Excitement builds towards the 2nd AACTA Awards!

It’s been a huge week here at AFI | AACTA, with the revelation of the all the nominees for the 2nd AACTA Awards, the announcement of the dates and venue of the AACTA Awards, and the commencement of round two voting in the feature film categories to determine the winners. (Round two voting closes at 11.59 EDST on Thursday 13 December. In this round, all AACTA members vote on the feature film nominees which were determined by AACTA’s 15 specialised chapters in round one.)

statuettes for blogCongratulations again to all the nominees, which are spread across 13 Feature Films (out of a possible 23), 16 Documentariesfour Short Animationsfour Short Fiction Films and 32 Television Productions. To find out more about them, visit our website here.

The Winners of the 2nd AACTA Awards will be announced at two events in Sydney at the brand new The Star Event Centre, January 2013:

  • 2nd AACTA Awards Luncheon presented by Deluxe – Monday 28 January 2013. This event includes the presentation of Australia’s highest screen accolade, the AACTA Raymond Longford Award, which will be awarded to producer Al Clark.
  •  2nd AACTA Awards Ceremony & After Party – Wednesday 30 January 2013.

Both events are open to members of the industry and to the general public and tickets can are now on sale. Details here.

In the meantime, here is a gallery of gorgeous images from the 2nd AACTA Awards Nominations Announcement, where a sprinkling of the nominees in acting categories attended the media call, which was hosted by Sigrid Thornton and AACTA Award winners Alex Dimitriades and Diana Glenn (who fittingly played a married couple in The Slap).  Enjoy the pics, and for those of you who are AACTA members, get your skates on to vote in round two!

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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.

A new kind of intimacy: Tony Krawitz, director of The Tall Man

Tony Krawitz

Tony Krawitz, writer and director of 'The Tall Man'.

Tony Krawitz is best known within the Australian film and television industry as the young South African-born writer and director of the acclaimed short feature Jewboy, a stunningly accomplished piece about a Chassidic taxi driver working in Bondi and experiencing a crisis of faith. The film premiered at Cannes and won three AFI Awards, including two for Krawitz himself – for Best Screenplay in a Short Film and Best Short Fiction Film (shared with Liz Watts). An AFTRS graduate, Krawitz has since been working predominantly in local television drama (including City Homicide, All Saints, The Silence and The Surgeon), but what’s putting him in the spotlight right now is his first foray into documentary, The Tall Man. Already, the film has premiered as an official selection at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, and has been announced as one of the four Nominees for the AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary – and that’s all ahead of an Australian theatrical release on 17 November.

The Tall Man is produced by Darren Dale (company director of Blackfella Films, Australia’s premier Indigenous production company and long time producer for SBS) and based on the non fiction book by Chloe Hooper. It’s a sobering but gripping examination of the case of Cameron Doomadgee, an Indigenous man living on Palm Island in Far North Queensland, who on 19 November 2004 reportedly swore at a police officer, Senior Sargeant Chris Hurley, and 45 minutes later, lay dead in a police cell, with massive internal injuries likened to those of a fatal car crash victim. The outraged Palm Islanders rioted and burnt down the police station, but subsequent investigations never resulted in a conviction of the policeman. What they did result in, was a galvanising of the entire Queensland Police Force, who came out in support of their fellow officer, amidst accusations of collusion and mishandling of the case.

The Tall Man investigates these events and the legal case around them, but the focus is firmly on the people whose lives have been most affected by the tragedy – Doomadgee’s family, friends and the island’s community. In the interview below, Tony Krawitz talks about the process of gaining trust, exploring grief, and attempting to grapple with the paradox that Palm Island is both paradise and prison to those Indigenous people who live there.

AFI: Congratulations on your film’s nomination for Best Feature Length Documentary. One of the striking things about the film is its visual beauty despite the harshness of the story (and we should mention Director of Photography, Germain McMicking here). Can you talk about the look you were aiming for?

