Former Deniliquin resident and chairman and executive producer at Matchbox Pictures Michael McMahon is to be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 18th Annual Screen Producers Australia Awards next month.
Mr McMahon has an illustrious film and television career so far spanning over 30 years and said he was humbled and honoured to receive the award.
‘‘The most important thing for me in being chosen for this award is that it is voted on by my peers in an organisation that represents the industry,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t think you should work in the expectation of getting prizes or awards but if they come along then you savour the moment. . . and then get back to work.’’
Starting in the industry as an entertainment lawyer, Mr McMahon produced his first short, Cruel Youth, in 1988 and has since been the producing force behind many of Australia’s critically acclaimed features, documentaries and television dramas.
It has included Wildness (2001), The Home Song Stories (2007), Ali’s Wedding (2017), The Slap (2011) and Nowhere Boys (2013-2018).
After forming Big and Little Films with partner Tony Ayres in 1999, Michael and Tony went on to co-found Matchbox Pictures with Helen Bowden, Penny Chapman and Helen Panckhurst in 2009.
Over the years Michael has strongly supported the screen industry, serving on boards for Screen Tasmania and Film Victoria.
Michael also recently expanded his career into teaching at Swinburne University, where he holds the position of professor, Film and Television, and in 2018 at the University of South Australia, generously sharing his expertise with emerging talent, teaching his mentees to look at the world around them and find the interesting and important stories.
‘‘I’ve spent the last couple of years teaching others and I enjoy it a lot,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s an absolute privilege to engage with the students and their ideas. Teaching is part of the constant lifelong learning process for me.
‘‘That learning started a long time ago in Deniliquin.’’
While teaching, Mr McMahon has also been working on film and television projects with Matchbox Pictures.
The company’s recent series Nowhere Boys: Two Moons Rising being nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts ( BAFTA) International Live Action Award this month.
Another one of the company’s children’s series Mustangs FC has been nominated for an International Emmy Kids Award.
Mr McMahon said the foundations built during his schooling years in Deniliquin have helped him get to where he is today.
‘‘I had the benefit of a very good education at St Michael’s School and Deniliquin High School which put me in good stead to navigate life.
‘‘When I left Deniliquin High School way back in 1971 life was a bit of an open book really.
‘‘I guess I have just kept turning the pages to see what the next part of life’s story involves and this unexpected award was a welcome surprise in that story.
‘‘It gives you a good feeling to be acknowledged. I have learnt that it is important for people to give and receive acknowledgement in life, to their family, friends and community.’’
Mr McMahon is a true inspiration for local students, showing that you can come from a small country town and work your way through the world.
For more information about Matchbox Pictures projects, go to www.matchboxpictures.com.
Filmmaker Michael McMahon will be recognised with an award in November.