SFF: Dendys etc

If you had told me 15 years ago when my Elder Brilliant Offspring was 20 years old that he and I would write a short film together that he would go on to direct, and that the film would be a finalist in the Dendy Awards … Well, you wouldn’t have.

Having Ngurrumbang screened at two sold out sessions at the Sydney Film Festival has been thrilling, but it’s been a joy beyond words to have worked on this project with him. I’ve learned a huge amount from the collaboration, and from his leadership of the crew, myself included.

I’m typing this on the phone during the opening speeches of the last night of the Festival. Maybe we’ll win something. Now I’m going to pay attention. I’ll tell you if we win or lose on the comments in a couple of hours.

14 responses to “SFF: Dendys etc

  1. Wow, Jonathan .. how exciting! Do let us know how it goes.


  2. Sadly, we didn’t win anything, but we can’t claim we was robbed The live action award went to Perception by Miranda Nation, which involves a woman who has a mastectomy, with a lot of intelligent play with our expectations about breasts in cinema. The award for best direction went to Record by David Lyons (‘Record’ is pronounced as a verb), about a blind girl and her father grieving the death of her mother, with a finely executed final scene on a dinghy in the middle of a lake.


  3. I am very disappointed for you and Alex as Ngurrumbang is a great achievement and important storytelling for Australia at this time. Congratulations on an excellent film. Yes the winner was a very confident film with excellent direction but it is impossible to compare such very different short films, especially a historical recreation with gritty reality. All three including Record deserve attention and hopefully many more screenings.


  4. Congratulations on completing the project with you son and bringing it to the festival. I look forward to seeing it when it reaches the far end of the road–here, in Medicine Hat, Alberta.


  5. You are generous in defeat, Jonathan, but it’s not a defeat. It’s a triumph to be there, and at least Sydney is perceptive enough to recognize the achievement. Stupid Melbourne indeed. Never liked that town from the first rainy cold day I set foot in it. Congratulations: can’t wait to see it.


    • Generous through gritted teeth, I’m ashamed to admit, Will. But in fact the program of 10 short films was fabulous. I’m fairly sure your name appears in the credits, so there’s probably a way a viewing can be organised for you. I’ll consult the masters


  6. Wish I’d been in Sydney to see it! Congrats to all involved–how wonderful! I hope the film gets plenty more screen time.


  7. Well done, Jonathan and Alex. I haven’t seen any of the films, but I’m sure injustice was done.

    Look forward to a private screening of Ngurrumbang when we’re back in Sydney, or a public one when it gets to the Rotterdam/Berlin/Sundance/Cannes Film Festivals.


  8. Thanks, Richard. Sadly we’ve already been rejected by Berlin and Cannes, but Rotterdam as far as I know is still in the wings.


  9. Dennis Bishop

    I too enjoyed the film and congratulate the team on a wonderful achievement. Working with your son is a wonderful opportunity and so different to father and son “playing together”. My son Matt completed his first three years of teaching at Mt Austin HS with his father in the principal’s chair. It was incredibly rewarding, and illuminating, for both of us.


  10. Thanks, Dennis. The next step is for him to hire you as a relief teacher when he’s got the principal’s job!


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