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Late WA doco producer honoured with Stanley Hawes Award

The late Brian Beaton (Who Do You Think You Are?, Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven, Desperately Seeking Sheila), a WA-based documentary producer from Artemis International, has been posthumously awarded the Stanley Hawes Award, for outstanding contribution to the documentary sector in Australia.

The award recognises a producer, director, editor, cinematographer, sound recordist, facilitator, educator, broadcaster or distributor in Documentary.

The award will be presented to Artemis Managing Director Celia Tait and Brian’s older brother and fellow documentarian John Beaton, at the Australian International Documentary Conference in Melbourne next week.

“I had the honour of meeting Brian when I worked briefly in Western Australia in the late 1980’s. Like everyone, I was immediately taken by his warmth, good humour and infectious enthusiasm for this work,” said AIDC CEO and Conference Director Andrew Wiseman.

“It can be a long and sometimes arduous journey making documentaries and it’s wonderful when, along the way, you meet someone who makes the path that little bit more enjoyable. I’m delighted that John and Celia will be delivering this year’s Stanley Hawes oration.”

Brian Beaton died suddenly last June.

Brian’s career spanned over 35 years, producing award-winning documentaries and factual programs for national and international markets. He founded Artemis in 1999 with business partner Celia Tait and produced many award- winning projects, including Saving Andrew Mallard, Shaun Micallef’s Stairway to Heaven, The Dreamhouse, Desperately Seeking Sheila and, with co-producer Serendipity Productions, seven seasons of Who Do You Think You Are?

Brian had also worked as a director and writer, and contributed extensively to the national screen industry through his advocacy and professional work with organisations like Screen Producers Australia and AIDC. He was a strong supporter of AIDC, and played a significant part in organising the 2001, 2004 and 2008 conferences in Perth and Fremantle, Western Australia.

Brian was acknowledged by his peers with a number of accolades, including 2012 SPAA Documentary Producer of the Year, 2002 SPAA Independent Documentary Producer, and Outstanding Contribution to the Western Australian Screen Industry (West Australian Screen Awards 2002).

Brian Beaton joins a formidable group of Stanley Hawes Awards recipients, including such Australian documentary luminaries as Sonya Pemberton (2016), Chris Hilton (2014) and Julia Overton (2012).
Established to acknowledge outstanding contributions by a person or organisation to documentary in Australia, the Award also pays tribute to its namesake, Stanley Hawes – prolific factual filmmaker and first Producer-in-Chief of the Australian Film Board (from 1946-1969).

As part of AIDC 2017’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations, The NFSA (National Film and Sound Archive) has curated a special compilation to celebrate the milestone, with 10 early films by former recipients of the Stanley Hawes Award, produced between 1947 and 2006.

Featuring such notable films as Journey of a Nation (John Heyer, Stanley Hawes Award 1999 – pictured), Far From the Frontline (John Hughes, Stanley Hawes Award 2006) and Rats in The Ranks (Bob Connolly, Stanley Hawes Award 2009), this specially curated program of Stanley Hawes documentaries will be available to view on-demand at the Australian Mediatheque in ACMI during AIDC 2017.

The documentaries are proudly presented by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, a collaborative partner with ACMI for the Australian Mediatheque.

AIDC takes place from Sunday March 5 – Wednesday March 8.

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