Aussie thriller wins US fest prize

26 October, 2014 by Don Groves

Nick Matthews’ psychological thriller One Eyed Girl has won the jury prize in the ‘Dark Matters’ category at the Austin Film Festival in Texas.

Produce by David Ngo and written by Matthews and Craig Behenna, the South Australian-shot film tells of a psychiatrist, haunted by the death of a former patient, who stumbles upon a Doomsday cult and battles to save a teenage girl from its clutches


Starring Tilda Cobham-Hervey (The Kettering Incident, 52 Tuesdays), Mark Leonard Winter (Healing, Van Diemen’s Land) and Steve Le Marquand (Rake, Vertical Limit), One Eyed Girl will be released in Australian cinemas on April 2, distributed by The Backlot Studios.

The Dark Matters award was introduced last year and was won by Madellaine Paxson’s Blood Punch.

Austin Film Festival screenplay and teleplay competition director, Matt Dy said, "Screenwriters Craig Behenna and Nick Matthews have written a script that, on the page, would very likely read as multi-layered and thrilling as it is seen on the screen through the film’s rich, haunting cinematography."

Ngo, Matthews, Behenna and Cobham-Hervey attended the festival. Matthews said, "It’s a great honour to win this award at a festival that champions story, and genre filmmaking. To receive it in front of so many film and TV heavyweights, like Madmen creator Matt Weiner and director Jim Sheridan is a doubly amazing.“

The SAFC’s Film Lab invested in the film, the directing debut of cinematographer Matthews.

The jury gave an honourable mention to Skin Deep, a saga of terminal illness and the struggles of sexuality, written by Monica Zanetti, directed by first time feature director Jonnie Leahy and produced by Rosie Lourde.