In a shining example that in film, the best storytelling is about much more than words, a dialogue-free animated short film about a knitted toy dinosaur who must completely unravel himself to save the love of his life has taken out the highest honour of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s annual AWGIE Awards, the 2018 Major Award.
Bradley Slabe’s Lost & Found was first awarded the AWGIE for the Animation category before going on to win the Major, which is selected from the winners of each of the 18 AWGIE Award categories. Slabe, who has just two writing credits to his name, impressed judges with his Japanese-inspired stop-motion short.
“Compact and elegant in its simplicity, Lost & Found is a beautifully crafted script which is exquisite in its originality and construction,” said a statement from the judging panel. “It is a genuinely outstanding piece of work.”
“Writers often maintain a quiet anonymity and lack recognition, particularly when it comes to their role as the architects behind Australia’s most iconic screen and stage moments,” said AWG CEO Jacqueline Elaine. “In Lost & Found, we have a winner which showcases that a script is so much more than just dialogue.”
In the theatre categories, winners were Michele Lee for Rice (Stage), Finegan Kruckemeyer for My Robot (Theatre for Young Audiences), and Angela Betzien for The Hum (Community and Youth Theatre).
Muriel’s Wedding the Musical – which was a hit for Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures in 2017 and is set for a return season in 2019 – was honoured, winning both the Music Theatre Award and the 2018 David Williamson Prize.
Saving Mr. Banks, Mabo and Brides of Christ screenwriter Sue Smith was the recipient of the 2018 Australian Writers’ Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the enduring mark her work has made on the Australian cultural landscape, while Tony Ayres was presented with the Hector Crawford Award for his outstanding contribution to the craft.
Image: Bradley Slabe, Lost & Found (film still) – DOP Gerald Thompson