Gallipoli director Peter Weir and star Mel Gibson will be honoured this week at the 2021 Australian International Screen Forum via the event’s Trailblazer Awards.
The award will recognise their contribution to a body of work that transformed the Australian industry and led to Australian films breaking into international markets.
Screen Forum chairman Chis Beale said: “The Awards are given to Australians who have blazed a trail for Australian film and television; and that doesn’t merely include their own success, but also laying the foundation for others to follow – Peter and Mel fit that category”
Gallipoli, directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson, was released in 1981 and was a breakthrough film in Australia and internationally, nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film and winning eight AFIs.
Tomorrow (Australian time), the Screen Forum will screen tribute documentary The Story We Never Forgot: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to Peter Weir’s Gallipoli, followed by a screening a fully restored version of Gallipoli courtesy of the Australian National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), which restored the film for its 40th anniversary this year. Gibson will participate in a Q&A afterwards.
The program also includes a tribute video from the executive chairman of News Corp and co-chairman of Fox Corporation Rupert Murdoch, who executive produced the 1981 film with Australian film and music impresario, Robert Stigwood.
In his tribute, Murdoch talks about his reasons for making the film with Weir, including that his father, Keith Murdoch, served as a journalist at Gallipoli during the First World War. Keith Murdoch reported on the horrors inflicted on the young Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the Gallipoli Campaign where thousands lost their lives.
The Australian Screen Industry Forum aims to connect the US and Australian industries and is typically held in New York. This year, given the pandemic, its streaming virtually until March 26 (March 27 in Australia).
Baz Luhrmann is a previous recipient of the forum’s Trailblazer Award.