What is the Reel Australia?
Actor Gyton Grantley and Director Ray Lawrence call on Australians to tell us ‘Who We Are’ in a unique short film competition.
Many of us see Australia in different ways - from outback deserts to busy city life - which is why the Australia Day Council of NSW (ADCNSW) began the short film competition, Reel Australia. Now in its second year, the unique competition asks Australians to capture who they think we are via a two minute short film.
Acclaimed Aussie actors Gyton Grantley (Underbelly, Beneath Hill 60) and Deborah Mailman (Offspring, The Secret Life Of Us, Bran Nue Dae), and revered Australian director Ray Lawrence (Lantana, Jindabyne) will judge the competition based on four core elements: family and mateship, freedom, community and pride.
Attending the event's launch last week, Grantley's enthusiasm for the contest was clear. "I'm a really passionate Australian and I'm really proud of it," he smiled. "I think it's very exciting that we're asking all Australians to express what it is to be Australian. I'm especially excited to see what entries we get."
One of Australia's most highly-regarded directors, Ray Lawrence, believes the competition has the capacity to change the way people see Australia. "I'm looking for something that changes the stereotypes we have today, which is hard to do considering there are as many people in this country as there are opinions."
Also attending the launch was social commentator Bernard Salt, who the ADCNSW commissioned to determine what films, characters and values Australians believe best represent who we are. The results revealed that the Australian spirit lies with Darryl Kerrigan who beat Mick Dundee and Muriel from Muriel's Wedding to take the top spot of our most loved Australian character.
Salt believes these results prove that we love the Aussie battler. "The fact that we are proud of our suburban culture shows self-confidence," he explained. "We are hardly putting our best foot forward with Darryl Kerrigan but we don't care. Australia is saying, via Darryl, this is who we are and we're proud of it."
In judging the entrants - the winner of which will receive $5,000 but also the opportunity to attend the 2011 AFI awards - Grantley revealed he is looking for passion and excitement. "There are so many facets and ideas that can be, and hopefully will be, expressed," he said. "I think the entries that will shine the most are those that show their true passion for this country and speak from the heart."
While the competition is open to all perceptions of the Australian way of life, Grantley hopes to break the mould when it comes to capturing the different races that populate the country. "More and more I think we're becoming familiar with our multiculturalism and developing stronger relationships with our indigenous roots. I think we're celebrating the fact that we have more facets to us than white bread Australia."
Entries for the Reel Australia competition close December 3 2010. For more information and to see how to apply, click here.
Picture caption: Bernard Salt, Ray Lawrence and Gyton Grantley launchReel Australia and Living Australian at Fox Studios.