Featured photo- Judy Davis, David Wenham and Nashen Moddley.

During the recent Sydney Film Festival the world premiere screening of the first short films produced under the auspices of the wonderful $200,000 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship took place at the Dendy Quays.

The Fellowship recipients, four  talented Australian writer-directors – Anya Beyersdorf for How The Light Gets In, Brooke Goldfinch for Outbreak Generation, Alex Murawski for Snow, and Alex Ryan for Red Ink – were at the Gala Premiere and introduced their works.

The shorts impressed with their uniqueness and boldness of vision with Alex Ryan’s uncompromising Red Ink being my personal favourite as it depicts a young man who has a devastating psychotic episode at his local supermarket with a terrible outcome.

The winners of this years’ Fellowship were announced. They are Emily Avila, Lara Kose, Goran Stolevski and Thomas Baricevic. They each received a $50,000 grant, the largest cash fellowship for short film in Australia, to make a film which will premiere at next year’s Sydney Film Festival.  They were selected from a shortlist of 20 emerging filmmakers.

Renowned Australian actor David Wenham presided over the 2017 selection process as Jury Chair, alongside Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia corporate manager of marketing operations and sales Vin Naidoo, and Australian producers Kath Shelper and Sandra Levy AO.

“The four young filmmakers have shown considerable tenacity and drive in the early years of their careers, persuading the jury that they will do something really special with the incredible opportunity this fellowship provides,”

“What is really exciting is each filmmaker’s strong commitment to telling diverse stories. I’m thrilled we have four young talented Australian filmmakers with such unique perspectives and a passion to create meaningful works that will connect and resonate with Australian and global audiences,” Wenham said.

Sydney Film Festival Artistic Director Nashen Moodley  concurred with the Jury Chair, “We are extremely proud of the four films created by the 2016 fellows, which premiered tonight.

“We encourage the 2017 fellows to unleash their inspiration, craftsmanship, and innovation as they develop their film projects over the next year ready for Sydney Film Festival audiences in 2018.”

Best of luck to the 2017 Lexus Short Film Award winners as they each start their challenging journey to translate the film that they see in their minds to the screen.