There’s cause for applause in the Australian screen industry this week, with the news that ABC TV comedy Fisk has taken out an award for best TV series comedy at Europe’s largest TV festival, Series Mania. It even beat out Hacks from HBO, which is no mean feat, so it’s worth taking a look at if you haven’t already – read our Fisk review if you’re still on the fence.
But here at home, Justin Kurzel’s Nitram took out the hefty grand prize at CinefestOz over in WA, beating out The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, Here Out West, and River. I’m personally really looking forward to the day when I can finally see it, especially the deep sense of anxiety and dread that’ll linger for days afterwards – classic Kurzel!
Elsewhere in the screen industry, we take a look at the results of the recent senate enquiry into tax legislation for screen production and find that there are both ups and downs. The games sector is getting busy as we head into Spring, with announcements surrounding Melbourne International Games Week – the game developers conference GCAP announced their full schedule, and we announced the kickoff of WordPlay, a brand new mentorship program for aspiring games writers.
Of course, the best stuff to come out of this week are our explorations into the people behind the productions. Working Dog’s Tom Gleisner spoke to us about their latest success, The Cheap Seats, and how they’ve been managing pandemic challenges in the free-to-air television space. David Tiley also took us on a journey to discover Ian Hubert, an incredibly talented VFX artist who is doing some stunning solo work using only free, open-source software and his imagination. And finally, we spoke to longtime actor-turned-director James Ashcroft on his thriller, Coming Home in the Dark, which showed at Sundance and MIFF this year. All great reads!
THE PEOPLE BEHIND PRODUCTIONS
- The Cheap Seats: Tom Gleisner talks pandemic production and youthful energy
Tom Gleisner gives insight into how Working Dog has found free-to-air success during Covid.
- James Ashcroft on making NZ thriller ‘Coming Home in the Dark’
With a background in theatre, the actor’s director talks about creating tension on a tight budget.
- Sheffield DocFest implodes – what happened?
The famed Sheffield DocFest, a key destination for makers and audiences alike, is gritting its teeth against bad, bad press.
- Discovering Ian Hubert, Blender, and low-budget VFX mastery
Meet Ian Hubert, Blender VFX artist, builder of worlds, astounder of accountants. Our dreams can be bigger than we imagine.
OUR SCREEN INDUSTRY
- New tax legislation – government gives, and takes away
The Senate report into the new Tax Legislation is mostly a win, with some annoying losses
- Box Office: laughs beat screams all over the world
Despite some horror film reboots the world is enchanted by American comedy sci-fi Free Guy.
- Kitty Flanagan’s Fisk wins top prize at Series Mania
Beating the Emmy nominated Hacks, the ABC’s low-fi legal comedy wins a big European prize.
- Sydney Film Festival announces 12 documentary finalists for 2021
The finalists competing for the $10,000 Documentary Australia Foundation Award have a strong sense of social purpose.
- Untapped program announces support for five exciting new filmmakers
Talent program Untapped will help five diverse filmmakers finance and develop exciting film and TV projects for a global audience.
- Nitram wins $100,000 CinefestOz Prize
First screened at Cannes, and now winning Australia’s richest feature film prize, Nitram will release with much pre-buzz.
HELPFUL CAREER ADVICE AND OPPORTUNITIES
- Do I really need LinkedIn? (I’m creative)
The Media Mentor says ‘Yes’ even if you hate the corporate vibe. These tips make it work for you.
- Your games career as a: QA Analyst
In this column, ScreenHub shines a weekly spotlight on the highlights, skills and specificities of different game development careers. This week: What does a QA analyst actually do?
- WordPlay: A games writing mentorship
A co-production between Creative Victoria and GamesHub, WordPlay is the inaugural games writing mentorship program for Melbourne International Games Week.
THE GAMES INDUSTRY FIRES UP
- The Activision Blizzard lawsuit, explained
The Activision Blizzard gender discrimination lawsuit is a landmark case. Here’s why.
- GCAP 2021 announces schedule, return of ticket assistance program
GCAP 2021 will host dozens of talks covering a variety of game development disciplines, with more to be announced.
- Western Australia’s game dev community bolsters itself with 48-hour challenge
The small but enthusiastic game development community in Western Australia are taking steps to nurture the region’s future talent.
- Australian-made Kardboard Kings signs with Akupara Games, drops a demo
Kardboard Kings, the debut game from Melbourne-Perth studio Henry’s House, was announced as part of the Indie Houses Direct.
- Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between is as meditative as a long drive
Fellow Traveller will publish Glitchhikers: The Spaces Between in 2022. It’s an expanded, philosophical reimagining of Silverstring’s 2014 cult hit.
- Film Review: Big Deal is a blunt call to action
More informative than flashy, Christiaan Van Vuuren and Craig Reucassel put jokes aside to focus on the all-pervading rot of political donations.
- Lake is serene, focussed, and authentic
Lake is a meditative character study that exhibits great confidence with its ebbs and flows.
- Hoa is a gorgeous slice of escapism
Beautiful and minimal, Hoa proves that you don’t need clever puzzles or wild combat to succeed as a platformer.
- Wrestledunk Sports sparks party-like joy, even amidst a pandemic
The South Australian-made Wrestledunk Sports pits players against each other in games that can leave everyone roaring with laughter.