Zak Hilditch’s first feature film, These Final Hours, has won The Age Critics’ Award for best Australian feature film at the 2013 Melbourne International Film Festival.
Now in its third year, the award was presented by The Age and judged by a panel of the newspaper's esteemed film critics: Philippa Hawker, Jake Wilson and Craig Mathieson.
The Age Critics' Award was open to all Australian feature films in the 2013 Festival program: Tim Winton’s The Turning, The Rocket, These Final Hours, Galore, Mystery Road and Patrick.
At the announcement of the award on Friday evening the $5,000 prize was presented to writer/director Zak Hilditch and producer Liz Kearney as well as the film’s stars and collaborators.
Karl Quinn, Fairfax National Film Editor said this year’s strong field of contenders provided an invigorating challenge for the judges; “After intense debate, These Final Hours was chosen by The Age critics, the judges recognising Hilditch as a filmmaker of incredible talent as well as noting his emotional commitment to the subject matter. A stylish thriller, a haunting parable and an emotionally convincing character study, These Final Hours grounds its nightmare end of the world vision in sharp observation of Australian suburbia with memorable lead performances from Nathan Phillips and Angourie Rice another remarkable strength of the film.”
Michelle Carey, the Melbourne International Film Festival’s Artistic Director, congratulated the production team behind These Final Hours and also thanked The Age for its support of the Festival and Australian film through its commitment to this award; "These Final Hours has undoubtedly been the 'new talent' buzz film of the Festival and is a fitting and deserving recipient for The Age Critics’ Award. Congratulations to Zak Hilditch, Liz Kearney and the team, and MIFF wishes the film well in its future journey."