IFSS honours young filmmaker

Director Julian Shaw has been honoured by the Byron Bay International Film Festival and International Film School Sydney (IFSS) with the Best Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year Award.

The IFSS, located in Rosebery Sydney, is run through the University of Wollongong’s largest subsidiary and global education provider, ITC.

The prize was for Julian Shaw’s powerful dramatic short Clearing the Air, recently licensed to QANTAS In-Flight Entertainment. Set in a single hotel room overlooking Sydney International Airport, the emotionally charged film captures an exchange between an estranged father and son, played by AFI winner Marcus Graham and AFI nominee Rhys Wakefield.

The award is a happy outcome for Shaw and Wakefield, who were schoolmates at the McDonald College of Performing Arts.

“Rhys is the heart and soul of the film,” Shaw said while in Byron Bay to receive the award.

“Obviously James Cameron has seen something in Rhys because he has hand-picked him for the new 3D movie Sanctum. I’d like to think that I beat Mr Cameron to it because I spotted Rhys’ talent when he was about 11-years-old at the McDonald College.”

The young pair decided to collaborate when they were re-united at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival – Wakefield attending with the Crystal-bear winning The Black Balloon and Shaw with the Panorama Audience Award Runner-Up Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story.

The latest honour is Julian Shaw’s first major award for a fictional piece of filmmaking, after winning accolades from around the globe for his documentary Darling!, including a British Film Institute gong.

Postscript: The IFSS will feature David Lee Miller and his son Jordan Miller to the school for a special sneak preview screening of their new film, ‘My Suicide’, at 6pm on Friday 26 March. It has picked up 18 awards including Best Film at the recent Byron Bay International Film Festival. Before the screening, Head of the IFSS, Duncan Thompson, will lead a short interview and panel discussion. For further information contact Duncan Thompson on 9663 3789.