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AFI proposes Australian Academy, officially moves Awards date
[Wed 01/06/2011 10:39:52]
By Brendan Swift
The Australian Film Institute has flagged greater support for the local industry with the launch of an Academy for screen professionals.
The proposed changes, which also include shifting the date of its Awards ceremony in line with international peers, are aimed at providing greater engagement and leadership within the industry.
The Australian Academy, built on the AFI professional membership, would include specific chapters representing 14 key professions such as producers, directors annd cinematographers.
AFI patron Dr George Miller said the proposed changes, including the Academy, were exciting.
“The 21st century offers immense opportunities and the AFI’s proposed development of an Australian Academy cleverly adapts successful elements of the world’s leading screen organizations to local traditions,” he said in a statement.
AFI Advisor and industry veteran Greg Coote has been instrumental in the proposed changes, which have been overseen by AFI chairman Alan Finney.
This year’s awards will now be moved from December 2011 to late-January 2012, which will allow more projects from 2011 to be included and bring the awards in line with the international events such as the Golden Globes, Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards.
As previously announced, the awards will be held in Sydney for the first time rather than Melbourne under a three-year deal with the NSW Government.
Renato Rispoli, who played an integral role bringing the AFI Awards to Sydney while at Events NSW, has been appointed as AFI Awards event director reporting directly to AFI chief executive Damian Trewhella.
Former state premier Kristina Keneally has previously said the government is spending $1.7 million a year on the AFIs.
In other proposed changes, which are open for industry consultation, the AFI is considering:
moving the AFI Awards’ feature film voting model from a single vote to a more rigorous two-step voting process, which includes a shortlist;
some form of acknowledging the best global screen productions;
bringing greater attention to the short filmmaking genre, including a dedicated event to screen nominated films and present awards for the category;
changing the online short film AFI TV channel from a subscription model to a pay-per-view platform that also supports the online distribution of longer form content such as documentaries and feature films;
seeking an identity (name, logo, awards statuette) that is closely related to the traditions of the AFI but more broadly representative of all modern forms of the moving image.
Meanwhile, the AFIs have appointed to new board members: actor Sigrid Thornton and TressCox Lawyers partner Jennifer Huby. They replace retiring members Peter Thompson and Todd Sampson.