Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Matt Nable’s Transfusion, starring Sam Worthington, has won the coveted Red Poppy Award for Best Film at the Veterans Film Festival.

Jury Chair Bruce Beresford announced Transfusion as the winner of the prestigious Howard Frank Van Norton Award for Best Film among a cluster of Red Poppy Awards including Sam Worthington for Best Actor and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress for Causeway at the annual international Veterans Film Festival during a gala Closing Night on Sunday at the Entertainment Quarter in Sydney.

The coveted Red Poppy Awards, titled after the war poem ‘In Flanders Field’, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, saw films from 14 countries in competition across the 4 -day festival.

Writer, director and actor Matt Nable and producers Michael Schwarz and John Schwarz collected the $10,000 prize for the Best Film Award for Transfusion. Causeway, which opened the festival, won the Sgt Joseph Cecil Thompson Award (named in memory of the cornet player of the 9th Battalion Band that landed at Gallipoli in 1915) for Best Music by Alex Somers as well as Lawrence’s Best Actress gong.

Others Red Poppy Awards presented:

  • The Spectrum Films Award for Best Short Film went to US film Soldier by Justin Zimmerman. The prize includes $4000 cash and $2500 in post production support from Spectrum Films.
  • The Beyond Blue Award for the Best Film Reflecting Hope and Resilience went to The Healing by Nick Barkla.
  • The Award for Best Student Film was won by The Search by filmmaker and veteran Thomas Brouns.
  • The Best Music Video went to Better Off – song by Johnny Reveille, directed by Casey Andrew, both veterans.
  • The Harry Julius Award for Best Animation went to the Iranian film The Sprayer by Farnoosh Abedi.

Winners were selected by screen industry juries that included jury president Bruce Beresford, Lisa Hoppe, Jenni Baird, Alan Dukes, Julie Kalceff, Cameron Patrick, Petra Salsjö and Gus O’Brien-Cavanough.

A huge thank you to our partners and sponsors, including the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), Screen NSW, Spectrum Films, the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG), Australian National Veterans Art Museum (ANVAM), Waterhole Mixers, Dapper Chap Distillery, Veteran Brewing Company, our media and venue partners.

*Private Howard Frank Van Norton (1925 – 2012) was a veteran of the US Army in WW2 and is the late father of the Veterans Film Festival leading patron Kay Van Norton Poche. He landed in France on 8 June 1944, two days after the main D-Day landings. During the Allied advance through France he was shot in the back by the enemy while repairing communication lines. Wounded, he continued to repair the wiring until communication was restored to his Unit. For that action he was awarded a silver star and the Purple Heart. After the war Howard continued his service to others in the community all his life.