Sushi Screen News: December

Short, snackable, raw. Here are the takeaway bites on our plate right now.

Department of Arts Axed

  • This is the BIG news of the week. We are still trying to work out what it might mean for the screen industry, but the message from the Federal government is dismissive to say the least. More from us on the mess here and over at ArtsHub here.

Box Office

On the Move



Agency News

  • SBS and Screen Australia have announced ten short form projects for development as part of the Digital Originals initiative, providing opportunities for writers from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • The South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Australia have announced production investment for writer/director Anthony Garland’s feature film debut, Alternate, a time-traveling sci-fi thriller to be shot at Adelaide Studios in 2020. Producers are Anna Vincent (I am Mother), Ali Mueller (Ophelia) and Anita Gou (The Farewell) and exec producer Timothy White (The Luminaries).
  • The second series of The Bureau of Magical Thinking, Jonathan M. Shiff’s live action kids’ series, goes into production in Queensland this December, with original cast returning for the 20-part series, made for Network Ten plus ZDF Germany and Nickelodeon.
  • Adelaide visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures has been named winner of the Creative Industries Award category in AusTrade’s 2019 Australian Export Awards, announced in Canberra this week. The 24-year-old company exports to USA, Canada, China and the UK, with clients including Disney, Marvel, 20th Century Fox etc, working on recent titles like Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  • Three South Australian stories will be developed as audio documentaries though a partnership between the SAFC and Audible Australia: Kade Richardson’s The Gaslight, a 6-hour serialised drama about a family member entrapped in an international love-scam operation; Anthony Frith’s Tulpas: From Buddhism to Bronies looks at real life imaginary friends; and Louise Pascale’s Homebirth – A Modern Day Witchhunt gives insight into Australia’s ‘most controversial midwife’.

Glitz, Glamour, Gongs

  • The 2019 AACTA Awards luncheon was held on Monday. Mark Poole attended and wrote about it for us.
  • David Tiley watched Wednesday’s big AACTA Awards Ceremony on TV and shares his mixed but quixotic reflections.
  • Big winners included Lambs of God (9 awards, including Best Telefeature or Mini Series), The Nightingale (6 wins, including Best Film, Best Director for Jennifer Kent and Best Lead Actress for Aisling Franciosi), The King (4 wins including Best Supporting Actor for Joel Egerton and Cinematography for Adam Arkapaw) and Total Control (3 awards, including Best Drama Series and Best Lead and Supporting Actresses for Deb Mailman and Rachel Griffiths). 
  • Best Documentary went to The Australian Dream, written by Stan Grant and directed by Daniel Gordon. It was a strong turnout for First Nations talent all round, with NITV cutely calling it the ‘BlaAACTAs‘.
  • Best Independent Feature Film to Rodd Rathjen’s Buoyancy.
  • Actor Sam Neill was awarded the Longford Lyell Award for lifetime achievement.
  • P.J. Voeten won the 2019 Byron Kennedy Award for creative enterprise, with special mention of his work as assistant director on Mad Max: Fury Road, Aquaman and Lambs of God. His long career in assistant directing stretches way back to 1984 and Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome.
  • The Australian Production Design Guild held its annual awards on Sunday. Winners included costume designer Edie Kurzer for Judy and Punch; Katie Sharrock, Felicity Abbott, Sophie Nash, Joanna Pullen and Tanie Einberg for their work on set decoration for Ladies in Black; Fiona Donovan and Diana Robertson for production design on TV’s A Place to Call Home; and Jacqui and Merryn Schofield for design work on short film The Egg.
  • The Casting Guild of Australia Award winners and rising stars for 2019 have been named. Casting director Kirsty McGregor won three, including ‘Best Casting in a TV Comedy’ – Mr Inbetween Series 2 and two shared with Gemma Brown for ‘Best Casting in A Feature Film’ – Hearts & Bones, and ‘Achievement in Casting’ – The Unlisted.


Short Films

  • The 2020 Flickerfest Short Film Festival (10 – 19 January) will announce its official program on 9 December. In the meantime the promo trailer has dropped, a Grease parody set in the fest’s home suburb of Bondi this time.
  • Shot on an iPhone, Sad Sachs, winner of Best Film at the Smartfone Film Festival (SF3) has made its online premiere on NoBudge, the US-based online platform for new independent films. Joel Perlgut’s short black comedy about three siblings, a country wedding and an anti-semitic taxi driver has done the 2019 festival circuit, including Flickerfest and Cinefest Oz.    

Tasty Entry Level Opportunities

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About the Author
Mostly David Tiley and Rochelle Siemienowicz, with contributions from friends, fans and Artshub staff. Between us, we flinch at nothing.