Flickerfest has a very special place in the hearts and minds of Australia’s short film makers. As well as being an Academy Accredited and BAFTA-recognised short film festival, it’s also a major national touring festival, giving Australian filmmakers the chance to reach new audiences and sometimes even have their film premiered in their home town.
Flickerfest celebrates 27 years in 2018, so as well as its feel-good roots, it’s got some serious runs on the board. Flickerfest is a ten-day film festival in Sydney, screening more than 200 films from a pool of 2500 entries. After the festival has had its run there, it hits the road to bring the best of Australian short films to other cities and towns.
Bronwyn Kidd is the Festival Director and she says the high number of entries is partly due to the respect the festival has on the international stage. Demonstrated by the fact that last year’s festival inclusion ‘Eleven O’clock’ is this year a nomee for live action film at the academy awards.
“Being Academy qualifying means it’s a pathway to the Academy Awards,” explained Bronwyn. “It’s exciting to see filmmakers go on to have such success on the world stage.”
“When it comes to Flickerfest, filmmakers know they’re going to be screening with the best of the best,” she said.
When Flickerfest comes to the Gold Coast in March, nine of the best Australian shorts will be screened over two hours. There’s a beautifully crafted Australian animation ‘Lost Property Office’ – short-listed for an Academy Award – about Ed, who’s just as lost as the items themselves. There’s an Aboriginal western ‘Miro” starring Mark Coles Smith and a quirky animation ‘Martha the Monster’ (pictured) featuring the voices of actress Rose Byrne and her husband Bobby Cannavale.
And true to form, there’s some local gold in the program too.
‘Patty Lovesick’ directed by Gold Coaster James Fitchett is about a guy who is allergic to his girlfriend and ‘Mother, Child’, starring Lawrence Leung by Gold Coast raised director Tin Pang that tells the story of a mother and son reacquainted and forced to live together after the mother has a stroke.
“We choose films we think are going to have broad appeal to audiences,” Bronwyn said about the national touring program. “We want to include a cross section of films. We have 40% female directors this year and a mix of animation, live action, a range of stories – some serious, some comedy.”
“I guess we’re trying to get people to experience some really contemporary insights into our culture as well as being able to see a real range of films,” Bronwyn said.
Gold Coast audiences will be amongst the first to see these incredible new Australian short films. And what makes them so unique is that for many of the filmmakers, they’re self-funded. That means they don’t have pressure from investors and the box office for commercial success.
“It’s about shining a spotlight on that contemporary snapshot of Australian life, which is incredibly diverse and not often what we see on TV screens and in mainstream cinema,” Bronwyn said.
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The Flickerfest National Tour, showcasing the best of Australian shorts returns to HOTA – Home of The Arts on Thursday 15 March at 6.30pm. Tickets $16/14 via bit.ly/flickerfest18.