Photographer Tayla Lauren Ralph recaps the glitz, glamour and jubilations at the 2024 Brisbane Martini Awards...

The pink carpet has been rolled up (with 2024 Martini host Flynn Clarkson inside of it), footage has been wrangled, and I am never photographing an event in glittery six inch platform heels again.

Named as an homage to JMC Academy owner and founder, John Martin Cass, the Martini Awards are a sparkling celebration of the talent, hard work and endurance of our finest Film and Television (and by extension Audio Engineering, Music, Acting) students and alumni.  

Originally started by students at our Melbourne campus in 2008, the Awards have glittered and grown into what we know them as today. Now run entirely by our Film and Television department, this years Brisbane Martini Awards kicked off at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts on the 5th of July 2024 with no fewer than 71 overall nominations across 19 categories.  

Nothing could prepare you for the love, support, host-related antics, and pride that emanated from the crowd. From the moment the lights dimmed not a single face, title or credit list could appear on screen without infectious whoops and applause by the cast, crews, and loved ones involved in our nominated productions.  

White Power (David Vaele, Reece Delamere), Kimbralou (Noah Cotgrove, Chris Shor), The Sandwich (Zach Sullivan, Lachlan Maher), Cave Inn (Cooper Haddon, Zach Sullivan), Fallen Angel (Haoming Chen, Hieu Luong), Friends (Noah Cotgrove, Nicholas Hatton, Jonathan Strk), Atong (Zacharia Akojam, Uther Reed), Drink Deep (Dorah Daud, Nayth Marshall), Full Out (Jack Purnell, Marley Tia) were shown on the big screen to an excitable crowd of over 250 people, including industry representatives. 

For those who haven’t had the privilege of attending a Brisbane Martini Awards, let me introduce you to the FTV Tribute Video. Honoring all nominated films in a quick green-screen spectacular, our Film and Television department (Mark Overett, Olivia Gane, Flynn Clarkson, Jadon Patterson, Vellin Claretta, Zoe Parra) provided enough entertainment to last us until the next Martini’s. Some highlights included Jadon secured into a baby-seat (Atong), to a horrifyingly shirtless Mark Overett (Kimbralou), distressed director and host Flynn (Full Out), disappointed mother Olivia (White Power), with special guest appearances by lecturer Bec McElroy (Fallen Angel), and Zuko the dog (Fly Like a Butterfly, Bite Like a Snake).  

With baited breath, our awards categories were presented by a star-studded array of lecturers and sponsors. One by one, cheers and applause followed our winners to the stage and through excited and breathless thanks our newly minted Martini’s recipients gave it all back to the crews that helped them get there.  

The Sandwich, of whom graced the Martini’s stage four times across the night, took out Best Short Film, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Score. I can imagine your feet hurt from running up and down the stairs almost as much as mine did in those heels. 

White Power (David Vaele, Reece Delamere) took out Best Graduate Film with a celebratory drink on-stage by Delamere that paired well with a heartfelt message of family from co-conspirator Vaele. Three time category nominee Chris Shor was presented with the prestigious Best Cinematography award for Atong (also nominated for Full Out! and Anti-COmmercial in 2024). 

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Honorable mentions also go to Tahlia Stevenson who danced her way up to stage to accept the Best Lead Actress award for her own Graduate Film and popular web-series, Flatmates, as well as current JMC Acting Student Annette Page who took out Best Supporting Actress for the same project. Fan favourite Johnathan Weir also took home the Best Lead Actor award for his role in Full Out!, competing with himself for his leading role in The Sandwich

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We would be remiss to forget the incredible wins that Fallen Angel received – Best of the Year, Best Director. During his second speech, Jeff (Haoming) Chen stated to his Director of Photography in the crowd - “Boon - you should be up here with me”. Following a roar of encouragement, the beloved Boon Chuah bounded down the steps of the theatre, and onto the stage embracing his director and friend in a well-deserved bear hug that finished the night off on a heartfelt note. As a part of their Best of the Year win, the team behind Fallen Angel get the opportunity to have their film screened at the Kota Kinbalu International Film Festival – we can’t wait to see it on the (even bigger!) screen.  

These prestigious awards would not be possible without the attendance and support of our 52 judges from all across Australia, and the globe – as well as our prize sponsors APDG (Australian Production Designers Guild), ASE (Australian Screen Editors), ASSG (Australian Screen Sound Guild), AWG (Australian Writers Guild), SPA (Screen Producers Australia, ADG (Australian Directors Guild), ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society), Novation, Adam Audio, Focusrite, Kota Kinbalu International Film Festival, ARRI, and Panavision.

There are so many moments to recap, an incredible amount of accolades to give and prize packages to use that we could be here until the 2026 Martini Awards. For now, you can view the gallery, full list of winners below, and send well-wishes to the 2024 Martini Awards recipients!  

Full List of Winners: 

Best Digital Postcard:
Fates Unchained (Ayden Frost, Curtis Chow, Felix Asikaburu) 

Best Documentary:
Flip (Cooper Haddon) 

Best Short Film:
The Sandwich (Zach Sullivan, Lachlan Maher) 

Best Digital Content:
Drink Deep (Nayth Marshall, Dorah Daud) 

Best Music Video:
Friends (Noah Cotgrove, Nicholas Hatton, Johnathan Strk) 

Best Reality TV:
Miniature Mayhem (Isabel Rolfe, Tarni Brinkmann, Billy Workman) 

Best Sound Design:
Float Like a Butterfly, Bite Like a Snake (Anastasiia Erigina) 

Best Score:
The Sandwich (Zach Sullivan, Lachlan Maher) 

Best Production Design:
Full Out (Alyssa Sandilands) 

Best Supporting Actor:
Rory Mcdonagh (The Sandwich) 

Best Supporting Actress:
Annette Page (Flatmates) 

Best Lead Actor:
Jonathan Weir (Full Out!) 

Best Lead Actress:
Tahlia Stevenson (Flatmates) 

Best Editing:
The Sandwich (Pierce Johnson) 

Best Cinematography:
Atong (Chris Shor) 

Best Script:
Gone Home (Alastair Butterworth) 

Best Director:
Fallen Angel (Haoming Chen) 

Best Graduate Film:
White Power (David Vaele, Reece Delamere) 

Best of the Year:
Fallen Angel (Haoming Chen, Hieu Luong, Boon Chuang) 

Words and Photos by Tayla Lauren Ralph

Find out more about studying film at JMC