Review of FLiCKERFEST 2016

Gold Coast Arts Centre hosted the 25th Flickerfest on Friday 19th February 2016 to a full house of both young and old movie enthusiasts. The national tour of this iconic and highly regarded international short film festival started back in 1995 much to the pleasure of regional and metro areas outside of Sydney. This year toured the best of Australian shorts featuring a total of eleven short films over 120 minutes ranging in length from 4 minutes to 20 minutes.

Director of Marketing at the Arts Centre introduced Carole and Joe D’Arcy onstage to open the evening. The D’Arcy’s – local film makers from Mudgeeraba – provided the audience with insights into their opening short Je Suis Un Crayon (I am a Pencil). This 6 minute hand drawn animation pencil sketched film paid tribute to Charlie Hebdo in supporting peace and freedom of expression. All creative aspects of this film coming from within the Darcy family. Beautifully illustrated by Carol D’Arcy written and directed by Joe D’Arcy assisted by son Byron and complimented with a wonderful theme song composed & performed by daughter Jazz D’Arcy.

Another film which impressed was Melbourne Academy award-winning filmmaker Adam Elliot’s latest work Ernie Biscuit, the second instalment of the Harvie Krumpet trilogy about a lonely deaf Parisian taxidermist whose life is turned upside down when a dead pigeon arrives on his doorstep. The story was beautifully narrated by John Flaus whose voice was as mesmerising as the story was captivating. The film was full of wonderful cultural references and the message was to be brave in pursuit of love and happiness – move out of your comfort zone, “be the windscreen not the insect.”

An additional highlight was the film Slingshot. Written and directed by David Hansen, Slingshot won the Virgin Australia Award for Best Australian Short Film. Cleverly employing 10 year old children as actors this amusing story highlights the complexities and craziness of adult relationships. The scene is set amongst the back drop of a run-down trailer park – a very funny 7 minute film to make you laugh and squirm.

Others worth mentioning: Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble – set in the Northern Rivers and written and produced by local writers/filmmakers – this film tackled cultural taboos confronting two very headstrong Aboriginal sisters where one still practises a family European tradition taking photos of her deceased family members. Flat Daddy starring Kat Stewart tells the story of a life size poster issued to a mother and daughter in Lithgow of their soldier husband/father away at war in Afghanistan. This token poster, recreated into a cut out is given to families to help cope with absence. Sadly the cut out image becomes a source of obsession for this family and before long ends up creating turmoil not comfort to them.

We would love to mention all of these great Australian short films so here are the names of the others if you want to check them out– Lazy Boy, Home, Gecko, The Trophy Thief, The Meek and Imagination Game.

What is so great about Flickerfest is the diversity and the brilliant story ideas. Hand drawn, cartoon animation, Claymation and gritty suburban reality, stories about the young and old and a variety of cultures, stories and settings. We all had a different favourite – everyone’s a winner at Flickerfest.

PHOTO: Ernie Biscuit, by Adam Elliott

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