Hot competition in most categories for 2018 SPA Awards

‘Ladies in Black.’

This year 46 production businesses are in contention across the 13 categories for the 18th annual Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Awards.

There are eight finalists for feature film of the year including the presumed front-runners Ladies in Black, Sweet Country and Breath. Perhaps the less obvious candidates in light of their Australian box office grosses are Berlin Syndrome, Gringo, Upgrade, Brothers’ Nest and (because it was commissioned by Stan) The Second.

The drama series prize will probably be a close-run race between Rake, Harrow, Mr Inbetween and The Secret Daughter, with Wentworth as an outside chance due to its longevity.

The feature documentary category could be a toss-up between Wik vs Queensland, Finke: There and Back, Living Universe, China Love and Gurrumul.

Another hotly contested category is telemovie or miniseries production of the year where the finalists are Mystery Road: The Series, Sunshine, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Safe Harbour and Romper Stomper.

Good luck too in picking the winner among Sammy J, Rosehaven, Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Squinters and Sando for comedy series of the year.

Similarly the light entertainment prize may be a shoot-out between Gruen, Talkin’ Bout Your Generation, The Voice, Everyone’s A Critic and Hughesy We Have A Problem.

Drop Dead Weird, Grace Beside Me, Mustangs FC, My Year 7 Life and The New Legends of Monkey arguably would all be worthy recipients of the children’s series awards.

The finalists in each category will be voted on by the SPA membership, with the production receiving the highest number of votes declared the winner.

“The quality of Australian screen content produced this year has been exceptional and I congratulate all of the finalists for being selected in such a competitive environment,” said SPA CEO Matt Deaner.

“Thank you to all our members who took the time to enter the awards; your work continues to promote and strengthen the Australian screen industry. We urge producers to continue to #MakeItAustralian and look forward to celebrating our industry’s collective achievements in November.”

The awards will be presented at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne on Thursday November 22 on the final night of the Screen Forever conference.

The full list of finalists in the production award categories are:


Feature Film of the Year
• Berlin Syndrome, Aquarius Films
• Gringo, Blue-Tongue Films
• Sweet Country, Bunya Productions
• Upgrade, Goalpost Pictures
• Brothers’ Nest, Jason Byrne Productions
• Ladies in Black, Lumila Films
• Breath, Windalong Films and See Pictures in partnership with Gran Via Productions
• The Second, Sense & Centsability


Short Film Production of the Year
• Welcome to Country, Bent3Land Productions
• Black Lips, Brick Road Pictures
• Lost & Found, Lucy Hayes
• Remembering Agatha, See Pictures
• Joy Boy, unko


Interactive or Game Production of the Year
• Every King Tide, Bunya Productions
• 30 Minutes of Danger, Happening Films & The Pulse Originals
• Wentworth VR, Start VR & FremantleMedia Australia
• Dimensions VS, TeePee Studios


Animated Series Production of the Year
• Kitty is Not a Cat, BES Animation
• Jar Dwellers SOS, Viskatoons

Children’s Series Production of the Year
• Drop Dead Weird, Ambience Entertainment & Air Pig Productions
• Grace Beside Me, Magpie Pictures
• Mustangs FC, Matchbox Pictures
• My Year 7 Life, Princess Pictures
• The New Legends of Monkey, See-Saw Films

Comedy Series Production of the Year
• Sammy J, Buxstock Entertainment
• Rosehaven, Guesswork Television
• Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, ITV Studios Australia
• Squinters, Jungle Entertainment
• Sando, Jungle Entertainment

Drama Series Production of the Year
• Rake, Easy Tiger Productions
• Wentworth, FremantleMedia Australia
• Harrow, Hoodlum
• Mr Inbetween, Jungle Entertainment & Blue-Tongue Films
• The Secret Daughter, Screentime

Light Entertainment Series Production of the Year
• Gruen, CJZ
• Talkin’ Bout Your Generation, ITV Studios Australia
• The Voice, ITV Studios Australia
• Everyone’s A Critic, Matchbox Pictures
• Hughesy We Have A Problem, Screentime

Telemovie or Mini Series Production of the Year
• Mystery Road: The Series, Bunya Productions
• Sunshine, Easy Tiger Productions
• Picnic At Hanging Rock, FremantleMedia Australia
• Safe Harbour, Matchbox Pictures
• Romper Stomper, Roadshow Rough Diamond

Online Series Production of the Year
• F*!#ing Adelaide, Closer Productions
• Deadlock, Every Cloud Productions
• A Message From Malcolm, Future Pictures
• Homecoming Queens, Generator Pictures
• The Edge Of The Bush, Guesswork Television
• Kiki and Kitty, Porchlight Films
• The Kununurra Kid, Princess Pictures
• Gun Ringer, Ronde Pty Ltd

Reality Series Production of the Year

• Great Australian Bake Off, FremantleMedia Australia
• Love Island, ITV Studios Australia
• I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, ITV Studios Australia
• Real Housewives of Melbourne, Matchbox Pictures


Documentary or Documentary Series Production of the Year
• Muslims Like Us, CJZ
• Body Hack 2.0, Essential Media and Entertainment
• The Ghan, Mint Pictures
• Outback Opal Hunters, Prospero Productions
• Anh’s Brush with Fame, Screentime

Feature Documentary of the Year
• Wik vs Queensland, Bent3Land Productions, Freshwater Pictures, Bacon Factory Films
• Finke: There and Back, Brindle Films
• Living Universe, Essential Media and Entertainment
• China Love, Media Stockade
• Gurrumul, Resolution Media