Film Australia congratulates the filmmaking team behind the four-part documentary series Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery for winning the 2007 Manning Clark House National Cultural Award.

Presented today in Canberra, the prestigious Manning Clark House National Cultural Award recognises outstanding contribution to the quality of Australian cultural life and is open to all areas of creative and community endeavour. The Award is given in association with the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the ACT government and the Centre for Australian Cultural Studies.

Accepting the award, Film Australia’s Head of Production Mark Hamlyn said ‘it’s an honour that the documentary has been recognised by Australian cultural and scholarly experts. To scoop the top prize is a fantastic achievement and the international production team are extremely proud of this acknowledgement.’

Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery aired to great acclaim on ABC TV in November, with each episode attracting about a million viewers and capturing the imagination of the country. Narrated by geographer and historian Vanessa Collingridge (whose best-selling book was optioned for the television series), the series journeys in the wake of the great explorer Captain James Cook and recounts his three incredible voyages which changed the world.

‘The Captain Cook series drew together documentary makers and resources from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany. It was one of the most ambitious and exciting productions we have taken on in recent times but we always believed it was an important story to bring to life. We are honoured to receive this award and full credit should go to the very talented production team,’ said Film Australia CEO Daryl Karp.

Also announced today, Captain Cook won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Local Telemovie or MiniSeries in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Couch Potato Awards. The annual awards, run by The Guide’s critics, judge the year’s best television. 2007 was the first time readers could submit votes as part of the Awards.

Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery was produced by Tony Wright, written and directed by Wain Fimeri, Paul Rudd and Matthew Thomason, series produced by Paul Rudd, producer (Canada) Andrew Ferns, Executive Producers are Stephen Amezdroz, Pat Ferns, John Barnett, Executive Producer for Film Australia is Mark Hamlyn.

A Film Australia National Interest Program. A Cook Films, Ferns Productions, South Pacific Pictures and December Films production. Produced with the assistance of New Zealand On Air, the Canadian Television Fund and Film Victoria, in association with History Television, ZDF in co-operation with ARTE and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. An Australia – Canada Co-production.

Film Australia is one of the nation’s leading producers of television documentaries and educational programs. An Australian Government-owned company, Film Australia’s mission is to create an audio-visual record of Australian life.

[release from Avviso PR]

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