Wollongong film maker Alan Hicks has been named best new director at New York’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival for his film on jazz legend Clark Terry.
Mr Hicks, and fellow Illawarra resident Adam Hart, have been working on their film Keep On Keepin’ On since 2010.
Chronicling the life of 93 year-old Mr Terry, who taught Quincy Jones and Miles Davis, Mr Hicks served as director and Mr Hart as cinematographer.
The film screened to packed houses through the Tribeca festival, and on Friday (New York time) Mr Hicks was named best new director and awarded $25,000 by the festival jury.
“The filmmaking showed incredible focus, artistry, love and dedication,” said the jury.
“This film has a beautiful soul... It inspired us, and we wish to honour its filmmaker so that they may continue to inspire others.”
The film was also named as one of two winners of the Heineken Audience Award, voted on by crowds at the festival.
“I was just honoured to get into the Festival in the first place,” Mr Hicks said in a statement on the Tribeca website.
“It was a dream of mine to premiere at Tribeca and that in itself was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. This warm response to the film is such an honour.”
In another coup for Mr Hicks and Mr Hart, the film rights have been acquired by Radius-TWC, part of film distribution juggernaut The Weinstein Company.
Keep On Keepin’ On is currently showing at the Hot Docs festival in Canada and the Newport Beach Film Festival.