OUR FIRST EVER DOCUMENTARY ‘DIGILANTE’ RELEASED WORLDWIDE

Melbourne-based filmmaker, Mike Nayna (Dayne’s World, Fancy Boy) has cemented himself as one of the most exciting voices in Australia’s next generation of documentary filmmakers, and after a successful festival run throughout North America and Australia, his debut half-hour documentary, Digilante was released worldwide today!

Digilante is a fascinating case study of the often-destructive relationship between social and traditional media. The film made its international premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2017, continuing on throughout North America and Australia, attracting significant press attention and picking up awards for Best Short Film and Best Sociological Documentary along the way.

Digilante was the season finale in a series of five half hour documentaries produced as part of the 2016 season of Opening Shot, an ABC and Screen Australia initiative, designed to see young filmmaking teams bring a fresh perspective to some of the big issues facing younger Australians. Since 2013, Opening Shot has commissioned 19 documentaries and Digilante was the first to be selected for Hot Docs.

Producers Mark Conway from Checkpoint Media (Dayne’s World, Fancy Boy) and Lauren Elliott from Mad Kids (Small Town Hackers, DAFUQ? The Legend of Gavin Tanner) joined forces to bring Mike’s story to life. After a string of successful comedy projects, Digilante was the first documentary and first co-production for both Checkpoint Media and Mad Kids.

Digilante was produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Film Victoria.

Watch Digilante below:

LUCY DURACK'S 'LIFT' TO PREMIERE AT CINÉFESTOZ WEB SERIES SHOWCASE

Fresh out of post-production, Lucy Durack's screenwriting debut Lift has secured its world premiere at CinefestOZ 2018 in a special Web Series Showcase event!

A 7-part romantic comedy web series, Lift stars Lucy Durack, Duncan Ragg, Mark Coles Smith and Vivienne Garrett. Set entirely in an elevator, the series is an intimate look at the literal and metaphorical ups and downs of jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none Olivia and uptight Simon as they travel the floors of their corporate office building.

Lift is the brainchild of Lucy Durack, Jess Murray and Leon Murray of Platinum Lining, a brand new screenwriting collective, and is produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, directed by Zoe Pepper and Executive Produced by Chloe Rickard of Jungle Entertainment. The series received Elevate funding from Screenwest and was filmed in Perth by an all-WA crew.

The evening will also showcase five fabulous Western Australian web series:

Calling - Directed by Miley Tunnecliffe

The Big Spaghetti - Directed by Zoe Pepper

Small Town Hackers - Directed by Henry Inglis

Aussie Rangers - Directed by Kelli Cross

600 Bottles of Wine - Directed by Ainslie Clouston

The event will feature an exclusive Q&A with Lucy, Zoe, Lauren and more, and is taking place on 24 August at the River Hotel, Margaret River. Tickets are available here.

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'YOU HAVE BLUE EYES' SELECTED TO MAKE WORLD PREMIERE AT CINEFÉSTOZ GALA NIGHT

Writer/Director Alison James is back home from premiering her AACTA-nominated short film Judas Collar at Sydney International Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival and is all set to premiere her compelling and thought-provoking short film You Have Blue Eyes on the Gala Night of CinéfestOZ 2018!

Starring Alexandra Nell (Best Actress, WA Screen Awards 2016) and comedian Nick Pages-Oliverthe film sees a couple's relationship tested after they attend an amateur acting class. You Have Blue Eyes was produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, and is our first foray into the world of short drama.

The film was screened in 2017 to an exclusive crowd of Hollywood industry guests at Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles as part of A CELEBRATION OF WA IN LA, alongside Hounds of Love and Small Town Hackers, thanks to the good folk at Australians in Film.

You Have Blue Eyes is one of four short films premiering at CinéfestOZ's night of nights on 25 August at Orana Cinemas, Busselton. The Gala Night is attended by luminaries of Australian filmmaking and features the presenting of CinefestOZ's annual film prize - $100,000 awarded to an Australian feature length film for excellence in filmmaking.

