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‘Lion’ Sweeps Aacta Technical Awards

‘Lion’ Sweeps Aacta Technical Awards
The Weinstein Company’s “Lion” completed a clean sweep of the technical prizes awarded by the Australian Academy of Cinematographic and Television Arts. In the documentary categories, “Whiteley” emerged with four of the seven prizes on offer.

The awards, which range from editing to screenwriting, were presented on Monday at a lunch. The AACTAs in performance categories will be presented at an evening event on Wednesday.

The Academy has in recent days been rocked by unspecified allegations made against leading Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. The star, who won an Oscar for his performance in Australian film “Shine,” resigned as president of Aacta on Saturday. He has denied allegations of improper behavior and sought clarifications of the complaint apparently made while he was engaged with the Sydney Theatre Company’s “King Lear.”

Lion,” directed by Garth Davis and executive produced by Harvey Weinstein, the U.S. executive now surrounded by scandal, won [link=co
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ali's Wedding review – a cream-pie sweet but cliche-laden Muslim romcom

Adapted from the memoir Good Muslim Boy by Osamah Sami, Ali’s Wedding has its heart in the right place but is let down by lack of adventure

Director Jeffrey Walker’s romantic comedy Ali’s Wedding begins with a lovestruck dope racing to the airport to prevent the object of his affection from boarding a plane: one of the most moth-eaten, hackneyed cliches in the romantic comedy playbook. Usually this sort of shenanigans occurs at the end of a film and not the beginning, however, which led me to wonder whether Walker might be getting the boilerplate stuff out of the way first.

No such luck. The story jumps back in time, detailing events leading up to this point. In other words – and this is telling of this sweet but unadventurous film, which mashes its emotions into your face like a custard pie – we will sit through the cliche twice.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Sydney Film Fest: 'Ali’s Wedding', 'Roller Dreams' the people's choice

'Ali's Wedding'.

Sydney Film Festival.s audience awards were announced today, with Aussie films topping both categories.

Jeffery Walker.s feature debut Ali.s Wedding, a rom-com.based on the life of star and co-writer Osamah Sami, has taken out best narrative feature, while Kate Hickey.s Roller Dreams, which looks at the.the Venice Beach roller dancing scene from 1978 until now,.won best documentary.

Local films Rip Tide and That.s Not Me also made the audience.s top 10 features. Meanwhile Australian docos formed half the documentary category, including The Last Goldfish, The Opposition, Barbecue, and The Pink House.

Sascha Ettinger Epstein.s The Pink House also won the festival.s Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, a $10,000 cash prize, on Sunday evening.

.The Foxtel Movies Audience Awards are the people's choice awards, and the winners reflect the most popular films at the Festival,. said Sff director Nashen Moodley.

.This year.Ali.s Wedding.and.Roller Dreams, two wonderful films that both take on remarkable true stories, have clearly made a strong impact on audiences..

.The Festival has premiered some fantastic Australian films this year. This result shows the popularity of Australian cinema at the Sydney Film Festival."

The awards were calculated from 20,000 votes.

The full list is below: The Foxtel Movies Audience Awards

Foxtel Movies Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature Top Ten: 1. Ali's Wedding, directed by Jeffrey Walker (Australia) 2. Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France) 3. Rip Tide, directed by Rhiannon Bannenberg (Australia) 4. That.s Not Me, directed by Gregory Erdstein (Australia) 5. Brigsby Bear, directed by Dave McCary (USA) 6..On Body and Soul, directed by Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary) 7. God's Own Country, directed by Francis Lee (UK) 8. Sami Blood, directed by Amanda Kernell (Sweden, Denmark, Norway) 9. The Woman Who Left, directed by Lav Diaz (Philippines) 10. The Wound, directed by John Trengrove (South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands, France) Foxtel Movies Audience Award for Best Documentary Top Ten: 1. Roller Dreams, directed by Kate Hickey (Australia) 2. The Last Goldfish, directed by Su Goldfish (Australia) 3. Chauka Please Tell Us the Time, directed by Behrouz Boochani and Arash Kamali Sarvestani (The Netherlands, Papua New Guinea) 4. The Opposition, directed by Hollie Fifer (Australia) 5. Barbecue, directed by Matthew Salleh (Australia) 6. The Workers Cup, directed by Adam Sobel (UK) 7. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana (Canada) 8. The Farthest, directed by Emer Reynolds (Ireland) 9. The Pink House, directed by Sascha Ettinger Epstein (Australia) 10. It's Not Yet Dark, directed by Frankie Fenton (Ireland)
See full article at IF.com.au »

'Ali's Wedding': Film Review | Sydney 2017

'Ali's Wedding': Film Review | Sydney 2017
All hell breaks loose when the son of a Muslim cleric lies about his medical entrance exam scores in Ali's Wedding, a wholesale charmer based on the real-life experiences of its leading man, Osamah Sami. Directed with a glossy commercial sheen and expert comic timing by Jeffrey Walker, the tyro Australian director whose credits include episodes of Modern Family and Difficult People, this sure-fire crowd-pleaser could well find a receptive audience abroad after its August bow in local cinemas. Powered by a winning lead performance from Sami, who wrote the script with veteran scribe Andrew Knight (Hacksaw Ridge), and vividly...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Entries open for the Awgie Awards

Screenwriter Shelley Birse won the top prize at last year's Awgie Awards for her work on 'The Code'..

