowtown is evocative, provocative and mind numbingly horrifying. It simultaneously entices and repels its audience by capturing in stunning detail every horrendous moment.”
– AFI member Lucy Fraser, VIC.

Thank you to all members who participated in our AFIcionado’s Audience Choice Award competition. Your responses have been invaluable.

**Conditions apply: in order to have your response published you need to be an active  AFI member and be willing to have your full name and state disclosed on the AFI Blog **
Thanks to Madman Entertainment and Roadshow Films for providing DVD copies of these films for our lucky winners!
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AFIciaonados – Your Choice, Your Voice…

Now that the six nominees for the AFI Members’ Choice Award have been decided, we’ve been calling all AFI film aficionados* to submit a 200 word max response on why you thought these films were Australia’s best.

*aficiaonado – a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity.

award-nominees-best-film

In the countdown to the announcement of the winner of the AFI Members’ Choice Award on 15 January at the Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon, presented by Digital Pictures, we have been profiling two of the six nominated films per week on our blog, along with the best member responses on why you voted for them. This week we’re profiling Mad Bastards and Oranges and Sunshine.

 

Mad Bastards

Mad Bastards

Mad Bastards

Mad Bastards…poignant and powerful, set to the playful Pigram Brothers’ lively tunes!
– AFI member Phil Lesley, NSW.

“Dean Dayley-Jones is remarkable as T.J. He brings humour and pathos to this broken character and reaffirms the remarkable power of self-discovery. Mad Bastards is well worth watching!”
– AFI member Jane Deans, ACT.

 

Oranges and Sunshine

Oranges and Sunshine

Oranges and Sunshine

Oranges and Sunshine is a beautiful rendition of a heartwarming story about the vision and compassion of an exceptional woman. Wenham, Watson and Weaving are truly magnificent. It is another priceless period piece from the talented producers of The King’s Speech.
– AFI member Mary Edwards, VIC.

“Putting the spotlight on a rarely discussed aspect of Australian and British colonial history, Oranges and Sunshine tells a horrifying story with sensitivity and avoids all sensationalism.  Emily Watson gives an understated, yet powerful performance in the lead role and she is surrounded by an outstanding support cast. Particularly, Hugo Weaving, who shines in a heart-breaking performance that’s his best in years. The film doesn’t provide an easy catharsis and closure, but it still comes to a conclusion that leaves its mark on the viewer.
– AFI member Simone Richards, NSW.

Next week we’ll be lavishing love on Red Dog and Snowtown. Don’t miss out on winning a DVD pack of the top six Best Film Nominees for the AFI Audience Choice Award, send in your response today!

Entry Details:
Submit your entry (along with your AFI member number, full name and state in the subject line) to competition@afi.org.au
**Conditions apply: in order to have your response published you need to be an active  AFI member and be willing to have your full name and state disclosed on the AFI Blog **
Thanks to Icon Entertainment and Paramount Pictures for providing DVD copies of the films for our lucky winners!

AFIciaonados – Your Choice, Your Voice…

Now that the six nominees for the AFI Members’ Choice Award have been decided, we’ve been calling all AFI film aficionados* to submit a 200 word max response on why you thought these films were Australia’s best.

*aficiaonado – a person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity.

award-nominees-best-film

In the countdown to the announcement of the winner of the AFI Members’ Choice Award on 15 January at the Samsung AACTA Awards Luncheon, presented by Digital Pictures, we will be profiling two of the six nominated films per week on our blog, along with the best member responses on why you voted for them. This week we’re profiling The Eye of the Storm and The Hunter.

The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

“The real feeling in this film was conveyed by the slowing down of the pace of the film to match the dying mother. Geoffrey Rush played the role of the greedy son to perfection.”
– AFI member Monica Jacomb, VIC.

“You could hardly get together a more sterling cast for an Australian film than The Eye of the Storm. Judy Davis, Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling all deliver brilliantly nuanced performances under the assured hand of Fred Schepisi’s direction. Add to that some outstanding production and costume design that evokes both 1970s Sydney and an aristocratic world gone by, and you’ve got a costume drama that can stand up to the best of its British cousins.”
– AFI member Michael Stokes, QLD.

