The Dead Oscar Award goes to...

9 August 2018

SCA in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is partnering with the Sydney Underground Film Festival
SCA in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is partnering with the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Sydney College of the Arts and the Sydney Underground Film Festival present a series of events led by the hottest local and international talent in independent filmmaking, with nominees competing for the coveted Dead Oscar.

Sydney College of the Arts(SCA) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), has been a long-term partner of the Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) which acts as a nexus between community members, local and international arts communities, academia and industry.

The daring and unconventional Festival, aims to revitalise an enthusiasm for cinema. Festival Directors Stefan Popescu and Katherine Berger, both SCA alumni, promise the 12th annual Sydney Underground Film Festival will be the most jam-packed yet.

From 13 - 16 September, this grassroots festival will bring together successful film directors, scriptwriters and artists to reveal their experimental approaches to filmmaking. Offering the most diverse line up to date, audiences will be exposed to homegrown cinematic masterpieces, music documentaries, tributes to cinematic heroes and unforgettable shorts.

"SUFF is fearless in nature. It has a propensity to discover films rather than replicate other festival's programs. Its approach follows the tradition of creative academic inquiry embedded in Sydney College of the Arts' Master of Moving Image (MMI) degree. SUFF and the MMI share the ethos of developing new forms and genres in film. Their support of emerging talent and knowledge contributes to the continued evolution of Australia's filmmaking industry," says Andrew Lavery Sydney College of the Arts Chair of Department and Director.

Born from Ubu Films, a 1965 experimental film-making collective by University of Sydney academics, SUFF's roots are deeply embedded in the University.

"We feel that there is no other authentic home for the Festival other than the University of Sydney. Our partnership demonstrates the University's on-going and genuine commitment to community and industry engagement, scholarship and discourse, cultural leadership and a connection to the city's cultural history," says SUFF Festival Director and Lecturer of SCA's Master of Moving Image, Stefan Popescu.

The 2018 line-up expands on the workshop program with a new symposium, Inhuman Screens. This inaugural conference will explore the areas of contemporary screen ecologies, including frontier technology, social media, theories of screen culture, contemporary art, digital culture and new narratives.

"Programming strongly into its second decade, the Sydney Underground Film Festival (SUFF) continues to live up to its mission of providing high visibility for film cultures that thrive at a tangent to the mainstream industry. The University of Sydney is proud to support SUFF and its commitment to making experimental and independent moving images accessible to Australian film publics," says Professor Annamarie Jagose, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Films selected for the Festival this year will compete for the coveted Dead Oscar created by Sydney glass artist and SCA alumnus, Mark Wotherspoon. The trophies are created from salvaged television screens which Wotherspoon melts down into new forms.

"I find that the glass in old TVs holds a more significant meaning for my work - these screens have carried a lot of stories." Said Mark Wotherspoon.

The 2018 program, including the line-up of guest speakers and masterclasses, launched on 8 August at the Factory Theatre, Marrickville.

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View the program launch party image gallery