AustLit logo
Best Adapted Screenplay
Subcategory of Australian Film Institute Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Winners

2010 winner form y separately published work icon Tomorrow, When the War Began Stuart Beattie , ( dir. Stuart Beattie ) Australia : Ambience Entertainment , 2009 Z1623916 2009 single work film/TV science fiction

Seven teenagers camp in a remote and idyllic location deep in the countryside. But that night, they see the sky filled with military aircraft, and return home to find their houses deserted and the locals detained in the showground. Escaping detection, the teenagers form themselves into a guerilla unit, hoping to prevent the invading Coalition Nations from bringing any more troops in by destroying the only bridge to nearby Cobbler's Bay, where the troop ships are moored.

2009 winner form y separately published work icon Balibo David Williamson , Robert Connolly , ( dir. Robert Connolly ) Australia : 2008 Z1521564 2008 single work film/TV mystery thriller crime (taught in 2 units)

'Jose Ramos Horta, twenty-five years old in 1975, and a member of the Fretilin Government, lures Darwin-based Australian journalist Roger East to East Timor to investigate the disappearance of the 'Balibo Five' - journalists Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham and Tony Stewart (Ch9) and from their rival network Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie (Ch7).

On the morning of October 16, all five men, though identifying themselves as journalists from Australia, are killed in cold blood by the invading Indonesian troops, and their bodies burnt. East does not accept the official story that soon emerges, that the men were killed in cross-fire. Horta and East travel from Dili to Balibo, now occupied during the daytime by Indonesian forces, to try and uncover the truth of the journalists' death.

Back in Dili, East decides to stay on while other journalists are evacuated, in the knowledge that Indonesian forces will soon land in the capital. The very next day Indonesian paratroopers and commandos land from the sea and immediately capture East who is reporting the invasion. Defiant to the end, East is executed the next day on the Dili wharf by an Indonesian execution squad.' Source: http://film.vic.gov.au (Sighted 12/08/2008).

2008 winner form y separately published work icon Unfinished Sky Peter Duncan , ( dir. Peter Duncan ) Australia : New Holland Pictures IDTV Film , 2007 Z1414335 2007 single work film/TV mystery

'An illegal refugee and a reclusive farmer fall deeply in love, despite their resistance, recovering their faith in themselves and their trust in humanity.'

Source: New Holland Pictures website: http://www.newhollandpictures.com.au
Sighted: 02/08/2007

2006 winner form y separately published work icon Candy Luke Davies , Neil Armfield , ( dir. Neil Armfield ) Australia : Renaissance Films , 2006 6618158 2006 single work film/TV

'Based on the critically acclaimed bestseller, CANDY is the powerful story of two lovers whose intersecting lives take them on a journey of lust, addiction and self-destruction.'

Source: Screen Australia.

2005 winner form y separately published work icon Three Dollars Robert Connolly , Elliot Perlman , ( dir. Robert Connolly ) Australia : Arenafilm , 2005 Z1354058 2005 single work film/TV

'Based on Elliot Perlman's award-winning novel, THREE DOLLARS tells the story of an honest, compassionate man who finds himself, at the age of 38, with a wife, a child and three dollars.'

Source: Screen Australia. (Sighted: 16/12/2013)

2002 winner form y separately published work icon Australian Rules Phillip Gwynne , Paul Goldman , ( dir. Paul Goldman ) Australia : Tidy Town Pictures , 2002 Z931436 2002 single work film/TV (taught in 2 units)

In Prospect Bay, a remote fishing town in South Australian, the only thing that connects the two communities - the Goonyas (whites) and the Nungas (blacks) - is football. The underlying racism and class warfare threatens to make the team's greatest victories irrelevant, though. Two members of the team, Gary Black (the son of a white fisherman) and Dumby Red (the team's star player), are an exception, however, having been best friends since childhood despite their different cultural and family backgrounds. The jubilation that occurs when the team wins the local premiership is short-lived when Dumby is inexplicably overlooked for the 'best on ground' award. This incident subsequently sets off a chain of events that ends in tragedy.


[Sources: Weekend Australian 22-23 December 2001 pp.14-15 and Australian Screen]

1997 winner form y separately published work icon The Well Laura Jones , ( dir. Samantha Lang ) Australia : Southern Star Xanadu , 1997 Z817969 1997 single work film/TV fantasy (taught in 3 units)

Katherine works on an isolated farm run by Hester and Hester's father Francis. Unhappy because of her heavy workload, Katherine wants to leave. Hester doesn't want her to go, because she is attracted to her younger friend. She manages to convince Katherine to stay by promising to give her less work in the future. When old Francis dies, Hester sells the farm for cash, and she and Katherine move to a small cottage on the farm's edge, from where they plan a trip to Europe. A tragic accident and the theft of their money changes their plans.

1996 winner form y separately published work icon Cosi Cosi: A Comedy That's Not Quite all There Louis Nowra , ( dir. Mark Joffe ) Sydney : Miramax Films , 1996 Z331261 1996 single work film/TV

Loosely based on Louis Nowra's own experiences as a young theatre practitioner, Cosi follows protagonist Lewis, an unemployed actor who joins a government program to help rehabilitate mentally ill patients in a Sydney institution. Among the patients are psychopathic firebug Doug, pathologically shy Henry, lovesick Cherry, forlorn Ruth, recovering drug-addict Julie, and ever-demanding Roy. Hoping to realise his dream of staging a production of Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Roy begins takes over the inexperienced Lewis's program, even though oblivious of the fact that none of the other patients can sing opera. As Lewis attempts to keep control of the inmates, his own life begins to spiral out of control. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Lewis finds himself drawn to Julie. He is also sacked by the hospital administrator. Having come so far with their production, however, he and the actors secretly rehearse at night. Errol, the head of nursing, tells his supervisor that the group is preparing a variety show to be performed for the health minister's forthcoming visit. On the night, they instead present their somewhat chaotic version of Cosi.

1977 winner (Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)) form y separately published work icon Don's Party David Williamson , ( dir. Bruce Beresford ) Sydney : Double Head Productions Pty Ltd in association with the Australian Film Commission. , 1976 Z42782 1976 single work film/TV satire (taught in 3 units)

Set in a suburb of Sydney's North Shore on the night of the 1969 Australian Federal Election, this is a cinematic adaptation of David Williamson's 1971 satire of university-educated, upwardly mobile Australian Labor Party supporters. The gathering is hoping to celebrate the ALP's victory after two decades of conservative government, but as the results are televised throughout the night, this appears increasingly unlikely. The men then devote their energies to drinking and debauching with the younger women, much to the anger of their wives or girlfriends. As the night wears on and hopes fade, there is fighting and much disappointment.

The film's satire (as with the play) achieves its bite through a sense of what passes for naturalism. The essential ockerism of the men becomes more apparent as the party degenerates and the alcohol takes over. The critical focus sharpens and the humour becomes more cynical.

X