The Hunter

The Hunter

“With its stunning cinematography, sweeping shots and spine-tingling vistas The Hunter captures the sublimity of the Tasmanian wilderness with poignancy and panache.”
– AFI member Lucy Manning, NSW.

“Loved it! It was moving, engaging and beautiful to watch. What wonderful performances by a suite of great actors! I’d like to give particular mention to the two youngsters, Morgana Davies and Finn Woodlock…superb!”
– AFI member Jim Trawley, WA.

Next week we’ll be lavishing love on Mad Bastards and Oranges and Sunshine. Don’t miss out on winning a DVD pack of the top six Best Film Nominees for the AFI Audience Choice Award, send in your response today!

Entry Details:
Submit your entry (along with your AFI member number, full name and state in the subject line) to competition@afi.org.au
**Conditions apply: in order to have your response published you need to be an active  AFI member and be willing to have your full name and state disclosed on the AFI Blog **
Thanks to Madman Entertainment and Paramount Pictures for providing DVD copies of the films for our lucky winners!

Focus on the Feature Film Nominees

On Wednesday last week (30 November 2011), the newly established Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced all nominees for the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards, which will be held in January 2012. You can see a full list of the nominees here on the gorgeous new AACTA website.

Entrants, industry guests and media were present at Sydney’s National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) for the announcement of the nominees. The internationally awarded animator, writer and director Adam Elliot was the genial and very funny host of the procedings. He was joined on stage by actors Alexandra Schepisi, Daniel Henshall and Claudia Karvan, who announced the nominees in various categories. These three also happened to be nominated for their own work this year: Schepisi for her role as the sparky nurse in The Eye of the Storm; Henshall for his chilling performance as a serial killer in Snowtown; and Karvan for Spirited, Season 2, the Foxtel drama series on which she is producer and writer, as well as the star. A gallery of photos from the event can be viewed here on the AACTA Facebook page.

Claudia Karvan, Daniel Henshall, Alexandra Schepisi, AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella and Adam Elliot at the Samsung AACTA Nominations Announcement, November 30 2011.

The announcement of all the nominees confirmed the strength of Australian film and television in 2011. Highlighting the reach and diversity of production this year, the nominations are spread across 14 Feature Films (out of a possible 21), 14 Documentaries, four Short Animations, six Short Fiction Films and 23 Television Productions.

The AFI and AACTA congratulate all the nominees. We will be giving them all some ‘blog love’ in the coming weeks leading up to the Samsung AACTA Awards in January. Right now, however, it’s time to put the spotlight on the Feature Film nominees, with a view to round two voting, which is now open to all AACTA members until Wednesday 14 December, and involves AACTA members voting on all these Feature Film nominees, with the exception of the Best Young Actor and Visual Effects categories, which are decided by Jury.*

THE FEATURE FILM NOMINEES – INAUGURAL SAMSUNG AACTA AWARDS

The six Feature Films nominated for the prestigious Samsung AACTA Award for Best Film (in alphabetical order) are:

  • The Eye Of The Storm
  • The Hunter
  • Mad Bastards
  • Oranges And Sunshine
  • RED DOG
  • Snowtown

In a result that confirms the AFI members are in close concert with the professional AACTA members, the same six Feature Films are nominated for the AFI Members’ Choice Award, though in different order of preference.

Throughout the year, we’ve covered many of these films with interviews and Q&As during their time of release. Below are the nominated films, with details of which awards each film is nominated for, along with ‘Further Reading’ links to any editorial content we’ve published relating to those films.

The Eye Of The Storm is nominated for twelve AACTA Awards: Best Film; AFI Members’ Choice (Antony Waddington, Gregory Read, Fred Schepisi); Best Direction (Fred Schepisi); Best Adapted Screenplay (Judy Morris); Best Production Design (Melinda Doring); Best Costume Design (Terry Ryan); Best Lead Actor (Geoffrey Rush); Best Lead Actress (Judy Davis); Best Lead Actress (Charlotte Rampling); Best Supporting Actor (John Gaden); Best Supporting Actress (Helen Morse); Best Supporting Actress (Alexandra Schepisi). Further reading: Interview with director Fred Schepisi.

