Outback Oscar bid

FILMMAKERS Alison James and Brooke Tia Silcox are calling on some hometown support to get their short film Judas Collar up for the 2020 Oscars. 

The pair, who split their time between Perth and Hollywood, will be releasing a free online version of Judas Collar from this Monday in a bid to rack up views, which helps their chances in the Oscars.

The film is based on the real-life practice of camel culling, where one animal is fitted with a satellite tracking collar and released into the outback. 

They’re social animals who can form group bonds outside their family, and soon seek out a new herd. 

The collar gives away the position, the herd is tracked and shot from a helicopter, then the Judas camel wanders off to find another group. 

• The Judas and friend.

All-camel cast

After hearing of the practice, James quit her full time job and started writing Judas Collar, a 15-minute film with an all-camel cast. 

“That a camel might become self-aware and sentence itself to a life of solitude for the betterment of its kind is such an incredible display of self-sacrifice that for me it transcends words,” says James.

“As an audience, we can see that the Judas will only be a danger to the herd until the battery on her collar runs out – and yet she will never know that it is safe to return.”

“To unwittingly cause pain to those you love most until you decide to live a life of loneliness is one of the saddest stories I have ever heard. And yet it’s a story that is deeply and tragically human.

“Sometimes we retreat to save the herd”. 

The Voice’s production man Matt Eeles (who also runs Cinema Australia) calls it “the best Australian short film of the year” and “a heartbreaking piece of visual, no-dialogue cinema which will leave viewers stunned”. 

Judas Collar qualified for a potential Oscars nomination twice over, by winning awards at the Austin Film Festival in Texas and the St Kilda Film Festival.

James and Silcox are hoping that a bit of buzz around the film will catch the eye of some of the 8000 Academy Award members who vote on eligible films to produce the shortlist. Big film companies tend to shower them with freebies and lobby them directly, while spending millions of dollars advertising their films.

James and Silcox are urging hometownies to view Judas Collar between November 4 to 14 via any of the big social media platforms or at judascollar.com

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