Vale Chris Kennedy passes away

Chris Kennedy, the much loved and respected Australian screenwriter passed away suddenly last week.

Chris wrote, directed and produced four feature films with his best-known movie, Doing Time for Patsy Cline, opening the Sydney Film Festival. Doing Time for Patsy Cline won several awards including the 1997 AWGIE Award for best original feature film screenplay, the San Diego Film Festival Award for best original screenplay and received three Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards. A Man's Gotta Do also won the audience-voted Zenith Award at the Montreal Film Festival.

Chris has twice received Australian Film Institute nominations for best original screenplay, and won numerous other writing and film making awards, both in Australia and overseas.

AWG Full member Greig Pickhaver AM, who played the dentist in This Won’t Hurt a Bit and with John Doyle presented Chris with his 1997 AWGIE Award said: "Chris’s death is a very sad loss for the worlds of film and dentistry. I was fortunate to work with Chris on his dental bio-pic This Won’t Hurt a Bit. Chris had a wonderful manner and great charm on and off the set. He made film-making a real pleasure."

John Winter, producer of Doing Time for Patsy Kline and A Man’s Gotta Do: “With Chris I got lucky, I got the lot – the writer, the director and the co-producer – all in one package. I also got a unique individual. He leaves behind not only special memories but also wonderful stories. A man with the driest of dry wits, a dentist with a sweet tooth and a filmmaker who loved nothing more than to tell a yarn and populate it with roguish characters… He also possessed an extraordinary 'never say no' determination. He will be missed.”

As requested by Chris’s family, in memoriam donations can be made to the Heart Foundation or the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.