Chris Brown was named independent producer of the year,while Trish Lake was named feature film producer of the year at the annualconference of the Screen Producers Association of Australia.

Lake was producer on Gettin'Square alongside Martin Fabinyi and Tim White, and only moved recently intofilm from book publishing, although her early career was as a televisionjournalist.

The Maura Fay Award for services to the industry went toAdrianne Pecotic, a former Grundy executive who now has responsibility forAustralia's contribution to the fight against piracy.

Brown has a deal to make six horror movies with Brit horrorfactory Hammer Films and also has an arrangement with Queensland state agencythe Pacific Film and Television Commission (PFTC) to develop new talent, thushelping to build the fledgling local industry. He also has a number of bigbudget productions - by Australia's standards at least - including The Proposition, to be directed by JohnHillcoat.

"If I thanked everyone who has helped me, you'd be comatosebut I will mention the PFTC, everyone I have worked with in Queensland, and theother half of the odd couple, (business partner in Pictures in Paradise) ChrisFitchett," said Brown. "He is honest, decent and true, which is all the thingspeople say I'm not.

Brown, who relocated to Australia from the UK, said hewished his father was in the room to witness the announcement: "My dad made 36movies. And I'll never forget his advice to never trust the Americans becausewe do it for fun and they do it for money."

Brown was managing director - with Stephen Woolley - of Palace Productions in London from1983-1988, during which time he produced two films with Neil Jordan, The Company Of Wolves and Mona Lisa (winner of two Golden Globesand nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor - Bob Hoskins). He also produced Absolute Beginners starring DavidBowie..