Australia's key IF Awards announced last night (November 12) were like a re-run of the Film Critics Circle Awards of two weeks earlier with Gettin' Square earning David Wenham best actor and Japanese Story winning best film for Sue Maslin, best director for Sue Brooks, best actress for Toni Collette and best cinematography for Ian Baker.
The IF Awards are associated with Inside Film magazine and are nicknamed the people's choice awards because they are voted for by the film-going public. They did not follow the critics when choosing the script award, giving it instead to Gettin' Square's writer Chris Nyst, who is a lawyer by day: "It is profoundly thrilling to win this award because you've made me feel like a fair dinkum writer."
The Independent Spirit Award went to Khoa Do, who made the digital feature The Finished People. Set in Cabramatta, a Sydney surburb know for its drugs, Do made the drama over six months of last year, working with heroin addicts, homeless youth, criminals on parole and other real-life street kids.
Matthew Saville, who wrote and directed the 60-minute drama Roy Hollsdotter Live, won the award for best rising talent, editor Jill Bilcock was voted a living legend, Crackerjack won the box office achievement award, and Rie Natalenko was recognised for her unproduced screenplay Heloise.
The IF Awards are the second of three sets of awards on Australia's film calendar. The best known, the AFI Awards, are being presented next week.