‘Subject’, ‘Blame the Rabbit’ on top at South Australian Screen Awards

Producer Lisa Scott with SAFC CEO Kate Croser.

Short films Subject and Blame the Rabbit swept the South Australian Screen Awards on Saturday, topping eight of the 22 genre and craft categories.

Held at the Mercury, $30,000 in cash and in-kind prizes were awarded as part of the ceremony, which recognised the work of more than 50 nominees.

Elena Carapetis’ Blame The Rabbit, produced by Lisa Scott and Adam Camporeale, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and Best Sound Design and Best Music Composition for Michael Darren.

The jury said the film, which follows a woman who rebuilds herself to take revenge on her violent husband, was “highly accomplished in every aspect”.

Blame The Rabbit is an outstanding directorial debut, an incredible accomplishment in both script and direction, and very well produced,” they said.

Fraser Whitehead’s Subject, produced by Scarlett Scherer, took home five awards – Best Experimental, Best Performance for Lauren Koopowitz, Best Production Design, Best Directing, and Best Costume for Eliza Stafford.

It comes after the film, which follows the subject of an inhumane science experiment as she is freed from sensory confinement, was awarded Best Cinematography in Fiction at last year’s Sony Catchlight Film Festival.

Other winners on the night included Matt Vesely’s Monolith, named Best Feature Film, while Jenna Sutch was awarded Best Student Film for Death Doula.

Journalist and former ScreenHub editor David Tiley was posthumously recognised with the Mercury Legend Award, with Mercury Co-Chair Kirsty Stark describing him as a much-loved champion of the Australian screen industry.

Mercury general manager Sarah Lancaster said her organisation was “incredibly proud” to be able to contribute to South Australia’s screen ecosystem.

“The talent awarded tonight, along with all the nominees, are a testament to the strong and healthy screen community here in South Australia,” she said.

“As we celebrate The Mercury’s 50th year this year, we marvel at the talented filmmakers whose amazing work has graced our screens.”

The full list of South Australian Screen Award winners is as follows:

Grand Jury Prize Sponsored by South Australian Film Corporation:

Blame The Rabbit, directed by Elena Carapetis and produced by Lisa Scott and Adam Camporeale

Best Comedy Sponsored by UrbanCine:

Mating Call, directed and produced by Stephanie Jaclyn

Best Documentary, Sponsored by Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE):

Kala Kunbolk (Colour Country), directed by James Haskard and Nina Haigh and produced by Injalak Arts

Best Web Series, Sponsored by Star Avenue Studios:

Be Curious – Australian Space Discovery Centre, directed by Lauren Hillman and produced by Lauren Hillman and Alison Kershaw

Best Drama, Sponsored by Picture Hire Australia:

Death Doula, directed by Jenna Sutch and produced by Jenna Sutch, James Kwong and Josh Anderson

Best Animation, Sponsored by University of South Australia:

On Film, directed and produced by Emma Hough Hobbs

Best Game, Sponsored by Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE):

Super BAWK BAWK Chicken from Daytime Devs

Best Feature Film, Sponsored by KOJO:

Monolith, directed by Matt Vesely and produced by Bettina Hamilton

Best Experimental Film, Sponsored by Hanlon Larsen Screen Fellowship:

Subject, directed by Fraser Whitehead and produced by Scarlett Scherer

Best Student Film, Sponsored by Flinders University:

Death Doula, directed by Jenna Sutch and produced by Jenna Sutch, James Kwong  and Josh Anderson

Best Music Video, Sponsored by MusicSA:

Samuelson – LIAR, directed by Austinn Arruzzolo and produced by Dion Vercher

Best First Nations Film, Sponsored by Reconciliation SA, Feel Good Nunga Radio & PBA FM:

The Getaway, directed by Adam Scott Jenkins and produced by Tim Harkness

Best Screenplay, Sponsored by Australian Writers Guild SA:

Something’s Not Quite Right, script by Tom Cornwall

Best Directing, sponsored by Australian Directors Guild SA:

Subject, directed by Fraser Whitehead

Best Performance, Sponsored by Heesom Casting:

Subject, Lauren Koopowitz

Best Cinematography, sponsored by ProAV Solutions:

The Unrequited Life of Farrah Bruce, cinematography by Emerson Hoskin

Best Editing, sponsored by Australian Screen Editors:

The Unrequited Life of Farrah Bruce, edited by Tiah Trimboli

Best Production Design, Sponsored by Australian Production Design Guild:

Subject, production design by Fraser Whitehead

Best Sound Design, sponsored by Australian Screen Sound Guild:

Blame The Rabbit, sound design by Michael Darren

Best Hair & Make-up, Sponsored by Channel 44:

Mating Call, hair & make-up by Elle Baldock, Grace Rolfe and Dominique Keeley

Best Costume, Sponsored by Australian Production Design Guild:

Subject, costuming by Eliza Stafford

Best Music Composition Sponsored, by Australian Guild Of Screen Composers and  Adelaide Symphony Orchestra:

Blame The Rabbit, composition by Michael Darren

Best Young Filmmaker, sponsored by Adelaide Film Festival

• Madison Siegertz

Best Emerging First Nations Screen Practitioner, sponsored by the South Australian Film  Corporation

• Travis Akbar

Best Emerging Producer, sponsored by Adelaide Film Festival 

• Sarah Wormald

Mercury Rising Award, Sponsored by The Mercury and Adelaide Film Festival

• Emerson Hoskin

Mercury Legend Award, Sponsored by Adelaide Film Festival and CrewHQ

• David Tiley