Filmmaker Robert Connolly to receive Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award

Friday, 02 Nov 2018

The APRA Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that writer, producer and director Robert Connolly will receive the 2018 Distinguished Services to the Australian Screen Award. The honour will be presented to him at the Screen Music Awards on Monday 19 November at the City Recital Hall in Sydney.

Known for producing and directing high quality cinema with a political focus and social themes, Robert has powerfully showcased the work of Australian composers like Lisa Gerrard, Alan John, Bryony Marks, Nigel Westlake, François Tétaz, Evelyn Ida Morris and more in his film and television projects. As a producer, Robert’s first feature film, The Boys, with the music of seminal experimental group The Necks has gone on to become a classic in Australian cinema. Since then, he has garnered numerous awards and accolades for his work collaborating with an impressive and diverse range of composers on productions including The Bank, Balibo, Paper Planes, The Slap and more. A champion of Australian film and television, Robert served on the Screen Australia board from 2008-2012 and continues to introduce and mentor emerging talent and new creative voices. Robert is well known for taking great care that the score plays a vital role in all of his productions.

Robert Connolly said, “I remain in awe of the creative insight and impact that composers have contributed to the film and television productions I have worked on. So many times the profound emotional and narrative elements that have eluded me as a filmmaker have been so much more clearly explored by the composer. It is a great honour to receive this award from APRA, providing an opportunity for me to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution screen music has made to my work.”

APRA AMCOS and the AGSC are delighted to announce the presenters and performers line-up for the 2018 event. It includes multi award-winning Australian feature film and documentary director Gillian Armstrong, actor Sacha Horler (most recently seen on screens as Victoria 'Sando' Sandringham), and television and stage actor Marcus Graham, who will shortly appear in ABC’s new ‘slice of life’ serial drama series The Heights. Rounding out the presenters list is The Hon. Don Harwin MLC, Minister for Resources, Energy & Utilities and the Arts, and Australian comedian, film, television and stage actor and all-round legend Kym Gyngell. Kym is in the Screen Music Awards nominated film Brothers’ Nest and is also currently on television as part of an ensemble cast on the ABC’s Back in Very Small Business.

Performing at the Screen Music Awards will be composer Nigel Westlake who will be joined by guest singer Lior. Singer/songwriter Ajak Kwai will bring her inspiring and soulful Afrobeats, with concertmaster Véronique Serret featuring as part of the Orchestra. Musical Director Jessica Wells will be joined by musicians Jared Underwood, Damian de Boos Smith, Julian Langdon and special guest bass player Jonathan Zwartz to pay musical tribute to Distinguished Services recipient Robert Connolly. 

The winners of the 2018 Screen Music Awards will be announced at a gala event in Sydney at the City Recital Hall on Monday 19 November. Musical Director Jessica Wells will lead a live orchestra that will perform a selection of nominated compositions and comedy genius Denise Scott will once again host the ceremony.

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