Tony Krawitz: The look came about organically through doing the research. Palm Island is just such a beautiful place. And yes, the story is such a sad tragic story that we thought it would be an interesting counterpoint to show the beauty. It’s kind of ironic that it looks like a picture postcard and yet something so bad happened that day. Also the film is so upsetting at times that we wanted to show the positive aspects of life on the island as well – those amazing kids and their grandparents, having karaoke nights and good times.

AFI: What was the significance of the scenes of a man on horseback that recur throughout the film? Are there a lot of horses on Palm Island?

Tony Krawitz: Yes, there are a lot of wild horses – maybe thousands on the island. We drove to the top of the mountain one day and there were about 50 horses up there, a whole big family of them. And some people keep them. Otherwise, they let the horses roam free and they know certain ones, and some afternoons after school kids just go and lasso a horse and go riding. So it’s got this great freedom to it. But in terms of structure, that guy riding on the horse symbolises the great sense of freedom about Cameron Doomadgee. The people who knew him describe him as quite a free spirited person.  He loved horse riding, and loved going to the neighbouring island and hunting and fishing for days at a time, and diving, and all those kinds of things. Seeing a man looking free on horseback just reminded me of Cameron and what I’d heard of him. It’s just that mix that people talk about on Palm Island – of being really free because it’s like country life, away from the city – and then feeling completely trapped because they are on an island, and feeling like they’re under the control of the police.

The Tall Man publicity still

Wild horses roam free on Palm Island - a place that is both paradise and prison. Image from 'The Tall Man'.

AFI: How closely did you follow the Chloe Hooper book upon which the film is based?

Tony Krawitz: I’m not sure how close it is anymore, because I know that book backwards. I’m a big fan of the book and the film is quite similar in a lot of ways – obviously the events are the same. The big difference is that Chloe was at a lot of the events, so in the book she’s describing being in the courtroom day by day, what each day is like, how people are feeling, and it’s happening in the present. Whereas in the film, all the people we’re interviewing are looking back at the events and commenting on those events. It’s in the past.  That’s one of the biggest differences. In my mind they complement each other.

AFI: What was the shooting schedule like for this film? How much time did you spend on Palm Island?

Tony Krawitz: I don’t remember exactly because we finished shooting at the end of last year. We went there about five times. We went there quite a lot. Sometimes we just went there so people could get to know us more and find out what we were doing. We filmed over at least a year.

AFI: Were people happy to talk to you? Were they glad this film was being made or were they difficult to win over?

Tony Krawitz: Everyone was happy, especially the family. I’m a whitey, so the company that hired me was an Indigenous film company, and they work obviously in Indigenous communities a lot. So everyone knew this was going to be a film made by Indigenous people, but with a white director on board. Most people just felt that nobody in the media had really spoken about Cameron as a person, with a life and a family, but that they’d just spoken about his death and the day that led up to that. They were really happy that the film would talk about those important events leading up to the tragedy and that day of his death, but that it would also be a celebration of his life.

Darren Dale producer of The Tall Man

'A man who needs four mobile phone batteries' - producer Darren Dale.

AFI:  Can you talk a little bit about your producer Darren Dale and how you came to be working with him?

Tony Krawitz: Darren and I met through mutual friends over the years and I’ve  known him through workshops with young Aboriginal filmmakers. So we’ve known each other for some time but we hadn’t worked together before. He just called me up one day and asked me if I was interested and gave me the book to read. He is quite extraordinary. He’s one of the busiest people I know.

AFI: His credits are quite extensive – including short films for Warwick Thornton and Beck Cole, and First Australians for SBS and producing the Message Sticks festival…

Tony Krawitz: He’s great. He needs four extra batteries for his mobile phone – especially when we were up in Palm Island! He was dealing with a lot. It was a really small crew and very hard work. But as much as it was a very tragic time, we also had an incredible time of being with the family who were just so gracious with us – inviting us to their house, taking us fishing, daily life stuff that wasn’t just about the filmmaking.

AFI: Had you been involved in documentary filmmaking before?

Tony Krawitz:  I made a short seven minute documentary at university, and then I researched a documentary that never got made. So I’ve always been interested in making documentaries, but this is the first long one I’ve made.

