Featured photo- Lexi Laphor in ‘The Glass Bedroom’, an Arts Bite Project.

Ready for Mardi Gras 2018? It will be the 40th anniversary and the creative juices of Australian LGBTQI documentary filmmakers must be bubbling like champagne as Screen Australia and ABC TV Arts announce LOVE BITES.

In recognition of the milestone, Screen Australia and ABC TV Arts have teamed up to provide an national platform for Australian LGBTQI filmmakers … a curated series of 10 x 5 minute shorts to be premiered on the ABC Arts channel on iview during Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in March 2018. Under the banner LOVE BITES applications are now being received and will close Sunday August 6th.

The initiative is backed by funding and practical support. ABC TV and Screen Australia will commit a total of $100,000 to this initiative, offering 10 filmmakers $10,000 each to make the short film for delivery in January 2018. Each team will be supported by a Screen Australia Investment Manager and an ABC Digital Arts Commissioning Editor. Continue reading LOVE BITES : A DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING LGBTQI INITIATIVE


Knocking the Who Do You Think You Are? concept out of the ring, THE PANTHER WITHIN is a winning technical and emotional knock-out of a film.

In a tag team bout of several suspenseful rounds, film-maker Edoardo Crismani and his mother Barbara embark on a search to unravel the mystery surrounding Barbara’s father Joe Murray, an indigenous boxing champion who danced and sang vaudeville, and married a blue-eyed blond white woman in 1930s Australia. Astonishing!

On the ropes as far as reliable historical documentation regarding Joe Murray, mother and son journey across the land, from Adelaide to Mildura, Melbourne and Ballarat. They trawl through libraries, meet with researchers, historians and Aboriginal elders, delving into the hidden heritage of the man known as The Black Panther, trying to piece his story together. Continue reading THE PANTHER WITHIN : A STRIKING NEW AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY


This is apparently the most expensive cable television series ever produced. If you loved The Queen and the live screening of the National Theatre’s production of The Audience also starring Helen Mirren as the Queen, you will adore this series as they were all written by Peter Morgan.

This lavish Netflix original drama chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth 11 from the 1940s to 1956 in this first series of ten episodes. The second series is currently being produced but subsequent series will have new sets of actors as the Queen and Prince Phillip age.

The series begins with an inside look at the early reign of the Queen who ascended the throne when she was 25. Continue reading THE CROWN


The Season 2 Premiere of this silly, slyly satirical police comedy took place at the Golden Age cinema Surry Hills on Tuesday October 25. It involves Quentin Tarintino like dialogue and the police drama trope of helicopetr shots of the big city at night, in this case Sydney.

The script was sufficiently appealing to lure back Rose Byrne and Damon Herriman from Hollywood to participate in Season 2. STAN Pay TV Channel, for the most part sponsored the first two seasons  and announced that continues funding will be available for a third season.

The Blue Carpet was walked by some of No Activity stars including Dan Wyllie, Harriet Dyer, Genevieve Morris, David Field, Chum Aehelepola and Susie Youssef. Celebrity friends such as John Jarrett (Wolf Creek) and Sophie Hensser (Love Child) turned up to lend support.

All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Toast Of London TV Series Comes To DVD

Toast of London- Series 2

Luvvies love looking in and TOAST OF LONDON is a luvvie fest that looks in on London’s likeliest contender for worst actor, Steven Toast.

Actually, Toast isn’t really such a bad actor, it’s just that he has either made bad choices or has had an agent make bad choices for him. At least he’s a working actor which is more than can be said by many. Although he does seem to spend an inordinately long time having tete de tete with his agent, Jane.

Co-created and starring Matt Berry as the eponymous Toast, TOAST OF LONDON is part sit com, part satire and part musical which takes to abseiling absurdity as gleefully as it does descending to the gutters of smut and potty humour in the best British tradition and does not scorn soft comedy porn or scoff at politically incorrect opportunities to lambast and skewer.

Continue reading Toast Of London TV Series Comes To DVD

2015 Logie Nominations Announced

Inset pic- Jake Freeman  interviews Samantha Jade  who has been nominated for  most popular new talent for her performance in INXS- Never Tear Us Apart. Featured Pic- Amanda Keller and the Block judge Shaynne Blaze emceed the event
Inset pic- Jake Freeman interviews Samantha Jade who has been nominated for most popular new talent for her performance in INXS- Never Tear Us Apart. Featured Pic- Amanda Keller and the Block judge Shaynne Blaze emceed the event

It’s going to feel like déjà vu at this year’s Logies with three previous winners and three previously nominated contenders in the running for Australian television’s highest award; The Gold Logie.

