Aussie cinema site shortlisted

• Cinema Australia founder Matthew Eeles interviews Eric Bana. Photo supplied

• Cinema Australia founder Matthew Eeles interviews Eric Bana. Photo supplied

‘I wanted to create an online space that supported Australian filmmakers’

PERTH movie buff Matt Eeles has been shortlisted for two awards for his Cinema Australia website.

Since creating the site in October Eeles has snagged interviews with Eric Bana, Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and Robert Connolly, and established a hardcore online following.

The site is dedicated to home-grown Australian films and features independent news, reviews and interviews.

Eeles says he started the site as he was tired of Australian media overlooking local films and devoting so many column centimetres to Hollywood gossip.

“I wanted to create an online space that supported Australian filmmakers,” says Eeles, who is production manager at the Perth Voice. “Meeting the filmmaker and talking movies is the most enjoyable part: I’ve had a lot of fun chatting with directors like Palme d’Or winner Warwick Thornton and Mystery Road director Ivan Sen.

“The most memorable interview was my first with The Turning director Robert Connolly—he was so passionate about his craft.”

Eeles concedes he was starstruck when interviewing Bana in a Perth bar: “I only had 15 minutes with him but we ended up talking about AFL for about half an hour—it was like we had known each other for years. But interestingly, it’s been the smaller films that have attracted the most attention to Cinema Australia. The biggest hits we get come from films like Zoe.Misplaced, Burns Point and Perth film The Burning Kiss—most of them don’t even have a distributor yet.”

The Cinema Australia logo was created by Perth Voice cartoonist Jason Chatfield (who also draws the internationally syndicated Ginger Meggs), who incidentally has just landed a spot on Will Ferrell’s internet comedy channel Funny or Die.

http://www.cinemaaustralia.com.au was nominated by the Australian Writers’ Centre.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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