Every time I see the Melbourne Underground Film Festival referred to by it's acronym MUFF I giggle to myself because it reminds me of that hilarious line from April Fool's Day, which as an aside has been remade?!? - "It's not Muffy! It's her twin sister Buffy!" Hilarity!
Nevermind that, that's just a weird case of getting sidetracked.
MUFF announced their award winners and I was pleased to read that brutal revenge tale The Horseman won the Best Australian Film award as well as the Best Director prize for Steven Kastrissios. The film, which is apparently to receive a theatrical release later this year or early in 2009, was the joint winner for Best Australian Film actually, sharing the honour with horror bullying flick Acolytes. I saw both of them at MIFF and I think anybody who reads this blog will know my stance on them (The Horseman review, Acolytes review).
What I found strange though was that Joel Edgerton won the Best Australian Actor award for his role as a serial killer in Acolytes, when he is a) a supporting actor in the film, and b) nowhere near as good as Peter Marshall in The Horseman. I had no problem with Edgerton - he's fine, but not exceptional - but Marshall's performance was dynamite and incredibly disturbing in it's intensity. How the film could win Film and Director honours and not acting is a bit strange. Alexandra Weaver won the Best Australian Actress prize for drug-runner drama The Run, while supporting honours went to Michael Piccirilli and Megan Palinkas for Devil's Gateway and No Through Road respectively. Grisly-looking horror flick The Gates of Hell won for Special Jury Prize and I have included the (American) trailer below. For all the ribbings Aussies give Americans about doing our accent poorly, I couldn't help but laugh at the TERRIBLE American accents the cast seem to be attempting there.
The rest of the winners can be found at IF.