Press release

Filmmaker Rachel Perkins has been awarded the 2011 AIDC Stanley Hawes Award. She will accept the prize during a ceremony at the opening of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) being held in Adelaide, South Australia from March 1 – 4.

The Stanley Hawes Award was established in 1997 to honour Stanley Hawes as first Producer-in-Chief of the Australian National Film Board and Commonwealth Film Unit and was administered by Film Australia.

The award recognises the significant support Hawes gave independent filmmakers in the documentary sector and is thus awarded to a person or organisation that makes an outstanding contribution to the documentary sector in Australia. The award is announced annually at AIDC.

In 2009 the award became the AIDC Stanley Hawes Award and is awarded by the AIDC Board. David Bradbury (2008), Bob Connolly (2009) and Tom Zubrycki (2010) are previous winners.

Rachel Perkins is an established filmmaker who has contributed extensively to the development of Indigenous filmmakers in Australia and, more broadly, the Australian film industry.

Ms Perkins has had a successful film making career, beginning at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, making documentaries. She then moved on to key positions at SBS, ABC and then consulted with the Australian Film Commission, where she collaborated in seeing the development of a vision of creating documentary and drama series initiatives that have developed the careers of many Indigenous and other filmmakers.

Ms Perkins has produced and directed many documentaries, highlighting Indigenous stories, from the 1993 SBS series Blood Brothers, including Freedom Ride, about her father Charlie Perkins’ involvement with political student action in 1967, to more recently the critically acclaimed television series First Australians, which won the 2008 AFI and Logie Award for Best Documentary series.

She directed the feature films Radiance, One Night the Moon and Bran Nue Dae. Rachel Perkins is from the Arrernte and Kalkadoon nations.

Trevor Graham, Co-Chair of the AIDC Board says that, “AIDC is very proud to honour Rachel with this year’s Stanley Hawes Award. Rachel’s films reach out to audiences with compelling Australian stories told from the heart. She combines her skills as a writer, director with a remarkable tenacity as a producer”.

Following the Award Ceremony on Tuesday I March, Perkins will deliver the Stanley Hawes Address.

Established in 1987, AIDC has grown from a local biennial conference with a few international guests into a significant yearly event on the international documentary calendar.

The Conference is the sole Australian documentary conference and a prominent documentary event on the international calendar, consistently attracting key figures from the international documentary industry.

Stanley Gilbert Hawes (19 January 1905 – 19 April 1991) was a British-born documentary film producer and director who spent most of his career in Australia, though he commenced his career in England and Canada.

He was born in London, England and died in Sydney, Australia. He is best-known as the Producer-in-Chief (1946-1969) of the Australian Government's filmmaking body, which was named, in 1945, the Australian National Film Board, and then, in 1956, the Commonwealth Film Unit.

In 1973, after he retired, it became Film Australia.

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