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South Australian Screen Awards 2021 Winners Announced

06 December 2021

The winners of the South Australian Screen Awards 2021 were announced at a gala awards ceremony at Mercury CX in a night that celebrated the outstanding South Australian screen industry. There were 81 nominees, across 24 awards which were presented to creatives and crew across a range of craft and genre categories including drama, documentary, web series, animation, comedy, music video, screenwriting, directing, editing etc, culminating in the Grand Jury Prize  presented by the South Australian Film Corporation.

Natasha Wanganeen with her award for the inaugural Best First Nations Talent Award sponsored by South Australian Film Corporation
Natasha Wanganeen with her award for the inaugural Best First Nations Talent Award sponsored by South Australian Film Corporation at the 2021 SASA Awards

The inaugural Best First Nations Talent Award sponsored by the South Australian Film Corporation was presented to actor Natasha Wanganeen for her compelling performance in the SAFC supported short film Djaambi.  Another first for 2021 was the inclusion of the Mercury Rising award, supported by the Adelaide Festival Centre and presented to an MCX Member across any award category. The inaugural winner is producer and director Eva Grzelak. The Carclew Foundation presented the Young Filmmaker Award to cinematographer Nicholas Frayne and Media Super presented the Emerging Producer Award to Lilla Berry.

MYTH – The Go Between and The Recordist have taken out joint honours for Best Drama. MYTH – The Go Between produced by William Littleton, picked up three additional awards including Best Director for Alies Sluiter and the Grand Jury Prize. The Recordist, produced by Ashleigh Knott and Indianna Bell and directed by Indianna Bell and Josiah Allenalso picked up Best Performance for Brendan Rock along with Best Sound Design for Indianna Bell. 

Best Comedy, presented by KOJO was awarded to Producer Lisa Bishop and Writer/Director Gareth Wilkes for SAFC supported production Happy Anniversary. Best Documentary, supported by AIDC, was won by My Ba from Producer/Director Alice Yang and Best Animation was The Better Angels for Producer Richard Chataway and Writer/Director Michael Cusack.  SAFC supported documentary Last Meal received an Honourable Mention in the category.

In addition five individual awards were presented to acknowledge South Australian screen excellence culminating in the illustrious City of Adelaide Mercury Award, which recognises a South Australian creative’s lifetime achievement and contribution to the screen industry. This award was presented by the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor to acclaimed Sound Recordist, Mixer and Sound Designer James Currie. Currie’s 45-year career has seen him work on 146 productions spanning feature films, television series, documentaries and short films. His international reputation has been built working innovatively on sound for directors including Paul Cox, Rolf de Heer and Scott Hicks. Currie said of the award: “I am truly humbled to be the recipient of this year’s City of Adelaide Mercury Award 2021,” adding that hometown recognition was especially meaningful.

Director Scott Hicks said of James’ win “James recorded sound on my very first film ’The Wanderer’,  and almost 50 years later he’s working on my current film ‘The Musical Mind’. I’ve lost count of the films we’ve done in between. Many congratulations James – such a well-deserved honour and recognition of your place in the pantheon of South Australian filmmakers. You’re an institution, and I salute you.“ 

Mercury CX CEO, Karena Slaninka said “I am constantly impressed with the level of talent we have in South Australia and Mercury CX is proud to play an essential role in supporting and celebrating emerging and established talent”.

“The South Australian Screen Awards have helped launch the careers of many filmmakers who have gone from making an award winning short to their first feature and are an important career milestone. We couldn’t offer these awards without the support of our many partners and award sponsors”. 


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