The Australian Writers. Guild has opened up entries for the 50th annual Awgie Awards.

The awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of Aussie storytellers and their contribution to our cultural landscape.

Shelley Birse, who won last year.s Major Award for penning the second season of the ABC's cyber thriller The Code, said the Awgie Awards had ruined her life.

.I can't get more than three words of crippling self-doubt out before someone in my family walks to the bookshelf and brandishes the bronze statue my way," she said.

.To be given the nod from the writers I respect most in the world? I wish this kind of ruination for everyone..

Other winners at last year.s awards included Angus Cerini for his Helpmann Award-winning play The Bleeding Tree
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aff gets set to unveil David Stratton's three-part series on Aussie cinema

George Miller and David Stratton pore over 'Fury Road' storyboards in Stratton's new ABC series.

Fred Schepisi will host David Stratton in a special in-conversation event at the Adelaide Film Festival this Saturday October 29.

Stratton is in Adelaide to present a work-in-progress screening of his series David Stratton's Stories of Australian Cinema, set to premiere on the ABC next year.

Featured in the three-part series are George Miller, Schepisi himself, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush and many, many others. Transmission Films are planning a theatrical release (at feature doc length) prior to the series going to air.

Stratton and Schepisi will be joined on the red carpet by series producer Jo Anne McGowan and director Sally Aitken..

Also world premiering in Adelaide is Jeffrey Walker's Ali's Wedding, written by and starring Osamah Sami. Sami co-wrote the script with Hacksaw Ridge's Andrew Knight.—.the pair won an Awgie Award for the film on Friday.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Fred Schepisi joins David Stratton to unveil three-part series on Aussie cinema

George Miller and David Stratton pore over 'Fury Road' storyboards in Stratton's new ABC series.

Fred Schepisi will host David Stratton in a special in-conversation event at the Adelaide Film Festival this Saturday October 29.

Stratton is in Adelaide to present a work-in-progress screening of his series David Stratton's Stories of Australian Cinema, set to premiere on the ABC next year.

Featured in the three-part series are George Miller, Schepisi himself, Russell Crowe, Geoffrey Rush and many, many others.

Stratton and Schepisi will be joined on the red carpet by series producer Jo Anne McGowan and director Sally Aitken.

Also world premiering in Adelaide is Jeffrey Walker's Ali's Wedding, written by and starring Osamah Sami. Sami co-wrote the script with Hacksaw Ridge's Andrew Knight.—.the pair won an Awgie Award for the film on Friday..

Knight will also appear in conversation, discussing his long list of credits. They include.Seachange,
See full article at IF.com.au »

The Code tops the Awgie Awards

The Code. . Shelley Birse has taken out the top prize at this year.s Awgie Awards, winning the Major Award for the second season of ABC cyber-thriller The Code..

The first season of The Code also took out the Australian Writers. Guild Major Award in 2014. This year.s award makes it the only series to have been recognised by two Major Awards for both of its seasons. The Code also received the Awgie Award for the Television: Miniseries — Original category.

Overall, more than 25 Australian writers —.from radio, television, film, theatre and interactive media — were honoured at this year.s Awgie Awards, held in Sydney on Friday evening.

Andrew Knight and Osamah Sami.s Ali.s Wedding took out the award for most outstanding script for an original feature, while Shaun Grant and Craig Silvey received the award for most outstanding feature adaptation for Jasper Jones.

Samantha Strauss was honoured for her original telemovie,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Ali’s Wedding to have world premiere at Aff mini-fest

  • IF.com.au
Ali's Wedding.

Tiding audiences over until the official event returns in 2017, Adelaide Film Festival will run a mini-festival this October.

Known as Adelaide Film Festival Goes Rogue, the mini-fest will run October 27 — 30 and feature premieres, in-conversation events and a retrospective screening of Michael James Rowland's Lucky Miles..

Jeffrey Walker.s feature debut Ali.s Wedding. is set for its world premiere at the event. Australia.s first Muslim rom-com, the film is based on the life of actor, writer and comedian Osamah Sami, who also co-wrote the screenplay and stars as the titular character. There will also be a .work in progress. premiere screening of David Stratton.s Stories of Australian Cinema.

