When he was just 15, Julian Shaw saw a one-man show in Sydney, Australia, by the outrageous, controversial and brilliant South African political satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys. A half-Jewish, half-Afrikaaner anti-apartheid activist and entertainer, Uys (pronounced “ace”) was renowned for his drag alter ego, a dowager named Evita Bezuidenhout (think of Dame Edna with a political hammer), winning over no less than Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela with his/her wicked satire.
Now Uys is taking on “the new apartheid”: the scourge of HIV/AIDS. His passionate critique of South Africa’s failure to educate children about the epidemic inspired young Shaw to document Uys’s tireless yet hilarious work enlightening highschoolers about AIDS. DARLING! is a stirring portrait of a man on a mission—using the double dagger of truth-telling and satire to save the future of his country.
From 2008 Festival: Director, Australia
Julian Shaw has built an impressive career in both filmmaking and film criticism, despite his tender age. He won the 2007 IF Independent Spirit Award for his debut documentary ‘Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story’, which was also runner-up in the Panorama Audience Awards at the 2008 Berlinale, voted on by some 20,000 filmgoers. ‘Darling!’ won Best Documentary Medium in Australasia’s largest international documentary competition DOCNZ, where Julian also received the coveted DOCNZ Best Emerging Filmmaker award. Julian won an Australian Film Institute Award for film criticism in 2002. He is the author and photographer of the ground-breaking photo-novel ‘Modern Odysseus’, featuring Australian actor Colin Friels.