A documentary created by two lecturers from USQ’s School of Arts and Communication has been nominated for three awards in the inaugural OzFlix Independent Film Awards.
Written and directed by Leonie Jones and produced by Dr Daryl Sparkes, the documentary titled The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral tells the largely untold and unknown story of the longest and hardest battle fought by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War.
The documentary took seven years to make, in which time, as part of her PhD research, Ms Jones travelled across Australia and Vietnam to interview more than 150 veterans who were involved in the battle at fire support bases in Coral and Balmoral. It was first broadcast in November, 2016 on Foxtel’s The History Channel and will screen again on Anzac Day 2018 in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary of the battle in May.
The OzFlix Independent Film Awards, dubbed “The Ozzies”, celebrate the achievements of independent Australian films made for less than $5 million and recognise the outstanding efforts of talented practitioners who work within the film industry.
Ms Jones, a lecturer in Film Production and Cinema Studies at USQ Toowoomba, said more than 100 films were up for nomination with The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral honoured in the same categories as multi-million dollar feature films such as Sweet Country and The Butterfly Tree. “We are up against some exceptional films and for our documentary to be recognised, in several categories in this class, is an honour,” she said.
“I am also very proud that an Australian story, the story of a Battalion of Australian Vietnam War soldiers, has been recognised and supported by the industry. The veterans of the Battle of Coral and Balmoral are now becoming one of our Anzac stories and I am thrilled for the recognition they will receive through this nomination.”
The documentary was created with production support from special effects technician James Miller, camera operators Stuart Thorp and Daniel Maddock, and animations from Matt Nielsen.
The Battle of Fire Support Base Coral landed an “Ozzie” nomination in the categories of ‘Best Production Design’, ‘Best Sound Design’ and ‘Best Special Visual Effects’. The winners will be announced in Melbourne Saturday April 7th.
To learn more about studying media production at USQ, visit www.usq.edu.au/study/degrees/arts/film-television-and-radio.