Katrina Sedgwick swaps jobs with Amanda Duthie to take Head of Arts

The former director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival, Katrina Sedgwick, has
been appointed the new ABC TV Head of Arts in a seeming swap. She replaces, in
part, former ABC content head of arts and entertainment, Amanda Duthie, who was
appointed director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival in December.

The move comes after criticism of the ABC’s perceived diminution of arts
programming after the axing of production staff in Melbourne and the weekly arts
program Art Nation.

In a statement announcing Sedgwick’s appointment, director of ABC TV Kim Dalton
said, “This new stand alone position reporting directly to me will provide stronger
focus on our arts programming. As a result of changes to our arts production and
line up last year we have increased the resources committed to prime-time arts
programming to be commissioned from the independent production sector,” he said.

Sedgwick will begin the newly-created role, based in Sydney, on 11April.

From The Australian. Michael Bodey. ABC TV names new Head of Arts
February 24, 2012 1:26PM

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Google: ABC TV names new Head of Arts

ABC TV’s plans for social media

The NICTA technology can overlay the Twitter discussion on top of any show on any
channel.

Your TV experience is about to get a whole lot more social, with government
researchers partnering with the ABC to bring Twitter and Facebook integration to
virtually any show on any channel.

The technology, developed by the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation,
displays tweets about a show overlaid on top of the TV image and is also able to
recommend shows based on previous behaviour and on what the viewer’s Facebook
friends are watching.

“It’s about allowing people to engage a little more than they have been able to in the
past with what they’re watching,” said ABC’s manager of new media services, Chris
Winter, in a phone interview.

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Britain enters a golden era of the short film

According to Sarah Morrison of The Independent, Britain is entering a golden era of the short film. Apparently the medium has moved out of art houses and into the mainstream as its popularity soars.

Charlie Chaplin built a career on them, and brands are now using them to sell their
latest products. The short film, once a slightly marginal staple of art houses and film
buffs, is experiencing a golden era in Britain and is reportedly reaching wider
audiences than ever before.

Advances in film-making technology and the growth of the internet are behind the
rise, experts say, but their popularity is down to more than digital progress. The
short film, with its capacity to convey ideas concisely, is capturing the mood of an
increasingly time-pressed, information-hungry generation.

Briony Hanson, director of film at the British Council, said we are at a “watershed
moment” when it comes to the proliferation of “perfect little vessels that tell a story
in their own right”. “We are looking at a golden era in Britain,” she said. “Just over
20 per cent of shorts in the total Sundance [Film Festival] selection were UK-made in
2012, while last year, the figure was 6 per cent.”

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Tropfest 2012 winners

Wild weather can’t dampen spirits as winner adds some fizz to
Tropfest

Garry Maddox – SMH – February 20, 2012

Winners are grinners … Alethea Jones (with some other dude in the background)

IN THE race between the films and an approaching thunderstorm, the films won –
but only just – at the 20th Tropfest in the Domain last night.

In heavy rain and intermittent lightning, a judging panel that included Cate
Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman, Toni Colette, Asher Keddie and John
Polson gave the top prize at the country’s biggest short film festival to Alethea Jones
forLemonade Stand, a comedy about a man and his grandfather whose efforts to sell
lemonade bring a clash with an officious council officer.

She collected her prize in a near-deserted Domain, without a working microphone,
amid a few hundred hardy souls sheltering in the VIP tent.

Jones said she was ”absolutely thrilled” and ready to take the next step in her
filmmaking career. Asked whether she planned to step up from shorts to a feature
film, Jones said: ”I’ve got five ready to go.” She is the third woman to win in the past
five years, winning two weeks after signing up for the dole.

In a year in which the 700-plus entries were required to include a ”lightbulb” as the
signature item, Jones’s prizes include a trip to Los Angeles to meet film industry
executives, a $6000 camera and $10,000 cash.

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Grand Designs – Building egos as well as homes

Grand Designs – Building egos as well as homes

OPINION: Michael Duffy – SMH – February 20, 2012

I have a recurring dream in which the television program Grand Designs becomes
mixed up with Midsomer Murders. A serial killer is taking out all those irritating
couples in their North Face leisure wear, splattering viscera over the bare white
interiors of their concrete brag boxes in the English countryside.

This uncharitable vision stems from my love-hate relationship with Grand Designs,
which cleverly applies the hero’s journey to home building. In a typical program
Kevin McCloud, a natural television presenter, takes us through the journey of a
wealthy couple who overcome adversity to complete their building. He manages to
express telegenic surprise when deadlines are missed and budgets exceeded – as
though this were completely unexpected – and, at the end, blesses the enterprise with
an emotional, if somewhat vague, homily, such as: ”Although it is a very assertive
building, it’s also very subtle and sensitive” and “this brilliant, if unfinished, building

was snatched from the jaws of doom … buildings like this need heroes and heroines.”
The show is watched by a million Australians and its success tells us a lot about the
way we live now.

