Murdoch filmmakers dominate WASA nominations

June 9, 2016

An image from the WASA nominated film Sol Bunker with (from left to right) Ben Mortley as Sol Bunker, Alex Bryans as Addie Bunker and Jenelle Altinier as Mira Bunker. Picture by Alanna Kusin

An image from the WASA nominated film Sol Bunker with (from left to right) Ben Mortley as Sol Bunker, Alex Bryans as Addie Bunker and Jenelle Altinier as Mira Bunker. Picture by Alanna Kusin

Murdoch University film lecturers and graduates have received a bundle of nominations in the prestigious West Australian Screen Awards (WASAs).

The short drama Sol Bunker, produced by Murdoch film lecturer Dr Glen Stasiuk and directed by Nathan Mewett, current Masters student and staff member, received five nominations.

The short comedy Flushed, directed and produced by alumnus Richard Eames, received six nominations.

Owen Beck’s film Bngvel received four nominations, including ‘Best Student Film’. If Owen takes out the prize, it will be the second year running a Murdoch student has won the student film category, with Pale Blue Eyes winning the award last year. Owen is a media graduate, casual tutor, and current PhD student in Murdoch’s School of Arts.

There were also numerous nominations for other Murdoch staff members and graduates across the board due to their work on the aforementioned films, or other projects.

The nominees will find out if they are successful at the gala awards ceremony in the State Theatre Centre of WA on Monday, July 4. Murdoch School of Arts is also sponsoring the WASAs this year.

“It is clear from our numerous nominations in 2016 that Murdoch is a hotbed of talent in filmmaking and that collaboration between staff and students is helping to cultivate screen talent,” said Professor Rikki Kersten, Dean of the School of Arts.

“It is really great to see so many graduates nominated over so many categories. Staff across the School of Arts are to be commended for mentoring and developing their skill sets.”

As producer of Sol Bunker, Dr Stasiuk said he worked with an eclectic group of leaders from the creative arts degrees available at Murdoch, including screen, sound, radio and graphic design. He also worked closely with staff from Murdoch’s Media Arts Centre.

“This highlights the strength that Murdoch University has in its academic staff. They are not just capable teachers but also leading practitioners in their respective fields,” he said.

Murdoch lecturers Damian Fasolo and Dr Leo Murray are the other staff members to have been nominated in the 2016 WASAs. And Murdoch graduates Arthur Bienkowski, Erika Jellis, Benjamin Morton, Peter Cheng, Luna Laure, Caitlan O’Connor, Jess Parker and the late Wayne Davies are also honoured with nominations.

Notes to editors

The strong showing builds on last year’s success for Murdoch-made Pinch which beat big budget, industry-made rivals to win the Best Film award. Pinch was made by Murdoch’s Media Production Manager Jeffory Asselin and crewed by graduates and undergraduates from the University’s screen production courses.

In 2014, Dr Stasiuk and Mr Asselin won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film – Factual category for their film Wadjemup: Black Prison White Playground.

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