Film industry talent announced as Cockatoo Island Film Fest jury

Cinematographer Don McAlpine, documentary director Jennifer Peedom, producer Helen Bowden and actor/director Damian Walshe-Howling are among the members of the jury announced for the Cockatoo Island Film Festival.

The announcement:

A number of Australia’s award-winning movie heavyweights have been confirmed for the three juries of the Cockatoo Island International Film Festival starting next week.

The juries will be for the Dramatic Feature competition, Documentary section and for Short Films.

The Golden Feather Awards, in six categories, will be presented at a major red carpet event on the island on Saturday night, 27 October. The Festival opens with acclaimed US film The Master, on Wednesday 24 October.

Veteran cinematographer, Don McAlpine (Predator, Wolverine, Moulin Rouge) will chair the feature jury, award winning documentary film-maker Jennifer Peedom (Miracle on Everest and Solo) the documentary section and actor/director/producer Jeremy Hartley Sims will head the Shorts jury.

Other members of the juries are:
Feature Jury: Award winning director Peter Andrikidis (Wildside, Killing Time), producer Helen Bowden (Underground: The Julian Assange Story, The Slap) and actor Alex Dimitriades (Summer Coda, Head On).

Documentary: Director/writer Stephen Oliver (also a three time judge on International Emmy documentary category) and Ivan O’Mahoney (Go Back to Where You Came From).

Shorts: Actor/director Damian Walshe-Howling (The Secret Life of Us, The Bloody Sweet Hit) and actress and short-film director/writer Samara Weaving.

Allanah Zitserman, co-creative director of the Cockatoo Island International Film Festival, said the strong mix of industry background and experience among all three juries was an enormous vote of approval by the Australian film industry in the film festival.

“It goes to the credibility of the festival itself but also the mix of films in each category and provides both the film makers and the industry, as well as the public, certainty about the quality of judging and assessments of each film,” Ms. Zitserman said.

“We believe there will be some very strong debate among the jury members for each category before they finally select winners.”

FESTIVAL AWARDS CATEGORIES:
1. BEST FEATURE
A focus on quality emerging directors, resonance of the story, innovation in
production and storytelling, award of encouragement for a new force in world cinema.

2. JURY PRIZE FOR ARTISTIC VISION
This is an open category, defined by the jury for a film or performance or director that they feel compelled to highlight, someone to watch closely in the future.

3. BEST DOCUMENTARY
This prize is more about uniqueness of perspective, bravery for capturing stories, concentrating on how unusual or important the story is and how does is connect with the audience.

4. BEST AUSTRALIAN SHORT
This is an Australian only category for best achievement in a short film, the benchmark of filmmaking innovation in this country.

5. YOUNG FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR
This prize is awarded by Cockatoo Island Film Festival as the most refreshing and outstanding voice over all categories under 35

6. THE NSW MINING YOUNG INDIGENOUS DOCUMENTARY FELLOWSHIP
$20,000 cash to go towards the development or production of an independent, decided on by an Indigenous panel that includes Darren Dale, Pauline Claygue and Richard Frankland.

Source: Cockatoo Island Film Festival press release

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