Tuesday, April 15, 2008

THE JAMMED GETS A SHOT AT THE AFI AWARDS...


Last year's critically acclaimed independent movie The Jammed will get a shot at AFI Awards glory thanks to changes to the eligibility criteria for Australia's most prestigious film awards.

Director Dee McLachlan's hard-hitting thriller about the exploitation of Asian sex slaves in Australia won critical acclaim when it was released last year and took home the best feature film gong at the Inside Film (IF) awards.
But the film, starring Veronica Sywak, Emma Lung and Saskia Burmeister, was ineligible to enter the AFI Awards because it didn't have a theatrical release at the time entries were due.
The AFI announced it had made several changes to its awards criteria for 2008 that would make it easier for smaller films to enter.
Directly affecting The Jammed is an alteration which will allow films that were released after the cut-off date for the AFI Awards in 2007 to be eligible for the 2008 awards.
McLachlan applauded the new rule and said she would consider entering The Jammed this year.
"For the actors I think I would, yes," McLachlan said when informed of the changes.
"The film will be a whole lot older and there will be all new exciting films to favour, so that's one consideration.
"But you want to give the actors a chance to compete."

The Jammed was championed early on by film critic David Stratton, who called it the year's best Australian film.
Reviewing the year in film in December, Stratton wrote: "Sadly, the Australian Film Institute deemed the best Australian film of the year ineligible for the AFI Awards because of a technicality, which could surely have been overcome with a modicum of goodwill."
McLachlan fought a long, hard battle to get the film funded and released, before the The Jammed found success.
It is now about to be released in New Zealand and the US, and will be shown at a United Nations screening in New York in May.
"It has come a long way, it's quite extraordinary," McLachlan said.
"But The Jammed is not really about the awards - it's got a life of its own."
Other changes made to the awards will further open up the field for small productions.
Until now feature films were only eligible if they had been publicly exhibited for at least a week in a commercial cinema during the release period, in a minimum of three Australian capital cities - including Sydney and Melbourne.
The 2008 awards have been expanded to include feature films made with a budget of less than $1.5 million that have been exhibited in any capital city.
Films that are released on DVD with a minimum distribution of 1,000 copies will also be eligible under the new criteria, and entry fees for short films have been reduced.
AFI board member Alan Finney said the changes were made in response to industry requests.
"In response to industry requests and in recognition of the changing landscape of film distribution, exhibition and production technologies, we are thrilled to have ... expanded the feature film category to include smaller films that have previously not had the opportunity to enter ... which we hope will provide greater accessibility," Finney saidThe Jammed was championed early on by film critic David Stratton, who called it the year's best Australian film.
Reviewing the year in film in December, Stratton wrote: "Sadly, the Australian Film Institute deemed the best Australian film of the year ineligible for the AFI Awards because of a technicality, which could surely have been overcome with a modicum of goodwill."
McLachlan fought a long, hard battle to get the film funded and released, before the The Jammed found success.
It is now about to be released in New Zealand and the US, and will be shown at a United Nations screening in New York in May.
"It has come a long way, it's quite extraordinary," McLachlan said.
"But The Jammed is not really about the awards - it's got a life of its own."
Other changes made to the awards will further open up the field for small productions.
Until now feature films were only eligible if they had been publicly exhibited for at least a week in a commercial cinema during the release period, in a minimum of three Australian capital cities - including Sydney and Melbourne.
The 2008 awards have been expanded to include feature films made with a budget of less than $1.5 million that have been exhibited in any capital city.
Films that are released on DVD with a minimum distribution of 1,000 copies will also be eligible under the new criteria, and entry fees for short films have been reduced.
AFI board member Alan Finney said the changes were made in response to industry requests.
"In response to industry requests and in recognition of the changing landscape of film distribution, exhibition and production technologies, we are thrilled to have ... expanded the feature film category to include smaller films that have previously not had the opportunity to enter ... which we hope will provide greater accessibility," Finney said


1 comment:

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