Tickets to the Gala Night include a walk down the red carpet, live music, local beverages and delicious food. They are available to purchase here.

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'MARGARET'S GOT TALENT' AND 'MATURE AGE STUDENT' SELECTED FOR AUSTRALIA'S FUNNIEST SHORTS

Not one, but two Mad Kids Originals (MKO) digital shorts have been selected to screen at this year's Australia's Funniest Shorts! Margaret's Got Talent and Mature Age Student will feature in the 2018 program of the nation's premier comedy shorts festival.

Both skits feature our frequent collaborator Emily Rose Brennan alongside other favourites including Henry Inglis, James Helm and Tegan Mulvany. MKO is our 100% Western Australian YouTube channel and collective releasing sketches, music videos, animations, web series and digital shorts year round.

The upcoming screening is part of CinefestOZ and will take place at the Rose Hotel in Bunbury on 25 August. A $500 cash prize will be awarded to both the Funniest Sketch and the Funniest Short Film.

Visit and subscribe to our MKO channel here, and buy tickets to the big-screen event here!

 

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SMALL TOWN HACKERS AND THE BIG SPAGHETTI SCOOP 7 AWARDS AT NEXTGEN WEBFEST 2018

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BEST ACTOR - SAM CAMPBELL - SMALL TOWN HACKERS

BEST ACTRESS  - ADRIANE DAFF - THE BIG SPAGHETTI

BEST SCREENPLAY - SMALL TOWN HACKERS

BEST EDITING - ELAINE SMITH - THE BIG SPAGHETTI

BEST COMEDY - SMALL TOWN HACKERS

BEST DIRECTOR  - ZOE PEPPER - THE BIG SPAGHETTI

BEST OF THE FEST - SMALL TOWN HACKERS

Massive congrats and a big thank you to all of our cast and crew on both projects!

HENRY INGLIS WINS ADG AWARD FOR SMALL TOWN HACKERS

Resident Mad Kid, Henry Inglis, has won an Australian Directors Guild Award (ADG) for Small Town Hackers! This was Henry’s first ADG award and first nomination. Released online in 2017, Small Town Hackers is our 6-part comedy-mystery series commissioned by US digital studio, Above Average.

The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers. The Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledging individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. 

Fellow Mad Kids Lauren Elliott and Joel Gray joined Henry in Melbourne for the black-tie ceremony, which took place on Friday 4 May at the Sofitel Hotel. Henry was in great company with other award winners including Simon Baker for his WA-shot feature film debut Breath, Fiona Banks for Wentworth and Mustangs FC and Jonathan Brough for Rosehaven. The awards were hosted by Susie Youssef and presenters included acclaimed Australian actors Kat Stewart, Damian Walshe-Howling, Pia Miranda and Xavier Samuel.

The complete list of winners can be found at FILMINK and Small Town Hackers is streaming now on Above Average.

Congratulations Henry!

HENRY INGLIS NOMINATED FOR ADG AWARD FOR SMALL TOWN HACKERS

Henry Inglis has been nominated for an Australian Directors' Guild Award for BEST DIRECTION OF AN ONLINE COMEDY PROJECT for Small Town Hackers. This is Henry's first ADG Award nomination and he is in great company this year, with nominees including Trent O'Donnell, Simon Baker, Greg McLean, Erin White and Jeffrey Walker. 

The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers. The Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledging individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. The annual gala ceremony will take place this Friday 4 May at the Sofitel Melbourne. Congratulations Henry! Check out the complete list of nominees on FILMINK.

CAST ANNOUNCED FOR LUCY DURACK'S WRITING DEBUT, LIFT

After more than a decade as one of Australia’s musical theatre stars, WAAPA alumni Lucy Durack (Wicked, Legally Blonde, Sisters) is set to make her writing debut with Lift, a 7-part rom-com web series set entirely in an elevator. The series, which has just kicked off filming at Johnny Ma Studios in Perth today, will be an intimate look at the literal and metaphorical ups and downs of jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, Olivia and strait-laced Simon as they travel the floors of their corporate office building, Urban Water Utilities.