AFI: You’ve made a short feature and lots of television, but how was this particular film different from your other experiences as a director?

Tony Krawitz: It was really great actually. It’s quite a profound experience to have strangers tell you their stories and invite you into their homes. There’s a level of intimacy that’s quite different to working in fiction. With this particular story it was tough because you’re dealing with people’s grief. It’s not like the subject matter is really easy – you have to ask people really tough questions. But it was a privilege.

AFI: In past interviews you have spoken about how you grew up in South Africa and the situation of the Indigenous people in Queensland reminded you of apartheid South Africa. That’s a pretty strong criticism.

Cameron Doomadgee from The Tall Man documentary

Cameron Doomadgee as a young man (right, in Australian flag t-shirt), from Tony Krawitz's documentary 'The Tall Man'.

Tony Krawitz: Yes. That’s what Aboriginal people were saying to me too, so that’s not just me making it up. Also from reading Chloe’s book and talking to Aboriginal activists or people who have to deal with life in remote communities, it’s clear that Australia is a tough place for Indigenous people. For me as an outsider to it, it reminded me of apartheid. I grew up in a privileged position under apartheid, but I was back in South Africa recently for two years, which was really interesting. South Africa and Australia share a similar colonial history, and when you look at the history of a place like Palm Island, you discover that it was a bit like a penal colony. It was set up for recalcitrant natives in the 1920s, and people were in dormitories. When I was interviewing older people in the documentary, who grew up in the dormitories, you see that people are still living with the after-effects of colonialism and they’re on this island where they feel like they’re living under a police state. You can argue the actual specifics of apartheid and apartheid law and how it’s different to the situation of Indigenous people  – you can argue the nitty gritty of it – but the overall feeling that people have has striking similarities.

AFI: One of the points the film makes is the huge power of the police. And when the police collude, it’s very difficult to fight that, and whether you’re Aboriginal or white, you could be in that position of powerlessness.

Tony Krawitz: Yes, and that happens. In Far North Queensland it’s so common for Aboriginal people to talk about things like being pulled over by the police just because of the colour of their skin. The only people who wouldn’t talk to us for the documentary (apart from the police!) were Aboriginal people who were too scared to talk to us because they thought the cops might see them and beat them up one dark night! So that’s a real kind of fear up north.

AFI: Are you concerned about how the police will view the film?

Tony Krawitz: It will be interesting to see how the police react to it. We’re not uncovering new evidence. Everything in the film has already been spoken about. It’s not an investigative documentary in that sense, it’s more about going through the emotional side of the case. So we’re not trying to make [policeman] Chris Hurley out to be some kind of demon, just to show him as a flawed human being, as we’re all flawed human beings.

AFI: The sound design and the score for the film are really atmospheric, creating both a sense of beauty, sadness and menace. Sam Petty was the Sound Designer, and Antony Partos and David McCormack did the music. You’d worked with them before?

Tony Krawitz: I’ve worked with Sam a lot. But not Antony and David before. It was quite hard in a way – we just wanted to make the people who are the subjects of the film the focus and not go too heavy on sound design or music. We didn’t want to make it too overly emotional. I was just lucky to be able to collaborate with them. I think they did a great job. We wanted to find a balance to not let the score be the main thing – finding a way to add to the experience, but still giving the interviewees the space to say things in their own words.

AFI: Right now you’re working on shooting a feature film adaptation of Dead Europe, Christos Tsiolkas’s novel. That’s quite a full-on book! 

Tony Krawitz: Yes it is pretty full on! And really hard to adapt. Right now I’m in the office and there are people running around madly getting ready for it. We start the shoot in Sydney for the Australian parts of the story and then we go to Europe, but it’s all very exciting and it’s a great challenge.

AFI: We look forward to seeing it. Best wishes for The Tall Man too, and thanks for your time.

The Tall Man releases nationally 17 November through Hopscotch.

The Tall Man is one of the four films nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary at the inaugural Samsung AACTA Awards, with winners announced January 2012. Click through for A Closer Look at the Nominees for Best Feature Length Documentary.

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.