'SMALL TOWN HACKERS' NOMINATED FOR 2018 ATOM AWARD

Hold the phone! Our web series Small Town Hackers has just received a 2018 ATOM AWARD nomination in the category of ‘Best Web Series’.

The ATOM Awards recognise film and media excellence. Since 1982, the ATOM Awards have been celebrating the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals. They are the second-longest-running film and media awards in Australia, behind the AFI/AACTA Awards, having been held annually for over thirty-five years.

This year, The 2018 ATOM Awards feature thirty-four categories covering everything from feature-length films and television programs to animation, short fiction, educational resources, and new media including web series, apps and games.

Small Town Hackers is one of four Australian web series to receive a nomination in its category. The web series was directed by ADG Award winner Henry Inglis and written by Mad Kids’ Inglis, Matt Lovkis and Joel Gray. It was commissioned by US platform Above Average and collectively the series has received over 400,000 hits on YouTube.

But wait, there’s more! Rift, a short drama written by Mad Kids production co-ordinator Clare Toonen, has also received a nomination for ‘Best Tertiary Short Fiction’. The film, made in collaboration with the Aboriginal Theatre students at WAAPA in 2017, was made during Toonen’s year of post-graduate study at the WA Screen Academy.

The winners of the 2018 ATOM Awards will be announced on Thursday 29 November at a live ceremony at the Alex Theatre in Melbourne.

JOEL GRAY AND CLARE TOONEN PROMOTED TO PRODUCTION COORDINATORS

We are thrilled to announce we have promoted Joel Gray and Clare Toonen to Production Coordinators, as we look to diversify our slate of television projects, as well as grow our commercial division, Ad Kids.

Joel and Clare will play an integral role in building the capacity and efficiency of our small business.

Since launching Ad Kids earlier this year, we have already produced content for Water Corporation, Fringe World, Woodside, Swan Valley, Telstra Perth Fashion Festival and Jungle Entertainment.

Our Ad Kids collective consists of six Western Australian directors; Henry Inglis, Matt Lovkis,
Zoe Pepper, Mat de Koning, Joe Henderson and David Vincent Smith and twoWestern Australian producers; Lauren Elliott and Anthea Smyth.

Gray is an emerging writer/director/producer and comedy aficionado. Since joining Mad Kids as an intern in 2015, he has assisted Mad Kids across all things development, production and post-production, and has also secured two screenwriting credits on two web series, Small Town Hackersand Aussie Rangers. He starred as ‘Joel the Intern’ in satirical web series, DAFUQ?and he also joined Lauren, Matt and Henry on a pitching trip to Los Angeles in 2017. In addition to his filmmaking expertise, he has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Western Australia.

“It’s so great that we get to develop comedy projects here in Perth and I’m really excited about where Mad Kids is heading. I can’t believe that after three years, they still haven’t fired me.” said Gray.

Toonen is an emerging screenwriter and lifelong film buff. Since volunteering as a Production Assistant earlier this year, she was offered a three-month internship assisting Mad Kids across their slate of comedy and commercial projects. In 2017, she completed a Master of Screen Studies at the WA Screen Academy and her graduation short film, You, Me and Karen won the Channel 9 Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting. In 2018, Clare was awarded $10,000 Generate short film production funding from Screenwest for her script, Brotherswhich is set for release in 2019.

"I'm stoked that Mad Kids want to keep me around! It's so exciting to be part of a fast-growing narrative comedy team right here in Perth. I can't wait to assist in the development of brand new local comedy series." said Toonen.

Mad Kids is represented by CAA in Los Angeles, which has resulted in a number of exciting opportunities in the US, including a producing partnership with Sacha Baron Cohen’s production company, Four By Two, who saw “early shades of Ali G” in Mad Kids’ work, as well as their series Small Town Hackers being commissioned by Above Average, Saturday Night Live’s digital studio.

Our latest projects include two web series, The Big Spaghetti written by Zoe Pepper, Adriane Daff and Tim Watts and LIFT created by and starring Lucy Durack. Both series are set to premiere online later this year.

We are passionate about making premium television and telling great stories with authentic characters, and we’re delighted to welcome Joel and Clare aboard our growing team!

'MARGARET'S GOT TALENT' WINS FUNNIEST SKETCH AT CINÉFESTOZ

We won! Our Mad Kids Originals sketch, Margaret's Got Talent, was awarded Funniest Sketch at Australia's Funniest Shorts as part of CinéfestOZ 2018!

Starring Tegan Mulvany, Emily Rose Brennan, James Helm, Liam Graham and Cameron Whiteford, Margaret's Got Talent was directed by Henry Inglis and produced by Lauren Elliott. We're delighted to receive a cash prize of $500, which we are of course putting towards producing more comedy - hopefully this means we'll be seeing Australia's Funniest Shorts again next year!

The screening, part of CineféstOZ, took place at the Rose Hotel in Bunbury on Saturday 25 August. A massive thanks goes out to to the event organisers, our talented MKO team and to the audience for watching (and for laughing!).

MKO is our 100% Western Australian YouTube channel and collective releasing sketches, music videos, animations, web series and digital shorts year round. Visit and subscribe to the channel here, and watch Margaret's Got Talent below!

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!