Writer and director Cris Jones has been posthumously accorded the Australian Writers’ Guild’s $10,000 John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing for his debut feature, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.
Jones, who died suddenly in September, is also nominated for the AACTA Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Accepting on behalf of her son, Jones’ mother said, “I know Cris would be over-the-moon to know that his screenplay of The Death and Life of Otto Bloom has won the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science Fiction Writing for Best Produced Screenplay. I remember him telling me how great it was to see an Award that actually rewarded imagination and thinking-outside-the-box in a screenplay.
“To win an award from his peers at the Australian Writers’ Guild, who truly recognise the time, effort, and sheer hard work that simply takes over your whole life while writing a feature film, is something he aspired to and I know he would feel deeply honoured. I am only sorry that Cris isn’t here with us to be able to experience this honour, and I thank the AWG on his behalf.”
“It is with privilege that we honour Cris Jones’s memory with the 2017 John Hinde Award,” said AWG Group CEO Jacqueline Elaine. “We were greatly saddened to hear of his death, but feel it is befitting that the screenwriting and science-fiction community were able to come together to celebrate his work through the John Hinde Award, which each year recognises the excellence of writers whose imaginations delight, intrigue and challenge us.”
Starring Xavier Samuel, Rachel Ward, and Matilda Brown, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom is a cleverly structured mockumentary that examines the life of a man who experiences time in reverse, remembering the future but being unable to see the past. Melanie Coombs, who produced the film, said, “Cris Jones was a hard-working, serious, industrious writer and director who loved his work, making art. He was fascinated by the ways that Quantum mechanics, Physics and Philosophy could help us find consolation and meaning in the chaos of life. He was so thoughtful, insightful, kind and compassionate and it is all there in his work. Having The Death and Life of Otto Bloom recognised with this Award is a great honour and we thank the AWG’s John Hinde Award for the recognition.”