Festivities will also include the Australian premiere season of Lynette Wallworth.s Vr film Collisons (Oct 5 — 30), and a free talk by Greg Mackie, last year's Jim Bettison and Helen James Award recipient, at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Nsw stumps up over $2 million for 16 projects

  • IF.com.au
Kriv Stenders on a recce for Wake In Fright in Broken Hill.

The Nsw Government has invested over $2 million to secure four new feature films, four television drama series and four factual TV series, as well as several one-off documentaries, a web series and a multiplatform project. The productions are predicted to create 1080 new screen jobs and generate a direct production spend of almost $35 million in Nsw. Included among them is Ten.s recently announced mini-series Wake In Fright, the first local production to be supported under the Screen Nsw.s $20 million Made in Nsw Fund. The other 15 productions are being supported through the Film Production Finance Fund. According to Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant the fund can now support many more local film and television productions because funds have been freed-up by the Made in Nsw Fund. The full list of funding recipients: Project: Ali's Wedding
See full article at IF.com.au »

Jeffrey Walker tackles the Muslim issue, with humour

When Jeffrey Walker was offered the chance to direct his first feature, Ali.s Wedding, he hesitated initially, feeling intimidated by the milieu of a Muslim immigrant who is torn between his upbringing and the Australian way of life. But as he got deeper into the screenplay by Osamah Sami and his frequent collaborator Andrew Knight, he saw a universal theme in the romantic comedy based on Sami.s experiences. .I got a real feel for the characters and their journey,. says Walker, who started shooting in Melbourne today with a cast of familiar and new faces. Sami plays Ali, the affable son of a Muslim cleric (Don Hany) who had migrated to Australia from Iraq. In an attempt to live up to the expectations of his community and his father, Ali tells a series of well-intentioned lies, which result in him pretending to be a medical student based on forged exam marks.
See full article at IF.com.au »

The luck of the Irish for Darcy-Smith

Based in the Us for the past three years, Kieran Darcy-Smith had not seen the Jack Irish telepics when he was offered the gig as set-up director of the spin-off series starring Guy Pearce as a former criminal lawyer turned private investigator and debt collector.

After watching the telepics and reading the scripts for the 6-part ABC series by Andrew Knight, Matt Cameron and Andrew Anastasios, Darcy-Smith readily agreed.

In his first TV drama assignment, the director whose breakthrough was Wish You Were Here is directing two episodes and Mark Joffe and Daniel Nettheim are each helming two. Essential Media and Entertainment.s Ian Collie is the series producer.

.The scripts are sensational; this is as good as TV drama gets,. Kieran tells If as shooting is underway in Melbourne to be followed by a week in the Philippines. .I am working with the A-team..

The plot is under wraps so Darcy-Smith is circumspect,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Writer/producer calls for creative re-think

Andrew Knight is not a critic of Australia.s film schools but if he were invited to lecture on screenwriting he.d take a radically different approach.

The veteran writer/producer disagrees with an over- emphasis on structure, formulas and genres. .Too much of it and you start to stifle creativity, to pigeon-hole and not let it take to the open air,. Knight tells If, elaborating on the Aacta masterclasses he delivered in Sydney and Melbourne this month.

.When you start hearing hard and fast rules like .there must be a crisis by page 23. - maybe it.s time to check if you.ve paid your medical insurance..

In January he received Aacta.s inaugural Longford Lyell Award which recognised his contributions to screen culture in a career spanning more than 30 years.

His credits as head writer or co-writer include The Water Diviner, SeaChange, The Broken Shore, Fast Forward, Full Frontal,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Feature debut for Jeffrey Walker

In his feature debut Jeffrey Walker will direct Ali.s Wedding, a romantic comedy based on a true story for Matchbox Pictures.

Scripted by actor Osamah Sami and Andrew Knight, the plot follows Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, who is caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart.

The film is inspired by Sami.s first marriage which lasted precisely one hour and 48 minutes.

Shooting is due to start in Melbourne in the first week of November, produced by Sheila Jayadev and Helen Panckhurst. No casting has been confirmed yet.

"Jeffrey is one of Australia.s most exciting directors and we are thrilled to be working with him on Ali.s Wedding," Jayadev tells If. "With his extensive experience in directing comedy both in Australia and the Us, he will create a fresh, contemporary and hugely entertaining film."

Osamah has just launched his memoir Good Muslim Boy,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Indie Spotlight: ‘Two Refugees And A Blonde’ Tackles Big Issues With Comedy

In Australia, the treatment of incoming refugees from other nations is a serious political issue. One web series, though, is attempting to tackle it through comedy. In Two Refugees and a Blonde, creators Osamah Sami, Rain Fuller, and Shahin Shafaei explore the topic of immigration through a classic odd couple setup.

