ADL Film Fest Announces 2016 Jim Bettison & Helen James Award Recipients

22 September 2016

– inaugural recipient Oration to be delivered at the 2016 ADELAIDE FESTIVAL OF IDEAS

The Adelaide Film Festival today announced the recipients of the annual Jim Bettison and Helen James Award, with not one but two recipients announced for the second year of the Award. Two bold and innovative individuals, adventurer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis and leading Australian dancer and choreographer Meryl Tankard, both take the honour of being a recipient of this prestigious award in 2016.

The 2016 recipients will be acknowledged at the Adelaide Festival of Ideas’ (AFoI) ‘Thinking Adelaide – a Passion for Connecting & Collecting’ event featuring the inaugural recipient of the Award, Greg Mackie OAM.

“Now in its second year, the calibre of applications was so strong that the panel decided to award two prizes. We congratulate these two amazing Australians and the 2016 recipients, Tim Jarvis and Meryl Tankard. We also welcome the Award’s inaugural recipient Greg Mackie OAM with the presentation of his work at the 2016 Adelaide Festival of Ideas” said Doreen Mellor, spokesperson for the Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation.

The free AFoI Oration and In Conversation with festival special guest Phillip Adams, 10am October 23 at Elder Hall, is an opportunity for Mackie to present and discuss the innovative work that the Award has enabled him to pursue. Mackie has been researching and working towards the establishment of a ‘Thinking Adelaide’ global network of innovators and thought leaders, drawn from participants of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and the former Adelaide Thinkers in Residence Program. The initiative, an extension of his life’s work, aims to enhance Adelaide’s national and international standing as a promoter and crucible of new thinking.

Greg Mackie said, “It was a privilege to be the inaugural recipient and I look forward to sharing the ideas that have evolved with the assistance of this incredibly generous Award. Connecting and collecting are in our cultural DNA!”

The Award, established in 2015 through The Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation, recognises individual Australians who have contributed exemplary and inspiring lifelong work of high achievement in their area of expertise, with benefit to the wider community. The $50,000 Award acknowledges the recipients achievement and enables them to further their work through the nominated project or activity, which in turn will benefit and enrich the community. The recipient may be from a number of fields, including the arts and humanities, social justice, the environment or the sciences.

Adelaide Film Festival Director and CEO Amanda Duthie said “Adelaide Film Festival is pleased to be working with the Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation and Perpetual Trustees to administer this award for its first three years. Seeing Greg Mackie’s bold project take shape reinforces the innovative artistry and enduring legacy that Jim and Helen fostered. To be involved in enabling such dynamic and inspiring activists and artists to further their work is a truly rewarding initiative for the festival to be a part of.”

2016 recipient Meryl Tankard is one of Australia’s pre-eminent dancers, choreographers and directors, with a long and distinguished career across the medium of dance in Australia and internationally, who continues to push the form in new creative directions.

Tankard is a former Artistic Director of Adelaide based Australian Dance Theatre, soloist with Pina Bausch’s world renowned Wuppertal Tanztheater and a creator of ballet, opera and music and dance theatre. More recently Meryl has focused on film and screen culture as a medium for expressing her artistic vision and drive. An AFTRS graduate, Tankard has appeared on screen as the subject of the documentary The Black Swan, starred in Dancing Daze produced by Jan Chapman, produced the choreography for Ana Kokkinos’ feature film The Book of Revelation and created the documentary Michelle’s Story, a portrait on dancer Michelle Ryan who was suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The Award will enable Tankard to further a number of projects that explore two themes central to her career as a choreographer and film-maker: the transformative power of art, and the positive impact that creativity can have on physical and mental health conditions.

Tankard will complete development on her feature film MAD, an illuminating journey of one woman’s experience of living with ‘madness’, Sandy Jeffs, a Melbourne-based poet and writer. Tankard will also edit footage of her acclaimed solo dance-theatre work Two Feet and digitise her stage works, making them available to be shared with educational institutions, the general public and future generations.

Tankard said, “I am very grateful to Jim Bettison and Helen James for creating this is unique and rare award which acknowledges and values the work of established Australian artists and their creative legacy. I am thrilled to be the recipient of this extraordinary award which will enable my work to be preserved and made available to other artists and the public and will allow me to embark on a major new project involving other important Australian voices.”

2016 recipient Tim Jarvis is an adventurer, environmental scientist, author, public speaker and filmmaker who, in 2013, led a team that retraced Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary 1916 journey to the Antarctic. He holds Masters degrees in environmental science and environmental law, is the Global Ambassador for World Wildlife Fund Australia and is the sustainability adviser on multilateral aid projects for the World Bank and AusAID.

Tim Jarvis is project leader of 25zero, an adventurous and visually spectacular global initiative against the biggest threat facing humanity, climate change. In 2015, 25zero teams summited seven mountains in three continents during the 12 days of the United Nations Climate Change talks (COP21) in Paris, sending footage, images and stories to COP21 where they were used to push decision makers to arrive at a meaningful agreement.

The Award will enable development of the phenomenal footage from the climbs into new forms, including a documentary, all of which are designed to educate and engage in the issue of climate change by ‘showing’ it.

Tim Jarvis said “I’m honoured and excited to be receiving the Bettison James Award to support making a documentary about 25zero. It’s a game changer for the project but also a massive shot in the arm for me personally knowing it represents recognition of my ongoing work in the climate change field. It simply couldn’t happen with the support of awards such as the Bettison James and I’m incredibly grateful for the support.”

 INTERVIEWS available with:

– Amanda Duthie, Director/CEO Adelaide Film Festival

– Greg Mackie OAM, AFOI Founder, Inaugural Recipient of the Jim Bettison and Helen James Award


MEDIA CONTACT: Alicia Brescianini, ABCG Publicity. PH: 0400 225 603 e: [email protected]

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