The Hunter is nominated for fourteen AACTA Awards: Best Film (Vincent Sheehan); AFI Members’ Choice (Vincent Sheehan); Best Direction (Daniel Nettheim); Best Adapted Screenplay (Alice Addison); Best Cinematography (Robert Humphreys); Best Sound (Sam Petty, David Lee, Robert Mackenzie, Les Fiddess MPSE, Tony Murtagh, Tom Heuzenroeder); Best Original Music Score (Matteo Zingales, Michael Lira, Andrew Lancaster); Best Production Design (Steven Jones-Evans); Best Costume Design (Emily Seresin); Best Lead Actor (Willem Dafoe); Best Lead Actress (Frances O’Connor); Best Supporting Actor (Sam Neill); Best Supporting Actress (Morgana Davies); Best Visual Effects (Felix Crawshaw, James Rogers). Further reading: Director Daniel Nettheim interviewed .

Mad Bastards is nominated for five AACTA Awards: Best Film (David Jowsey, Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendand Fletcher); AFI Members’ Choice (David Jowsey, Alan Pigram, Stephen Pigram, Brendan Fletcher); Best Original Screenplay (Brendan Fletcher, Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait, John Watson); Best Sound (Phil Judd, Nick Emond, Johanna Emond); Best Young Actor (Lucas Yeeda). Further reading: Trespass interview with director Brendan Fletcher.

Oranges And Sunshine is nominated for seven AACTA Awards: Best Film (Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning); AFI Members’ Choice (Camilla Bray, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning); Best Editing (Dany Cooper); Best Costume Design (Cappi Ireland); Best Lead Actor (David Wenham); Best Lead Actress (Emily Watson); Best Supporting Actor (David Wenham). Further reading: Lead actress Emily Watson interviewed.

RED DOG is nominated for eight AACTA Awards: Best Film (Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan); AFI Members’ Choice (Nelson Woss, Julie Ryan); Best Direction (Kriv Stenders); Best Adapted Screenplay (Daniel Taplitz); Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Hall); Best Editing (Jill Bilcock); Best Original Music Score (Cezary Skubiszewski); Best Production Design (Ian Gracie). Further reading: An interview with director Kriv Stenders.

Snowtown is nominated for ten AACTA Awards: Best Film (Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw); AFI Members’ Choice (Anna McLeish, Sarah Shaw); Best Direction (Justin Kurzel); Best Adapted Screenplay (Shaun Grant); Best Cinematography (Adam Arkapaw); Best Editing (Veronika Jenet); Best Sound (Frank Lipson MPSE, Andrew McGrath, Des Kenneally, Michael Carden, John Simpson, Erin McKimm); Best Original Music Score (Jed Kurzel); Best Lead Actor (Daniel Henshall); Best Lead Actress (Louise Harris). Further reading: A round-table chat with with actors Daniel Henshall, Louise Harris and Lucas Pittaway.

Completing the slate of Feature Films competing for the country’s most esteemed screen awards are eight other feature films:

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole is nominated for three AACTA Awards: Best Sound (Wayne Pashley, Derryn Pasquill, Polly McKinnon, Fabian Sanjurjo, Phil Heywood, Peter Smith); Best Original Music Score (David Hirschfelder) and Best Visual Effects (Grant Freckelton).

Sleeping Beauty is nominated for three AACTA Awards: Best Cinematography (Geoffrey Simpson, ACS ); Best Production Design (Annie Beauchamp); and Best Costume Design (Shareen Beringer). Extra reading: Director Julia Leigh talks about creating ‘A Sense of Wonder’.

Face To Face is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Supporting Actor (Robert Rabiah).

Griff The Invisible is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Original Screenplay (Leon Ford). Extra reading: Quick Quizzes with writer-director Leon Ford and lead actress Maeve Dermody.

The Loved Ones is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Original Screenplay (Sean Byrne). Extra reading: ‘Pink Glitter and Blood’ – an interview with writer-director Sean Byrne.

