Helmer, writer, animator and artist Sarah Watt died Friday, Nov. 4 in Melbourne, Australia, after a protracted fight with cancer. She was 53.
Watt started filmmaking with a string of animated shorts in the early ’90s such as “Catch of the Day” and “The Candle” before making her first feature, “Look Both Ways,” in 2005.
The pic, which included scenes of animation knitted into the story, dealt with a number of characters facing their mortality, including a photographer diagnosed with cancer — though the film predated the helmer’s own diagnosis.
“Look Both Ways” was a big hit Down Under and earned Watt the best helmer, film and original screenplay kudos at the Australian Film Institute that year as well as a kudo at the Toronto Film Festival.
Watt continued working despite her illness: In 2009 she made “My Year Without Sex,” in which a suburban mother overcomes a fatal illness only to be told to abstain from sex for a year. The pic was a hit with critics and auds alike.
She recently penned a memoir, “Worse Things Happen at Sea,” and staged a photography exhibition that is still running in a Melbourne gallery.
She is survived by her husband, Aussie thesp William McInnes, who starred in “Look Both Ways,” and two children.