Ivan Sen’s Toomelah wins UNESCO prize at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

25 November, 2011 by IF

Press release from TM Publicity

Ivan Sen, writer and director of the new feature film Toomelah, released nationally today by Curious Film, has been awarded the prestigious UNESCO Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSAs) announced tonight on the Gold Coast.


The UNESCO Award is determined by the APSA International Jury and awarded for outstanding contribution to the promotion and preservation of cultural diversity through film.

Daniel Connors, the film’s young star, was also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in the APSAs.

Toomelah had its world premiere in Official Selection– Un Certain Regard at the 64th Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and was in Official selection for the Sydney Film Festival Sydney Film Prize.

In Toomelah, Ivan Sen (Beneath Clouds) has crafted a deeply personal story, which intimately depicts mission life in contemporary Australia. In the remote Indigenous community of Toomelah, ten year old Daniel dreams of being a gangster. When he is kicked out of school he befriends a local gang leader, until a rival gangster arrives back from jail to reclaim his turf. A showdown ensues and Daniel is caught in the middle, leaving him with a choice to make about his uncertain future.

The film reveals the challenges facing the young Gamilaroi people of the Toomelah Community. Robbed of much of their traditional culture by Government policy, it is a community on a cultural edge, struggling for an identity. It is a provocative and yet comic story that transports audiences inside the community, creating an authentic world and way of life that is "Toomelah"

The film is set entirely in the remote Indigenous community of Toomelah, located on the NSW, QLD border. It was created as a mission during the 1930s, bringing together Gamilaroi and Bigambal people from the surrounding area.

Cinemas where Toomelah is screening include:
The Chauvel, Sydney
The Classic, Melbourne
Cinema Nova, Melbourne
PalaceLuna Eastend, Adelaide
Luna Leederville, Perth
The Cameo, Belgrave
The Regal Twin, Graceville (from December 1)

Running time: 97m
Rated: MA15+
Distributed by: Curious Film