Red Hill is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Original Screenplay (Patrick Hughes).

Sanctum is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Visual Effects (David Booth, Peter Webb, Ineke Majoor, Glenn Melenhorst).

Wasted On The Young is nominated for one AACTA Award: Best Editing (Leanne Cole). Further reading: an interview with editor Leanne Cole as part of our 2010 focus on editing. A Q&A with writer and director Ben C. Lucas.

It’s going to be fascinating to watch the competition between these fine films. Remember, if you’re an AACTA member, your vote on these nominees determines the winners, so don’t forget to excercise your voting priveleges before the close of round 2 voting on Wednesday 14 December.

* For further information on voting, please see the voting section of the AACTA website.

Congratulations to the Non Feature Nominees for the Inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards

Last week (on Wednesday, 30 August) the first Nominees for the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards were revealed  –  the nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Short Animation, Best Short Fiction Film. You can read about these films, and find production notes for them, over here on the AACTA website, but just as a reminder, here they are listed again. Congratulations to all those involved in these productions.

The Nominees are:

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY

  • Life In Movement. Sophie Hyde, Bryan Mason
  • Mrs Carey’s Concert. Bob Connolly, Helen Panckhurst, Sophie Raymond
  • Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. Sophie Hyde, Matthew Bate
  • The Tall Man. Darren Dale

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SHORT ANIMATION

  • Forget Me Not. Emily Dean
  • The Missing Key. Garth Nix, Anna McFarlane, Jonathan Nix
  • The Moment. Justin Wight, Kristian Moliere, Troy Bellchambers, Shane McNeil
  • Nullarbor. Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Daryl Munton

AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FICTION FILM

  • Adam’s Tallit. Justin Olstein, Marie Maroun
  • Cropped. Bettina Hamilton, Dave Wade
  • The Palace. Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos
  • The Telegram Man. James F. Khehite, Victoria Wharfe McIntyre
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 23 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 subsequent blog posts we’ll look at each of the three categories, and showcase clips, posters, film stills and extra information on each of the nominated titles.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at the nominated Feature Length Documentaries. Stay tuned.

Video Highlights from the launch of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts

The new Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts was  launched on Thursday 18 August, overlooking the stunning Sydney Opera House – which will be the iconic venue for the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards in January 2012.

Also announced, the identity of the founding President of AACTA, Mr Geoffrey Rush. The beautiful new statuette, designed by sculptor Ron Gomboc, has also been unveiled, held aloft, and much admired. Isn’t it beautiful? Don’t you just want to hold it?

Below are some video highlights from the night. We invite you to share in the excitement and raise a toast to celebrate a brand new era in Australian screen history.

In this first clip, see stars walking the red carpet and working the media wall; fireworks exploding over the Opera House; and the announcement of the new President, Geoffrey Rush.

Below, the always inspiring AFI Patron, Dr George Miller, gives a wonderful speech, praising the AFI for “being a home” for the screen industry for the past 53 years, and introducing the new President as an examplar of the pursuit of excellence for which the Academy has been formed.

The undoubted highlight of the evening was Geoffrey Rush’s hugely entertaining and funny speech, where he made his first pronouncements as ‘Prez’ –  “You’d be an idiot if you didn’t recognise that Australian artists, both in front of and in so many categories behind the camera are among the world’s finest.” He holds the golden ‘baby’ and calls for a ‘competish’ to name the beauty. A must-watch clip:

And finally, some of the most important news of the awards calendar, the announcement of the 23 Feature Films in Competition for the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards. Here’s a trailer compilation that’s sure to make you keen to see the ones you’ve missed, and revisit the ones you’ve seen already:

These 23 feature films, along with the nominees for Best Short Fiction, Best Feature Length Documentary and Best Short Animation will be shown on the big screen at the AFI/Samsung AACTA Festival of Film to be held in Sydney and Melbourne from early October.

For more information about all of these developments, visit the sparkling new website: www.aacta.org

For a gallery of photos from the AACTA launch, visit the AFI Facebook page here.

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