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Five Nominations for AFTRS Alumni Works at the Inaugural AIDC Awards

Still from ‘Maralinga Tjarutja’ | Dir. Larissa Behrendt

Five works by AFTRS alumni have received nominations for the inaugural Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) Awards. Established to recognise the outstanding completed works of new Australian documentary and factual content, the awards will be presented in each state at closing night ceremonies for the 2021 event.

Catherine Dwyer’s Brazen Hussies, executive produced by Sue Maslin (Master of Screen Arts and Business, 1993) is vying for the $5,000 Best Feature Documentary award, up against major Australian works The Australian Dream, The Leunig Fragments and Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra directed by 2009 Andrew Myer Fellowship recipient Wayne Blair. The film recently earned alum, composer Amanda Brown (Graduate Certificate in Screen Composition, 1999) the AACTA Award for Best Original Score in a Documentary and a Screen Music Award nomination for Best Original Score in a Documentary.

Contending in the Best Documentary/Factual Single category Steven McGregor’s (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 2001) Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky and Larissa Behrendt’s Maralinga Tjarutja

Written/directed by Steven McGregor, produced by Anna Grieve (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Production Management, 1985) and lensed by Eric Murray Lui (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1999; TV Training Certificate, 1994) and Leuke Marriot (Graduate Certificate in Camera Assistant, 2011), Looky Looky Here Comes Cookie premiered in August at the Melbourne International Film Festival and after that was simulcast on NITV and SBS Viceland.

A production of alumni-run company Blackfella Films, Maralinga Tjarutja was written and directed by Behrendt and made with a crew of fellow alumni including executive producer Kelrick Martin (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Documentary, 2002), line producer Fotini Manikakis (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Producing, 1995), composer Antony Partos (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Sound, 1990) and dialogue editor/re-recording mixer Diego Ruiz (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2011). The documentary earned Behrendt the 2020 AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television, composer Antony Partos (Bachelor of Arts (Film and Television) Sound, 1990) a nomination for Best Music for Documentary at the 2020 Screen Music Awards and the 2020 Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network award.

Also contending for prizes are Sidelines directed by Eliya Cohen (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017) and executive produced by Alicia Rackett (Graduate Diploma: Screen Business, 2010), vying for the $5,000 Best Short-Form Documentary award, together with The Feed/SBS’ Story Line, executive produced by Mike Clay (Graduate Certificate in Documentary, 2011) which has received a nod in the $3,000 Best Interactive/Immersive Documentary category.

“The response to the inaugural AIDC Awards was absolutely overwhelming, demonstrating how important and necessary celebrating completed documentary and factual works really is. We were astounded by how many submissions we had and the incredible quality of works across all six categories. I want to congratulate the twenty nominees, and thank all our generous partners and the indefatigable jury – without whom we could never have done this,”

- Alice Burgin, CEO/Conference Director, AIDC.

The inaugural awards will be presented at the AIDC Awards Night on Wednesday 3 March 2021, which will be taking place in-person in eight cities across Australia and live-streamed to AIDC delegates.

Find out more about the AIDC Awards and see the full list of nominees here.



Brazen Hussies
Catherine Dwyer, Philippa Campey, Andrea Foxworthy, Film Camp, Australia, 2020.


Maralinga Tjarutja
Larissa Behrendt (Graduate Diploma in Documentary, 2013; Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting, 2012), Darren Dale, Jacob Hickey, Blackfella Films, Australia, 2020.

Looky Looky Here Comes Cooky
Steven McGregor (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 2001), Steven Oliver, Anna Grieve, Danielle McLean, Steve Thomas, Kath Symmons, Tamarind Tree Pictures & Roar Film, Australia, 2020.


Eliya Cohen (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017), Paul Moran, Electric Yak, Australia, 2019


Story Line
Mike Clay (Graduate Certificate in Documentary, 2011), Rebecca Metcalf, John-Paul Marin, The Feed & SBS Creative Labs, Australia, 2020