VFF Chair Warwick Young, juror Jenni Baird, winners Michael Schwarz and Matt Nable I Photo sent by Carolyn Grant of Avviso
Jury Chair Bruce Beresford announced Transfusion as the winner of the prestigious *Howard Frank Van Norton Award for Best Film among a cluster of Red Poppy Awards, including Sam Worthington for Best Actor and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress for Causeway at the annual international Veterans Film Festival during a gala Closing Night on Sunday at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney.
The coveted Red Poppy Awards, titled after the war poem ‘In Flanders Field’, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, saw films from 14 countries in competition across the 4 -day festival.
Writer, director, and actor Matt Nable and producers Michael Schwarz and John Schwarz collected the $10,000 prize for the Best Film Award. The film’s star, Sam Worthington, was awarded Best Actor. Causeway, which opened the festival, also won the Sgt Joseph Cecil Thompson Award (named in memory of the cornet player of the 9th Battalion Band that landed at Gallipoli in 1915) for Best Music by Alex Somers, as well as Lawrence’s Best Actress gong.
Other Red Poppy Awards presented:
• The Spectrum Films Award for Best Short Film went to US film Soldier by Justin Zimmerman. The prize includes $4000 cash and $2500 in post-production support from Spectrum Films. • The Award for Best Student Film was won by The Search by veteran Thomas Brouns. • The Best Music Video went to Better Off – a song by Johnny Reveille, directed by Casey Andrew, both veterans. • The Harry Julius Award for Best Animation went to the Iranian film The Sprayer by Farnoosh Abedi. • The Beyond Blue Award for the Best Film Reflecting Hope and Resilience went to The Healing by Nick Barkla.
Winners were selected by the Jury panel of Bruce Beresford, Lisa Hoppe, Jenni Baird, Alan Dukes, Julie Kalceff, Cameron Patrick, Petra Salsjo, and Gus O’Brien-Cavanough.
This article was sourced from a media release sent by Carolyn Grant | avviso.com.au
The Awards have been presented annually, except for a COVID break, since 2015. The last time the Awards were held in 2020, the Best Feature was won by Ukrainian drama U311 Cherkasy, and Best Short was awarded to Australian entry Trust Frank.
*Private Howard Frank Van Norton was a veteran of the US Army in WW2 and is the late father of the Veterans Film Festival leading patron Kay Van Norton Poche.
Private Howard Frank Van Norton was born in 1925 and passed in 2012. He landed in France on 8 June 1944, two days after the main D-Day landings. During the Allied advance through France, the enemy shot him in the back while repairing communication lines. Wounded, he continued to repair the wiring until communication was restored to his Unit. He was awarded a silver star and the Purple Heart for that action. After the war, Howard continued serving others in the community all his life.
About Veterans Film Festival
The Veterans Film Festival aims to be Australia’s premier international film festival devoted to screening films about, for, and by veterans, with sidebar events such as masterclasses, Q&As, workshops, art exhibitions, and performances.
The Veterans Film Festival will provide skills training, placement opportunities, scholarships, and project development within the screen industry through the new Screen Warriors program. This means it will broaden the diversity and inclusiveness of the Australian screen industry whilst simultaneously supporting and improving the lives of veterans and their families.
Their Excellencies General, the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Mrs. Linda Hurley are VFF Patrons.
SmartFone Flick Fest is Australia’s international smartphone film festival for filmmakers of all ages. They are a worldwide festival open to anyone with a smartphone or tablet and a great idea for a short film.
SF3 provides a platform for budding, emerging, and professional filmmakers to bring their ideas to life and have their films seen by a global audience without needing lots of fancy equipment or a big budget.
