'Samson' dominates at IF Awards

Camera D'or wins six, with young cast beating out top stars

SYDNEY -- “Samson and Delilah continues its run as an Australian audience favorite this year, dominating the star studded Inside Film Awards – the “people's choice" awards of Australian film on Wednesday.

The indigenous love story, winner of this year Camera D’or at the Cannes Film Festival, took out six awards, including best feature, best actor and actress for its young stars Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson respectively -- who beat out more heavyweight contenders including Hugo Weaving, Frances O’Connor, Anthony La Paglia and Sasha Horler -- and  Best Director to Warwick Thornton.

In addition, the multi-faceted Thornton, which also wrote the film -- won the Best Music award.

“Balibo,” which has the most nominations in next month’s Australian Film Institute awards, won in the best sound and best editing categories while Rachel Ward’s “Beautiful Kate” picked up the best cinematography award. IF’s Independent Spirit award went to Granaz Mousavi, Kate Croser and Julie Ryan for what was billed as their “remarkable” feature film made in Iran, “My Tehran for Sale."

The Rising Talent went to producer-director Dominic Allen of Scarab Studio Films whose short film, “Two Men” was one of the hits of the Melbourne International Film Festival.
 And while “Australia” has been largely absent from the key awards this year Baz Luhrmann was named IF’s Living Legend and “Australia” won for best boxoffice success, having taken AUS$37 million ($34 million) on its home turf. 

“It’s a great year for Australian films with an enormous amount of diversity of production. The Inside Film Awards is always first to see the new talents on the rise and acknowledge the pioneering innovators in our industry,” said Clare Sawyer, the Awards' General Manager.
 That’s particularly notable this year for indigenous film, with another award, for best Film Festival going to the “Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival."