Local director Ashlee Page says winning a Sundance award is a “dream come true”.
The Kiss director was the recipient of Sundance’s Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, which recognised her as one of four emerging global independent filmmakers. Page collected the award at a private ceremony in Park City, Utah. It includes a $10,000 cash prize, which Page will use to develop her debut feature film Archive plus the award will allow the Adelaide director to participate in one of Sundance Institute’s Creative Labs. “I first attended the Sundance Film Festival in 1999 as a backpacker working as an usher, I had a blast and was offered a job for the following year,” Page said in a press release. “I was tempted but I’d decided that the next time I was at Sundance it would be as a filmmaker. So I came back to Adelaide in 2000 and enrolled at MAPS (Media Arts Production Skills) film school. Fifteen years later, I am thrilled to be back at Sundance. This award is quite literally a dream come true for me.” Page was one of 17 directors responsible for the 2013 Australian film The Turning while her short The Kiss (based on a Peter Goldsworthy short story) was praised by the Wall Street Journal as a “stand out short film”. Page is partnering with Closer Productions’ Rebecca Summerton to create her feature debut Archive, which is being developed via the South Australian Film Corporation’s FilmLab program. “Being part of FilmLab encouraged Rebecca and I to take narrative risks, to be bold, to create something new and unique that speaks from our hearts,” Page said. “Winning the Sundance Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award is an unbelievable confidence boost at this stage, encouraging me to continue to take risks, and hopefully, eventually make a unique and entertaining film.” SAFC’s CEO Richard Harris said Page’s award “caps off an amazing 2014 Sundance for the South Australian Film Corporation”. “We’re huge supporters of Ashlee as a filmmaker and she thoroughly deserves this award. This award caps off an amazing 2014 Sundance for the South Australian Film Corporation, with two SAFC-backed projects – 52 Tuesdays and the Bababdook – in competition and the My 52 Tuesdays project showcased at New Frontiers. “It is particularly exciting to have projects from our low budget FilmLab represented at the Festival, following on from the success of the 2010 FilmLab film Shut Up Little Man. I look forward to seeing the film that is created from Ashlee’s Global Filmmaking Award FilmLab script Archive at a future Sundance Festival.”