Press release from Edith Cowan University

Two short films and one documentary by the WA Screen Academy have been nominated in the 2011 ATOM Awards. In addition, John Rapsey, Director of the Screen Academy, has been nominated for the second consecutive time for the prestigious ATOM Teacher of the Year Award.

The Australian Teachers of Media established the awards in 1982 to promote media education and screen literacy. The ATOMs are the only national awards in which the work of the tertiary programs from across the country are judged alongside each other.

The nominated films from the WA Screen Academy include:

Best Tertiary Documentary –
Australian Stars – written by Ali Roberts, directed by Geoff Kelso, and produced by Suzanne Barton is a documentary about the lack of Indigenous representation in Australian Television.

Best Tertiary Short Fiction –
Stripped – written by Andrew Hale, directed by Geoff Kelso and Kelton Pell, and Produced by Ali Roberts is about a woman who finds the strength to stand up and claim what is rightfully hers. This film was made in conjunction with WAAPA’s Aboriginal Theatre Program.

The Family Tree – written by Freya Brueschke, directed by Geoff Kelso, and produced by Tase Jaycobs Stefkov, is about a girl who has serious trouble in introducing her new boyfriend to her family.

An outstanding feature of these nominations is that all three films were directed by Geoff Kelso working with different writers and producers for each one. Geoff was one of a group of four mature-age ‘career-changers’ who went through the Screen Academy in 2010. A NIDA graduate, Geoff has had a long and distinguished career as an actor, writer and director, primarily in the theatre. He wanted to shift his focus to film and television. Andrew Lewis, Associate Director of the Screen Academy and head of the Directing stream says, “These nominations establish Geoff’s credentials as a screen director in a very emphatic fashion. He has a strong sense of narrative structure and his acting background helps to illicit strong performances. Good on him”!

The ATOM Teacher’s Award can neither be sought nor applied for and is given solely at the judges’ discretion. The judges observe how a media educator has contributed to inform a body of student work submitted to the Awards and create a list of finalists. John Rapsey was nominated in this category in 2010, a year which saw the WA Screen Academy with two nominations in the Tertiary Documentary category and winner of the Best Tertiary Short Fiction Award for Stuffed.

“This is a terrific affirmation for the students, staff and industry mentors of the Screen Academy”, says John, “it consolidates our reputation as one of the leading screen production training programs in Australia”.

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