SPA winners announced

21 November, 2013 by Don Groves

Goalpost Pictures, Matchbox Pictures’ Penny Chapman, Jungleboys, Top of the Lake and Lore won key awards at the Screen Producers Australia awards on Wednesday night.

Julie Zemiro hosted the free-wheeling ceremony at the Crown Palladium with an appealing mixture of humour, self-deprecating satire and due respect for the recipients.


Goalpost was named Production Business of the Year, its principals Ben Grant and Rosemary Blight noting they have been in the industry for 23 years.

Chapman received the Maura Fay Award for Services to the Industry in recognition for her work on programs such as The Slap, The Straits, Old School and Devil’s Playground.

Jungleboys took the award for Breakthrough Business of the Year, co-founder Jason Burrows paying tribute to his partners Phil Lloyd and Trent O’Donnell. Burrows also expressed gratitude to Screen Australia, the ABC and Centrelink for “financing” the first nine months of Jungleboys’ existence.

See-Saw Films’ Top of the Lake was feted as best TV drama and Porchlight Films’ Lore was named best feature, beating fellow nominees Dead Europe and Patrick.

Porchlight’s Liz Watts said she is proud of the film although it was such a complex co-production that afterwards she needed “a lot of therapy…it was murder.”

It should be noted the awards are restricted to SPA members, thus excluding many potential contenders.

Shine Australia’s The Voice won the light entertainment award, Sticky Pictures’ The Dukes of Broxstonia best children’s TV production and mememe productions’ dirtgirlworld best interactive.

Electric Pictures’ Desert War collected the award for best TV documentary

The services and facilities business of the year award went to Lalor Law’s Jenny Lalor, who worked on such projects as Cathy Henkel’s Show Me the Magic: The Adventures of Don McAlpine, and dirtgirlworld.

Lara Radulovich, who created and script produced FremantleMedia’s Wentworth, won the inaugural internship program award from SPA and Screen Australia.

Lisa Shaunnessy, producer and operations manager at South Sydney Media, will get $300,000 to produce a TV series for Studio, SBS’s arts and entertainment channel on Foxtel, as the winner of the first Studio Kickstart award.

Bearcage’s Harriet Pike received the Natalie Miller fellowship, presented by Miller, the veteran distributor/exhibitor.