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"The only 'ism' in Hollywood is plagiarism."  -Dorothy Parker
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The old William Goldman adage that ‘in showbusiness nobody knows anything’ got another notch on its belt last weekend when the voters in the IF Awards made their choice of The Jammed as the best Australian feature released these past 12 months; that’s the film all distributors turned down, so it was also a confirmation of the Cinderella legend … what more could a film industry want, asks Andrew L. Urban. But is the hype on the right note?

Precisely because The Jammed triumphed in the face of oblivion, it is slightly disappointing that the once edgy IF Awards has adopted the breathless announcement style of every other glam award around the world (“The 2007 Inside Film Awards tonight secured its reputation as one of the most anticipated and glamorous nights of the year as stars from the entertainment world came to the Gold Coast to show their support of the people’s choice awards and the Australian film industry. Julia Zemiro was the host of the evening, kicking off the proceedings inside the Crowne Plaza Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, where only a short time before, the stars had stepped out of their limousines to chat to red carpet host Yumi Stynes.”)

I don’t mean to be citrus-mouthed about this, but the ethos of copying Hollywood is exactly what the IF Awards were never about and why these awards were embraced so wholeheartedly by … well, at least a bunch of people in and around the film biz. That kind of star-crazed copy only works in Hollywood with Hollywood-size stars. More meaningful and less shallow would have been a trumpet blast about the filmmaking achievements of the nominees.

But showbiz being what it is, nobody really cares on the night, and everyone who is able to attend will be there. I daresay there could be another half a dozen film awards held in Australia each year and all the usual suspects would turn up and the breathlessness would continue. It was a refreshing change to the week when the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards – also on the Gold Coast – brought a genuine sense of cinema, not hype, and a genuine sense of respect for all the nominees, the jury and the ideals behind the awards to the fore.

None of this is meant to take away from the achievements of the winners and nominees in the IF Awards; indeed, a year in which The Jammed, Home Song Stories and Noise are all nominated for Best Feature is a good year.


The SHOWTIME IF Award for Best Feature Film

Winner: Sally Ayre-Smith & Andrea Buck – Producers & Dee McLachlan – Director & Producer
Film: The Jammed

The Animal Logic IF Award for Best Director
Winner: Tony Ayres
Film: The Home Song Stories

The Queensland Events Corporation for Best Actor
Winner: Joel Lok
Film: The Home Song Stories

The In Style IF Award for Best Actress
Winner: Joan Chen
Film: The Home Song Stories

The Kodak IF Award for Best Cinematography
Winner: Nigel Bluck
Film: The Home Song Stories

The IF Award for Best Music
Winner: Grant Innes McLachlan
Film: The Jammed

The Australian Film Commision IF Award for Best Script
Winner: Dee McLachlan
Film: The Jammed

The Holding Redlich Award for Best Short Film
Winner: Kath Shelper – Producer & Warwick Thornton – Director
Film: Nana

The Lab IF Award for Best Short Animation
Winner: Lucinda Schreiber – Director & Producer
Film: The Goat That Ate Time

The SBS IF Award for Best Short Documentary
Winner: Stephen Hagan & Daryl Sparkes – Producers & Rhonda Hagan – Director
Film: Nigger Lovers

The IF Award for Best Documentary
Winner: John Hart – Producer & Michael Noonan – Director & Producer
Film: Unlikely Travellers

The 3 IF Award for Best Music Video
Winner: Natasha Pincus
Music Video: God Told Me To by Paul Kelly

The Production Book IF Award for Best Production Design
Winner: Melinda Doring
Film: The Home Song Stories

The Cutting Edge IF Award for Best Editing

Winner: Geoff Hitchins
Film: Noise

The Zig Zag Lane IF Award for Best Sound
Winner: Emma Bortignon – Sound designer & mixer, Doron Kipen – Sound Mixer & Phillipe Decrausaz – Sound Recordist
Film: Noise

The Independent Spirit IF Award
Winner: Julian Shaw
Film: Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story

The Atlab IF Award for Rising Talent
Winner: Bonnie Elliott

ZTudio What IF? Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay
Winner: Luke Preston
Screenplay: The Adventures of Abigail Storm

The Living Legend IF Award
George Miller

The Film Finance IF Award for Box Office Achievement
Winner: Producers - George Miller, Doug Mitchell & Bill Miller
Film: Happy Feet

Published November 22, 2007

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