Cannes Success

A collage image: a man, a woman, two men fighting with a gun, an aboriginal man AFTRS alumni Rolf de Heer & Jane Campion and stills from 'The Rover' and 'Charlie's Country'

May 15 2014

As the Cannes Film Festival gears up for its 67th edition this week, AFTRS is delighted to celebrate the achievements of its graduates represented at this years ‘Queen of film festivals’. 

Leading the jury at this year’s festival is AFTRS' internationally renowned alumnus Jane Campion (1983) who has said of this prestigious role, “Since I first went to Cannes with my short films in 1986 [with her AFTRS student film Peel] I have had the opportunity to see the festival from many sides and my admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger.”
Jane Campion is the only woman ever to have won the Palme d’Or in the 67-year history of the festival, and only the second ever to be nominated for a ‘Best Director’ Academy Award.
In the wake of her acclaimed student short films, which culminated in the Palme d’or, Jane captivated international critics with Sweetie (1989), her first feature film, which was selected In Competition at the Festival de Cannes. After An Angel at my Table (1990), she returned to competition in Cannes in 1993 with The Piano, which won the Palme d’or.
Competing in the prestigious Un Certain Regard in 2014 is AFTRS alumnus Rolf de Heer (1979) who is returning to the festival with his latest feature, Charlie’s Country. This is the fourth time Rolf de Heer's work has been selected for Cannes having previously received two Palme d’Or nominations, for The Quiet Room and Dance Me to My Song, and the Special Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard for Ten Canoes. 

Charlie’s Country is the long-awaited third film in Rolf’s unofficial trilogy and longstanding collaboration with Aboriginal Australian screen icon David Gulpilil, beginning with The Tracker in 2002 and followed by Ten Canoes in 2006.
Charlie’s Country also features the work of AFTRS alumnus Tania Nehme (1990) who was the editor on Charlie's Country as well as Ten Canoes, The Tracker, Dance Me to My Song and The Quiet Room.

Rolf said of his return to the festival, “As a great celebration of cinema, the Cannes Film Festival has historically been a wonderful launching pad into the world market for films I've directed. I'm consequently very pleased that Charlie's Country has been selected, because it means the film will be seen.”

The second Australian feature selected (out of competition) for Cannes this year is David Michod’s latest feature The Rover, which features the work of AFTRS alumnus Antony Partos (1990) for Screen Music.

Congratulations to all of the AFTRS alumni represented at the 67th edition of Cannes.

AFTRS Alumni Success at Cannes Timeline:

  • Gillian Armstrong (1973) My Brilliant Career In competition, Palme d’Or
  • Jane Campion (1983) Peel - AFTRS student film - Winner Palme d’ Or shorts in 1986
  • Jane Campion (1983) Sweetie In Competition, Palme d’Or
  • Jane Campion (1983) The Piano  Winner, Palme d’Or
  • Jane Campion (1983) Bright Star In Competition, Palme d’Or
  • Jane Campion (1983) The Water Diary Out of Competition shorts
  • Jocelyn Moorhouse (1983) Proof  Winner, Caméra d’Or
  • Shirley Barrett (1987) Love Serenade Winner, Caméra d’Or
  • Laurie McInnes (1981) Palisade Winner, Palme d’Or, Short Film
  • Laurie McInnes (1981) Broken Highway In competition, Palme d’Or

  • Samantha Lang (1994) The Well In Competition, Palme d’Or
  • Stuart Parkyn (2004) Jerrycan Winner, Jury Prize
  • Stuart Parkyn (2004) Jerrycan In Competition, Palme d’Or, Short Film

  • Rolf de Heer (1979) Ten Canoes Un Certain Regard
  • Rolf de Heer (1979) Dance Me to My Song In Competition, Palme d’Or
  • Rolf de Heer (1979) The Quiet Room In Competition, Palme d’Or
  • Tony Krawitz (2000) Jewboy Un Certain Regard
  • Tony Krawitz (2000) Unit #52 Director’s Fortnight
  • Ivan Sen (1997) Yellow Fella Un Certain Regard
  • Cate Shortland (1999) Somersault Un Certain Regard
  • Sue Brooks (1984) Japanese Story Un Certain Regard
  • Jonathan Ogilvie (1989) This Film is a Dog In Competition, Palme d’Or, Short Film
  • Jonathan Ogilvie (1989) The Despondent Divorcée In Competition, Palme d’Or, Short Film
  • Alex Proyas (1982) The Books of Dreams: Welcome to Crateland In Competition, Palme d’Or, Short Film

  • PJ Hogan (1983) Muriel’s Wedding Directors’ Fortnight
  • Ivan Sen (1997) Toomelah Official selection Un Certain Regard
  • Warwick Thornton (1995) Samson & Delilah Winner, Caméra d’Or
  • Wayne Blair (2006/2007) The Sapphires Midnight Screening Section
  • Rolf de Heer (1979) Charlie's Country Un Certain Regard


Image sources: Rolf de Heer (; Jane Campion (, The Rover (, Charlie's Country (

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The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.