FilmCentral Magazine’s editor-in-chief was recently invited as a judge at SmartFone Flick Fest and here are some of the pics from the event:
Vanessa Madrid is an actor and stuntwoman with a Bachelor of International Development Studies from the Australian Catholic University. She’s recently wrapped in multiple feature films, including the lead role in the psychological thriller ‘Mercy of Others,’ a supporting role in ‘Lickerish,’ and dual roles in the horror film ‘After She Died,’ where she showcased what a chameleon she can be. In 2021, Vanessa appeared in the second season of the Stan original series Bump,’ and the short film Wrath,’ which is a finalist in many festivals worldwide. She has appeared in several TVCs as both an actor and stunt double, and she recently wrote/directed/starred in her own short film ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ Vanessa has had the pleasure of working on two different docu-series, ‘Deadly Women’ and ‘The Invisibles,’ and is currently working on the Australian TV series ‘Pervert’ in a lead role. Later this year, Vanessa will be playing a lead role in an action drama feature film ‘Syndicate. ‘ Just recently, Vanessa played dual roles in After She Died – she played Isabel and Florence. This role earned her the “Best Australian Feature Performance” at the A Night of Horror International Film Festival.
We sat down and talked movies with Vanessa, and here’s what he had to say:
What do you like most about acting?
I love acting because of your connection with others on set and with the audience. When I’m acting, it’s truly a spiritual experience for me because I cannot be more present. I can work for hours on end, and it feels like a click of a finger for me. When I’m on set, I do not act, I become that character, and I get to feel those feelings and emotions that my character goes through during her journey, which is my ultimate spiritual experience and connection.
Can you tell us about your role in After She Died?
Yes, so I actually played dual roles in After She Died. I play Isabel, whose in her 40s and is a mother. She is close to her daughter, very nurturing, and a good wife; however, she’s gotten to a point in her marriage where it has gotten complicated, but they still love each other and know no different. Unfortunately, Isabel suddenly passes away, and soon after, Florence appears, who I play as well, and she’s basically been brought back to life from Isobel’s body. Florence has some faint recollections from her previous life, but she’s really learning everything from scratch again.
What sort of person is going to relate this character?
I think all the mothers out there and all the people that want to be parents will connect with Isabel. However, I think people will have a lot harder time connecting with Florence. Florence is a very complex individual because of what happened to her.
How is this character like you? Different?
Isabel is similar in the way that she’s very loving, nurturing, and protective. She is also quite the firecracker like me. I guess it’s the Hispanic in both of us (laughs). She’s different because she’s much older than I am and has a child.
It was a little harder to connect with Florence, but we share the same curiosity. When I’m more in my child self, and I’m more playful then I guess I find similarities. Florence is very different to me because she lacks empathy and is quite still. I’m extremely empathetic to the point that I even get sympathy pains!
Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
I would love to see Toni Collette’s tackle these roles as she’s one of my favourite Australian actresses, and it would be really interesting to see her take it.
Besides yourself, which actor/s in this film is going to blow people away?
Well, this is a bit unfair because obviously everyone is amazing, but I think the audience will love Jen, played by Liliana De La Rose, and John, played by Paul Talbot.
What’s the biggest challenge to taking on this role?
The biggest challenge was trying to get into the mindset of Florence and trying not to react to Jen and my husband, who are freaking out and heartbroken. However, once I found Florence, it was easy to go into that character and her mindset.
If you could play any other character in this film, who would it be?
Maybe the sheep man because it would be so fun to dress up and freak people out (laughs)!
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
The most memorable would have to be the After She Died premier because that was my first film premiere as a lead in a feature film. It was very exciting as well as taking home the award for best performance on the night of the horror international film festival.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Everyone is interesting in their own way, but I have to say I definitely had a Fan girl moment when I got to meet Claudia Karvan on the Stan show Bump. She is one of my favourite Australian actresses up there was Toni Collette. It was nothing but a dream to be working on her show and then going to the Bump premier and her saying, “oh my god, you came,” with a big hug. That really took me back because I just love and respect her so much.
How active are you on social media?
This answer would’ve been very different a year ago as I took a two or three-year break from social media. I just wanted to focus on myself and protect my privacy. After countless chats from family and friends telling me that I had to “get back out there” and that social media is the way, I finally came back on, and I’ve been pretty active. You can find me on VanessaAMadrid on Instagram. I’m trying to be more active and share my experiences with my friends.
