Australian Film of the Year The Railway Man named ‘Australian Film of the Year’ by the Catholic Film Office The jury of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting has awarded it annual prize to Jonathan Teplitsky’s The Railway Man. “This deeply moving film about war, love, revenge, retribution and forgiveness was a standout in regard to promoting the best of human values which our prize enshrines”, said jury chair, Fr Richard Leonard. Opening with a group of ageing former soldiers sitting in a veteran’s club in a Scottish town by the sea, Eric Lomax (Colin Firth) is actually never far from the Thai-Burma railway during World War II where, at the hands of his Japanese gaolers, he undergoes imprisonment, degradation and torture. Soon after marrying Eric, his wife Patricia (Nicole Kidman) realises his wartime experiences are not just terrible memories but nightly-lived traumas. With her help, Eric confronts his past, physically and emotionally, and comes face to face with his one of his captors. He has to make a choice: life or death. “This film is all about costly reconciliation, the purging of hatred and moving towards reconciliation,” said Fr Leonard The jury was impressed by Frank Cottrell Boyce’s screenplay, the uniformly good acting and Jonathan Teplitsky’s assured direction. The jury also commended Mystery Road. Previous winners of the ACFO’s Film of the year include Lore, Oranges & Sunshine, The Waiting City, Samson & Delilah, The Black Balloon, The Jammed, Ten Canoes, Look Both Ways, Tom White, Japanese Story, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Tracker, Facing the Music and Looking for Alibrandi.