It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
JULY 2nd 2016
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Jocelyn Moorhouse - Australia
Adrienne Fancey Best Film Award - The Dressmaker
Writer - Director
Jocelyn Moorhouse is the recipient of TheWIFTS Adrienne Fancey Best Film Award 2016. The Dressmaker, directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and starring Kate Winslet, is a devilishly tantalizing and clever film. Jocelyn intermingles layers of dark comedy, and intrigue, together with the warped psychological machinations of a very small town environment - set in Australia - the snap shot of 'the drama' fueled by a returning native now an 'outsider' could be almost anywhere in the world. As befits the film, the costumes are stylish, elaborate and brilliant.
Jocelyn was born in Melbourne, and grew up in the outer suburb of Mooroolbark, a then woodsy little town at the foot of Mt Dandenong. Her mother was a high school teacher who used to inspire her students by helping them make short films about the books they were studying. Jocelyn would help out on the weekends, and watch her mother edit the films with a cement splicer.
This began her lifelong passion for movies. An avid writer and musician from an early age, Jocelyn saw a way to unite her love of stories, music and images and chose filmmaking as her dream career when she was 17.
For her eighteenth birthday her parents gave her a second hand, silent, super 8 camera and Jocelyn began making short films (all of them surreal) starring her friends and family.
She studied photography and dark room techniques at high school, then attended the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) from 1981 to 1984. She began her studies specialising in cinematography but quickly changed her major to writing and directing. While at the film school, she befriended Jane Campion and P.J. Hogan who were in the same class.
They all worked on each other's short films, either behind, or in front of the camera. Jocelyn also fell in love with P.J. Hogan and they later married in 1988, becoming not just partners in life, but creative partners as well.
After graduating from The Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 1984, Jocelyn worked as a script editor for the Channel 7 Drama Unit in Sydney, then received a grant from the Australian Film Commission in 1985 to direct a short children's comedy called The Siege of Barton's Bathroom.
In 1988, the Australian Broadcasting Commission saw the short film and commissioned Jocelyn to create a 12 part kids series, which became C/o The Bartons. The scripts were written by Jocelyn and P. J. Hogan, and two other writers.
In 1989, the first of her four children was born. She wrote for numerous television shows prior to writing and directing her feature film debut, Proof, which starred Hugo Weaving and Russell Crowe. Proof had its world premiere in Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 1991.
The film screened at numerous international film festivals, winning many awards including the Sutherland Trophy by the British Film Institute, Critic's Choice Award at Sao Paulo International Film Festival and Bronze Award at Tokyo International Film Festival.
In 1994, Jocelyn moved with her husband and son to Los Angeles to direct How To Make An American Quilt (1995) which starred Winona Ryder and Anne Bancroft, and A Thousand Acres (1997) which starred Michele Pfeiffer, Jessica Lang and Colin Firth. She works closely with her husband P. J. Hogan and was producer on his films Muriel's Wedding, Unconditional Love, Peter Pan, and Mental.
In 1997, Jocelyn's eldest daughter, Lily, (aged 2 at the time) was diagnosed with autism. Jocelyn had to stop working and spend all her time helping Lily learn to speak, read, write and learn many life skills. In 2003, her second son was born. He was diagnosed with autism in 2005. He also needed intensive therapy to learn to speak.
It was not until 2009 that Jocelyn could even contemplate returning to work as a director. Around that time Producer Sue Maslin approached Jocelyn to consider writing and directing The Dressmaker. It took a number of years to complete the script.
Jocelyn directed her first play, Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason (House Of Cards), at the Sydney Theatre Company in August 2012.
Her latest film The Dressmaker was adapted from Rosalie Ham's novel and stars Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving and Liam Hemsworth.
In 2015/16, The Dressmaker made 21 million dollars at the Australian Box Office and won the The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) for Best Costume, Best Actress (Kate Winslet), Best Supporting actress (Judy Davis), and Best Supporting Actor (Hugo Weaving), as well as the Audience vote for Favourite Australian Film of the year.