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Three SA filmmakers share in SAFC’s expanded Lottie Lyell Award

14 August 2020
2020 Lottie Lyell Award recipients Fiona Percival, Allison Chhorn and Madeleine Parry. Images supplied, photo of Madeleine Parry by Sarah Enticknap.

Three South Australian women filmmakers have shared in $30,000 funding to develop their bold and ambitious screen projects as part of the South Australian Film Corporation’s (SAFC) 2020 Lottie Lyell Award, announced today.

The Award commemorates pioneering Australian filmmaker Lottie Lyell, widely regarded as Australia’s first female film producer and celebrated actor, director, script writer and editor, whose 1917 feminist silent film The Woman Suffers became South Australia’s first feature film.

Now in its second round, the $20,000 Award was expanded this year by an extra $10,000 to fund two additional projects, chosen from a pool of 26 applications of outstanding quality.

Animator and entrepreneur Fiona Percival received the major award of $20,000 for dont f with me, a darkly comic animated series about “growing up girl in a dangerous world”, as four best friends navigate the wild beauty and dangerous perils of teenage life.

The series follows on from the ground-breaking and award winning short film of the same name, and will complement Percival’s other multi-media screen projects including a fun and quirky runner game in development, aimed at teenage girls to teach tips about safe partying, for which she was the recipient ofan SAFC Games Innovation Fund grant.

Multi-award winning writer, director and producer Madeleine Parry (Nanette, ABC’s Maddie Parry series) was awarded $5,000 for feature film Year 1, the story of an immigrant grandmother who begins a new journey of growth through an unlikely friendship – exploring life outside her role of mother.

Filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist Allison Chhorn (The Plastic House, shortlisted for a 2020 Sydney Film Festival Documentary Australia Foundation Award) was also awarded $5,000 to assist in completion of After Years, a documentary which follows a number of Cambodian families living across Australia, the U.S. and Cambodia, examining the inter-generational trauma arising from their experience as survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime.

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser congratulated all three filmmakers on their outstanding submissions.

“The SAFC is pleased to support three such distinctive and original projects which celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation that screen pioneer Lottie Lyell is so well known for,” she said. 

“Fiona Percival’s suite of projects demonstrates a clear vision of her audience and innovation in creating screen works which directly speak to them, and represent their world in a completely original way, and both Allison Chhorn and Madeleine Parry are talented filmmakers known for their incredibly thoughtful approach to their subjects, producing work which is moving, enlightening and compelling.”

Judging submissions this year was a panel comprised of critically-acclaimed, award-winning First Nations Australian director and writer Catriona McKenzie (Satellite Boy, Shadowhunters), and experienced South Australian producer of film, television, online, social and multi-media screen works Peta Astbury (The Heights, The Marriage of Figaro), in consultation with SAFC staff.

The inaugural Lottie Lyell Award was presented to Shalom Almond to develop bold new multi-faceted, multi-platform project, Through Prisoner Eyes.

Major prize – $20,000

Fiona Percival fordont f with me

dont f with me is a darkly comic animation about growing up girl in a dangerous world. Punky, Goldy, Wicca and Bit$h are teenagers crashing wildly through their youth, partying and loving like there’s no tomorrow – because to them, there may not be one. As they take risks and push boundaries, delirious highs push up against the dangers of assault, bullying, midnight black depression and rage. But as they spiral into conflict with family, authority and each other, they take matters into their own hands to tell the world “dont f with me!”  

Production credits: Writers -Fiona Percival, Cathy Beitz. Creator – Fiona Percival. Producers – Julie Byrne, Cathy Beitz.

Fiona Percival has been in the animation industry for over 25 years, from animating on Xena Warrior Princess in New Zealand, to working for Microsoft in Sydney, before being headhunted to be Lead Animator at Ratbag Games in Adelaide. Fiona has since worked in Adelaide at Resin, The People’s Republic of Animation, with Luke Jeravicus at Vishus, and at Rocketsquad for Kojo. Invigorated by the local film industry, in 2011 she wrote, directed and produced the animated short, Top Dog, which screened at festivals worldwide, followed by short stop motion dont f with me, which received multiple international awards. Fiona has worked and lectured at many animation studios and was senior 3D Animation lecturer at AFTRS from 2007-2012.

Honourable merit – $5,000

Madeleine Parry for Year 1

Daring to dream she might one day learn to read, ageing immigrant grandmother Evthoxia finds herself in her granddaughter’s school on Grandparents’ Day and a new world of learning is opened to her. However, Evthoxia’s family struggle to understand her unexpected behaviour. For Evthoxia, it will take courage to break old habits.

Production credits: Writer/Director – Madeleine Parry. Script Editor – Louise Gough.

Madeleine Parry is the director of the Emmy awarded Nanette for Netflix and writer/director/host of the ADG nominated and awarded Maddie Parry series and Meatwork for the ABC. An autodidact storyteller across documentary, comedy and VR, Madeleine was selected as part of Screen Australia’s 2019 Talent USA delegation, serves on the board of Mercury CX and tells nuanced, vulnerable stories with incisive wit and warmth.

Honourable merit – $5,000

Allison Chhorn for After Years

After Years follows a number of Cambodian families living across Australia, the U.S. and Cambodia. Refugees from the Khmer Rouge, they are content to raise their families in relative peace and seclusion. However memories of the past resurface as traumas suffered by the survivors transfer involuntarily across the generations. Tensions arise as the younger members’ desire for autonomy and assimilation brush up against a hard wall of silence, one at odds with the challenges of an increasingly changing world.

Production credits: Writer/Director – Allison Chhorn. Producer – Chris Luscri. Co-Producer – Anastasia Comelli.

Allison Chhorn is a Cambodian-Australian film-maker and multidisciplinary artist whose work explores themes of migrant displacement, trauma and the repetition of memory. Chhorn produced and edited the feature film Youth on the March (2017) and has directed numerous short films and documentaries including Close Ups (2015), Last Time (2018), The Plastic House (2019) and the forthcoming Blind Body. Her work has screened at Visions du Réel in Switzerland (Official Selection – Burning Lights International Competition 2020), the Sydney Film Festival (Official Selection – Documentary Australia Foundation Awards 2020), Adelaide Film Festival, OzAsia Festival, Festival ECRÃ in Brazil and in Peru, FELTspace, SASA Gallery and the North Bellarine Film Festival. She has previously been supported by the Helpmann Academy, Carclew Arts and Flinders University.


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