On Thursday 28 September Luna Leederville rolled out the red carpet for The Academy Films 2017 Gala Screening. The event saw the screening of a selection of 6 student made films, and the award presentation ceremony for the Screen Academy’s collection of writer, directors, cinematographers and editors. This of course was bolstered by WAAPA 3rd year acting students, as well as music composers, costume designers and sound. All recorded by major sponsor Channel Nine, for broadcast later in October.

Demand for this showcase of films was high, prompting a second cinema to be opened up to cope with the overflow of previous alumni attending the screening. Hosted by former WAPAA graduate Angus McLaren the award ceremony showcased the talent on display through the course of the films.

The 6 films certainly covered a broad range of subject matters and styles. From the curious hipster cyberpunk world of You, Me, and Karen, to the cartoonish Rock ‘n Roll antics of Carnal Privilege, to the romanticised history of Magic, there was plenty of scope for the students to demonstrate their talents.

The most polished presentation of the night, Long Lost, took home the production award for Suzanne Ryan, as well as original music for Nicholas Gardener (who also scored Magic). The film itself represents a world first, as it is a co-production between the WA Screen Academy and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Crowd pleaser  Carnal Privilege cleaned up with directing (Quentin Curzon), editing (Marnie Allen), production design (Daniel Ampuero) and Best Actor-Female (Sasha Simon). Jake Fryer-Hornsby took home the Best Actor- Male award for his work in the hot-topic drama Halim, Xiao (Jason) Liu received best cinematography for turning the streets of Perth into noir inspired mean streets for the drama Dark Horses, and Clare Toonen was awarded Excellence in Scriptwriting for creating the humorous future of dating in You, Me and Karen.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants from X-Press, and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.