MUFF X Winners

August 31, 2009

The 10th Melbourne Underground Film Festival came to a close last night with an awards ceremony and after-party packed to the rafters with local and international filmmakers and screen representatives.

The prestigious award for Best Australian Film was a tie, the honour being shared by ‘Into the Shadows’, Andrew Scarano and Phil Hignett’s opening night documentary on the state of the Australian film industry, and ‘Eraser Children’, Nathan Christoffel’s astonishing feature debut which is set in a futuristic dystopia. ‘Eraser Children’ also received an award for Best Supporting Male Actor (Shane Nagle).

Marc Gracie’s ‘The Tumbler’, which closed MUFF X, picked up a series of awards for Best Director, Runner-up Best Australian Film, Best Cinematography and Best Lead Male Actor (Gary Sweet).

Dominic Deacon’s ‘Bad Habits’ – the Nunsploitation feature debut from Melbourne production company Dank Films – was awarded Best Screenplay as well as Best Lead Female Actor (Sandra Casa).

The award for Best Guerilla Film (previously won by James Wan of ‘Saw’) went to Dave de Vries’ ‘Carmilla Hyde’, a full length Jekyll and Hyde feature made on a $15,000 budget which sold out its high-profile MUFF X premiere last week.

MUFF X’s diverse selection of shorts also received attention, with the top award for Best Short being tied between Marina Lutz’s ‘The Marina Experiment’ – a confronting autobiographical documentary about child abuse, and Jennifer Lyon Bell’s ‘Matinee’, which was controversially banned from screening by the OFLC last week.

International films also garnered praise at this year’s awards; Dan Schneidkraut’s disturbing ‘Seeking Wellness’ took out the Special Jury Prize, while Alex Ross Perry’s ‘Impolex’, a surreal WWII picture shot on 16mm, received the award for Best International Film. The award for Best Foreign Director went to Zach Clark for his cult comedy ‘Modern Love is Automatic’.

Here is the full list of winners:
Lifetime Achievement – Frank Howson & John La Monde

Best Australian Film – ‘Into the Shadows’ & ‘Eraser Children’
Runner Up Best Australian Film – ‘The Tumbler’
Best Australian Director – Marc Gracie (The Tumbler)
Best Australian Male Actor – Gary Sweet (The Tumbler)
Best Australian Female Actor – Sandra Casa (Bad Habits) & Kristen Condon (The Beautiful & Damned)
Best Supporting Male Actor – Shane Nagle (Eraser Children)
Best Supporting Female Actor – Georgii Speakman (Carmilla Hyde)

Special Jury Prize – ‘Seeking Wellness – Suffering in Four Movements’
Special Jury Prize (Short) – ‘Herman: Am I Proud’
Best Guerrilla Film – ‘Carmilla Hyde’

MUFF Producers award – Prey –  Robert Galinsky & Elizabeth Howatt-Jackman
Best Documentary – ‘The Nigel Diaries’ & ‘Burn City’
Best Cinematography – Justin Brickle (The Tumbler)
Best Screenplay – Jack Ketchum (Offspring) & Dominic Deacon (Bad Habits)
Best Short – ‘The Marina Experiment’ & ‘Matinee’
Runner Up Best Short – ‘Higher Plane’

Best Foreign Film – ‘Impolex’
Best Foreign Director – Zach Clark (Modern Love Is Automatic)
Best Foreign Male Actor – Riley O’Brien (Impolex)
Best Foreign Female Actor – Melodie Sisk (Modern Love Is Automatic)

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