Film & TV

Adelaide’s Ashlee Page Wins At Sundance

Adelaide director and writer Ashlee Page has been honoured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as a recipient of the Mahindra Global Filmmaking (MGF) Award.

Ashlee Page Colour

Adelaide director and writer Ashlee Page has been honoured at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as a recipient of the Mahindra Global Filmmaking (MGF) Award.

Announced at a private ceremony in Park City, Utah, Ashlee was presented with the award by the prestigious film festival’s Sundance Institute, which recognised her as one of four emerging independent filmmakers from around the world.

Ashlee, a participant of the South Australian Film Corporation’s FilmLab, accepted the Award in person at Sundance:

“I first attended the Sundance Film Festival in 1999 as a backpacker working as an usher, I had a blast and was offered a job for the following year,” Ashlee said.

“I was tempted but I’d decided that the next time I was at Sundance it would be as a filmmaker. So I came back to Adelaide in 2000 and enrolled at MAPS (Media Arts Production Skills) film school. Fifteen years later, I am thrilled to be back at Sundance. This award is quite literally a dream come true for me.”

Ashlee’s short film The Kiss, which she adapted for the screen from a Peter Goldsworthy short story, was jointly funded by Screen Australia and the SAFC. It received several prestigious awards, including two Australian Film Institute Awards, and screened widely internationally, including at Tribeca and Palm Springs Film Festivals. The Wall Street Journal describes The Kiss as ‘a stand out short film’.

In 2013, Ashlee was one of seventeen directors working with producer Robert Connolly, to bring an adaptation of Tim Winton’s novel, The Turning, to the big screen.

Currently, Ashlee has teamed with producer Rebecca Summerton of Closer Productions to bring life to her first feature, Archive; a science fiction film developed out of the SAFC’s FilmLab program.

“Being part of FilmLab encouraged Rebecca and I to take narrative risks, to be bold, to create something new and unique that speaks from our hearts,” Ashlee said.

“Winning the Sundance Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is an unbelievable confidence boost at this stage, encouraging me to continue to take risks, and hopefully, eventually make a unique and entertaining film.”

Ashlee wins a $10,000 cash prize to be used during the development of Archive, and will participate in one of the Sundance Institute’s Creative Labs, focusing on screenwriting, directing, composing and producing.

SAFC CEO Richard Harris said today of Ashlee’s win:

“We’re huge supporters of Ashlee as a filmmaker and she thoroughly deserves this award. This award caps off an amazing 2014 Sundance for the South Australian Film Corporation, with two SAFC-backed projects – 52 Tuesdays and the Bababdook – in competition and the My 52 Tuesdays project showcased at New Frontiers.”

“It is particularly exciting to have projects from our low budget FilmLab represented at the Festival, following on from the success of the 2010 FilmLab film Shut Up Little Man. I look forward to seeing the film that is created from Ashlee’s Global Filmmaking Award FilmLab script Archive at a future Sundance Festival.”

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