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Willie Rowe, Cathy Henkel, Sam Lara, John Beaton, Brooke Silcox, Celia Tait and Mat de Koning at the Brian Beaton Award Presentation

Screenwest Announces 2019 Brian Beaton Award Recipients

Screenwest is excited to announce the recipients of the 2019 Brian Beaton Award are teams Brooke Silcox and Mat de Koning, and Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel.

The 2019 Brian Beaton Award Recipients will receive $8,000 in production, development and outreach campaign funding for their social impact projects:

  • 29 YEARS EIGHT DAYS, Brooke Silcox and Mat de Koning: looking at the rise of a late Western Australian artist and his experience of epilepsy.
  • LAURA’S CHOICE, Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel: three generations of women come to terms with a radical approach to dying.

The Brian Beaton Award is awarded annually to a filmmaker or filmmakers with a current social impact project that needs further support to reach its full potential. The award’s creation is in recognition of the contribution Brian Beaton made to the screen industry in Western Australia and nationally over his 35-year career as a documentary maker.

Brian produced award-winning documentaries and factual programs for national and international markets and had various roles in the industry including Executive Producer at Artemis, and also worked as a Producer, Director and Writer in previous roles. His works included WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?, SAVING ANDREW MALLARD and SHAUN MICALLEF’S STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. Brian also contributed to the screen industry nationally through his advocacy and professional work with Screen Producers Australia, Screenwest and the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

At the award presentation on Tuesday, 1 October 2019, Brian’s brother John Beaton commented on the quality of the recipients’ projects, stating that his brother would have been proud to have his legacy support two such strong projects.

Celia Tait, long term business partner and friend of Brian said that it was extremely hard to choose between the two projects and the passionate stories that they would help share so therefore the decision was made to support both.

29 YEARS EIGHT DAYS Producer Brooke Silcox said, “We are incredibly honoured to receive this award and are determined to make a difference by improving the knowledge around the experience of epilepsy. This documentary comes out of a deep sadness for us, as we have lost three friends on our journey, but we are turning our loss into what we can only hope is a much, much greater good.”

Donations are open for continued support of 29 YEARS AND EIGHT DAYS through the Documentary Australia Foundation.

LAURA’S CHOICE Writer/Director Sam Lara said, “Receiving this award in honour of Brian Beaton is very special to us and we hope this project serves as a catalyst for a much-needed national conversation about end-of-life choices. I hope that by sharing Laura’s journey to Switzerland we can break down barriers and enable families to talk more openly about end of life decisions without fear, shame or feeling isolated from their communities. Thank you to the Beaton family, Celia Tait, Screenwest and all who contributed to this award.”

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe emphasised the importance of these projects’ stories stating, “Social impact stories have always been a large part of factual filmmaking in Australia. We are seeing new trends emerge as traditional filmmakers take advantage of the broad range of technologies and distribution platforms available to them. Social movement projects are leading the way using these platforms to support their storytelling and increase the impact of their projects, completely innovating the sector. Congratulations to both filmmaking teams and thank you to Brian’s family, friends and colleagues for your continued work to support this award.”


About The Brian Beaton Award

The Brian Beaton Award is open to current Western Australian residents of any level of experience who have a current factual social impact project in active development, or that has been recently produced for broadcast, theatrical or online distribution, including VR and interactive projects.

The Award is a financial grant comprised of Screenwest funding and Industry and Private donations.

The 2019 Brian Beaton Award is supported by Beach Street Lawyers, Factor 30 Films, Ric Curtin through Curtin productions, Michael Tucak of Creative Legal and Screenwest.


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