Skip to main content

Chennai International Film Festival

This week, A Stone Throw was awarded Best Short Film at the Chennai International Film Festival in India.

Chennai is home to the international headquarters of The Theosophical Society.

The Theosophical Society (emblem pictured), founded in 1875, is a worldwide body whose primary object is Universal Brotherhood based on the realization that life, and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One. The Society imposes no belief on its members, who are united by a common search for Truth and desire to learn the meaning and purpose of existence by engaging themselves in study, reflection, purity of life and loving service.

While my stuff has sold and been shortlisted internationally, I have never actually won an award (other than encouragement awards and special mentions) outside of Australia.

I'm very pleased about this particular win for two reasons:
  1. After making films since I was but a wee child, I can finally replace "has sold and screend his short films internationally" with "international award-winning director" on my CV - without resorting to semantic sleight.
  2. If the Theosophy Society is anything to go by, then Chennai sounds like my kind of city.
As the world is becoming more and more fundamentalist in nature, I find myself sliding from Atheist to Agnostic. I think our spiritual bent is ultimately the difference between hopelessness and hopefulness. It has to do with my survival and the way I see myself continuing on into my 40s (I turn 40 in December). I could get grumpier (like most pessimistic atheists) or I could become more hopeful (as an Agnostic).

The way I see it is that we're all completely and utterly condemned to nuclear inferno - especially with a whole bunch idiots in charge of Australia and the US presently.

I don't want to feel this way. It affects everything I do. So I'm trying to find god (my definition of it) in a whole bunch of reading and scientific literature. To this end, I've just ordered Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion - which I can't wait to read.

Tomorrow, I will be replacing the 16mm short film, Bertolt with the flash animated ABC short, Indy Nile Investigates which I wrote for my buddy Roberto Palmonari.

Then on Thursday, Phil Jeng Kane and I will interview Gordy Hoffman - director of the world's largest growing screenplay competition, The Bluecat Screenplay Competition for our podcast. Gordy wrote the feature film, Love Liza, starring his brother Philip Seymour Hoffman and since then he has tried his hand at directing a digital feature of his own.

So it looks like 2007 is about to go off with a bang.

New Years' resolutions: stop biting nails, become lean, make films. What are yours?


Popular posts from this blog

Not the only white guy in Mumbai

Hi readers . . . and hi Mum! ;)

I've been watching some pretty heart-wrenching documentaries here at the Mumbai Film Festival. Watching docos seems to be a fast track to learning about the world. Many documentaries have an Indian element, but a couple stood out. I tend to make friends with the people who make films I like, so I'm pleased to say that Rajdeep Randhawa is now a close and personal friend of mine.

Rajdeep made a 47 minute documentary called, "Ek Tha Lal Pari." Shot mostly cinema verite, it documents the problematic relationship between a eunuch and her lover. It's an on and off relationship, but the two are still very much in love and have lived together for 20 years! In India, eunuchs live in enclaves. They are ostricised by society, but also revered and considered to have many spiritual powers. So they earn money by performing special rituals at marriages, births, deaths etc. It is a special honour to be blessed by a eunuch. To cross one would result …

The Drug That Killed River Phoenix

This article was going to be about a new drug I'm on called Duomine, but as I knew very little about River Phoenix (aka the vegan Jimmy Dean) I thought I'd swat up on what's really going on behind that brain-worm ditty. I'll talk about Duomine another time.The song line I'm on the drug that killed River Phoenix is from Aussie alternative band TISM's tasteless 1995 single (He'll Never Be An) Ol' Man River - and it's a bit cheap, frankly. The single's cover shows a mock-up of River's tombstone and was released shortly after his death. TISM were well-known for criticisin Imperial Hollywood and US pop culture, but they were masters when it came to borrowed interest marketing. More about these guys later.River Bottom's Awkward LifeIn 1944, River's mother Arlyn was born to a Jewish family living in the Bronx. When she finished school, she married a computer programmer but quickly grew bored of her secretarial life. In 1968, at 24, Arlyn dr…

Script development on a budget

Most people abhor criticism and nobody likes to open their wallet. If you are either, don’t - whatever you do - write a feature film screenplay. I almost guarantee that nobody will read it without being paid.

More importantly never go into production on a script that hasn’t been very heavily criticised, rewritten, analysed, rewritten gain, ripped apart, gutted and finally ... rewritten. I'm sure you can name a thousand movies with huge plot holes or character problems. Problems which could have easily been patched up with just a few bucks investment. Criticism is not the same as rejection.
While Mum will happily read your screenplay, getting constructive feedback from industry professionals costs money. Constructive criticism is the key to morphing an ailing screenplay into a great feature film. Nothing else will do this. Unfortunately, getting anyone who’s not your mother to read your screenplay (or read beyond your synopsis and director's notes) costs money. Even if you don&#…