Sydney Film Festival 2010 Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award Winner Announced 1

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14th June 2010, 10:30pm - Views: 917

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Media Release

Monday 14 June 2010



Sydney Film Festival 2010 Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award Winner


The Peter Rasmussen Innovation Award, now in its second year, was awarded to

Peter Morse and announced tonight at the closing night of the Sydney Film Festival.

Established by a board of trustees made up of friends and collaborators of the

innovative Australian filmmaker Peter Rasmussen who have committed to raise the

funds in perpetuity for the

purpose of awarding a $5,000 cash prize, the Peter

Rasmussen Innovation Award, is given each year at Sydney Film Festival to an

Australian whose work in film, machinima or new media embodies a visionary spirit

and a relentless determination in the face of

obstacles –

financial or otherwise –


create high quality works for the screen.The recipient’s work may be described as

fringe, maverick, innovative. It may be pushing boundaries in form or mode of

production, and may sit outside the usual categories of

films shown at the festival.

Peter Morse has over 20 years experience in sophisticated visualisation techniques

and content creation.He has in-depth technical skills and production experience in

diverse fields such as 3D data visualisation, volumetric rendering, stereoscopic

immersive virtual and augmented reality systems and computer programming –


well as video, photographic and film production, audio design and music. He has a

wide-ranging creative practice and has exhibited digital media works around

Australia and internationally in the USA, Germany, Britain, France, Finland and


On behalf of The Peter Rasmussen Trustees, Rosemary Blight said “Peter Morse’s

work demonstrates an incredibly high level of technical innovation and practice,

including leading work in 3D data visualisation. Peter’s works across both sciences

and arts opens up ways for compelling narratives to play on all types of screens and

in a huge variety of ways. Peter is an exciting artist to be awarded the Peter

Rasmussen Fellowship.”

Peter Rassmussen Innovation Award Trustees:

Jackie Turnure, Mark Abicht, Rosemary Blight, David Caesar, Robert Connolly,

James Bogle, Chris Hilton, Martin Brown, Liz Doran, Greg Woodland, Marty Murphy,

Mark Ward, Daniel Nettheim, Phillip Johnston, Shilo McClean, Peter Giles, Mary

O'Malley, George Mannix, Leon Marvell, Lech Mackiewicz, Susan Gibbeson, Ben

Grant, Victor Gentile, Lucas Bone, Linda Tizard

Who was Peter Rasmussen?

Danish-born Australian filmmaker Peter Rasmussen was best known in the

Australian Film Industry as the co-writer of the feature film ‘In the Winter Dark’. Yet

Peter’s work sat largely outside the commercial mainstream. From writing Australia’s

first no-budget feature, ‘Mad Bomber in Love’, to writing and directing innovative

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award-winning short films ‘The Picture Woman’ and the machinima short ‘Killer

Robots’, to co-creating the world’s first full-length machinima feature, ‘Stolen Life’,

Peter’s works were always independently generated, passionate endeavours, made

on ‘the smell of an oily rag’. In a business where the word artist is scorned, Peter

worked as one – though he would have been mortified to hear himself described as

such. His films were made because he felt they had to be made, by any means

necessary. The lack of money never deterred him from his drive to create. When his

chosen medium of film became too costly for him to pursue, Peter took a detour into

the new medium of machinima, in which he is now known as a world pioneer. 

It’s ironic to hear him described as “visionary” because Peter was legally blind. The

macular degenerative eye disease that left him with only peripheral vision, had forced

his career move twenty years ago from cinematographer to screenwriter. In order to

write, he invented and adapted various optical apparatus to enable him to see the

computer screen. Weary of being ‘the blind filmmaker’, Peter took his life in March,

2008. Some months earlier, Peter Rasmussen’s and Jackie Turnure’s machinima

feature ‘Stolen Life’ had won the major award at the New York Machinima Filmfest

2007. The New York Festival has named an annual honorary award in recognition of

Peter’s enormous contribution to pioneering this new medium.

Award supporter

This year’s award has been supported by Screen NSW and not only shows the

agency’s understanding of the contribution Peter Rasmussen made to our creative

industry but also of the importance of innovation in all screen forms.


About Sydney Film Festival 

The 57th Sydney Film Festival is a proud partner of the NSW Government through

the departments of Industry & Investment NSW and Communities NSW through Arts

NSW, the Federal Government through Screen Australia, and the City of Sydney.

The festival’s Official Competition partner is the NSW Government through Events


Sydney Film Festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and

animations across the city at the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street,

Dendy Opera Quays, the Art Gallery of NSW and Sydney Opera House. Sydney Film

Festival is a key cultural event on the New South Wales Master Events Calendar and

is one of the world’s longest running film festivals. In 2008, SFF introduced the

Official Competition, a FIAPF-accredited competition for ‘new directions in film’,

which rewards courageous and audacious filmmaking. The Official Competition is

supported by the NSW Government through Events NSW and offers a $60,000 cash

prize. In 2010, Jan Chapman, multi-award winning Australian producer is Jury

President. She is joined by John Cooper, Sundance Film Festival Director, Australian

Director Shirley Barrett, British filmmaker Lucy Walker and Hong Kong Director

Yonfan who will determine the winning film.

For all media requests please contact The Lantern Group:


0403 176 988


0409 033 121 


0422 553 343

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0404 111 919


0408 114 864 

All film images are available for media in the ‘Film Stills’ folder at

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