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DIGISPAA Film Finalists Announced

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) is proud to announce the finalists for the 2009 DigiSPAA Feature Film Competition sponsored by Movie Network Channels:

  • Braille, produced by Luke Graham (Newtown, NSW)
  • Family Demons, produced by Sue Brown (Brompton, SA)
  • Girl Clock, produced and directed by Jennifer Ussi (Woolloongabba, QLD)
  • Missing Water, produced and directed by Khoa Do (Drummoyne, NSW)

“This year’s competition received 20 privately financed micro budget feature films which, given the difficult economic conditions experienced over the last year, is a credit to the resilience of up-coming film producers from Australia and New Zealand” says Antony I. Ginnane, SPAA president and co-founder of DigiSPAA.

"The future of the feature film industry in Australia will remain secure as long as this level of drive, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial talent continues to emerge" Ginnane adds.

“I was extremely impressed with the quality, diversity and the amazing talent from the 2009 DigiSPAA entrants. Each one of the finalists represents a distinct genre, romantic comedy, horror thriller, crime and serious drama. It is gratifying to see filmmakers producing such good work outside of the normal funding process,” says Daniel Scharf, DigiSPAA Co-ordinator and judge.

Braille, produced by Luke Graham and directed by Matthew Chuang, is essentially a heist film, about three young thieves who have a chance encounter with an elderly blind thief who tells them of a blood diamond he hid in his prison cell.  Based loosely on the French New Wave film Le Cercle Rouge, Braille embodies themes of honour, loyalty and tragedy.

Produced by Sue Brown and directed by Ursula Dabrowsky, Family Demons, is a psychological horror film about an abused teenage girl who murders her alcoholic mother and thereafter is haunted by her mother’s vengeful spirit.

Family Demons had its World Premiere at ‘A Night of Horror International Film Festival’ in Sydney in April 2009, and has also previewed at the ‘Bram Stoker International Film Festival’ in UK in October 2009.

Girl Clock, produced and directed by Jennifer Ussi, is a heart-warming, coming-of-(middle)age comedy, which follows the journey of three women in their 40’s who take on the might of Mother Nature with hilarious results.  A sneak preview of the film screened at the Dungog Film Festival in May 2009, receiving an overwhelming response. A preview will screen at the Gold Coast Film Fantastic Festival in November 2009 and as part of the La Femme Festival in Los Angeles in October 2009.

Missing Water, produced and directed by Khoa Do, follows the journey of four refugees fleeing Vietnam in 1980.  Both innovative and daring, Missing Water is the first feature film made in Australia with an entire cast of Vietnamese-Australians. The film’s release in 2010 is timely, coinciding with the 35th anniversary of the arrival of the first Vietnamese refugees in Australia.

The finalists will be screened at this year’s SPAA Fringe conference on 16 and 17 October at Foxtel Television Centre, North Ryde, and judged by an expert industry panel including Antony I. Ginnane, President of SPAA and IFM World Releasing Inc.; Geoff Brown, Executive Director SPAA; Daniel Scharf, Producer of Geoffrey Wright's AFI Award-winning Romper Stomper; Colleen Meldrum, Program Director, Movie Network Channels and Stacey Edmonds, Producer/Director of I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer.

The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the annual SPAA Conference on 20 November. The winner receives the 2009 SPAARTAN Award and $15,000 cash, $20,000 worth of post-production, a guaranteed screening of their film on the Movie Extra channel, plus a return airfare and free registration to the prestigious CineMart International Film Festival Rotterdam.

DigiSPAA is a creative project of the Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) an industry body that represents Australian independent film and television producers on all issues affecting the business and creative aspects of screen production.

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