What if soul mates met in a scenario where they could only connect for four minutes at a time? Olivia is on her way to a job interview and Simon, a total stranger, is about to propose to his girlfriend. But as soon as they meet, they sense a connection. They work in different offices, and come from different worlds – yet the more rides Olivia and Simon share, the more undeniable their camaraderie becomes.

Lift is created & written by Lucy Durack, Jess Murray and Leon Murray of writing collective Platinum Lining, directed by Western Australian director-on-the-rise, Zoe Pepper, produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids and Executive Produced by Chloe Rickard of Jungle Entertainment.

ABOVE: Lucy Durack, Duncan Ragg, Mark Coles Smith and Vivienne Garrett.

After securing Elevate Short Form Development and Production funding from Screenwest in September 2017, Mad Kids has assembled an impressive ensemble cast consisting of Duncan Ragg (acclaimed theatre performer and NIDA-graduate) as Simon, Mark Coles Smith (Last Cab to Darwin, Pawno) as love rival Guy and Vivienne Garrett (The Norman Gunston Show) as Head of HR Lynne - the eyes and ears of Urban Water Utilities. Lucy will also star in the series as Olivia.

“I am so excited to be making my writing debut in my hometown of Perth, alongside Lauren, Zoe and Chloe. I am thrilled to be working with such a brilliant team of female filmmakers. Rehearsals with Duncan, Mark and Vivienne went really well over the weekend and I can’t wait to start shooting today!” said Lucy.

“Programs like Screenwest’s Elevate Initiative are crucial in developing emerging Western Australian talent and growing our film & TV industry. Mad Kids first received Elevate funding in 2013 for our web series, The Legend of Gavin Tanner, which led to us having a half hour pilot commissioned by the ABC, securing representation with CAA in Los Angeles and building an ongoing relationship with broadcasters in both Australia and the US. We have an incredible team of up-and-coming Western Australian crew and volunteers who are working tirelessly to bring Lift to life, as well as Sage Hotel West Perth who are hosting our lovely actors and Liftronic who have donated materials for our elevator set!” said Producer, Lauren Elliott.

Director Zoe Pepper is a recent recipient of Screenwest’s Feature Navigator program – a comprehensive, year-long filmmaker and project development initiative for Western Australian directors working toward a debut feature film. Following ten years as one of Western Australia’s top theatre directors, Lift will be one of Zoe’s first projects as a director for screen.

Lift will be available online globally in mid-2018!

LUCY DURACK (CREATOR / WRITER / OLIVIA)
Perth-raised, WAAPA alumni Lucy Durack is a writer, actor and singer, best known for playing Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical, for which she won both a Helpmann Award and Sydney Theatre Award. Together with Jess and Leon, Lucy has been honing her writing skills under the mentorship of some of Australia's leading production companies including Matchbox Pictures, Gristmill and Cordell Jigsaw Zapruder over the last six years. She has now written and developed five comedy projects and is set to produce her first web series in 2018. She has recently appeared on television in The Letdown, The Moodys, Upper Middle Bogan, Here Come The Habibs and Doctor Doctor as well as in the films Goddess and Now Add Honey starring opposite Portia de Rossi and Hamish Blake. In addition to all of her Platinum Lining projects, Lucy has written countless hours of material for her nationally broadcast ABC radio show My Soundtrack. In 2017, Lucy was seen on screen in Season 2 of Doctor Doctor on Channel Nine, The Letdown on ABC, starred as Roxy Karibas in Channel Ten’s Sisters and also reprised her role as Glinda in The Wizard of Oz.

DUNCAN RAGG (SIMON)
One of Australia’s most exciting and talented young actors and directors, Duncan Ragg graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and L’École Philippe Gaulier. His acting theatre credits include There Will Be A Climax (Red Line Productions), The Kitchen Sink (Ensemble Theatre), Cock (Auckland Live/Silo Theatre), Writing for Performance (Michael Gow, NIDA) and Kandahar Gate (Stephen Sewell, NIDA). In 2016/17, he wrote and directed This, This Is Mine for The Corinthian Food Store, as well as assisting Judy Davis in directing Brian Friel's award-winning Faith Healer (Belvoir). In 2017, he appeared in Australian feature film 2:22 and in 2018 he will star in British feature Night of the Lotus, shot in Tanzania last year. 