Scott Cam, winner of the 2014 Gold Logie goes up against 2013 Gold Logie winner Asher Keddie and 2012 Gold Logie winner Hamish Blake. Joining the race for the golden statute is Hamish’s partner and funny man Andy Lee, and Home and Away star Stephen Peacocke who is going for his second Gold Logie nomination. Going for her fourth nomination is The Project co-host, Carrie Bickmore.

Continue reading 2015 Logie Nominations Announced

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular @ Qantas Credit Union Arena

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular-cybermen

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is a musical celebration of the iconic BBC television series which started in 1963, and in 2014 celebrated its 50th anniversary. This extraordinary musical event, has been inspired by the BBC Doctor Who Proms held each year at London’s Royal Albert Hall, since 2008.

An enormous improvement on  the limitations  of the BBC Doctor Who Proms, The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular was last seen in Sydney from 15 to 21 December 2012 at the Sydney Opera House with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular has finally returned to Australia. Touring during January and February 2015 in Adelaide, Perth and then with two SYDNEY sold-out shows at the Qantas Credit Union Arena on Saturday 7th February 2015.

Continue reading Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular @ Qantas Credit Union Arena


Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts



Awards Ceremony Hosts Cate Blanchett and Deborah Mailman were joined on stage by a star-studded line up of presenters including Geoffrey Rush (AACTA president), Lachy HulmeStephen Curry and cricketer Brett Lee to honour Australia’s best achievements in Australian film and television at the 4th  AACTA  Awards Ceremony, held at The Star Event Centre, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, SYDNEY, NSW.

FILM & DOCUMENTARY AWARDS In an unusual though not unprecedented twist, an equal tie for Best Film was announced, with  two feature films awarded the AACTA Award for Best FilmTHE BABADOOK (by first-time feature film director, Jennifer Kent) and THE WATER DIVINER (also marking a directorial debut for Russell Crowe). THE BABADOOK  also took home the  AACTA Award  for  Best Direction presented by Hyundai Genesis , and ^ Best Original Screenplay .


2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards and Nominees

2015 winners Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards)
2015 winners Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards)

2015 SAG Awards and Nominees    

Yes you can catch up with the full list of SAG winners, if you were watching the Miss Universe Pageant Contest instead. All the winners of the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards  have now been announced at the annual awards gala event, that was held at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles, on Sunday Evening 25th January 2015.

Continue reading 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards and Nominees

Molly Tells, Um, His Story

The very unique Ian Molly Meldrum
The very unique and much loved Ian Molly Meldrum

Considering Molly Meldrum’s meandering and stumbling interview style, it seems a minor miracle that he lasted on Countdown for so long (thirteen years, from 1974 to 1987). Journalist Jennifer Byrne famously described Meldrum as a ‘truly awful’ interviewer. Others described Countdown as ‘the ultimate squirm tv’ (Deborah Conway). Still, he has been recognised for his contributions to Australian music over the years, from his earliest days at Go-Set rock magazine in 1966.

Though Meldrum had Jeff Jenkins help on this project, the story is told in Meldrum’s voice. It is a very funny, anecdote laden book with all of Meldrum’s most famous interviews and celebrity stoushes, though he is very quick to kiss and make up. Meldrum’s take on Elton John’s 1984 Sydney wedding to Renate Blauel? Elton simply wanted to knock Michael Jackson from the headlines. (Jackson’s hair had accidentally been set on fire while filming a Pepsi ad two weeks earlier). In an ironic twist, when Jackson toured Sydney more than a decade later he married the pregnant Deborah Rowe here. Sydney seemed, for a while at least, to be the place for the famous and sexually confused to tie the knot.                              Continue reading Molly Tells, Um, His Story

Antenna Awards 2014: Community TV’s Big Night

Richard McLelland Channel 31 General Manager interviewed by Jake Freeman
Richard McLelland Channel 31 General Manager interviewed by Jake Freeman

There was an impressive turnout at the Antenna Awards that were held on Wednesday night at the Deakin Edge Theatre at Federation Square. Over 400 representatives from the community television sector, the film and television industry, local business and local, state and federal governments were in attendance.

The event was hosted by Tegan Higginbotham with guest presenters such as former community television personalities Dave Thorton and Tommy Little.

These awards recognise and showcase outstanding community television programs across Australia. This year the event also celebrated the milestone of 20 years of programming by Channel 31 Australia, the country’s largest community broadcaster, now broadcasting digitally on Channel 44. Continue reading Antenna Awards 2014: Community TV’s Big Night

The Amateur Monster Movie

Second PicIf you like truth in advertising, then you’re going to love the title of this week’s film screening on TVS: The Amateur Monster Movie (2011). It certainly is amateur, and it is indeed a movie (if only in the strictest technical sense). The only thing wrong with the title is the word ‘monster’ because there’s more than one! That’s right, this is both a zombie movie AND a werewolf movie! Now that’s real value for money! It’s the first feature film starring, written, directed, produced, catered and edited by twenty-two-year-old Milwaukeean Jozef Kyle Richards – presumably because no one else would. The title tells you right away that it’s going to be both campy and goofy (along with the other five dwarfs) and played strictly for laughs. Continue reading The Amateur Monster Movie


Moderator Anthony McCormack, host David M Green and scorekepper Sophie Loughran
Moderator Anthony McCormack, host David M Green and scorekepper Sophie Loughran

The third season of everyone’s favourite, low budget TV game show premieres tonight and Jake Freeman looks for answers.

