St Kilda Film Festival is one of Australia’s largest and longest-running showcases of short films, and an important calendar date for Australia’s film industry. It’s Academy Accredited, meaning that prize winners at St Kilda are eligible to be nominated for short film Oscars. Notable directors including Jane Campion, Cate Shortland, Kriv Stenders, Adam Elliot and Richard Lowenstein all had their early shorts screened at the St Kilda Film Festival.
This year the festival runs June 12-20, during which time all films and programs will be available to watch free to anyone in Australia via the festival website. The films will screen in feature-length sessions followed by live Q&As and webinars.
Among the program’s highlights will be a retrospective of the early films of directors Jane Campion and Phillip Noyce. Tune in for a two hour session of Campion’s Cannes Palme D’Or winner ‘Peel’ (1982), ‘Passionless Moments’ (1983), ‘After Hours’ (1984), ‘A Girl’s Own Story’ (1984) and ‘Lady Bug’ (2007). Noyce’s long short ‘Castor and Pollux’ (1974) will screen alongside his debut feature Backroads (1977) – both films star Indigenous actor Gary Foley, who will present them in a special virtual event. The future of filmmaking is on show too with a selection of the best films from Under the Radar, the annual short film competition for filmmakers under 21.
We’ve picked out six other new short films to check out during St Kilda Film Festival 2020.
Diana Glenn (Carla Cametti PD, Somersault) stars in ‘Bedtime’ with her son, Massimo. Gemma Lee directed this story of a single mother forced to confront the evil presence that inhabits her home.
‘In the Shadows’ by Heath Ledger Scholarship winner Charmaine Bingwa is a ‘tone poem’ about a woman battling addiction and personal trauma. In-demand Aussie actor Damon Herriman (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Judy & Punch) is part of the cast.
Unfolding like a palimpsest, Ariel Martin’s ‘Jake's 7th Birthday’ is a moving ‘found footage’-style short. Jake (Sean Keenan from Lockie Leonard and Cloudstreet) finds the videotape of his own 1990 birthday party and tapes over it during the coming months in snippets that reveal what his life has become.
‘Invisible’ stars Jeremy Lindsay Taylor (Puberty Blues, Home and Away) as a psychologist’s patient asked to draw a series of self-portraits and who makes a revelatory discovery.
John Harvey’s ‘Out of Range’ stars Aaron Pedersen (Mystery Road) as a father forced to slow down when his road trip with his estranged son is suddenly interrupted.
In ‘Kanga Rules’, a lonely boy befriends a stray kangaroo that has a natural talent for football; Red Symons features in the cast. There’s also director Daniel Krige’s short ‘Larry Time’, which involves TV star Larry Emdur and two sisters who decide that buying chocolates and flowers for grandma just isn't enough. These two films are screening in the Australian Comedy Showcase, a session of six comedic films that Time Out is proud to be presenting.
Are you a regional filmmaker? The festival's 'Your Place' competition invites regional Victorians to get creative while they're staying safe at home and share in a $5,000 prize pool. Entries close on May 29, and you can find out more here.