The Walkley Award for Excellence in Documentary
2013 Walkley Documentary Award Winner:
Martin Butler and Bentley Dean
Contact Films, ABC TV
First Footprints is a televisual archaeological “dig” which comprehensively explores the history of Aboriginal tribal structures and land management techniques which prevailed for 50,000 years on the land mass which became known as the island continent of Australia. The film took three years to make, as Martin Butler and Bentley Dean researched exhaustively and built trust ith communities all around the country. Working as a two-person crew, they drew out relaxed and articulate stories from the Aboriginal elders and archaeologists whose voices guide the film.
Butler migrated to Australia in 1981. He spent the next 25 years as a long-form current affairs producer at Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent and Dateline. He’s produced two Walkley winners, and won the New York Film and Television best documentary award.
Dean studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and in 1997 was in the ABC’s first series of Race Around the World. His 2003 film, The President Versus David Hicks, won an AFI Award for best documentary and the Logie.
Butler and Dean previously collaborated on the 2010 Walkley-winning Contact, winning two AFI awards and the 2010 Walkley for coverage of Indigenous affairs. Both Contact and First Footprints have won the NSW Premier’s History Award.
The film-makers visualise an enormous span of history by taking us to sites of ancient significance from 50,000, 30,000, 15,000 and 9000 years ago. Those places are then used to explain how the continent and its inhabitants evolved as 200 “nations” and cultures to become the biggest sustainable estate on earth until the arrival of outsiders. The judges were impressed with the documentary’s high production values, factual integrity and educative impact using academic experts, scientists and tribal elders to engage viewers with an awe-inspiring heritage: “Was, is and always will be… Aboriginal land”.
THE 2013 WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD SHORTLIST
Diverse documentaries exploring ancient Aboriginal tribal structures and land management, the first detention centre in Tasmania seen through the eyes of members of a knitting group and the human side of the Cold War in Australia have been named as finalists in the 2013 Walkley Documentary Award.
The three finalists in the prestigious Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism were announced this evening in Sydney. They are:
Haydn Keenan and Gai Steele, Smart St Films
Persons of Interest
This series successfully highlights the human side of the Cold War in Australia and the emotional fallout within families and between friends. It’s an important addition to the cultural and political history of this country. The interviews with former ASIO agents who now feel bereft and abandoned were an unexpected and powerful addition.
Mary Meets Mohammad
Mary Meets Mohammed is a timely and relevant story told with great sensitivity and subtlety. The judges were unanimous in their support for this documentary, as it showcases the tenacity and skill of the filmmaker in her capture of a charming narrative that unfolds to reveal a confronting and nuanced relationship - one that is both unexpected and profound in its depiction of personal transformation. Mary Meets Mohammed allows viewers to engage in a humane way with a volatile political issue.
Members of the public can watch all six longlisted films for free at the State Library of NSW over the weekend of Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20.
All sessions are free but RSVP is essential. For screening times and to book your place, visitwww.walkleydoco.eventbrite.com.au
THE WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD LONGLIST
Martin Butler and Bentley Dean, Contact Films, ABC TV, “First Footprints”
“First Footprints” is a televisual archaeological dig comprehensively exploring the history of Aboriginal tribal structures and land management techniques that prevailed for 50,000 years on the island continent which became known as Australia. The judges were impressed with the documentary’s high production values, factual integrity and educative impact and use of academic experts, scientists and tribal elders to engage viewers with an awe-inspiring heritage: “Was, is and always will be … Aboriginal land”.
Rachel Clements, Steven McGregor and Lisa Watts, Night Sky Films, “Big Name No Blanket”
The judges described “Big Name No Blanket” as a moving, entertaining and powerful film. The filmmakers succeed in focusing on both the personal and the political and the film has much to say about black/white relations in this country. This is reflected not only in the larger story of the band coming to prominence but in the broken friendship of the two central members.
Kaye Harrison and Tom Zubrycki, Treehouse Productions, JOTZ Productions, “The Sunnyboy”
“The Sunnyboy” follows 50 year-old Jeremy Oxley, frontman of the much-lauded 1980s band the Sunnyboys, as he emerges from a 30-year battle with schizophrenia. The filmmakers capture Jeremy’s struggle to unpick his past and his slowly growing confidence as he dares to contemplate a return to stage. With warmth and compassion, Kaye Harrison retains the interest and the sympathies of the viewers until the very end.
Heather Kirkpatrick and Kristy Dowsing,“Mary Meets Mohammad”
“Mary Meets Mohammed” is a timely and relevant story told with great sensitivity and subtlety. The judges felt it showcased the tenacity and skill of the filmmaker as she captured a charming narrative that unfolds to reveal a confronting and nuanced relationship – one that is both unexpected and profound in its depiction of personal transformation. “Mary Meets Mohammed” allows viewers to engage in a humane way with a volatile political issue.
Haydn Keenan and Gai Steele, Smart St Films, “Persons of Interest”
This series successfully highlights the human side of the Cold War in Australia and the emotional fallout within families and between friends. “Persons of Interest” is an important addition to the cultural and political history of this country. The interviews with former ASIO agents who now feel bereft and abandoned were an unexpected and powerful addition.
