The South Australian Screen Awards (SASA) were announced last night (Friday 13 May) at a gala event at the Mercury Cinema. Presented by the Media Resource Centre (MRC), SASA winners represent the best of South Australian screen practice across the broad spectrum of 19 genre and craft categories. The primary focus of the awards is short films, however there is an award for best feature film, which celebrates local features made by South Australians.
The event was hosted by Adelaide media identity, Tim Noonan (891 ABC and Channel Seven) and attended by the who’s-who’s of Adelaide’s up-and-coming new generation of feature film and television makers, including Matt Bate (Shut Up Little Man: An Audio Misadventure), Dario Russo and David Ashby, (Spiderman and Danger 5), Kate Croser (Danger 5 & My Tehran for Sale), Murali Thalluri (2:37), Sieh Mchawala (Barefoot in Ethiopia) and Sophie Hyde and Bryan Mason (Life in Movement). Also in attendance were film identities Richard Harris (CEO, South Australian Film Corporation), Adele Hann (Associate Artistic Director, Adelaide Film Festival) , screenwriter Stephen Sewell (The Boys) and members of the West End’s art precinct, Stan Mahoney (Format Collective) and Josh Fanning (Magazine).
The big success story of the night was The Kiss, which took out five awards including the $3000 cash BEST SHORT FILM (Producer, Sonya Humphrey), BEST SHORT DRAMA (Producer, Sonya Humphrey), BEST SCREENPLAY (Ashlee Page), BEST DIRECTOR (Ashlee Page) and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (Nick Matthews). Taking the local top prize was the icing on the cake for the makers of The Kiss, which has already won Best Short and Best Cinematography at the 2010 AFIs and won director Ashlee Page the award for Best Emerging Filmmaker at the 2010 Melbourne International Film Festival.
Sophie Hyde and Bryan Mason won BEST FEATURE with their beautiful documentary, Life In Movement, about choreographer, Tanya Liedtke, who tragically died the night before taking up the position of Artistic Director of the Sydney Dance Theatre. Sophie and Bryan were the 2009 winners of Best Short Film at SASA with Necessary Games and were the co-producers of Shut Up Little Man, the Adelaide feature which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
The poignant tale of a young African boy in a war zone, Paper Planes was nominated for five SASAS and won BEST SOUND DESIGN for Michael Darren. Its scriptwriter and director, Storm Ashwood was highly commended in the BEST DIRECTION category.
One of the highlights of the evening was the awarding of BEST PERFORMANCE to Adelaide actress Chantal Contouri for her role in the delicately sublime film, Unfinished Thoughts, based on the Italian short story by Felix Calvino. Chantal whose family established the Original Barbecue Inn on Hindley Street, which she now runs, began her career in the 1970s on Number 96 and in the family favourite, The Sullivans. Unfinished Thoughts was nominated for eight SASAs.
The Director of the Media Resource Centre, Gail Kovatseff said
“It was a wonderful night celebrating what has been an outstanding year in local filmmaking. Judges found the final decision making extremely difficult as there were so many deserving films and filmmakers.”
FULL LIST OF 2011 SASA Award Winners & Prizes
1. Pro AV Award for Best Non-Narrative
Winner: A Moment of Grace (MRC)
Prize: $1000 equipment hire from Pro AV Solutions
2.Total Photographic Award for Innovation in Digital Media
Winner: Portrait Mode
Prize: Studio and equipment hire to the value of $1000
3. The Cutting Room Award for Best Music Video
Winner: Frown (by the Giveaways)
Prize: $2000 editing time at The Cutting Room – including colour grading – to produce their next music video
4. GooRoo Animation Award for Best Animation
Winner: Sumo Lake (MRC)
Prize: MovieMagic 7 Budgeting software, a signed GooRoo collector’s edition DVD plus a collection of animation books valued at over $1200.
5. AIDC Award for Best Documentary
Winner: Chasing Shadows
Prize: Gold Pass Membership to all sessions at the 2012 Australian International Documentary Conference, valued at over $1000
6. Best FX Award for Best Comedy
Prize: Surround Sound Mix at Best FX valued at $3000
7. Oasis Post Award for Best Drama
Winner: The Kiss
Prize: $3000 post facilities hire at Oasis Post
8. Mercury Cinema Award for Best Feature Film
Winner: Life in Movement
Prize: Three free feature session hires at The Mercury Cinema valued at over $2,200
9. SASA People’s Choice Award
Winner: Murder Mouth (MRC)
Prize: Full MRC Membership plus Gold Pass Membership to Adelaide Cinematheque plus a year’s subscription to Collect magazine valued at $250
10. The Carclew Youth Arts MRC Emerging Filmmaker Award
Winner: Madeleine Parry (MRC)
Prize: $1000 cash, MRC membership plus $1000 worth equipment hire from the MRC
11. The Independent Arts Foundation MRC Emerging Producer Award
Winner: Rose Tucker (MRC)
Prize: $1000 cash courtesy of IAF, MRC membership, plus 6 months free office rental and mentorship at the MRC to produce their next short film
12. The SASA Award for Best Production Design
Winner: Jessie Mills for Aurora
Prize: $600 of gift vouchers to spend within any Ted’s Camera Stores
13. The Chapel Lane Award for Best Sound Design
Winner: Michael Darren for Paper Planes
Prize: $1000 worth of studio recording services
14. The Music SA Award for Best Composition
Winner: Christopher Larkin for Toot Toot
Prize: Cash prize and courses valued at over $1000
15. The Canon Australia Award for Best Cinematography
Winner: Nick Matthews for The Kiss
Prize: Canon 60D DSLR Camera with a kit lens valued at over $1600
16. The Photographic Wholesalers Award for Best Editing
Winner: Cleland Jones for A Moment of Grace (MRC)
Prize: NEC Colour Profile Monitor valued at over $1000
17. The Actors Ink Award for Best Performance
Winner: Chantal Contouri for Unfinished Thoughts (MRC)
Prize: $2000 worth of Actors Ink Courses and support
18. The SASA Best Screenplay Award
Winner: Ashlee Page for The Kiss
Prize: One year’s Associate Membership of the Australian Writers’ Guild plus free attendance to all AWG courses and programs offered in 2011-12 valued at over $600.
19. The Picture Hire Australia Award for Best Direction
Winner: Ashlee Page for The Kiss
Prize: $1000 worth of equipment hire from Picture Hire.
20. The SAFC Award for Best Short Film
Winner: The Kiss
Prize: $3000 cash courtesy of the SAFC