MARK COLES SMITH (GUY)
Hailing from Broome, Mark Coles Smith has worked across several performing arts' genres, first and foremost as an actor but also as a writer, producer and sound designer. He is best known for his roles in Pawno and Last Cab to Darwin, for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the AACTAs and a Best Supporting Actor win at the Film Critics' Circle of Australia Awards. In 2017, he won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Play for his work on Leah Purcell's acclaimed adaption of The Drover's Wife. This year, Mark will appear in Foxtel's upcoming Picnic at Hanging Rock, while other TV credits include Doctor DoctorShaun Micallef's Mad as HellThe Gods of Wheat StreetOld School and Canadian series Hard Rock Medical. Mark is a WAAPA graduate with a degree in Aboriginal Theatre.

VIVIENNE GARRETT (LYNNE)
Vivienne Garrett is an award winning theatre, radio, screen actor and voice-over artist. She has worked with major theatre companies in Australia, with such luminaries as Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush and Jacki Weaver. Vivienne began her career as a teenager in TV shows like Number 96, Homicide, the Norman Gunston Show, Mother & Son and Bodyline. She has performed with the Sydney Theatre Company, MTC, South Australian and West Australian Theatre Companies, Black Swan, Playbox, Brainbox, Deckchair, Nimrod and the QTC. She has starred in many productions, most notably The TempestAs You Like itMeasure for MeasureWaiting for Godot and The Clean House. Vivienne has directed 26 Short Stories for ABC radio national, Ursula's EcstasyThe Spook, and Breastroke a play she devised and directed for stage and adapted for radio. Her WA TV appearances include Barron Films series, Hay DazeShip to ShoreSweatStreetsmartz, the ABC/Scottish TV series Minty and Shark Net. She won the WA Swan Gold Award for most outstanding female actor for her portrayal of Eleanor in Dead Funny and has been nominated for Live Acts on StageEquus and The Clean House, winning in 2014 for OTHER DESERT CITIES. Once wrapping on LIFT, Vivienne will appear in Black Swan’s 2018 production of Summer of The Seventeenth Doll.

MAD KIDS LAUNCHES COMMERCIAL DIVISION, AD KIDS!

After five years specialising in original scripted comedy, in 2018 we're launching Ad Kids, a brand new commercial division dedicated to producing content exclusively for brands. 

AD KIDS IS A COLLECTIVE OF TALENTED & DYNAMIC FILMMAKERS WHO MAKE HIGH IMPACT AND MEMORABLE CONTENT THAT ENTERTAINS AND CUTS THROUGH THE CLUTTER.

We've hand-picked an elite team of directors and producers who have a proven track record in producing high quality, high impact and highly acclaimed content from digital shorts, web series, documentaries, viral videos and commercials through to theatre productions, television series and feature films. Right here in Perth.

AD KIDS TEAM
HENRY INGLIS – DIRECTOR
LAUREN ELLIOTT – PRODUCER
MATT LOVKIS – DIRECTOR
ZOE PEPPER – DIRECTOR
JOE HENDERSON – DIRECTOR
ANTHEA SMYTH – PRODUCER
MAT DE KONING – DIRECTOR
DAVID VINCENT SMITH – DIRECTOR 

Ad Kids will be a one-stop-shop when it comes to concept development, director's treatments, script writing, production design, cinematography and production management right through to editing, visual effects, sound design, music and delivery. Their directors and producers work with a fantastic team of writers, performers, cinematographers, production & costume designers, makeup artists, composers and post-production specialists. 

AD KIDS SERVICES
TV COMMERCIALS
BRANDED CONTENT
TRAILERS
PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS
DIGITAL SHORTS

We're shooting our first branded campaign in Perth this Friday, which will be released online in the coming weeks.

Check out our Ad Kids showreel - launched today!