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Captain Cook wins NSW Premier's History Award

The Screen Australia National Interest Program, Captain Cook - Obsession and Discovery, has been awarded the prestigious Audio-Visual History Prize at the 2008 NSW Premier's History Awards.

Captain Cook - Obsession and Discovery

The award, worth $15,000, was presented on Monday night by the NSW Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon Nathan Rees MP, at a presentation dinner at the Justice and Police Museum in Sydney. The award was accepted by co-writer/director Matthew Thomason and Screen Australia’s Director of Commissioned Production Mark Hamlyn.

The winning filmmakers are: Tony Wright (Producer), Paul Rudd (Series Producer/co-writer/director), Matthew Thomason (co-writer/director), and Wain Fimeri (co-writer/director).

The Audio-Visual History Prize judges’ citation reads:

“Vanessa Collingridge, the narrator of this TV series, is a Captain James Cook admirer and offers some little known facts about the explorer’s life as well as the better-known events of his three voyages to the Pacific. The program creates a fine balance between the role of the narrator, modern interpretations and explanations, contemporary interviews with historians, archivists and cartographers. Both the importance of Cook’s discoveries and the obsessive character of the man are investigated. There are interesting psychological and medical insights and theories. The program removes Cook from the comfort zones customarily created for him and shows him as both a brilliant but flawed and driven man.

Collingridge travelled to a number of places where Cook had either lived or visited, connecting the viewer immediately to these areas. A great deal of research has contributed to the success of this four-part series so, as well as being absorbingly interesting, it is dependable in its facts.”

Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery has enjoyed considerable success being a finalist for Most Outstanding Documentary at the 2008 TV Week Logie Awards and winning the Group Award at the 2007 Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards. It alsoaired to great acclaim on ABC1 in November 2007, with each episode attracting around one million viewers and capturing the imagination of the country.

Visit the NSW Premier's History Awards website for further details on the awards.

4 x 53 mins
Cook Films, Film Australia, December Films, South Pacific Pictures, Ferns Productions
Executive Producers Mark Hamlyn, Stephen Amezdroz, Pat Ferns, John Barnett
Producers Tony Wright, Andrew Ferns (Canada)
Directors Wain Fimeri, Paul Rudd, Matthew Thomason
Writers Wain Fimeri, Paul Rudd, Matthew Thomason
Cast Geographer and Historical Consultant - Vanessa Collingridge, Matt Young, Bridget Bezanson
A Screen Australia National Interest Program. A Cook Films, Ferns Productions, South Pacific Pictures and December Films production. Produced with the assistance of New Zealand On Air, the Canadian Television Fund and Film Victoria, in association with History Television, ZDF in co-operation with ARTE and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. An Australia/Canada Co-production.
Synopsis High adventure, triumph and tragedy as we journey around the world in the wake of one of the greatest explorers of all time – James Cook.