I have also made a Tiktok which has a couple of silly videos, there is nothing too serious on there, but it’s just a bit of fun! If you message me on Facebook, I probably won’t see it for three months because I don’t really look at it very often, so I’m sorry if I have ignored anyone out there.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
Future plans… hmmm, lots of travelling and hopefully lots of working on set. My partner and I are trying to figure out if we should move overseas or move to Queensland or stay in Sydney, so to be honest, I’m not 100% sure where I will end up, but I know that we will be travelling. I’ve also signed up with a new agent, so I hope to level up in my career and get more work.
Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky, and several other stars hit the red carpet at the Australian premiere of Crowe’s new film Poker Face, and StarCentral Magazine was invited to interview them.
Other cast members that came to the premiere included Daniel MacPherson, Matt Nable, Benedict Hardie, Steve Bastoni, Jack Thompson, Molly Grace, and Aden Young.
Several VIPs also came to premiere such as Natalie Imbruglia, Gabby Brooks, Ben Quilty, Lisa Wilkinson, Peter Fitzsimmons, Sam Burgess, George Burgess, Sophia Forrest, Danielle Spencer, and many more.
Check out some of the photos from the Australian premiere below:
Disney has today released the third and final installment of its annual Christmas campaign, ‘From Our Family To Yours,’ on Disney+ in support of long-term charity partner Make-A-Wish®.
Named “The Gift,” the new animated short continues the story of a blended family as they prepare for the festive period and the exciting arrival of a new baby.
The touching short tells the powerful story of sibling relationships and aims to celebrate family togetherness, inspire storytelling and encourage much-needed donations, in support of Disney’s longstanding global charity partner, Make-A-Wish®.
Following previous years’ tradition, this year’s short once again sees a Make-A-Wish child’s wish come true. Seven year old Amelia, from Perth, Western Australia, had a dream to meet Mickey Mouse and give him a high five and a hug. Amelia’s wish not only came true, but as a nod to her love of Mickey, Disney placed seven ‘Hidden Mickeys’ throughout the animation including her favourite Mickey glow-in-the-dark soft toy, a pillowcase, pancakes and a Mickey bauble from shopDisney.com.au.
This year, in further support of Make-A-Wish Australia, Disney fans will be able to purchase a very special Christmas gift from shopDisney.com.au – the Mickey & Minnie 2022 Sketchbook Ornament.
shopDisney.com.au will donate 30% of the purchase price (excl GST) of every Mickey & Minnie 2022 Sketchbook Ornament sold on the site between November 7, 2022 – December 31, 2022 to Make-A-Wish®, helping provide much-needed funds to deliver joy and inspiration to children facing serious illness.
The festive glass ornament features a decoratively dressed Mickey and Minnie singing carols in the snow under a candy-cane coloured streetlamp. The ornament hangs from a beautiful red ribbon bow.
Make-A-Wish Australia CEO Sally Bateman said: “We are so pleased to again be the beneficiaries of Disney’s wonderful ‘From our Family to Yours’ campaign which this year features Australian wish child Amelia. All of us have the power to make wishes come true for critically ill children and we are enormously grateful to Disney for their incredible support of our programs in Australia.”
“The Gift”makes its streaming debut tonight, Friday November 4, on Disney+ in Australia. The Mickey & Minnie 2022 Sketchbook Ornament benefitting Make-A-Wish goes on sale on shopDisney.com.au from Monday November 7, 2022.
The Southern Hemisphere’s premier industry forum and marketplace for documentary and factual content – the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) – today announces the first confirmed guests and theme for its 2023 conference. AIDC 2023 will take place in-person from 5-8 March 2023 at ACMI, Melbourne, followed by an online international marketplace, 9-11 March 2023.
American documentary filmmaker Sara Dosa, director of the award-winning feature doc Fire of Love (Nat Geo/Madman), about volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, is the first speaker to be announced for the 2023 line-up, and will lead AIDC’s Spotlight program with a very special In Conversation session. Fire of Love has recently been listed as a frontrunner in the 2023 Oscars race by Indiewire, Variety, and the Hollywood Reporter, and has recently been nominated for seven US Critics Choice Awards including Best Documentary Feature and Best Director.