Two Refugees begins with radio host Zoe Hunter (Fuller) debating a conservative opponent on-air. She explains her belief that refugees are normal people, and should any appear at her doorstep, she would happily welcome them. This belief is immediately challenged when a pair of Middle Eastern refugees (played by Sami and Behrouz Harvasi) show up at her house in search of the free shelter she promised on the radio. Multicultural hijinks ensue.

Two Refugees is trying to be much more than a funny web series.It is also attempting to use comedy to show the struggle of refugees, much
See full article at Tubefilter News »

Creative burst for The Water Diviner co-writer

In a distinguished career spanning more than 30 years, writer-producer Andrew Knight has rarely been so busy.

The co-writer (with Andrew Anastasios) of The Water Diviner concurrently is working on the Jack Irish series, the fourth season of Rake and three movies.

He is collaborating with actor-writer Osamah Sami on the screenplay of Ali.s Wedding, a feature which is due to start shooting in June, directed by Wayne Blair for Matchbox Pictures. He.s developing two other features, The Cartographer (co-written with Anastasios) for South Pacific Pictures, and King of Thieves, a co-production between Essential Media and Entertainment.s Ian Collie and UK producer David Parfitt.s Trademark Films.

.It.s a fantastic time to be writing and producing drama; I am doing exactly what I want to do,. Knight tells If.

In January he won Aacta.s Longford Lyell Award which recognises outstanding contribution to the enrichment of Australia.s screen environment and culture.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Sapphires director wins Screen Australia funding

  • ScreenDaily
Wayne Blair, Rachel Perkins, Greg McLean, Cameron and Colin Cairnes get green lights for new Australian films, including a new feature starring Kevin Bacon.

The directors of two of Australia’s biggest hits of the last five years, Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae) and Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) have had new films financed in Screen Australia’s last funding round for the year.

Six films in all got a green light: another is Jungle from Wolf Creek director Greg McLean, who recently made his first Us film, 6 Miranda Drive, and has cast Kevin Bacon in this cinematic recreation of the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg managing to survive in the Amazon rainforest.

Perkins will direct the adaptation of the extremely popular book Jasper Jones in Western Australia next year. No cast are yet attached to the coming-of-age murder mystery written by Shaun Grant who was thrust into the limelight when the film of his debut script [link=tt
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Funding for first Australian Muslim rom-com feature

During a break in filming the Sbs telemovie Saved in 2009, actor Osamah Sami told director Tony Ayres and his co-star Claudia Karvan an amazing story.

Sami related how his first marriage lasted precisely one hour and 48 minutes. .I immediately thought, .there.s a film in that,.. Ayres tells If.

Andrew Knight came on board to collaborate with Sami on the screenplay of Ali.s Wedding and Screen Australia has agreed to invest in the project.

At one point Ayres was keen to direct but he has a full schedule as the Ep of Glitch and Nowhere Boys, so Wayne Blair will direct the romantic comedy.

Sheila Jayadev and Helen Panckhurst will produce for Matchbox Pictures, with Ayres, Michael McMahon, Greg Sitch and Nina Stevenson as EPs.

The plot follows Ali, the son of a Muslim cleric, who is caught between his sense of duty to his family and following his heart.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Australia funds 11 projects

Screen Australia announced today it will invest nearly $10.7 million in 11 television and film projects which will trigger production worth almost $59 million.

In one of the most hotly contested funding rounds, six features succeeded. They include Wayne Blair.s romantic comedy Ali.s Wedding; Joe Cinque.s Consolation, a thriller about a troubled law student who tries to kill her boyfriend, from director Sotiris Dounoukos, whose A Single Body won best short at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Cameron and Colin Cairnes. horror movie Scare Campaign.

The other three are Taboo, the narrative feature debut of documentary filmmakers Bentley Dean and Martin Butler; Rachel Perkins. murder mystery Jasper Jones, based on the novel and play by Craig Silvey, adapted by Shaun Grant;. and Greg Mclean.s true-life thriller Jungle.

The TV projects are Shine Australia.s Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door for the Seven Network; a Jack
See full article at IF.com.au »

Wish You Were Here film-makers among Screen Australia recipents for Memorial Day

The team behind Australian film Wish You Were Here is among seven film-making teams to receive funding from Screen Australia.

Writer director Kieran Darcy-Smith, with his Wish You Were Here producer Angie Fielder as well as Ted Hope, producer of 21 Grams and Martha Marcy May Marlene, have received a share in the $216,000 of development support from the national screen agency for their film Memorial Day.

Billed as a crime drama, Memorial Day’s synopsis reads: “Two brothers – one out of his depth in a hard world he doesn’t understand, the other recently returned from a period of self-imposed exile – struggle to redress the fallout from a past family tragedy.”

Both Darcy-Smith and Fielder have been nominated for AACTAs for Wish You Were Here.

Two Australian film-makers have received professional internships through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator Program. Bec Cubitt will join Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free under
See full article at Encore Magazine »
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