Press release from TM Publicity

A little boy who loves the ocean. A little girl who loves the boy.

Minnie Loves Junior, an independently-funded Australian short film co-written and directed by brothers Andy Mullins and Matt Mullins, has won the Jury Special Mention in the Generation Kplus section at the Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale 2011, announced last night in Berlin.

In awarding the Special Mention, the Jury said: “True love doesn’t need words, at least not that many. That is what this touching story about two children on the beach in Australia has shown us. A small girl falls in love with a dreamy beachcomber who doesn’t at first return her love but then literally takes a dive.”

These adorable lead characters are played out by Minnie (Wyntah Shaw) and Junior (Lartrell Stuart) – two of the most adorable characters we’ve seen on our screens in years.

In the same section (Generation Kplus), the Australian short film Lily won the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film.

Matt Mullins and producer Tom Birch were in Berlin to accept the prize.

“Berlin has been a brilliant experience. Our film has been enthusiastically received and we’ve had the opportunity to meet and be inspired by so many other filmmakers from around the world. We’re looking forward to returning with our first feature film,” Matt said.

Matt and Tom, with Andy Mullins and producer Doug Maskiell, were in France ahead of Berlin, attending the highly regarded Clermont Ferrand short film festival where Minnie Loves Junior also screened. The film has also been invited to the New York International Children’s Festival, the Byron Bay Film Festival and the Aguilar de Campo Film Festival in Spain, amongst others.

Andy and Matt Mullins, with producers Tom Birch and Doug Maskiell, are partners in Sand Hill Road Pictures. Previously the company presented the 2006 feature-length documentary Kanyini, about the life and philosophy of respected Aboriginal elder Uncle Bob Randall. Andy and Matt were assistant directors and Executive Producers on the film, and were closely involved in the script, as well as negotiations for national distribution with Hopscotch (2006). Kanyini played at festivals around the world, and won numerous awards.

Uncle Bob Randall remains a friend and inspiration and was cultural advisor on Minnie Loves Junior.

Minnie Loves Junior was shot by award-winning cinematographer Ian Jones ASC, whose credits include Ten Canoes and The Tracker, and was filmed on location in Sorrento, Victoria.

Sand Hill Road Pictures has emerged from Sand Hill Road Hospitality where, for the past decade, the partners have developed and operated hotels, restaurants and bars. They now split their time between hospitality and film projects. And surfing. As often as possible.

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