HELEN MUSA’s weekly arts column features opening concerts and shows in Canberra.
THE 2017 Veterans Film Festival wound up tonight (Sunday, October 22) with the presentation of its Red Poppy Awards.Hand-blown trophies created by Canberra glass artist Annette Blair were awarded in three film categories — Best Feature Film, Best Australian Short Film and Best International Short Film.
Director of the festival Tom Papas told “CityNews” that for this, he and his committee had considered 275 Australian, international, competitive and non-competitive films before selecting those to be screened at the augmented festival, now in its third year.
At the awards ceremony, held at the Australian Defence Force Academy, the following films were singled out:The Red Poppy Award for Best Feature Film went to the opening night film, “Darkest Hour,” a full-length feature starring Gary Oldman as newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as he decides whether to negotiate with Hitler.
The Red Poppy Award for Best Indie Feature Film went to “And We Were Young,” a 75-minute animated film from the US by Montana animator Andy Smetanka.The Red Poppy Award for Best Australian Short Film went to “Miro,” a kind of Aboriginal Western, shot in and around Condobolin and focusing on Miro, played by Mark Coles Smith, who returns home after World War II to find his land taken, his people gone, his daughter stolen and his service record treated with contempt.
The other Red Poppy Awards went to: “She Will Be Loved” for Best International Short Film; “Miro” for Best Music; “All the Winters I Haven’t Seen” for Best Animation, Constance Brenneman as Best Female Actor for her part in “She Will Be Loved”; Mark Coles Smith as Best Male Actor went to for his role in “Miro”; Miles Gibson as Young Filmmaker for “Homeward Bound.”