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Australian films win top awards at the Berlin International Film Festival

Monday, February 18, 2013 12:09 AM | Anonymous

Two Australian films have won Crystal Bear awards at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival in an outstanding show of recognition of Australian talent. 

Kim Mordaunt’s debut feature The Rocket won Best Feature in the Generation Kplus program. Matthew Moore’s The Amber Amulet has been awarded Best Short Film in the same section.

The festival’s Generation Kplus program is a section devoted to young people. Its children’s and international juries also awarded Special Mentions to Catriona McKenzie’s feature Satellite Boy.

The Rocket, written and directed by Kim Mordaunt and funded by Screen Australia, also won the Best First Feature Award and Amnesty International Film Prize at this year’s Berlinale. The Rocket is the story of a Lao boy, who is thought to bring bad luck, who leads his family across war-torn Laos to the dangerous Rocket Festival.

Satellite Boy from first-time writer/director Catriona McKenzie, also funded by Screen Australia, features legendary actor David Gulpilil as the grandfather of a young boy trying to save his home.

Screen Australia’s Head of Marketing, Kathleen Drumm, said, “Recognition at an event like Berlin is a tremendous vote of confidence in Australia’s emerging filmmaking talent.

“We look forward to Australian audiences having the opportunity to see The Rocket and Satellite Boy when they are released in cinemas later this year.”

This is the fourth year in a row an Australian film has been awarded the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlinale. It is the second year running that filmmaker Matthew Moore has taken out this award, after his short Julian won in 2012.

Adapted from the novella of the same name by Craig SilveyThe Amber Amulet is the story of a superhero, a beagle, an amulet made of amber, and the potential that is locked inside all of us.

Screen Australia supported the filmmakers of The Rocket and The Amber Amulet to attend the Berlin International Film Festival.

For details of all the Australian films that screened at the 2013 Berlinale and its associated European Film Market visit Screen Australia’s Berlin website:

96 mins
Production Company Red Lamp Films Pty Ltd
Producer Sylvia Wilczynski
Exec Producers Bridget Ikin, Triphet Rookachat, Michael Wrenn
Associate Producer Pauline Phayvanh Phoumindr
Writer/Director Kim Mordaunt
Cast Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam 
International Sales LevelK ApS  
Australian Distributor Curious Film
Synopsis A boy who is believed to bring bad luck leads his family and a couple of ragged misfits through Laos to find a new home. After a calamity-filled journey through a land scarred by war, to prove he’s not cursed he builds a giant rocket to enter the most lucrative but dangerous competition of the year: the Rocket Festival.

90 mins
Production Company Satellite Films 
Producers David Jowsey, Julie Ryan
Writer/Director Catriona McKenzie
Cast David Gulpilil, Cameron Wallaby
International Sales Celluloid Dreams 
Australian Distributor Hopscotch eOne Films
Synopsis Pete is 10 years old and lives in the outback with his grandfather in an old abandoned outdoor cinema. When his home is threatened by developers, Pete travels to the city with his best friend Kalmain to try and save his home.

22 mins
Production Companies Goalpost Pictures, Year of the Rabbit Films
Writers Matthew Moore, Genevieve Hegney
Adapted from the novella by Craig Silvey
Director Matthew Moore
Producers Lauren Edwards, Genevieve Hegney, Matthew Moore
Cast Ed Oxenbould, Genevieve Hegney, Eliza Logan
Synopsis This is the story of a superhero, a beagle, an amulet made of amber, and the potential that is locked inside all of us.

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