March 2, 2019 - 11:00am
Q and A with Filmmaker following the film session:
James Francis Khehtie
Film Length:
Film Language:
Premier Status: 
Date Completed: 
January, 2018


2011 BAFTA LA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles) PRIZE United States BEST SHORT HONORABLE MENTION 2011 Academy Awards-accredited Rhode Island International Film Festival, United States BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM 2011 GI Film Festival, United States BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT AND BEST INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR 2012 Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, United States BEST DRAMA 2012 New York City Downtown Short Film Festival, United States SPECIAL JURY PRIZE 2012 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, United States BEST SHORT DRAMA AND BEST DIRECTOR HONORABLE MENTION | SPRING 2012 2012 Asians On Film Festival, United States FESTIVAL TOP HONOR | BLUE WAVE AWARD 2012 Lakeshorts International Short Film Festival, Canada EXCELLENCE AWARD 2012 Rincón International Film Festival, Puerto Rico AWARD OF PLATINUM REEL | BEST SHORT FILM 2012 Lucerne International Film Festival, Switzerland BEST NARRATIVE SHORT 2013 Tacoma Film Festival, United States BEST PICTURE 2013 Cluj Shorts International Short Film Festival, Romania BEST DRAMA 2014 Hyart Film Festival, United States BEST FOREIGN SHORT 2016 Long Island International Film Expo, United States TOP SHORTS 2016 Harlem International Film Festival, United States BEST FOREIGN FILM 2016 Poppy Jasper International Film Festival, United States BEST DRAMA 2016 Lancaster International Short Film Festival, United States PLATINUM AWARD | SUMMER 2016 2016 FAMEUS International Film Festival, United States BEST NARRATIVE SHORT 2016 Indigo Moon Film Festival, United States BEST FILM 2016 Greenville Drive-in Short Film Festival, United States SPECIAL MENTION 2016 Conscious Good Humanitarian Film Festival, United States BEST IN SHOW, BEST SHORT AND BEST ACTOR (JACK THOMPSON) | SPRING 2016 2016 Creation International Film Festival, Canada BEST DIRECTOR INTERNATIONAL 2017 Flagler Film Festival, United States BEST AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILM AND AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD SPECIAL MENTION 2013 Clare Valley Film Festival, Australia BEST SHORT FICTION FILM NOMINEE 2012 AFI (Australian Film Institute) | AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award), Australia BEST FILM JUDGES CHOICE 2012 Mudfest (Mudgee International Short Film Festival), Australia FIRST PLACE UNDER 30 MINUTES 2012 Forster Film Festival, Australia PEOPLES CHOICE 2012 Heathcote Film Festival, Australia BEST FILM 2012 Angry Film Festival, Australia BEST FILM AND PEOPLES CHOICE 2011 Canberra Short Film Festival, Australia BEST PRODUCTION 2011 In the Bin Short Film Festival, Australia FESTIVAL GRAND PRIZE AND AUDIENCES FAVOURITE 2011 Blue Mountains Film Festival, Australia THE ACADEMY FILM ARCHIVE | PICKFORD CENTER FOR MOTION PICTURE STUDY OSCARS | AMPAS (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences), United States

A BAFTA Los Angeles® winner and Australian Academy Awards® nominee, THE TELEGRAM MAN, starring Australian and international screen legends Jack Thompson, Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton, explores the impact of World War II on a close-knit Australian farming community


James Francis Khehtie

One of the last Australian films shot on super 35 mm film, THE TELEGRAM MAN was four years in the making from securing the film rights to raising the finance to gaining the interest of the film’s three screen icons. The film did not receive any form of government funding. It was definitely a big challenge for me trying to get it off the ground. I raised the finance privately myself, hoping that someday it would be enough to make a film that would do justice to the story. It is well worth the effort since THE TELEGRAM MAN has been so well received here in Australia, as well as overseas, particularly in the United States, where the film has been screened in more than 80 different film festivals across the country.

I decided very early on to shift the point of view from those receiving messages in the original short story to the man delivering them, putting him and his painful job under the microscope. No other film had dealt with war in this way, and it is a story that is timely even to this day.

I had the good fortune to visit the United States on a festival-sponsored trip to present and talk about THE TELEGRAM MAN. In each of the festivals and special events I attended here in Australia and the United States, audiences would approach me after the screenings to let me know how the film had deeply touched their hearts. Some were parents whose children were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some were war widows whose spouses recently died while serving in these two countries. A number of Australian audiences remembered those stories told by their grandparents of how they went through the horrors of World War II, not seeing their sons, husbands, brothers or fathers for the entirety of the War, not knowing from week to week if they were alive or shot dead in some obscure jungle, and the frightening knock on the door, not knowing if it was the telegram man on the other side of the door.

I have also been receiving numerous letters from soldiers and returned veterans describing how THE TELEGRAM MAN emotionally moved them. One such letter is profoundly touching:

“As a returned veteran, and a relative and dear friend of a number of veterans who were lucky enough to return and some that didn't, I’d like to personally thank you for making THE TELEGRAM MAN. This film touched me in ways I thought would never touch me. Thank you. I can’t stop crying. It also reminded me of recent times where I’ve lost friends deployed overseas and some I’ve lost in peacetime too. I lost a dear friend a while ago from that insidious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, of which I’ve recently been diagnosed with. Congratulations on a fantastic film, and my thanks to the cast and crew involved.”

As a filmmaker, it is the greatest joy to learn that the film, in which you poured years of blood, sweat and tears to make, resonates well and strikes a chord with audiences.