It’s a typical Thursday evening at RMITV’s Swanston Street studio and a new episode of 31 Questions will be shot over the next 2 hours. Comedian and warm-up person Michael Connell entertains the audience as they take their seat and glance around the studio thinking the usual, “Wow, it’s smaller in here than it looks on TV” thought before the cameras roll.

At 8:15 PM, host and co – creator David M. Green bounces onto the set, flashing his boyish grin and wearing his trademark brown jacket saturated with questions marks. He’s greeted by rapturous applause. Score keeper Sophie Loughran closely follows and receives a warm reception. Moderator Anthony McCormack is last to enter with the audience booing him like the Collingwood cheer squad does to the umpire.

Continue reading 31 QUESTIONS


Dr Chris Brown and Julia Morris hosted the 56th Logies Awards nomination event at Club 23, Crown Towers
Dr Chris Brown and Julia Morris hosted the 56th Logies Awards nomination event at Club 23.

Drama and miniseries are up for the big awards at this year’s TV’s night of nights, The 56th Logies, which is just around the corner and the complete list of the nominees was announced this week at Crown’s Club 23. Actress and comedian Julia Morris and Bondi vet Doctor Chris Brown hosted the event.

First time nominees for the Gold Logie are: The Block’s Scott Cam and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries actress Essie Davis. Joining them in the contest for the top prize is 2013 Gold Logie winner, Asher Keddie, Andy Lee, Carrie Bickmore and Stephen Peacocke from Home and Away. Three out of the five nominees are from drama/miniseries.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is also nominated for the Most Popular Drama and Essie Davis is in the running for Most Popular Actress. Although the show rated highly with more than 1 million viewers per episode, its future on the ABC’s programschedule also remains a mystery as the public broadcaster has not yet commissioned a third series, despite strong fan support.

Carrie Bickmore, the last original host for The Project is up for the Gold for the second time in a row. Speaking with the Sydney Arts Guide, the presenter was humble about being nominated and the challenges of working in an ever changing industry. Her co-hosts Dave Hughes and Charlie Pickering have since left The Project.
In a bid to shorten the ceremony, the Most Popular New Male Talent and Most Popular New Female Talent awards will be merged into the Most Popular New Talent category, becoming gender non-specific. The award for Most Popular Factual Program has also been eliminated.

Although the Logies have always been the battleground between channels Seven and Nine, the ABC and pay TV provider Foxtel are also dominating the nominations for drama and miniseries/telemovie categories.

Foxtel’s Wentworth is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series and its main star Danielle Cormack is up for Outstanding Actress. Foxtel’s other show, Top of the Lake, is nominated for Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie, which breaks the tradition of only free-to-air TV being showcased at the Logies.

Not to be outdone, the ABC’s Paper Giants, Redfern Now, The Time of Our Lives and An Accidental Soldier are also competing for the silver.

From the commercial networks, it’s Seven’s A Place To Call Home, Nine’s Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story and Ten’s Offspring.

Interestingly, The Voice and Australia’s Got Talent are the only variety or talent shows that will be up against four scripted comedies: SBS’s Housos and the ABC’s It’s A Date, Please Like Me and Upper Middle Bogan in the Outstanding Light Entertainment Program category.

The TV Week Logie Awards ceremony will be screened on the Nine Network on Sunday, 27 April from the Palladium at Crown Casino.


Costume Designer Marion  Boyce celebrating at the opening of her exhibiition at the Old Government House, Parramatta
AACTA Award winning costume designer Marion Boyce in great spirits at the opening of her exhibition at Old Government House, Parramatta. Pic John Gollings

From a very early age, Marion Boyce discovered her love of clothes and fabrics.  She says, “I used to drive my mother nuts,  and at about age eleven I’d say, I want a full length denim coat, and she’d come home with one and I’d say, No, it’s the wrong cut”. After that, Marion was given a budget to buy her own clothes.

The talent for costume making could well be in Marion’s genes as her great grandmother was a master lace maker in Italy. Marion went on to study fashion design at RMIT college in Melbourne and began presenting fashion parades in nightclubs.  A producer/director saw her show and asked her to do a film, which is how it all began.