Also confirmed is Delhi-based filmmaker and writer Shaunak Sen, whose feature documentary All That Breathes won the L’Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye) for the best documentary at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Sundance International Film Festival, and the Grierson Award in Documentary Competition at the BFI – London Film Festival. All That Breathes was selected for AIDC’s FACTory international pitching showcase in 2021 under the title Airborne and AIDC is thrilled to have Shaunak now join the conference as a speaker.
On the industry expertise front, Fatima Salaria, Managing Director of UK Production Company Naked Television, will bring her extensive knowledge of successful specialist factual and factual entertainment to Australian producers, having worked across programs like Grand Designs, 60 Days on the Streets, The Day I Picked My Parents, and the recently announced Planet Sex fronted by Cara Delevingne.
Rounding out the first speaker announcement is Emmy Award-winning Moroccan-American filmmaker Rita Baghdadi, director of the acclaimed feature doc Sirens, about an all-female thrash metal band in Lebanon. The documentary has been an audience favourite at Sundance, Tribeca, Melbourne and Sydney film festivals, and won awards at Outfest, Sun Valley and Florida film festivals. Rita is also the co-founder of Lady & Bird Films (Subject, Tribeca 2022), a highly sought-after cinematographer, and the director of award-winning documentaries My Country No More and City Rising.
AIDC 2023: AGENTS OF CHANGE
AIDC is proud to announce Agents of Change as the central theme for 2023, celebrating the people and the practices working to elevate documentary and factual storytelling. Through this theme, AIDC 2023 will highlight the changemakers of nonfiction storytelling, and bring focus to the champions of the craft leading the way for the creation of bold stories with real world impact.
AIDC CEO / Creative Director Natash Gadd, said, “During this time of cultural, political and social unrest, documentary filmmakers continue to document and explore the ever changing forces of the world around us. Far from passive observers, they are also active drivers of change both in the way we craft stories and the impact these stories create. AIDC’s 2023 theme, Agents of Change, spotlights the people, ideas and practices challenging and evolving the ways we create, share and experience nonfiction stories – from the visionaries to the provocateurs, innovators and iconoclasts. In a world of continuous disruption – both in our sector and society at large – join us at AIDC 2023 as we explore the legacy of those who paved the way, the new voices leading the charge, and what potential futures lie ahead!”
Under the theme Agents of Change, AIDC 2023 will explore the following subthemes through keynotes, industry panels and initiatives: Upcoming (new voices, new audiences), Breaking Ground (truth-telling, investigation and impact), Shifting Perspectives (craft, storytelling and representation), In Focus (advocacy, reform, ethics and integrity), and Future Horizons (innovation, technology, sustainability and regeneration).
AIDC INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE
The 2023 AIDC Marketplace & Industry Program will once again provide the widest array of business and project development opportunities for documentary and factual practitioners.
Confirmed attendees include representatives from 40 high profile broadcasters, streamers, distributors, sales agents and funding bodies, like: A+E Networks (USA), ABC (Australia), American Documentary/POV (USA), ARTE G.E.I.E (France), Autlook Filmsales (Austria), BBC Storyville (UK), Blue Ice Docs (Canada), CAA Media Finance (USA), CAT&Docs (France), CBC (Canada), Cinetic Media (USA), Chicken & Egg Pictures (USA), Dhaka DocLab (Bangladesh), DocPlay (Australia), Doc Society (Australia), Docs by the Sea (Indonesia), Dogwoof (UK), EBS (South Korea), Fremantle Australia (Australia), Hot Docs (Canada), Java Films (France), Journeyman Pictures (UK), Lightdox (Switzerland), Madman Entertainment (Australia), NHK (Japan), NITV (Australia), Off the Fence (Netherlands), Paramount ANZ (Australia), Participant (USA), Prime Video (Australia), Reservoir Docs (France), Sandbox Films (USA), Seesaw Pictures (South Korea), Sheffield Doc/Fest (UK), Stan (Australia), Sunny Side of the Doc (France), The Whickers (UK), TRT World (Turkey), Words + Pictures (USA).
