Humanitarian Award - Outstanding Achievement Award
Wellington, 19 April 2021 – April Phillips, of Godiva Productions, has won a prestigious Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award from The Best Shorts Competition. The award was given for Phillips’s compelling short film “The Last Man on Earth” which highlights the value of people with disabilities in a Sci-Fi setting. In an unexpected twist of “life imitating art”, the film which was completed in 2019 is set in the aftermath of a global pandemic where a handful of survivors learn what makes a human being worthy of survival.
“As the mother of a very precious and severely disabled child, I wanted my latest film to be more than just a piece of entertainment. It was a passion project focusing on disability.” says writer/director Phillips. Sadly, the film is more relevant than ever as Phillips was horrified to read recently in the Guardian that her home country of England had issued “Do Not Resuscitate” orders for Covid-19 patients with learning disabilities.
The goal of the Humanitarian Award is to honour filmmakers who are bringing awareness to issues of Ecological, Political, Social Justice, Health and Wellness, Animals, Wildlife, Conservation and Spiritual importance combined with excellence in filmmaking craft. The winners are hand picked by the judges and staff from thousands of entries throughout the year.
Information about the Best Shorts Competition and a list of recent winners can be found at www.BestShorts.net
In winning a Humanitarian award from Best Shorts, Phillips joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this important award such as Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA winner Vanessa Redgrave for “Eyes of St John”, Student Oscar winner Emily Kassie for the powerful “I Married My Family’s Killer”, Oscar short list nominee Hanah Donegan for “My Enemy, My Brother”, Linda Mills and Chelsea Clinton for their barrier breaking documentary “Of Many” and many more. Actors Jeremy Irons and Kevin Bacon featured in other winning films alongside Phillips’s in this year’s awards.
Rick Prickett, who chairs the Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the Humanitarian winners, “It takes great talent to tackle the world’s most pressing issues with film and do a great job. It takes an even greater heart. The Best Shorts award helps set the standard for Humanitarian filmmaking worldwide. The goal of Best Shorts is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve for the incredible job that they do.”
“The Last Man on Earth” stars Greer Phillips, Shane Bartle and Duncan Armstrong. Duncan is an accomplished Wellington performer who has Down Syndrome. He has received two international Best Supporting Actor awards for his role in the film. In 2020 he was the recipient of the Arts Access Aotearoa Artistic Achievement Award.
Phillips is also awaiting the results of her nominations for Best Sci-Fi Short at the annual Independent Shorts Awards and the Minerva Award at FilmQuest which is awarded to a female filmmaker whose work embodies the advancement of the voice and empowerment of the female filmmaker in genre cinema today.