Emma Macey-Storch Wins Inaugural Ferguson Film Prize at SWIFF

Emma Macey-Storch (R) received the inaugural Ferguson Film Prize for ‘Geeta’ with Atul Kumar Singh
(L) and Neeta Mahoor (SWIFF)

EMMA Macey-Storch was announced as the winner of the inaugural Ferguson Film Prize at the Closing Night of the Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF).

The director of the documentary ‘Geeta’ will receive a $3000 personal cash prize, a trophy, and an official accreditation.

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Ms Macey-Storch is an award-winning director and producer, having worked across documentary, animation and fiction, on projects with a social justice focus.

Her sophomore feature documentary, Geeta, is both a personal tale of a mother fighting for her daughter’s destiny and a powerful call to action against domestic violence.

After surviving a malicious acid attack at the hands of her husband, leaving both Geeta and her daughter, Neetu, badly injured, both women are left to grapple with poverty and social ostracism.

But they have also joined a burgeoning social justice movement working to end violence against women, catapulting Geeta onto a global stage, as co-founder of a local activist movement Sheroes, and in her fight for law reform and justice.

Nine directors were nominated for the Prize, in honour of the late Kate Ferguson, including Leah Purcell for ‘The Drover’s Wife’ and Allan Clarke for ‘The Bowraville Murders’.

‘Geeta’ was judged as featuring the most captivating, daring, and ambitious storytelling.

Bonnie Ferguson thanked the SWIFF organisers and said, “Mum really wanted to support young creatives.”

She said the judges, who included acclaimed Australian director Kriv Stenders, Sydney Film Prize-winning documentarian Sascha Ettinger-Epstein, and ABC News Breakfast’s film critic Zak Hepburn, watched the nine films nominated and then discussed them.

Ms Macey-Storch accepted the Prize and thanked the audience for supporting her campaign.

David Horsley, co-director of SWIFF, said approximately 10,000 people attended SWIFF 2022.

“Supporting Australian film runs in our blood as a festival – and that starts with supporting Australian filmmakers.

“We are thrilled with the jury’s decision to award the inaugural Ferguson Film Prize to Emma Macey-Storch, and honoured to carry on the legacy of Kate Ferguson.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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