Flickerfest delights film enthusiasts with a night of quality shorts

HOTA, Home of the Arts played host to the 28th Flickerfest on Thursday 14 March.

Attendees were welcomed by festival director Bronwyn Kidd, as she opened the evening featuring an eclectic selection of ten of the 2700 short films submitted for this year’s festival.

‘Ghost Bear’, directed by the multi-talented Paul McDermott, broke the ice beautifully. A seven minute computer-generated animation, it tells of a polar bear cub’s search to find his place in the world in a desolate yet stunning arctic setting. The visuals were astounding, as was the mesmerising choir who provided a haunting soundtrack to the cub’s spiritual search.

Aussie favourite Jack Thompson took the lead role in the heavier ‘Home’, in which two men struggle with delivering tragic news to an innocent family, and the impact on all involved.

‘Shots Fired’ came next; a story about men navigating life’s hurdles with the help of a teenage daughter. It was introduced by writers and producers Sam Monahan and Kyle McAllion who were in attendance at HOTA with actress Piper Nairn, all expressing gratitude to be a part of the Flickerfest event. You can read our interview with director Manon Lewis here.

‘All These Creatures’ was awarded the Palme D’or short film prize at Cannes. Set in suburban Melbourne, it is a powerful story of a young man who is deeply affected by his damaged father and tries to make sense of the complexities of the human mind.  This one will stay with you, and it was our personal favourite.

‘Calling’ was a lighter follow up, revealing the rocky but loving relationship between a mother and daughter through their phone calls.

Many of the short films were set in outback Australia. ‘Judas Collar’ shot in Mount Magnet tells the heart-wrenching story of a wild camel who is captured and fitted with a tracking device known as a Judas Collar. It is based on a real life practice to control feral camel populations and explores the importance of connection for this female camel and the guilt and self sacrifice associated with wearing the collar.

‘Lil Bois’, set in remote indigenous community Ngukurr, highlights the importance of storytelling passed from elders to children. It is the first short film to be spoken in the traditional Ngandi language.

‘Desert Dash’ (pictured), shot in Lightening Ridge, was part Mad Max, part game, part comedy. Directed by Gracie Otto who also produced, wrote and starred in the film, it was a wild ride of fun and will appeal to all ages.

‘Della Mortika’ took out the Best Animation Award this year. It is set inside a pop up book in steampunk Melbourne. This animation took Marisa and Geraldine Martin seven years to make.

There was really something for everyone at Flickerfest. Showing at the Regent Cinema, Murwillumbah next weekend it is well worth going along to support these wonderful Australian films. For more information on this tour visit flickerfest.com.au.

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