Media Releases 2012:
Six Australian digital projects nominated for prestigious SXSW Interactive Awards

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Tuesday 31 January 2012

In a significant international acknowledgment for Australia’s digital sector, six Australian projects have been selected as finalists for the SXSW Interactive Awards 2012. Founded in 1997, the SXSW Interactive Awards identify the best new digital works from around the world, from mobile and tablet apps to websites, kiosks and installations, while celebrating those who are building tomorrow’s online trends.

Two Australian projects are finalists in the Film/TV category including Goa Hippy Tribe, a social media documentary about a hippy reunion in Goa from filmmaker Darius Devas and production company Freehand. The project was supported by SBS and was selected for INPUT 2011. In the same category is The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch, an interactive experience, animated series and iPhone game for anyone who has ever suffered a broken heart. The project features the voice of Toni Collette, was produced by Rachel Okine of Hopscotch, based on the works of creator Emma Magenta and was supported by ABC TV.

Producer and creative director Martin Potter and producer Anna Grieve’s Big Stories, Small Towns is an Australian finalist in the Community category. The project is an evolving multi-platform documentary featuring collaborations between small-town communities and filmmakers in residence who have created stories full of love, humour, family and belonging.

In the Art category is Curious Creatures, an interactive installation exposing users to strange encounters with inquisitive and beautiful creatures from the surrounding woods at a festival site. A large-scale augmented reality projection project combining animation, sound design, gaming, installation art and electronic music, the work has been installed to date at locations such as the Lismore Lantern Parade and Splendour in the Grass festival. The project is a collaboration between creative director Jimmy McGilchrist, executive producer Craig Walsh and producer Carli Leimbach.

The Dragon Children from SBS Online has been nominated in the Educational Resource category. The project is an interactive multimedia website exploring the success of Chinese-Australian students within Australia’s education system, as part of SBS’s continuing commitment to Chinese-Australian audiences and the SBS Chinese Virtual Community centre project. The key creative team includes news reporter and producer Johnny Lu, online creator Matt Smith, online developer Ken Macleod and online producer Nicole Redenbach.

Production company Soap Creative’s online game The World’s Biggest PAC-MAN has been nominated in the Amusement category. The game allows PAC-MAN fans across the globe to create and play their own maze, adding it to an endlessly growing map of interconnected levels. The site was built to promote the power of Internet Explorer 9 and uses HTML5 technology to do so. It has received over 2.3 million visitors from 194 countries to date. The project involves clients Microsoft Australia and Namco Bandai.

The winners in each category will be revealed at the 15th Annual SXSW Interactive Awards Ceremony presented by HP on the evening of Tuesday 13 March at the Hilton Austin Downtown.

For more information on the SXSW Interactive Awards visit: http://sxsw.com/interactive/awards


BIG STORIES, SMALL TOWNS
www.bigstories.com.au
Creative Director Martin Potter
Producers Anna Grieve, Martin Potter
Interactive Producer Nick Crowther
Synopsis Big Stories Small Towns is a unique web documentary project created by filmmakers living in remote and regional communities, working with local people to bring their personal stories to the screen. The result is a series of inspiring short films, digital stories and slide shows – full of humour and hope – released to the world via a specially created website: www.bigstories.com.au. The heartwarming project showcases stories of people living in the regional communities of Murray Bridge, Raukkan and Port Augusta in South Australia as well as Banlung in Cambodia.

CURIOUS CREATURES
http://vimeo.com/29233934
Creative Director Jimmy McGilchrist 
Executive Producer Craig Walsh 
Producer Carli Leimbach
Production Splendid
Software Development rezon8
Animation Production Monkeystack 
Games Development Matt Ditton
Sound Design SAE Byron Bay
Synopsis Strange encounters are reported as inquisitive and beautiful creatures venture in from the surrounding woods at the festival site. Curious Creatures is a large-scale augmented reality projection project combining animation, sound design, gaming, installation art and electronic music. The work has been designed to reach new audiences in the festival environment. In 2011 it was installed at the Lismore Lantern Parade in Lismore NSW and Splendour in the Grass festival in Woodfordia QLD, Australia. Next stop in 2012 is Vryfees in Bloemfontein, South Africa, to a local audience of 250,000.

THE DRAGON CHILDREN
www.sbs.com.au/dragonchildren
News Reporter and Producer Johnny Lu
Web Developer SBS Online 
Online Creative Matt Smith
Online Developer Ken Macleod
Online Producer Nicole Redenbach
Synopsis The Dragon Children is an interactive multimedia website exploring the success of Chinese-Australian students within Australia’s education system, as part of its continuing commitment to Chinese-Australian audiences and the SBS Chinese Virtual Community centre project.

GOA HIPPY TRIBE
www.sbs.com.au/goahippytribe
Production Company Freehand TV
Director/Camera/Editor Darius Devas
Executive Producer Paul Rudd
Web Developer SBS Online
Synopsis Goa Hippy Tribe is an online social media documentary about a hippy reunion in Goa, made by filmmaker Darius Devas and a vibrant community of online contributors.

 THE GRADUAL DEMISE OF PHILLIPA FINCH
www.abc.net.au/tv/phillipafinch
Production Company Hopscotch
Writer/Director/Creator Emma Magenta
Producer Rachel Okine
Web Developer Based on Birds
Animation Director Aaron Powell
Game Developer The Project Factory
Cast Toni Collette
Synopsis The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch is a cross-platform 2D animated project incorporating interactive web components, which brings acclaimed Australian artist Emma Magenta’s character, Phillipa Finch, to life. The project incorporates a 17-part animated series, an iPhone game and an interactive web experience called The Heartworks Project: a visual representation of a user’s current emotional state, told through the language and imagery of the animated series. Through this immersive, multi-platform experience, Phillipa Finch builds an interactive community based on a network of shared experience, within the framework of a story of love, beauty and hope.

THE WORLD’S BIGGEST PAC-MAN
http://worldsbiggestpacman.com
Production Company Soap Creative
Clients Microsoft Australia, Namco Bandai
Synopsis The World’s Biggest PAC-MAN is a online game that allows PAC-MAN fans across the globe to create and play their own maze, adding it to an endlessly growing map of interconnected levels. The site was built to promote the power of Internet Explorer 9 and uses HTML5 technology to do so. To create a maze users sign-up through Facebook, which makes sharing their creations simple and easy. The maze created so far is the actual size of 37 real-life football fields. The site has received over 2.3 million visitors from 194 countries to date.


Media Enquiries
Teri Calder T: 02 8113 5833; M: 0408 440 995
teri.calder@screenaustralia.gov.au

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