Explorations of intimacy and relationships resonated at this year’s WA Screen Culture Awards, with Adam Morris’ Edward and Isabella and Frances Elliott and Samantha Marlow’s Girl Like You winning the feature categories at Sunday’s ceremony.
Presented and produced by the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, in collaboration with the WA screen industry, the second annual WASCAs recognised screen practitioners across innovation and outstanding achievement.
Morris’ self-financed indie project about a successful Perth couple who go on holiday in the country to determine the fate of their relationship received the Narrative Feature Film with a budget under $1 million award.
The author-turned-director/producer wrote the screenplay while travelling between Germany and Poland at the beginning of 2020, and shot the film across 18 days in Albany towards the end of last year.
Speaking to IF, he believed the award legitimised Albany as “maybe the premiere spot to film in WA”.
“It’s just incredible to be recognised by the entire industry for our independent film,” he said.
“Edward and Isabella marks feature film number four afters Rams, Breath and H is for Happiness.
“It legitimises our production company going forward, budgeting-wise, as we move forward to shoot a trilogy of films in Albany over the next five years.”
A much larger timeline was used to film the feature documentary winner, with Girl Like You encompassing a six-year journey for couple Elle and Lauren as one of them transitions to change genders, moving pronouns from he to she, and becoming Elle.
Phillip Montgomery’s Two Sands, a short film about a South Sudanese boy’s first day in school, was also among the big winners on the night, taking out the WASCAs for Short Film, Outstanding Achievement in Performance, Outstanding Achievement in Production Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Sound.
Of the two special industry awards handed out at the ceremony, the Contribution to the Industry was awarded to Perry Sandow and the Independent Spirit Award went to Johnny Ma.
Revelation Film Festival director Richard Sowada said it was a “great honour and pleasure” to be associated with the films, filmmakers recognised and with WA screen industry as a whole.
“Each and every one of them is of an international standard and testament to the creative strength and skill of the local sector in all its forms and to fly that flag is enormously rewarding,” he said.
“Despite the impact of COVID lockdowns and restrictions have had on the creative industries over the past 18 months, our local scene has proven resilience, managing to deliver the goods in the face of adversity, with the 2021 WA Screen Culture Awards showcasing the cream of the crop.”
The winners are as follows:
Narrative Feature Film with budget under $1m – Edward and Isabella
Feature Documentary/Non Fiction – Girl Like You
Short Film/Animation presented by AFTRS – Two Sands
Student Film – Linger
Music Video presented by Johnny Ma Studios – Abiogenisis
Game Design – Dementia Training Australia
Commercial Content – Dementia Training Australia
Moving Image and Installation Art – Alluvium
Virtual Reality, 360° or Augmented Reality – Virtual Whadjuk
Web Series or Online Content – Hug the Sun
Outstanding Achievement Awards
Directing: Miley Tunnecliffe – In Australia
Cinematography or Visualisation: Jim Frater – Stop The Coward Punch
Writing: Tina Fielding – Sparkles
Performance presented by PAC Screen Workshops: Garang John Deng – Two Sands
Production Design: Emma Vickery – Two Sands
Editing: Caitlan O’Connor – In Australia
Sound or Sound Design: Nick McKenzie, Josh Hogan and Ned Beckley – Two Sands
Original Music: Stephen Callan – In Australia