While the summer days and festivals may be over, Shorts Film Festival aims to act as a worthy rollover into the cooler months. 60 of Australia and Asia Pacific’s best short films over the past year are shown over the course of a week in unconventional surrounds, along with a selection of shorts from London’s Rushes Soho Shorts Festival in 2010. It’s a long way from their start in 2003 where the event was biennial and with minimal sponsorship backing.
Their new venue at Norwood Concert Hall was buzzing with good cheer as sponsors, media and the public enjoyed the opening festivities of the growing festival. With nibbles and Redbank wine on offer, the 1920s cabaret-style lounge setting provided a great relaxed mood for the films ahead. Formalities from Chair Teri Whiting, founding director David Lightfoot and special guest Clayton Jacobson educated the audience on how shorts can provide the necessary stepping stone to film success and that diversity keeps our film industry alive.
A classic short opened the screening; Matt Wheeldon’s Blind Date (1999) showed wit and good humour. The best audience response came after Victorian drama Punch Drunk as an elderly man lives with the repercussions of his boxing past. After the 10-film showing the audience were treated to a show from one Mr Elvis Presley to compliment closing film Viva La Possum (which screened at the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival in March).
Awards to be presented on the 16th include the Gold Shorts prize, giving the winning director a trip to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and the inaugural Black Shorts award for best indigenous entry. For an event now recognised as not-for-profit, Shorts has a lot to offer over the next week.
Katina Vangopoulos was among the media persons invited by Shorts Film Festival to attend the Opening Night screening.
Information and tickets available through shortsfilmfestival.com.