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2018 National Religious Short Film Prize winner announced

August 9th, 2018

• 2018 biennial national Religious Short Film Prize announced at special presentation ceremony at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra on Wednesday 8 August 2018. • The Giver, by two AFTRS students, awarded $5,000 prize • Presentation showcases film and commitment to the cultivation of the arts in relation to faith and life • The Prize gives filmmakers the opportunity to keep the religious spirit alive through film

The Charles Sturt University (CSU) Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACC&C) announced the winners of the 2018 Religious Short Film Prize at a special ceremony in Canberra tonight. The Executive Director of ACC&C, the Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, hosted the event at the Chapel of the ACC&C and said the presentation of the prize has national significance. CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann announced the winners and the $5,000 prize was presented by the prize donors Mr and Mrs Clive and Lynlea Rodger. Professor Pickard said the Religious Short Film Prize presentation showcases the commitment of the ACC&C to the cultivation of the arts in relation to faith and life. The awarding of our second biennial Religious Short Film Prize continues the important development of religious Professor Pickard said. The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture has developed a strong focus on the arts through poetry, drama, music, painting and film. The arts open a way thorugh which the vision of the Centre-to encourage thoughtful and robust interaction between Christian faith, other faith traditions, belief and culture-can be extended and realised. "Film is an especially significiant medium through which issues to do with religion, meaning and social problems can be engaged with in an open and inquiring manner. We are excigted about the future of this prize and the opportunities it will give, especially to young filmmakers, to keep the religious spirit alive through film." Professor Pickard paid particular tribute to the generosity of the prize donors and long-time residents of Canberra, Mr and Mrs Clive and Lynlea Rodger, who have been deeply committed to making faith in God real in everyday life and society. The Rodgers come from a business and management background, studied theology at Princeton in New Jersey, USA, and have continued in theological and ethical engagements, Professor Pickard said. Clive is a member of the Board of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, and member of the Executive. Both rejoice to see the short d the human search for meaning. The three judges for the 2018 Religious Short Film Prize were Reverend Dr David Millikan, Dr Susan Murphy, and Mr Steve Mason. Read more about them here. The 2018 Religious Short Film Prize Winner: The Giver (5 minutes) by Mr Jamey Foxton and Mr Ryan Simpson, two Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) students, one a sponsored skateboarder ( The judges commented: • ‘A highly accomplished, theologically confident and visually deft contemplative short film. Using black and white cinematography to quietly powerful effect, the filmmaker maintains authority throughout a steady, low-key, parable-like exploration of the central problem posed within Ecclesiastes; that mortal human life is essentially without intrinsic meaning or basis for any lasting joy. The Giver manages to find expressive means to convey transcendence in the ordinary - not just in its judicious use of slowed, gravity-defying skateboarding imagery-but just as much in teh dry leaves the skateboard passes through, or the sunlight bursting around a human head and shoulders as a person walks out from under trees. This is no small feat. We’re left with a sure sesne of what is so constantly and freely given, right in front of our eyes. This short film manages to give us the eyes to see it.’