An Australian film based on the real lives of its two lead actors has won The Age Critics’ Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Selected by a panel of film critics, the award now in its second year, is for the best Australian feature film at MIFF.
Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s first feature film Hail took the prize against a program that included The Sapphires, Dead Europe, Last Dance, Save Your Legs! 100 Bloody Acres, Errors of the Human Body and Jack Irish: Bad Debts.
Hail is about Dan, who on losing his love is reduced to savagery and violence. A mix of fact and fiction the story is based on lead actor Daniel Jones’ real life as an ex-con. Jones stars alongside real-life partner Leanne Letch.
Jones was the subject of Cicada, a short film by Courtin-Wilson.
The critics recognised Courtin-Wilson’s “visionary ambition” and “noted his emotional commitment to his subject-matter, matched by a bold, expressionistic approach to image and sound.”
The film was written, directed and produced by Courtin-Wilson with Michael Cody also producer. Cody accepted the award as Courtin-Wilson was filming on location for his next project.
The award and $5,000 prize was selected from film critics Philippa Hawker, Jake Wilson and Craig Mathieson.
The film was selected for last year’s Venice International Film Festival.