Stars rise after clean sweep of screen awards

Experience and raw talent have seen a long list of Flinders University graduates scoop the pool at the 21st South Australian Screen Awards.

From Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) graduates Indianna Bell, John Chataway and Josiah Allen’s short film Safe Space, which won the Best Directing and Young Filmmaker awards, the profiles of other Flinders screen and media graduates keep rising.

For example, veteran producer Kirsty Stark – well known for projects such as Wastelander Panda and ABC iView comedy Goober – joined Flinders-trained writer-director Sam Matthews to win Best Documentary and the Grant Jury Prize with Unboxed.

University colleague and fellow filmmaker Victoria Cocks took out Best Drama for directing and writing Davi, after recent work on the new SA Film Corp production In the Blood.

Another Flinders Screen and Media graduate, Marcus McKenzie, won five prizes with The Projectionist at the 21st annual SA Screen Awards, announced at Adelaide’s Mercury Cinema on 18 April, which celebrate the best short works made by the state’s up-and-coming filmmakers.

Unboxed showcases the creative ventures of six gender diverse artists while Davi – produced by Anna Bardsley-Jonesimagines a world running out of precious resources.  It was one of four projects to receive Art Bites funding from ABC Arts and Screen Australia, as well as the SA Film Corp.

Unboxed follows filmmaker and trans rights advocate Sam Matthews as she meets with other trans and gender diverse artists from around the country to explore the prominent role artistic expression has played in their lives.

Rebecca Elliott, who co-produced Unboxed, took home the Emerging Producer award while Justin Astbury took out Best Sound Design for Davi.

Marcus McKenzie’s The Projectionist won five prizes at the 21st annual South Australian Screen Awards, announced at Adelaide’s Mercury Cinema on 18 April, which celebrate the best short works made by the state’s up-and-coming filmmakers.

Starring Chris Haywood as a recently widowed pensioner who discovers he can travel into the world of his old Super 8mm home movies, The Projectionist collected awards for Best Male Performance, Editing (Daniel Principe), Production Design (Annalisa Francesca), Hair and Make-up (Bec Buratto) and Music Composition (Chris Larkin).

The Flinders University Mercury Prize for outstanding contribution to the local industry went to casting director Angela Heesom.

‘Unboxed,’ produced by Kirsty Stark and Rebecca Elliott, recounts the experiences of the production of five artworks.

The director of leading South Australian casting agency Heesom Casting, Ms Heesom has more than 30 years’ industry experience with credits including Hunting, Danger 5, Wolf Creek TV, Deadline Gallipoli, ANZAC Girls, Wolf Creek parts 1 and 2, Look Both Ways and Beautiful Kate.

Mercury Cinema director Ms Gail Kovatseff, from the Media Resource Centre director, says Angela Heesom is “a beloved and integral part of the South Australian screen industry and a cherished colleague and mentor”, generously supporting “not only international-scale directors and producers but also local short filmmakers embarking on their first production”.

Other talented award winners include:

  • Jeremy Kelly-Bakkers and Tom Phillips’ Lucy & DiC, for Best Web Series and Best Screenplay
  • Albert Jamae and Charlotte Rose’s Red Wire Blue Wire (Best Comedy); produced by Michael Zeitz
  • Alex Salkicevic and Bryce Kraehenbuehl’s video for young offenders’ You Be You (Best Music Video), produced by Catherine Frances
  • Aaron Schuppan (Best Cinematography) and Rose Riley (Best Female Performance) for The Way
  • Lauren Brice (Best Costume) with They Sleep Inside Your Head

The Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni, who attended the awards, congratulated the winners and commended their commitment to forging a pathway into the local screen sector.

“The 2019 South Australian Screen Awards represent a slice of the emerging talent that South Australia has to offer,” he said.

Josiah Allen, left, and Indianna Bell with ‘Safe Space’ co-producer, writer and lead performer John Chataway at this year’s Tropfest film festival in Sydney where the film was shortlisted.

Self-funded short film Safe Space won Best Music Composition in Sydney after entering this year’s Tropfest competition. The creative trio – Jo, Indi and John (pictured above at Tropfest in Sydney earlier this year) – completed their BCA degrees in screen production in 2016.

They have since set up Stakeout Films and made four short films, some skits, corporate videos and now three episodes of a comedy web series called Filmies: Amateur Movie Makers, the first episode due for release in May.

Tropfest also gave Indianna and Josiah the opportunity to take part in a masterclass program to shoot a short film with a full professional crew and studio set, including mentored with directors Spencer Susser and Nash Edgerton.

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