'Ayaan'.

Writer-director Alies Sluiter’s short film Ayaan took home five awards at the recent South Australian Screen Awards (SASA), including the grand jury prize and best drama.

Produced Meng Xiong and Elspeth Trautwei, Ayaan tells the story of an escaped asylum seeker and her baby, who encounter an Aboriginal man on a rural Australian beach, and must decide whether to trust him or attempt the 400km journey to the nearest city, on foot and alone.

The film also notched Best Screenplay, as well as the awards for Best Male performance for Trevor Jamieson and Best Female Performance for Babetida Sadjo.

Ayaan was also recently recognised with Adelaide Film Festival’s short film audience award, and Sluiter won Best Direction in Student Film at the ADG Awards.

The annual SASA ceremony, hosted by Mercury CX, recognises outstanding talent in emerging SA storytellers and craft professionals. This year, the event was held virtually for the first time in 22 years.

Other celebrated films on the night included 37 Things, which saw Zane Roach pick up the best director award, with its other prizes including best music composition, sound design and production design.

Simon Williams and Brendon Skinner’s internationally co-produced doco Ice Ball received the Independent Art Foundation Emerging Producer Award, in addition to the best editing gong. The project follows legendary polar explorer Will Steger, as he inspires a community by preserving the forgotten craft of ice harvesting.

Best Documentary was won by Dusty Feet Mob -This Story’s True for producers Carl Kuddell and Jennifer Lyons-Reid and co-directors Johanis Lyons-Reid and Paul Tanner,

Comedy Down To Earth was recognised in the cinematography and hair and make up categories, while overall best comedy went to Goodbye Stranger from writer/director Conor McCarron.

Emma Hough Hobbs was presented with the Carclew Young Filmmaker Award.

In congratulating the winners following the ceremony, Mercury CX CEO Karena Slaninka noted the particular challenges faced by filmmakers this year.

“It’s been a very difficult year for productions and we celebrate the resilience and achievements of the winners and the industry at large.”

Next years awards will follow a similar timeline for 2020, with the call for entries and award ceremony pushed back.

“Next year the South Australian Screen Awards will be back bigger and better than ever. The quality of emerging talent is a testament to the screen culture in South Australia and we are proud to support that at Mercury CX,” Slaninka said.

Full list of winners:

GRAND JURY PRIZE
Sponsored by South Australian Film Corporation
Ayaan
Producers: Meng Xiong & Elspeth Trautwein, Writer/Director: Alies Sluiter

GENRE CATEGORIES

BEST DRAMA
Sponsored by AAA Talent and Adelaide Film Festival
Ayaan
Producers: Meng Xiong & Elspeth Trautwein, Writer/Director: Alies Sluiter

BEST COMEDY
Sponsored by KOJO
Goodbye Stranger
Producer: Morgan Wright, Writer/Director: Conor McCarron

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Sponsored by Australian International Documentary Conference
Dusty Feet Mob – This Story’s True
Producers: Carl Kuddell & Jennifer Lyons-Reid, Directors: Johanis Lyons-Reid & Paul Tanner

BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Sponsored by Music SA
Divebar Youth – Carbon Dioxide
Producer: Lewis Kennedy, Director: Nicholas Muecke

BEST GAME
Sponsored by Flinders University
Wild Life: Puzzle Story
by Mighty Kingdom

BEST WEB SERIES
Sponsored by Department for Innovation and Skills
Broadcast Radio Australia
Series Producer: Kristen Hamill

BEST STUDENT PRODUCTION
Sponsored by Australian Writers Guild and Mercury CX
A-Mos
Writer/Producer/Director: Fraser Whitehead

CRAFT CATEGORIES

BEST SCREENPLAY
Sponsored by Australian Writers Guild and Adelaide Film Festival
Alies Sluiter – Ayaan

BEST DIRECTING
Sponsored by Hendon Studios and Adelaide Film Festival
Zane Roach – 37 Things

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Sponsored by Pro AV Solutions
Maxx Corkindale – Down to Earth

BEST EDITING
Sponsored by Artisan Post Group
David Scarborough – Ice Ball

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Sponsored by Heesom Casting
Trevor Jamieson – Ayaan

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Sponsored by Heesom Casting
Babetida Sadjo – Ayaan

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Sponsored by State Theatre Company
Marc “Pop” Allen – 37 Things

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
Sponsored by Rowe Trading Co (Australian distributors for Smooth-On)
Leigh Madden & Ania Soltys – Down to Earth

BEST COSTUME
Sponsored by Mercury CX
James Roper & Amy Goddard – While the Billy Boils

BEST SOUND DESIGN
Sponsored by Best FX
Duncan Campbell – 37 Things

BEST MUSIC COMPOSITION
Sponsored by Derringers Music
Leigh Marsh & Benjamin Speed – 37 Things

CARCLEW YOUNG FILMMAKER AWARD
Sponsored by Carclew
Emma Hough Hobbs

INDEPENDENT ART FOUNDATION EMERGING PRODUCER AWARD
Sponsored by Independent Art Foundation
Simon Williams and Brendon Skinner

An encore screening of the ceremony will be shown by Adelaide’s Channel 44 on January 3 8:30pm.

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