Phillip Noyce, the 2013 AFTRS Honorary Degree Recipient, Announced at AFTRS

09 December, 2013 by IF


Phillip Noyce, the eminent Australian director, has today been named recipient of the Australian Film Television and Radio School’s Honorary Degree – a Master of Screen Arts at the 2013 graduation ceremony held at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney.  


Minister for Communications The Hon Malcolm Turnbull, delivered the keynote speech to the 800 strong audience of over 260 graduates, their families and friends, industry peers and teachers as they celebrated the collective achievements of all graduates at Australia’s national screen arts and broadcast school.

As the Honorary Degree recipient, Phillip Noyce joins a select group of significant Australian film and television industry practitioners including Dr George Miller, Baz Luhrmann, John Edwards, Darren Dale and Jan Chapman.

The 2013 honorary degree was awarded to Phillip Noyce in recognition of his significant contribution to the screen industry and was presented by David Elfick who was the producer of two of Phillip’s best loved films; Newsfront and Rabbit Proof Fence.

An AFTRS honorary degree is only awarded to the highest achievers. It is not necessarily granted every year and it is one of the highest honours that can be conferred on a creative screen arts and broadcast practitioner in Australia.

Phillip said, “I owe everything to AFTRS, they taught me how to make movies and now here I am making movies all over the world. I want to say honored I am to accept this award and how grateful I am to ATRS for providing me with my career.”

Phillip began making films as a teenager – financing the productions by selling roles to friends – before he was selected to attend the then Australian National Film School in its inaugural year, 1973. Phillip’s early feature films include Backroads (1977), Newsfront (1978) which won Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the Australian Film Awards, and Heatwave, starring Judy Davis (1982).

Noyce's many other notable film credits include the political thrillers Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger starring Harrison Ford, Dead Calm starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane and The Bone Collector which starred Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. 

Phillip returned to Australian film making in the early 2000s with The Quiet American starring Michael Caine in an Academy nominated best actor performance, and the much acclaimed
Rabbit Proof Fence, which won Best Film at the Australian Film Awards. As well as his extraordinary film career, Phillip has also directed for television including the Australian miniseries The Dismissal and The Cowra Breakoutwhich he also co-wrote.

At the Award ceremony, AFTRS also presented a number of significant industry internships and awards to outstanding graduates.
“The aim of these awards is to identify, encourage and nurture exceptional talent through assistance with financial support, travel to important festivals and a significant program of mentorships and internships with leading Australian Screen companies,” said AFTRS CEO Sandra Levy.

The awards presented were: the inaugural Shine Australia Internship which went to Foundation Diploma graduate Luke Davis. Thirteen ASTRA Internships were awarded to Foundation graduates. The Foxtel Award for Exceptional Talent went to Chris Squadrito. The Screen Australia – LA Producing Internship went to Helen Burak. The Shark Island Institute Documentary Award was awarded to Blue Lucine. The European Union Film Award – Spain went to Warwick Young, the European Union Film Award – Croatia went to Laura Clarke and the Kenneth B. Myer Award for Project Development went to Genevieve Clay-Smith. The Kenneth B.Myer Award for Exceptional Talent went to Freya Berkhout and Andrew Lee. The A V Myer Indigenous Award for Exceptional Talent was awarded to both Dena Curtis and Bjorn Stewart. The Selwyn Speight award for Radio Broadcasting went to Sam Stove.

AFTRS CEO Sandra Levy congratulated all 2013 graduates and said, “I firmly believe these emerging screen arts and broadcast practitioners will navigate the challenges, twists and turns of what is an exciting and stimulating industry with enthusiasm and commitment.”