Sonya Pemberton, Genepool Productions and SBS TV, “Jabbed- Love, Fear and Vaccines”
As vaccination rates fall and preventable diseases re-emerge, Sonya Pemberton’s“Jabbed” reminds us of what is at stake. Traversing the globe, the film-makers examine the science behind vaccinations and the real cost of opting out. Stylishly crafted, thought-provoking and often confronting, Jabbed is a powerful contribution to the often heated vaccine discussion.
For media enquiries or to request an interview with a finalist, contact Walkley Foundation communications and partnerships manager Flip Prior on (02) 9333 0956 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WALKLEY DOCUMENTARY AWARD
Now in its third year, the Walkley Documentary Award recognises excellence in documentary production that is grounded in the principles of journalism– accuracy, impact, public benefit, ethics, creativity, research and reporting – together with rigorous filmmaking.
Documentaries may encompass an in-depth examination of issues of local, national or international importance or of contemporary or historic events and include investigative, biographical and first person stories that reflect the emotion and drama of the human experience.
Previous winners include Blackfella films for The Tall Man and Celeste Geer for her documentary Then The Wind Changed.
The prize: This is a great opportunity for all film makers as the winner in addition to their Walkley award, also receives funding to put towards professional development and the opportunity to attend a major international film festival in 2014.
The Walkley foundation also showcase the winners and finalists at numerous festivals and event around the country and internationally.
2013 IMPORTANT DATES
- Entries Open: Monday, July 1 2013
- Entries Close: 5pm on Saturday, August 31 2013
- Longlist announcement: Monday, September 30 2013
- Shortlist announcement: Monday Ocotber 14, 2013
- Longlist screenings: Saturday October 19 and Sunday October 20 2013 at the State Library of NSW
- Shortlist screening at BIFF: Wednesday November 20 2013
- Winner Announcement: Walkley Gala Dinner Thursday November 28 2013
Entries must have been shown in the 12 months from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013 to be eligible for entry.
The Walkley Foundation thanks Linc Energy, major partner of the Walkley Documentary Program, for its support.
Stories from Australia - A festival of Walkley Award winning films
INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE NEW DELHI
17th to 20th July 2013
The Walkley Foundation are excited to announce that they will screen a selection of Walkley Documentary finalists at the prestigious India International Centre (IIC) in Delhi to from July 17 -21.
This collaboration will allow us to not only screen the work of our documentary finalists at the Centre but to also partake in an important cultural exchange.
Traveling to New Delhi will be filmmakers Rick McPhee (2011 & 2012 finalist - Go Back to Where You Came From) and Celeste Geer (2012 winner – Then The Wind Changed) to present their work, join a discussion program and engage with international networks and Delhi-based filmmakers as well as facilitate ongoing dialogue about journalism, new media direction and ethics of documentary-making at a public forum.
The IIC are one of the leading cultural institutions in India today. Started in 1962 the Centre is non-official in character, non-aligned in its motivation and approach and uncommitted to any particular form of government, political, economic or religious affiliation. From the time of its inception, the Centre has been a forum for the exposition of cultural patterns prevailing in different part of the world, by persons competent to speak on the subjects. the Centre has been regularly organising monthly programme activities which are open to the public and is free of charge. The programmes range from talks, discussions, seminars to dance and music performances; exhibitions and film screenings.
Celeste Geer wins Walkley Documentary Award for 2012
A moving documentary about a Victorian rural community's recovery from the devastating Black Saturday bushfires has won the Walkley Documentary Award for 2012.
Then the Wind Changed by Celeste Geer and Rebel Films / ABC TV emerged victorious from a strong field of contenders for the Award, presented at the 57th annual Walkley Awards Presentation and Gala Dinner on November 30 at Parliament House in Canberra.
The documentary features vivid and emotional accounts of the fire by members of the Strathewen community, which lost 27 residents from a population of about 200 to the horrific bushfire.
Walkley Documentary Award judges said Then the Wind Changed is an exceptional documentary due to its originality, impact and public benefit.
"As both an observer and a participant in the story, Celeste Geer achieved rare intimacy with the members of her community as they put their lives together long after the headlines had moved on.
"Her film blends dramatic archival footage with survivors' stories of grief and recovery, and prompts an emotional response," the judges said.
Geer is the second winner of the relatively new Walkley Documentary Award, following the inaugural winners Darren Dale, Tony Krawitz and Chloe Hooper for The Tall Man by Blackfella Films, which examined the death of Palm Island man Cameron Doomadgee while in police custody in 2004.
Together with, Screen Queensland and the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) we are delighted to co-present a showcase of the 2013 Walkley Documentary Award shortlisted finalists.
Excerpts from each of the three finalists’ work will be showcased throughout this special Industry event and will be followed by an in-conversation panel with the filmmakers and acclaimed journalist Quentin Dempster. This is a fabulous opportunity to meet the filmmakers and experience the power of the documentary genre.
This is a FREE event but you must RSVP and book tickets throughhttp://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=BFSL126413
The finalists and their works are as follows…
Martin Butler and Bentley Dean, First Footprints
Haydn Keenan and Gai Steele, Persons of Interest
Heather Kirkpatrick, Mary Meets Mohammad
The screening will also be followed by a drinks event on the library terrace.
Date and time: Wednesday November 20 at 6.30pm
Location: State Library of QLD (Auditorium 1)
Tickets: This is a FREE event but you must RSVP and book tickets throughhttp://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=BFSL126413
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