Murdoch filmmakers win nine WASAs

July 5, 2016

Owen Beck with his two WASAs

Owen Beck with his two WASAs

Murdoch University staff and alumni were big winners at last night’s Western Australian Screen Awards (WASAs) securing nine gongs across a variety of categories.

At a glittering ceremony at the Heath Ledger Theatre in Northbridge, the Murdoch nominees celebrated excellence and achievement in a variety of mediums including feature film, short film, music videos, television and games.

Alumni Richard Eames won three awards for his short comedy Flushed – the People’s Choice Award, Best Script: Short Form and Best Editing: Short Form.

Murdoch media graduate and current PhD student Owen Beck won two awards for his Cambodian set feature Bngvel: Best Direction and Best Cinematography (jointly with Cameron Frost).

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

Erika Jellis, a Murdoch communication and media graduate, won the Best Production Design award for her work on Sol Bunker. Murdoch sound lecturer Dr Leo Murray won the Best Sound: Short Form prize and Ben Morton, a screen and sound graduate and Murdoch Media Centre employee, won the Best Original Music award with his collaborator Thomas Campbell.

The best actor award went posthumously to late Murdoch screen graduate Wayne Davies, who sadly passed away a few weeks before his graduation earlier this year.

A much-loved student and collaborator in Murdoch’s School of Arts, Wayne won for his performance in the drama short Lola & Luis.

After his father Roy Davies accepted the award on his behalf, a moving tribute featuring an arrangement of Wayne’s acting performances was played for the award ceremony attendees, highlighting his previous win in 2013 and his many nominations.

Dean of the School of Arts, Professor Rikki Kersten said Wayne was a big part of the screen community at Murdoch, working alongside many academic staff and students on various projects.

“Wayne was a very gifted and generous student and collaborator, known for his calming presence, resilient work ethic and ability to resolve difficult situations. He is greatly missed at Murdoch,” she said.

“The acting award is richly deserved by Wayne although tinged with sadness for his family and friends.

“I’d like to congratulate all the other Murdoch alumni and staff who won WASAs and were nominated.”

Dr Stasiuk added: “Murdoch University’s dominance at the 28th WA Screen Awards last night, and in previous years, not only highlights and demonstrates our capacity to teach and nurture creative award winning students and graduates, but also the depth of talent among our arts staff.

“The talent and success of nominees also reinforces us as leaders in the industry and film practitioners of the highest calibre.”

The full list of nominees and winners of the WASAs can be found on the Film and Television Institute’s website here.

If your goal is to be a filmmaker and work as a paid professional in the film industry, come to Murdoch University's Open Day on Sunday 24 July to learn how courses in Screen Production or Graduate Diploma in Media Production can help you, or contact Dr John McMullan for more.



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