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Screenwest has announced Brooke Silcox and Mat de Koning and Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel as the recipients of the 2019 Brian Beaton Award.
The 2019 Brian Beaton Award Recipients will receive $8,000 in production, development and outreach campaign funding for their social impact projects.
Brooke Silcox and Mat de Koning’s 29 Years Eight Days looks at the rise of a late Western Australian artist and his experience of epilepsy while Sam Lara and Cathy Henkel’s Laura’s Choice followsthree 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. 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 Tate, 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.
“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,” said Brooke Silcox.
Donations are open for continued support of 29 Years Eight Days through the Documentary Australia Foundation.
“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 Tate, Screenwest and all who contributed to this award,” said Laura’s Choice writer and director Sam Lara.