Cathy Henkel named winner of Stanley Hawes Award as AIDC nominees announced

Cathy Henkel.

The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) has revealed that filmmaker and educator Cathy Henkel will receive this year’s Stanley Hawes Award.

Henkel’s career spans more than 30 years as a documentary producer, director and writer, with credits including The Burning Season, I Told You I Was Ill: Spike Milligan, Rise of the Eco-Warriors, and Laura’s Choice. She is also the director of the WA Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University.

Henkel said she was “truly honoured” to become the 24th recipient of the $5,000 prize, which was established in 1997 to honour documentary producer and director Stanley Hawes.

“As only the second Western Australian recipient of the award, and someone who worked in Northern NSW for much of my career, I am very pleased that AIDC acknowledges practitioners working outside of the eastern states’ capital cities.

“I also see this award as recognition of activist filmmakers and people working independently on passion projects.”

The announcement coincided with the release of the nominees for this year’s AIDC Awards, which will be presented on March 8 at the ACMI.

AIDC CEO/creative director Natasha Gadd said contenders for the six categories were selected by the jurors on the merit of their creative treatment of the subject, quality of the storytelling, and integration of craft and technical elements.

“The AIDC Awards shine a spotlight on exceptional non-fiction projects from the past year as determined by our incredible AIDC 2023 Awards jury, made up of a stellar line-up of local and international industry representatives,” she said.

“We extend our congratulations to all nominees across the six categories and thank our Awards Jurors for their time and consideration in selecting the 2023 awards nominees, as well as our pre-selection committee members.”

This year’s AIDC will be held March 5-8.

‘Kids Raising Kids’

The full list of nominees is below:


This award is supported by completion guarantor Film Finances with a $5,000 cash prize.

Because We Have Each Other
2022 | Arenamedia
Director: Sari Braithwaite | producer: Chloe Brugale

Clean (aka The Cleaning Company)
2022 | Walking Fish Productions & Good Thing Productions
Director: Lachlan Mcleod | producers: David Elliot-Jones, Charlotte Wheaton

2022 | Rock Island Bend Productions Pty Ltd
Key creatives: Kasimir Burgess, Oliver Cassidy, Chris Kamen, Annie Venables, Claire Smith, Natasha Pincus

2021 | Stranger Than Fiction Films
Key creatives: Jennifer Peedom, Jo-Anne Mcgowan, Joseph Nizeti

Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow
2022 | Enigma Machine in association with the Shark Island Institute
Director/writer: Philippa Bateman | producers: Archie Roach (AC), Kate Hodges, Philippa Bateman | executive producers: Ian Darling And Emma Donovan


Stuff the British Stole
2022 | Wooden Horse, Wildbear Entertainment, Cream Productions
Creator and writer: Marc Fennell | series producer: Kate Pappas | executive producers: Richard Finlayson, Kate Harrison, Alan Erson

Great Southern Landscapes
2022 | Mint Pictures in association with Magdalene Media
Key Creatives: Rachel Griffiths, Dan Goldberg, Adam Kay

The Australian Wars
2022 | Blackfella Films Pty Ltd
Key Creatives: Rachel Perkins, Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey


This award is supported by post-production company Artisan Post Group with a $5,000 cash prize.

Still We Rise
2022 | Tamarind Tree Pictures
Producer: Anna Grieve | writer/director: John Harvey | composer: Leon Rodgers | editor: Patrick Mccabe

I’ll Be Frank
2022 | Studio Dropped
Director/editor: Aaron Lucas | producers: Eloise Walker, Christina Schoefisch | lead animator Ed Smith | director of photography: Stephen Korytko

Australia Uncovered: Kids Raising Kids
2022 | Only Human Productions, SBS
Producer: Sally Aitken | SBS head of factual: Joseph Maxwell | SBS commissioning editor: Georgina Davies

‘Night Creatures”

This award is supported by AFTRS, with a $3,000 cash prize.  
Ben Roberts-Smith v the media
2021 | The Guardian
The Greatest Menace: Inside the Gay Prison Experiment
2022/2023 | Lockdown Productions, Audible
Researched, written and produced by Patrick Abboud and Simon Cunich | Audible Director of Original Podcasts: Paul Horan
2022 | In Films
The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone
2022 | Closer Productions
Key creatives: Maya Newell, Georgie Stone, Sophie Hyde, Lisa Sherrard, Matt Bate
Regenerating Australia
2022 | Regen Studios
Key creatives: Damon Gameau, Anna Kaplan
The Accidental Archivist
2022 | Compass, ABC TV
Producer: Tracey Spring | editors: Danielle Akayan/Philippa Byers | executive producer: Amanda Collinge
Eden Alone Surpasses Thee
2022 | Tom Chapman Film Pty Ltd
Director: Tom Chapman | DOP: Gabriel Morrison | music: Finn Clarke | editor: Geri Docherty
This award is supported by research centre Deakin Motion Lab (DML), with a $3,000 cash prize. 
Beyond the Milky Way
2021 | White Spark Pictures 
Writer and director: Briege Whitehead | producers: Jess Black & Briege Whitehead
Night Creatures
2022 | Film Camp
Writer-director-animators: Isobel Knowles, Van Sowerwine | producer: Philippa Campey
2022 | Storyscape 
Key creatives: Yalinguth Working Group