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Only the Dead and Life On The Reef win at the 2015 AACTA Industry Awards!

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Screen Queensland congratulates the filmmakers behind the feature documentary Only the Dead plus television series Life On The Reef with both productions winning at last night’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Industry Awards. 

The AACTA Industry Awards, held in Sydney, precede next week’s televised event and focus on the technical prowess and brilliance behind a film and television production.

Queensland producer Patrick McDonald (Predestination) and Queensland director Michael Ware, along with two-time Academy Award®-winning U.S. documentarian Bill Guttentag (Nanking, Twin Towers) and the entire filmmaking team for Only the Dead took out three awards:




And the filmmaking team behind Life On The Reef won –


‘Screen Queensland is a proud financial supporter of bothOnly the Dead and Life On The Reef and we are thrilled they have received this well-deserved industry and peer recognition,’ said Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira.

Only the Dead is a confronting and very personal piece of cinema and tells a story from the point-of-view of a remarkable journalist, Michael Ware, following the invasion of Iraq.

‘The filmmakers take us on an emotional journey exposing the atrocities and truths of war and the raw footage brings home to the audience the battles being fought not only on-ground but also in the minds of all those involved in the conflict.

‘Along with these three AACTAs, their film was also the winner of the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) Award for Australian documentary and is in contention for an Academy Award, vying to be shortlisted for Best Documentary.

‘Life on the Reef is an essential viewing experience for all Australian and international audiences and one we are proud to have supported. 

‘A special congratulations to all the Queensland crew who worked on the production.’

About the productions:

Only the Dead is a visceral and compelling documentary film centring on Australian journalist Michael Ware, a war correspondent reporting for Time Magazine and then CNN, who found himself launched into the Middle East following the geopolitical upheaval of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Ware, whose journalism career began at Queensland’s The Courier Mail, shot hundreds of hours of camcorder footage between 2003 and 2007 in war-torn Iraq.  He was the first western journalist to get access to combat insurgents and as the nature of the war changed, Ware was given an extraordinary window into the rise of terrorist leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – a man wanted for his role in hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq. al-Zarqawi was killed in 2006.

HBO Documentary Films recently acquired the U.S. rights and will air the film in the first half of 2016. Foxtel commissioned Only the Dead and will air the series on showcase in 2016.

Visit the Only the Dead Facebook page here

Life On The Reef is a contemporary observational series set against Queensland’s very own Great Barrier Reef and which aired earlier this year on ABC. 

The series takes the audiences above and beneath the pristine waters and marine habitats, from coral reefs to tropical islands, shallow estuarine to deep oceanic waters.

With full frame cameras, motion control time-lapse and Cineflex aerials, Life On The Reef combines observational documentary storytelling with cutting edge blue chip natural history to present a unique and fresh angle on Australia’s greatest natural icon.

In Episode 1 – ‘Reef Mania’ – tourists flock to the reef to enjoy the perfect weather as humpback whales arrive to give birth. Fire destroys a luxury yacht and a critical salvage mission is launched. Meanwhile 20,000 green sea turtles arrive to nest on Raine Island – the biggest turtle rookery on Earth.

Visit the ABC Life On The Reef  website here.