A bit of history
The UTS Golden Eye Awards are a biennial event that showcases the work of students and recent graduates of the highly respected Media Arts and Production Program at the University of Technology, Sydney. It began in 1989, after then Head of Film and Video at UTS, Sarah Gibson, decided to screen students’ work publicly in the belief that a film is not complete until it is screened to an audience. Since then the awards have continued to recognize exceptional student work and provide valuable exposure and industry support through prizes awarded by major sponsors.
Past coordinators of the awards have included Sarah Gibson, Gillian Leahy, Graham Thorburn, Andrew Taylor and Annmarie Chandler, who have strived to bring recognition to cutting edge student work, and foster relationships between students and industry partners in the areas of film, video and new media.
The Golden Eye Awards has been a springboard to success for many participants. Past entrants have included Tony Krawitz (writer/director Jewboy), whose film entry Unit #52 went to the highly acclaimed Cannes Film Festival, Sam Rebillet who went on to the Directing course at AFTRS, Owen Trevor now a successful short film and rock clip filmmaker and Naoki Tsukushi who has gone onto a successful filmmaking career.
Other prominent UTS MAP graduates include Producers Liz Watts and Vincent Sheehan (Producers Little Fish, Walking on Water and the soon to be released, Home Song Stories), Matt Reeder (Producer West), Lesley Dyer (Producer Lucky Miles), Bob Humphries (Cinematographer Somersault, Mullet), Debbie Lee and Jennifer Crone (Commissioning Editors, SBSI), Sohail Dahdal (Lonely Planet TV), Molly Reynolds (New Media Producer), Emily Collins (Producer, NOISE Australia), Janine Googan (Designer, Triple 3 Unearthed), Andrew Plain (Sound Designer, Lantana, In the Cut), Chris Hilton and Marcus Gillezeau (Documentary Producers and Directors), Andy Nehl (Producer, The Chaser’s War on Everything), Brent Clough and Fenella Kernebone, (ABC Radio National Broadcasters).
The event has been judged by prominent and respected members of the industry, including Julia Overton from the Australian Film Finance Corporation, Jane Smith from the New South Wales FTO, Art Director Graham (Grace) Walker (Dead Calm and Mad Max II), director Chris Noonan (Babe), sound designer Andrew Plain (Lantana) and documentary filmmaker Aviva Zeigler (Plumpton High Series).
With the support of industry sponsors the nominees are in the running for around $15,000 worth of prizes in a variety of award categories. These include Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Drama, Documentary, Experimental, New Media, Sound Editing, Script, Cinematography as well as prizes for Best Overall work, and the People’s Choice Award.