The Sapphires wins most outstanding script at Australian Writers’ Guild awards

The Australian Writers’ Guild held its annual awards ceremony on Friday 24 August. The Sapphires and screenwriters Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson won most outstanding script. Michael Lucas won two awards, in the feature film original category for Not Suitable For Children and in the TV series category for an episode of Offspring.

The announcement:

The 45th Annual Australian Writers’ Guild Awgie Awards were held on Friday 24th August at Doltone House in Sydney. The only Australian scriptwriting awards judged solely by writers on the basis of the script recognised a new crop of creative talent bringing Australian stories to our screens and stages.

The best of Australian performance writing across feature films, theatre, television, radio, interactive and animation were celebrated at a star-studded affair at Doltone House in Sydney last night as part of the golden 50-year anniversary of the Australian Writers’ Guild. The awards were hosted by iconic Australian
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The Sapphires and Not Suitable For Children top Awgie Awards

The 45th annual Australian Writer.s Guild Awgie Awards, held at Doltone House in Sydney, have honoured local productions including The Sapphires, Not Suitable for Children and The Slap.

Hosted by Roy and Hg.s John Doyle, the event was attended by key industry figures and featured Australian writing talent from across film, theatre, television, radio and animation.

Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson work on The Sapphires earned them an Awgie Award for Most Outstanding Script of 2012 and another for best Feature Film Adaption. Up-and-comer Michael Lucas also collected two awards, for an episode of the television show Offspring and in the Feature Film Original category for Not Suitable For Children.

The teams behind The Slap and The Straits won AWGIEs for Best Mini Series Adaption and Television Mini Series . Original respectively. Brides of Christ and The Leaving of Liverpool scribe Susan Smith cemented her place as a Australian scriptwriting
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Awgies shortlist revealed

The finalists have been announced for the Australian Writers’ Guild awards – or Awgies.

Wish You Were Here is up for best feature film, along with Last Dance and Not Suitable For Children.

The Slap and Underbelly: Razor are up for best TV mini-series.

The short list in full:

Telemovie Original

BeaconsfieldJudi McCrossin

MaboSusan Smith

Television Mini-series – Adaptation

The SlapEmily Ballou, Alice Bell, Brendan Cowell, Kris Mrksa with Cate Shortland

Underbelly: RazorPeter Gawler, Michaeley O’Brien, Felicity Packard and Jeffrey Truman

Television Mini-series – Original

Only one nomination and the winner will be announced on the night.

Television – Series

Spirited: If You See Her Say Hello – Alice Bell

Offspring: Episode 206 – Michael Lucas

Spirited: Living In OblivionIan Meadows

Spirited: I’ll Close My EyesJacquelin Perske

Television – Serial

Home & Away 5437- Louise Bowes

Home & Away 5391 – Fiona Bozic

Neighbours 6231 (Jim’s Death) – Pete McTighe

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Awg unveils 2012 Awgie Award nominees

The nominees for this year's Awgie awards include the scribes behind local films such as The Sapphires, The Eye of the Storm, Wish You Were Here and TV programs such as Mabo, Beaconsfield, and Underbelly.

Battling in the feature film adaptation category will be Judy Morris. The Eye of the Storm, starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davies, and The Sapphires from Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs. Michael Lucas has also been nominated for his first original feature, Not Suitable for Children while Last Dance by Terence Hammond and David Pulbrook and drama Wish You Were Here, written by Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price, have also been nominated.

Among television nominees, the team of writers behind The Slap and Underbelly: Razor have been nominated as well as Susan Smith for indigenous telemovie Mabo, and Judi McCrossin for Beaconsfield. Michael Lucas was also nominated for the television series Offspring while three scripts
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Australian Film Festival Photos: A Heartbeat Away

A Heartbeat Away screened at the Australian Film Festival at Sydney's Randwick Ritz on the weekend ahead of its release this Thursday. The feature film debut of Gale Edwards . acclaimed theatre director of such international hits as The Boy From Oz . is a musical addition to the ever-popular genre of the Aussie feel-good. Following in the proud tradition of The Castle, it's up to the local brass band to snatch back their town hall from the evil clutches of property developers.. However, disaster strikes when weeks out from the competition their conductor (William Zappa) is incapacitated leaving his reluctant, rock-n-roll guitarist son (Sebastian Gregory) to lead the band to victory. With Isabel Lucas featuring as Gregory.s love interest, and...
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A Heartbeat Away: Smells Like Teen Spirit

From Nirvana (and Isabel Lucas) fans to seventy-year-olds, Gale Edwards’ debut feature A Heartbeat Away targets an unusually wide demographic. Miguel Gonzalez reports.

Originally titled Montague Municipal, the script was submitted by a Queensland Investment Corporation equities dealer, Julia Kincade, to an initiative set up by the Pftc and Pictures in Paradise to find new writers.

“New writers come up with fantastic ideas and they’re very open to changes, which I’m not sure more experienced writers are. The downside is that it can sometimes take a long time, because they’re not full-time writers and they’ve got other jobs,” said producer Chris Fitchett.

