Henkel wins SPAA doco award

Press release from VirgoProductions

Brisbane based Producer/Director Cathy Henkel has just been awarded the 2009 SPAA Independent Documentary Producer of the Year.

The awards were held today at the Screen Producer’s Association of Australia conference in Sydney.

Cathy has received this award for her efforts on the feature documentary The Burning Season. 

This award is given to SPAA members who produced an outstanding project or body of work, which has contributed to the advancement of the independent production industry.

Cathy has contributed greatly to the world of documentary over the last twenty years but it was her work on The Burning Season and her innovative ten point distribution plan that has resulted in this award today. 

Cathy comments: "At a time of restructuring of the distribution world, The Burning Season is a great example of new ways of thinking about reaching audiences and utilising the broad spectrum of new platforms."

Here are some highlights and achievements from The Burning Season which Cathy co-produced with Trish Lake who won Feature Film Producer of the Year in 2004.
– World premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York in April.  Five sold out screenings.
– Played in select cinemas across Australia and New Zealand
– The film received excellent reviews, with 4 stars from At the Movies, The Courier Mail and The Australian.
– Festival Screenings include: Tribeca, Sydney International Film Festival, The Sustainable Planet Film Festival, Global Peace Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, St-Tropez, International Environmental Film Festival, Mission Beach Film Festival.
– Student Flights joined us in marketing the film to the target audience around Australia and offered a prize of a trip to Borneo.
– Developed a sister action website – <> .
– There are 38 support campaigns and organisations linked to the ‘ten things’ website.
– 37% of the audience who have seen the film have visited the ‘ten things’ website to take some action.
– Direct fundraising from events associated with the film has exceeded $87,500. This money has gone largely to Lone’s orangutan sanctuary in Kalimantan.
– A stunning exhibition devoted to the film was held at Customs House in Circular Quay, Sydney
– The number of individuals and groups approaching TBS to organise their own community and corporate screening is increasing
– The educational version is being distributed throughout the QLD, NSW, VIC and WA geography teachers associations
– Hackett Films won the Gold Promax Award for Best programme Title Sequence Design for TBS
– Nominated for a Sichuan TV Festival Gold Panda award.
– TBS translator, Suzan Piper won 2009 AUSIT Excellence in Translation Award for her work on TBS
– It won the Brisbane International Film Festival: Audience Choice 08 and the IF Award: Best Documentary 08.
– Screened at Australian embassy in Paris
– A Portuguese version is being developed and a non-profit release in Brazil is being planned
 – The Indonesian version has been translated and produced. It is currently rolling out in Indonesia with screenings to environmental groups, Universities, schools and has distribution interest.
– Madman is launching the commercial DVD in December/January