It is with great pleasure that Screen Queensland announces Queensland producer, Trish Lake’s film Early Winter has won the Venice Film Festival’s independently run Venice Days Award.

Early Winter had its World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 3 September and played to a full house receiving critical and popular acclaim.

Under the direction of Australian born writer-director Michael Rowe, Early Winter took out the prestigious Venice Days Award from 12 films selected from all over the world, and as given by the Official Jury of Venice Days, presided by French director Laurent Cantet and comprising participants of a European jury.

The Venice Days is an independent event on the fringes of the Venice Film Festival drawing attention to high-quality cinema with special note for innovation, research, originality and independence.

Originating in 2004, it has come to represent a real alternative to the Venice Film Festival’s official areas and an ideal and informal place for authors, producers, distributors and journalists to meet and discuss their ideas in an informal environment.

Early Winter has won a cash prize of €20,000, to be split equally between the filmmaker and the film’s international distributor, who agrees to use the sum received to promote the winning film internationally.

‘We are so proud of this achievement and congratulate the Queensland team who produced and co-produced the film,’ said CEO of Screen Queensland, Tracey Vieira.

‘I would also like to make special mention of Brisbane-based editor Geoff Lamb and post house Cutting Edge Australia who did the sound and picture post-production for the film.

‘Our Queensland talent are indeed some of the best in the world.’

Early Winter, is produced by Trish Lake’s company, Freshwater Pictures based in Brisbane. Trish is a leading independent producer in Queensland and her films include the Australian cinema classic, Gettin’ Square and she has previously been awarded the Screen Producers Australia Feature Film Producer of the Year.

The film is a Canadian/ Australian official co‐production with Possibles Media based in Canada.

Early Winter is the first English-language feature by 2010 Cannes Caméra d’Or-winning director and Australian born, Michael Rowe (Leap Year; The Well) who is based in Mexico and has worked on only Spanish-language films until now.. Michael wrote and directed the film drawing on real life insights from his family and friends’ experiences as health workers in nursing homes in country Victoria in Australia.

Starring acclaimed Canadian actor, Paul Doucet (Unité 9; Funkytown) and the 2012 Cannes Best Actress in Un Certain Regard, Suzanne Clément (Mommy; Laurence Anyways), Early Winter tells the story of a man in quiet crisis, working long hours at a rest home to support his family, that he feels may be on the edge of collapse.

Early Winter draws on universal themes of loneliness, detachment and isolation within relationships and is re-interpreted for a Canadian setting.

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