Two scripts from that scheme were soon made into films, Blurred in 2002 and Under the Radar in 2004, but the process for this one would be much slower. Chris Fitchett was working on the film as script editor with Brown producing, but both got distracted by other projects.
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Making A Feature

The road to making your first feature film can be a steep one, marked by triumphant highs and discouraging lows. Just ask Australian filmmakers Andrew Traucki, Louise Alston and Gale Edwards who have each recently wrapped a local feature film soon to be released.   Each of these directors will be taking part in a seminar on March 10 at Bondi's Apple Store - known for its free impromptu events - where they will speak about their journey to making a feature film. As these filmmakers are well aware, shooting the film is only one part in the process of making a feature.
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The Notable Films of 2011: Part Six

The Hangover: Part Two

Opens: May 26th 2011

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifinakis, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong

Director: Todd Phillips

Summary: Phil, Stu, Alan and Doug travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned.

Analysis: It really wasn't until about three months before its release that Warner Brothers realised "The Hangover" was going to be a hit. Test screening response was through the roof, while the trailer had great reaction after premiering at ShoWest and online. About that time they commissioned director Todd Phillips, along with his "Old School" and "Road Trip" scribe Scot Armstrong, to pen a sequel. Yet they still waited to see how the first one went before fully committing to the follow-up.

The wait didn't last long.
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Money and Moments

Dear Jackie:i'm looking into Mfa programs and apprenticeships/internships. The financial road to an Mfa seems clear-cut, involving loans and scholarships. It's the world of apprenticeships that's a bit murky for me.Programs like the one at Actors Theatre of Louisville are tuition-free, but the cost of living is not covered. Are there scholarship or loan options for people like me, who would love the experience and networking opportunities of an apprenticeship but can't live off savings for 10 months? There are two others in particular I'm interested in: the acting fellowship at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., and the acting internship at Milwaukee Repertory Theater.I'd appreciate any advice or recommendations regarding resources I may not be aware of.—N.M.Dear N.M.:There don't seem to be any cushy solutions for actors pursuing a year of networking and training in an apprenticeship, internship, or fellowship.
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A Heartbeat Away gets release date

Hoyts Distribution has announced that A Heartbeat Away will have a wide release on March 3, 2011.

Hoyts Distribution and we filmmakers see A Heartbeat Away as a multiplex film, ” producer Chris Fitchett told Encore in February.

A Heartbeat Away is theatre director Gale Edwards’ first film. It was shot in Brisbane and financed by Screen Australia, Screen Queensland, Cutting Edge and UK’s Quickfire Films.

Chris Fitchett produces, alongside executive producers Chris Brown (Pictures in Paradise), John Lee (Cutting Edge), Gary Hamilton and James Atherton (Arclight Films).

The story is about an aspiring rock guitarist who is forced to take over the musical direction of his father’s marching band just weeks before a major competition. The cast includes Isabel Lucas, Sebastian Gregory, Williams Zappa, Tammy Macintosh and Colin Friels.
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'Transformers' Actress Isabel Lucas Falls Into 'A Heartbeat Away'

Isabel Lucas has make a leap from blockbuster action fantasy to feel-good musical comedy with "A Heartbeat Away". The actress known for her Alice role in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" has been tapped as the leading lady for this major Queensland film production by Emmy Award-winning Australian theater director Gale Edwards.

What part she will be playing in the movie has yet to be disclosed. Nonetheless, she will take a part in the story that revolves around an aspiring rock guitarist who is forced to take over the musical direction of his father's marching band just four weeks before a major competition. She is joined by Sebastian Gregory, Williams Zappa, Tammy Macintosh and Colin Friels in the cast ensemble.

"A Heartbeat Away" is produced by Chris Fitchet and marked Gale Edwards' directorial debut in feature film. Of the movie, the helmer said, "It's a charming, funny and moving
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'Transformers 2' Beauty Set to Star in Musical Comedy

Isabel Lucas has landed a role in a new musical comedy entitled "A Heartbeat Away". It has not been known what role which is played by the Australia-born actress in this film debut for Emmy Award winning Australian theater director Gale Edwards, but she will share screen with the likes of Sebastian Gregory, Williams Zappa, Tammy Macintosh and Colin Friels.

"A Heartbeat Away" tells the story of an aspiring rock guitarist who is forced to take over the musical direction of his father's marching band just weeks before a major competition. "It's a charming, funny and moving human story with some interesting deeper layers," Edwards claims about her new project. The shooting for the film has been kicked off on Monday, February 15 in Brisbane for a 2011 release.

Isabel Lucas, who has her first television role when playing Tasha Andrews in "Home and Away", appears as Alice in box office movie
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A Heartbeat Away starts rolling

A Heartbeat Away starts rolling
In the wake of the success of indigenous musical Bran Nue Dae, a new musical-comedy, A Heartbeat Away, has just begun shooting in Brisbane after being delayed late last year due to refinancing.   The film marks the feature film debut of acclaimed theatre director Gale Edwards whose credits include The Boy From Oz and Jesus Christ Superstar, with the latter winning an International Emmy in 2001.   Edwards has directed musicals on The West End and Broadway and has received Green Room, Sydney Critics Circle and Helpmann awards for Best Director of productions such as her highly acclaimed Sweeny Todd.
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