An outdoor festival set to the tranquil surroundings at Parklands, which is situated at Currumbin on the beautiful Gold Coast – just one hour south of Brisbane on the East Coast of Australia. Two fields, huge inflatable screens, floodlights, pre-screening entertainment and three thousand people were in attendance on Saturday 19th September.
Festival director Jed Cahill obviously put in a lot of time and effort to bring this short film fest to the public. He had good media support from Marc Fennell from Triple J Radio who was one of the judges on the night along with Chris Fewester, both of which I was fortunate enough to have solid conversation with pre and post screening.
There were a total of fourteen films, eight of which I have decided to provide mini-reviews. Amongst the others were student shorts (all produced, shot and edited in only 3 days), Swings & Roundabouts (film maker Anna McGrath opts for actions and mannerisms, rather than dialogue) Two Men (an amusing tale of aboriginals set in the outback) and The Last Supper (a religious farce from Angus Sampson).
In 2010 the festival will hit its 10th year (Jed Cahill has been the organiser and director from day one) and has been moved to an earlier date of May, so my diary is well and truly booked. If anyone would like copies of this years films, let me know and I will see if I can post something out to you.
A special thanks to Michelle Sims who met me on the evening, organized my free entry, provided my friend and I drinks, together with front row seats. Let the good times roll !
Luck Of The Irish : The story of Floyd – a man who’s luck is about to change – just like his Irish neighbour Felix experiences on a regular basis… but will Floyd’s luck run out ? This was quite a fitting opening to a short film festival and the type of movie you would expect to see when viewing a series of shorts. Light hearted entertainment, sharp humour and suitable for the whole family. Particular credit to Nick Eades for his editing.
Broken Road : A father has the dreaded experience driving his two young daughters through an Australian desert – a breakdown. This is the one movie that felt as though it could of been a feature film. Young film maker Brodie Rocca makes us feel empathy for his characters, sets the tone with a perfect music score (from David Lazar) and the work by Nathan Solomon as Director of Photography is a major plus.
Boxer : A handful of blue collar warehouse workers come across a box which has unusual contents (to say the least!) and begins to take possession of them one by one… The whole cast do a fine job with their subtle but simplistic mannerisms, portraying the everyday Australian. Deliberately paced by the film maker – particularly for the effects of humour. This is the kind of movie that stays with you long after the credits roll.
Fences : A father who is a detective, leaves his son in the car whilst visiting a crime scene. The young boy’s curiosity leads him to witness something horrific in a suspenseful climax shot with first rate cinematography. Technically this is well crafted by Director Tim Dean – who cleverly leaves what is beyond the ‘fence’ down to the imagination of the viewer. Watch out for this film maker’s next effort.
The Attack Of The Robots From Nebula 5 : The only foreign language film which relies entirely on a voice over to tell its story. The inner mind of a man who is convinced the world is going to end by the invasion of robots ! Written with flair, orchestrated with wit and very original. From the opening shot, you know the main character (played by Jose Manuel Ibarra) is absolutely off his rocker !
Not So Great Eugene Green : The only animated effort of the festival is unequivocally the unsung hero. Credit and admiration must go to Michael Hill and his team for providing us with a clever, funny and heart warming story which is always compelling – but never predictable. Who needs The Simpsons or Family Guy when you’ve got Eugene Green.
Early Checkout : Echoes of Weekend At Bernie’s (1989) is the inspiration here, in this hilarious comedy about two men in a hotel room waking up to a female corpse…after a sexual encounter ! Fast paced for deliberate impact – with a witty script by Clarke Richards and Dustin Clare and the editing from Sam Wilson is Hollywood standard.
Miracle Fish : Winner for best film by the judges and it would be hard to argue a case against this. Film maker Luke Doolan delivers an eerie drama, which is well acted with an utterly compelling finale followed by the atmospheric use of slow–mo for maximum effect. The young boy played by Karl Beattie is reminiscent of Danny Lloyd from The Shining (1980).
And finally, the Judges on the night awarded the following :
Best Film : Miracle Fish
Best Director : Luke Doolan, Miracle Fish
Runner up : Broken Road
Bin Laughin : Boxer
Short short : Two Men
Editing : Boxer
Best male : The cast of Boxer
Best female : The Rocca sisters from Broken Road
Cinematography : The Attack Of The Robots From Nebula 5
Script : The Attack Of The Robots From Nebula 5
Production value : Not So Great Eugene Green
Sound design : Not So Great Eugene Green
© BRWC 2010.
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