AIDC’s centrepiece international pitching showcase, The FACTory, presented by VicScreen, is currently accepting submissions, with projects sought across three strands; the Central Showcase (for projects in development with international potential); New Talent Showcase (for projects by early-career filmmakers); and Rough Cut Showcase (for projects seeking sales, distribution, and exhibition opportunities). Selected projects will pitch live to decision makers during AIDC 2023.
Meetings between industry guests and accredited producers will take place through Cut to the Chase, presented by Xe Money Transfer, AIDC’s curated meetings program for Business Pass and All Access Pass-holders. Cut to the Chase matches producers and their projects to the most relevant commissioning editors, acquisitions executives, distributors, sales agents, financiers and funders, with local meetings taking place during AIDC and international meetings arranged online.
Run during Cut to the Chase, the DocPlay Originals Pitch returns to give project teams the opportunity to pitch to Australasian streaming platform DocPlay with unique home-grown, docu-series projects seeking equity investment. Key genres sought include true crime, music, science, Indigenous stories, technology and sport, and projects with international appeal or international partners attached are encouraged to apply.
Also returning as part of Cut to the Chase is The Post Lounge Doc Pitch, designed to support a standout documentary or factual project with up to $30,000 worth of development investment through post-production, to be used for a sizzle, teaser or pilot. Producers are now invited to submit a feature, one-off or series in development across any genre from ob-doc to factual entertainment, archival or true crime.
Nominations are also sought for the 2023 AIDC Awards, recognising outstanding completed works of new Australian documentary and factual content across six categories: Best Feature Documentary, Best Documentary/Factual Series, Best Documentary/Factual Single, Best Short-Form Documentary, Best Audio Documentary ($3,000 cash prize presented by AFTRS), and Best Interactive/Immersive Documentary.
Capping it off is the Stanley Hawes Award, a $5,000 prize presented annually at AIDC for outstanding long-term contribution to the Australian documentary, factual or unscripted screen sector. The jury for the AIDC Awards will be announced next month, with 2023 AIDC Awards presentation taking place at ACMI on Wednesday 8 March 2023.
Building on a successful 2022 event, which saw over 640 Australian and international delegates take part, AIDC 2023 will continue to provide unparalleled networking, upskilling, and project development opportunities for a buoyant documentary and factual sector. Many more high-profile national and international speakers will be revealed soon.
“AN UNMISSABLE SCREEN EVENT”
Caroline Pitcher, CEO of VicScreen, said, “VicScreen has been a proud long-term partner of AIDC. The conference is an unmissable screen event – every year it uncovers striking ideas and inspires unforgettable filmmaking. VicScreen supported documentaries Clean and Franklin were previously pitched at the conference and have now both been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2022 AACTA Awards. We can’t wait to see the bold and meaningful stories come out of next year’s conference.”
Seb Chan, Director & CEO, ACMI, said: “Australia’s national museum of screen culture returns as a presenting partner of AIDC in 2023. The ACMI team takes enormous pride in supporting local and international documentary and factual practitioners to learn, network and be inspired via our state-of-the-art mutiplatform museum. Documentary and factual content creators are crucial to our understanding of a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world – supporting these practitioners to tell courageous stories has never been more important.”
Business Passes and All Access Passes for AIDC 2023 are now available, offering unlimited access to AIDC’s extensive marketplace and networking opportunities. AIDC has also released a Sessions Pass for those without marketplace needs, providing access only to the sessions program (to be revealed 25 January 2023).
Further announcements about AIDC initiatives and major new pitching opportunities will follow in the coming weeks, with the full session program to be revealed 25 January 2023. Registration for AIDC 2023 is now open via the website.
I am a model; also an actress. I was born in China, lived in Australia, and am now based in Paris.
How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
It has been my dream since I was a kid; the universe led me this way, and I feel this is in my blood.
