Film-maker Cathy Henkel makes friends with a baby orangutan at a refuge in Indonesia in her film, The Burning Season.
Film-maker Cathy Henkel makes friends with a baby orangutan at a refuge in Indonesia in her film, The Burning Season. Image supplied

Clunes film-maker wins national award

WHEN Clunes-based film-maker Cathy Henkel wrote Eva Orner's name on her vision board, she never dreamt the Oscar winner would end up presenting her with an award.

Last week Ms Henkel's The Burning Season won an Inside Film Award on the Gold Coast for best documentary, and she met her inspiring Australian film-maker into the bargain.

“We thought we were an outside chance, but the film only had six screenings in Australia, so it was a surprise,” she said.

The Burning Season depicts the devastating loss of forests to make way for palm oil plantations and follows the journey of Dorjee Sing as he tries to convince big business to invest in Indonesian forest carbon stores.

Ms Henkel called the film an 'environmental thriller' but said people had been attracted by its sense of hope. “There is a hunger for hope out there. People don't want to be told about problems, they want to be told about solutions.”

Another local was also mentioned on the winners' stage, with best short documentary going to a film by Matthew Pond about Ocean Shores drag queen Vanessa Wagner - aka Tobin Saunders.

Ms Henkel is now in America to film a scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger - and yes, she will be back.



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