AFI revamps awards
By Philippa Maclachlan
The Australian Film Institute has revamped its annual awards adding four new categories, a new members’ choice award, and re-established peer assessment for best film and best documentary categories.
The 2009 awards will see the introduction of four new categories: best children’s television animation, best documentary under one hour, best feature length documentary and best documentary series.
The peer assessment of the best film and best documentary awards re-establishes the process where professional members appraise all films within a category ahead of voting in that category.
AFI CEO, Damian Trewhella, said the new awards were added because there was such a diverse range of content being produced in these expanding categories.
“It was not sustainable to have them all running up against each other,” he told INSIDEFILM.
“The AFI has modified both its policies and processes to ensure we are able to provide the best possible AFI Awards and the most useful service to our industry,” he said.
The new member’s choice award means that AFI general members will be able to vote for their favourite film.
The AFI will also work in partnership with Australian distributors to ensure members see the films within their theatrical release and the move is also hoped to boost box office sales for Australian feature films.
The AFI said it conducted an online consultation process and talked to industry professionals before making the changes.
Australian Directors Guild president Ray Argall and Screen Producers Association of Australia executive director, Geoff Brown, said they supported the changes.
“Our members are particularly pleased with the additions to the documentary awards, and the new children’s animation award,” Mr Brown said.