Four wins for ‘He Ain’t Heavy’ at WA Screen Culture Awards

'He Ain't Heavy' producer Jess Parker, writer-director David Vincent Smith and award presenter Michael Little from Spinifex Brewery.

David Vincent Smith’s feature directorial debut He Ain’t Heavy led the winners at the WA Screen Culture Awards on Sunday evening, picking up four prizes.

The film, which is yet to officially premiere, won Innovation in Narrative Feature Film (budget over $1 million), Outstanding Achievements in Cinematography or Visualisation for DOP Lewis Potts, Performance for Sam Corlett and Production Design for Emma Fletcher.

The annual WA Screen Culture Awards aim to celebrate achievement, innovation and ambition among Western Australian creatives across both emerging and established screen practices. Sunday’s ceremony was held at Luna Cinemas Leederville, hosted by YouTuber Ozzy Man Reviews

Steven J. Mihaljevich’s low-budget horror Violett claimed two awards: Innovation in Narrative Feature Film (budget under $1m) and Outstanding Achievement in Performance Under 18 for Valentina Blagojevic, as did Kaleb McKenna’s short Raising Thunder, which walked away with Outstanding Achievement in Sound/Sound Design and Original Music. 

The award for directing went to Ella Wright for Tee Ken Ng, while the prize for writing was snared by Clare Toonen for Bird Drone. The Innovation Award for Feature Documentary/Non Fiction was won by Black Cockatoo Crisis, directed by Jane Hammond.

The evening also saw two special industry awards presented, with the Independent Spirit Award given to Ian Hale, managing director of The Backlot and HALO Films, while the Contribution to the Industry Award, went to Celia Tait, managing director of Artemis Media.

“The consistent quality of the WA screen scene across all its forms never ceases to be a source of inspiration for us,” says Revelation Film Festival director and awards co-founder Richard Sowada. 

“Over the last few years, the leaps and bounds in moving image art, short films, independently produced features and computer games have had locally and largely under their own power is as good as anything in the country and finding their feet on the international stage. We’re so proud to fly their flag and celebrate their success.”

The awards were judged by industry, including directors Kriv Stenders and Daina Reid, director/producer/editor Richard Lowenstein, multidisciplinary artist and animator Marc O Matic, film critic and programmer Zak Hepburn and writer/actor/comedian Judith Lucy.

Innovation Awards

Narrative Feature Film with budget under $1m

Narrative Feature Film with budget over $1m – presented by Spinifex Brewery
He Ain’t Heavy

Feature Documentary / Non Fiction – presented by Zarephath Wines
Black Cockatoo Crisis

Short Film / Animation – presented by City of Vincent
The Grey Line

Student Film
School Makes Me… 
Television – presented by Broadcast Gurus
Ningaloo Nyinggulu
Music Video – presented by AO Let’s Go Print and Distribution
Studio Orange – Healthy Hygiene Behaviours
Game Design – presented by City of Vincent

Commercial Content
Wizard Pharmacy: Xmas Rap!
Moving Image and Installation – presented by PAV
A Leap of Faith
Virtual Reality, 360° or Augmented Reality – presented by XR:WA
Wiluna Martu Rangers – Protecting Culture and Country
Web Series or Online Content – presented by RevStream
Dr Russell’s World of Curiosities

Outstanding Achievement Award

Tee Ken Ng – Ella Wright 
Cinematography or Visualisation – presented by Raz Rentals
He Ain’t Heavy – Lewis Potts
Bird Drone – Clare Toonen
Performance – presented by PAC Screen Workshop
He Ain’t Heavy – Sam Corlett

Performance Under 18s – presented by The Ali Roberts Studio
Violett – Valentina Blagojevic
Production Design – presented by Bonnet Distilling Co
He Ain’t Heavy – Emma Fletcher
Editing – presented by Sandbox
The Grey Line – Scott Quayle 
Sound or Sound Design – presented by Soundbyte
Raising Thunder – Brad Habib, Holly Miller, Jake Isard, Tam Glover, Brendan Hill, James Brock
Original Music – presented by RTRFM 92.1
Raising Thunder – Robert Woods

Independent Spirit Award

Ian Hale

Contribution to the Industry

Celia Tait