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Oscars voters white and male

Oscars voters have been finally unmasked – they are 94pc white and 77pc male. What a surprise!

As a well-trodden red carpet is rolled out the 84th Academy Awards ceremony this week, the question of who casts the final votes has reared its shiny gold head once again.

Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain, left) befriends herusekeeper Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer, right), in 'The Help'   'The Help' - A bitter-sweet tale

Octavia Spencer, who plays housekeep Minny Jackson in The Help, has been nominated for an Oscar Photo: DALE ROBINETTE

By Amy Willis, Los Angeles

Claims of inequality at the Oscars have rocked the Hollywood guild for years, with less than 4 per cent of awards being won by African Americans and only one award being given to a female director – Kathryn Bigelow; yet the academy has notoriously remained tight-lipped about its 5,765-strong voter roster.

A single statuette can add millions to box office revenues and propel an actor to instant stardom, but while winners reap the rewards, mystery still shrouds the voter-base – until now.

A study by the Los Angeles Times has finally unmasked the highly-secretive electorate, claiming to have identified 5,112 of the guild’s 5,765 voters, and finding that the voter-base is 94 per cent Caucasian and 77 per cent male.

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Julia Overton honoured by AIDC

22 February 2012

Julia Overton has been awarded the 2012 AIDC Stanley Hawes Award. She will
accept the award at the opening of the Australian International Documentary
Conference (AIDC) being held in Adelaide, South Australia from February 27 – March
1.

According to the AIDC commendation, ‘during her time at the Australian Film
Commission, the Film Finance Corporation, and most recently, at Screen Australia,
Overton was known to be the human element within the bureaucracy. She was
always willing to look at guidelines as guidelines and not interpret them as rules. She
will go to great lengths to assist individual filmmakers and promote the documentary
genre as a whole, and has opened more doors for documentaries, both in Australia
and to the rest of the world, then anyone in the business.

‘Besides her work at the agencies, she has a multi-faceted track record in production,
encompassing feature films (Cut, Spider and Rose, Fistful of Flies, Until the End of
the World, Travelling North), TV drama (Aftershocks, The Long Ride, Tudawali) and
the multi-award winning documentary (Black Man’s Houses). Prior to her work as an
independent producer Overton worked on documentary programs for CBC Canada
and drama for London Weekend Television, UK.’

Mitzi Goldman, Co-Chair of the AIDC Board describes Overton as a ‘powerhouse’ and
says that, “Julia’s imprint on Australian documentary has been immeasurable and
AIDC is absolutely delighted to honour her with this year’s Stanley Hawes Award”.

Following the Award Ceremony on Monday 27 February, Overton will deliver the
Stanley Hawes Address.

The Stanley Hawes Award was established in 1997 to honour Stanley Gilbert Hawes
(1905 -1991) who was the first Producer-in-Chief of the Australian National Film
Board and Commonwealth Film Unit. The award recognises the significant support
Hawes gave independent filmmakers in the documentary sector and is awarded to a
person or organisation that makes an outstanding contribution to the industry in
Australia.

The Simpsons top episodes

According to a recent survey by The Guardian in the UK, here are the top Simpsons episodes of all time:

Number 10: A Streetcar Named Marge (Season 4, Episode 2)

This episode has it all. Great songs (“you can always rely on the comfort of strangers”); dozens of film parodies (including a subplot involving Maggie’s Great Escape at the Ayn Rand School for Tots); Marge channeling her anger at Homer into some top drawer amateur dramatics and, as @alitadepollo notes, “the revelation that Flanders is buff!“.

Number 9: Homer Badman (Season 6, Episode 9)

Poor Homer is wrongly accused of sexual molestation and hounded by the press but is proved innocent when Groundskeeper Willie reveals that his hobby is secretly filming couples in cars. “I dinna come forward because in this country it makes you look like a pervert,” he tells Homer. “But every single Scottish person does it!” It is “simply the most sublime 22 minutes of television ever,” says @shellsuitwarrior.

Number 8: Homer the Heretic (Season 4 Episode 3)

According to @bunnymen this episode is “Homer’s finest hour”. He quits church, develops his own religion, invents moon waffles and gets to dance in his underpants like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

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Screen Australia’s 30 Favourite Australian Love Stories

Screen Australia posted a list of ‘Favourite Australian Love Stories’ in honour of Valantine’s Day on their YouTube Channel.

It’s interesting as it is sometimes said that Australia doesn’t make ‘romantic comedies,’ yet SA has come up with a list of 30. However Muriel’s Wedding is the first, and it doesn’t have a ‘man and woman’ scenario unless you figure the two lead women are the romantic couple!

The top ten:

1. Muriel’s Wedding
2. Australia
3. Samson & Delilah
4. A Few Best Men
5. Crocodile Dundee
6. Crocodile Dundee II
7. Any Questions for Ben?
8. The Man From Snowy River
9. The Delinquents
10. We of the Never Never

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