Director feted at Screen Directors Assn. kudos

SYDNEY — Helmer Phillip Noyce shared the spotlight with a pair of tyros at Thursday’s Australian Screen Directors Assn. awards here. It was the first time the honors have been held in two years.

Last year’s event was canceled because the laidback org couldn’t settle on a date.

But ASDA made up for that by handing out 2005’s first film kudos to “Somersault” helmer Cate Shortland and the 2006 honor to Sarah Watt for “Look Both Ways.”

ASDA also was impressed by Anthony Szeto’s debut, the 2005 animated martial arts film “Dragon Blade,” which is yet to be released in Oz. The body gave it a special award, the first it has presented.

Filmmakers Tom Jeffrey and Michael Carson (who died last year) were given permission to use the letters ASDA after their names in recognition of their excellence in direction.

However, the night belonged to Noyce. The full house of 220 paid homage to the director of “Rabbit-Proof Fence,” “Patriot Games” and “Dead Calm,” who received the award for achievement in direction.

A founding member of the 35-year-old ASDA and a former president, Noyce joins past recipients Peter Weir, Fred Schepisi and Ray Lawrence.

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