Buckskin, Perception win Sydney Festival prizes

17 June, 2013 by Don Groves

Buckskin, a documentary which profiles Adelaide language teacher Jack Buckskin’s mission to teach the once-endangered Kaurna language to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, won the Foxtel Australian Documentary prize.

Director Dylan McDonald was awarded the $10,000 prize at the Sydney Film Festival. Buckskin is part of SFF’s Screen: Black program of films from Indigenous filmmakers.


The Foxtel jury gave a special mention to Miss Nikki and the Tiger Girls, Juliet Lamont’s film which chronicles the careers of emerging young female pop stars in Myanmar. Highly commended was Big Name No Blanket, Steven McGregor’s tribute to the Warumpi Band, its late front man George Rrurrambu, and his creative relationship with songwriter Neil Murray.

The jury comprised director/ producer Ned Lander, documentary filmmaker Sascha Ettinger Epstein and Mariska Dean, Head of Programming – Factual Channels for Foxtel Networks Australia.

The $5,000 Dendy Live Action Short Award went to Perception, director Miranda Nation and producer Lyn Norfor’s film which recounts the death of Crystal, a mother, daughter, lover, stripper and survivor. The jury acknowledged two standout performances in the Dendy live-action finalists: Maia Thomas, the lead in Perception and Ed Oxenbold of All God’s Creatures for “a tender and honest performance by a young actor with beautiful comic timing and a wisdom beyond his years.”

The Dendy Awards were judged by Jason Ryle, Executive Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts; Sylvia Wilczynski, producer of The Rocket; and actress/filmmaker Mirrah Foulkes.

The $5,000 Rouben Mamoulian Award named after the Hollywood director who first presented the award in 1974 and presented to the best director in the Dendy Awards competition went to David Lyons, director of Record, the story of a father in mourning who struggles to connect with his blind daughter.

The $4,000 Yoram Gross Animation Award for best Australian animated short was awarded to Butterflies, a stop-motion horror-fairytale directed by Isabel Peppard and produced by Warwick Burton.

The winners of the 2013 Foxtel Movie Channels Audience Awards will be announced Wednesday.