Sophie Hyde and Closer Productions won the inaugural Nick McMahon Breakthrough Producer Award for feature documentary Shut Up Little Man! at the SPAA Independent Producer Awards last night.
"This industry survives on the passion and generosity of people like Nick. I didn't know him personally but I am grateful for the work of Nick and others that have meant we have the chance to be working producers telling stories from an Australian POV.
We made Shut Up Little Man! and another feature doc, Life in Movement, at the same time and have enjoyed a great deal of success with them both. We are currently making our first feature drama 52 Tuesdays. Our ability to produce these unique films has in part been due to the wonderful support we enjoy from our local agency the SAFC. Who have backed us as a team and our work without traditional market attachment. (SULM was made through the innovative low-budget feature program FilmLab). This has meant we could work outside the boundaries of broadcast and be creativity rigorous with our treatments of the content. It's a brave course for a screen agency, and I believe it's paying off down south.
Alongside the SAFC the Adelaide film festival with its investment fund and a nose for talent has been instrumental in the advancement of our work, supporting our forays into unusual stories and unique production practices.
The team we have at Closer Productions is a wonderful one. We are all engaged in the work of producing and so I certainly can't take full credit for this recognition. My producing partners Rebecca Summerton. Matthew Bate and Bryan Mason as well of the Closer mob both in-house (Matthew Cormack, Corinna McLaine and Raynor Pettge) and those who come onboard on a project-specific basis carry the load and the joy of producing. I am always happy to have them in my life.
Thank you SPAA for this lovely honour."
Matthew Bate's award-winning sharp short doco, The Mystery of Flying Kicks, was released worldwide today on VOD. Closer Screens has launched the 14 minute documentary on the global mystery of sneaker tossing for a window of 2 weeks only as it looks develop its video-on-demand service.
The 2010 documentary looks at that ubiquitous and mysterious urban symbol of sneakers hanging over telephone lines and the associations it has with murder, sex, drugs, art and politics. Director Matthew Bate asked the people of Earth to help him make the film by asking people to leave voice message theories on a free phone hotline and to send in images, films, video and other material from which the film was made.
The film premiered at the ultra-cool South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX, in 2010 and went on to win awards at Melbourne Int'l Film Festival, New Zealand's DocEdge Festival and screened across the world including the prestigious Edinburgh, Brooklyn festivals and Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Closer Productions' artist-run distribution and rights management company Closer Screens is releasing and is utilising the DIY digital distribution service Distrify, which features innovative tools including an ability for fans to share or embed the film anywhere and get a cut of any sales made as a result.
The Mystery of Flying Kicks will be available Saturday, November 10 - Sunday November 25 on all platforms from PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones to connected-TVs.
We've just done a series of TVCs for our arts superheroes, the Adelaide Festival. The commercials showcase the music and dance programs for the 2013 festival and use the glorious Severed Headstrack, Goodbye Tonsils. The awesome thing is, Severed Heads are actually reuniting for the festival! The ads feature some of our other fave artists, like Laurie Anderson & Bryce Dessner (from The National!), so we're just chuffed about all of this really! Enjoy!