What do you like most about acting?
To experience other peoples’ lives, to understand the world from a different angle. Life is all about experiencing.
How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?
More flexibility and more space for creation for actors in films. I prefer films to TV series.
What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?
Sometimes I needed to be more confident to be 100% natural and overcome my fear in front of the camera.
In order to improve that, I will have to build my self-concept and pretend there is no camera at all or any audience. I mean, nothing will happen, right?
What are your strong points as an actor?
My emotions. And my willingness to show them off to the whole world. That’s the way how I connect to the world. I believe all humans are “All-in-one.”
What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?
James is brilliant, and he has impeccable interpersonal skills. He has influenced me by nature of friendly and obliging and his presentation in the “Malibu crush” film production.
What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?
Ethnicity barriers for Asian actors.
What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?
To develop a deeper understanding of roles more than just the surface level. For example, the culture and history context, and psychological background, hence I need to read a lot. Acting is more challenging than it seems.
What do you do when you’re not filming?
Self-development and creation. I am learning different knowledge. Modelling, Writing, doing sports, and having a good heart for life.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
My MESSIKA campaign in 2021 was the first time I did a global campaign; the designer was fantastic. I love her.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
A lot. There isn’t a specific person I can point out.
If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
Someone as tough and as persistent as me – someone who was even beaten to rock bottom but still can come back stronger.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I would continue my modeling and acting career, of course, but meanwhile, I would like to become a writer.
Is there is anything else interesting you can tell us?
I cook well and hide my secret recipe somewhere nobody can guess.
The 2022 AACTA Awards, presented by Foxtel Group, are Australia’s leading film and television awards, celebrating the best achievements on the Australian screen from the past year.
For the first time in two years, you will be able to purchase tickets to attend the Awards Ceremony at The Hordern in Sydney’s iconic Entertainment Quarter, home of Fox Studios. Tickets include the opportunity to walk the Red Carpet and be immersed in the glamour and spectacle at one of the biggest events in Australian entertainment.
Date: Wednesday, 7th December 2022 Location: Hordern, 1 Driver Ave, Moore Park NSW 2021 Dress code: Red Carpet glam
Discount early bird passes are now on sale for AIDC 2023, Australia’s premier conference and marketplace for documentary and factual film, television, streaming and digital media.
Happening 5-8 March 2023 at ACMI, Melbourne, with an additional online market taking place 9-11 March 2023, AIDC 2023 will feature another world-class line-up of keynotes, panels and masterclasses by leading talents in documentary and factual, alongside a thriving industry program attended by top-tier local and global commissioners, funders and sales agents. The first look at the 2023 program drops 3 November 2022.
Applications are also now open for AIDC 2023’s centrepiece live pitch for new documentary and factual projects, the FACTory International Pitching Forum, presented by VicScreen. The FACTory is a platform for the most exciting new feature documentary and series projects from around Australia and the world, with up to 15 teams selected to present their work in a live pitch to Australian and international funders and decision makers. Learn more at www.aidc.com.au
Early Bird Short Copy
Discount early bird passes are now on sale for #AIDC2023, Australia’s premier conference and market for documentary and factual media, happening 5-8 March 2023 at #ACMI, Melbourne: https://www.aidc.com.au/register/passes/
Margot Robbie plays Nellie LaRoy in BABYLON from Paramount Pictures. PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
From Damien Chazelle, BABYLON is an original epic set in 1920s Los Angeles led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Diego Calva, with an ensemble cast including Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li and Jean Smart.
A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Marc Platt, p.g.a., Matthew Plouffe, p.g.a., Olivia Hamilton, p.g.a.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY
Michael Beugg, Tobey Maguire, Wyck Godfrey, Helen Estabrook, Adam Siegel
Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, P.J. Byrne, Lukas Haas, Olivia Hamilton, Tobey Maguire, Max Minghella, Rory Scovel, Katherine Waterston, Flea, Jeff Garlin, Eric Roberts, Ethan Suplee, Samara Weaving, and Olivia Wilde.