Film lovers flocked to Bondi Pavilion on Friday night for the opening of Sydney’s star-making short film festival which is now in its 29th year. Guests joined for the line-up of premiere films drawn from 200 shorts (selected from over 3,500 entries this year) screening in competitive programs, including International and Best of Australia. Some of Australia’s best – known acting faces were amongst the opening night crowd. Following the screenings, guests headed up to the balcony to kick up their heels overlooking Bondi Beach and munch on delicious rice paper rolls and pizza.
The screenings selected were innovative, thoughtful and entertaining. The film makers incorporated great humour, horror and drama into their brief creations.
The evening opened with a Korean animation, DIVISION SERIES, in which a Prime Minister goes into a takeaway chicken shop, but the chicken is all sold out. At another table, presidents from other countries start playing cards to win the last chicken basket. I thought the interplay and the expressions on the characters faces was priceless. Writer Ho Kwon Kim is to be commended.
Chloe Sevigny has written and directed WHITE ECHO, a horror film with Carla and her girlfriends playing with a Ouija Board. The atmosphere and shocks are created by a claustrophobic house and location, ghosts and a wonderful soundscape. The dance scene is powerful and electrifying.
Hunter Page-Lochard and Carter Fred Simpkin’s CLOSED DOOR is a disturbing and haunting exploration of loss. Regaining consciousness in a car wreck, a young father finds that his daughter is missing.
Director Ben Brand and writer Andy Weir’s RE-ENTRY is a thoughtful and challenging film about human interconnectedness and has an interesting perspective on re-incarnation and the after-life. When a man (who could be everyman) dies in a traffic accident and gets into a conversation with a wry and quirky God, he is presented with a simple but insightful view on what it means to be a person.
Gabriel Abrantes’ THE MARVELOUS MISADVENTURES OF THE STONE LADY is a little gem of a film. It is a very funny film about personalities, art and revolutionary struggle. Tired of being a banal architectural ornament, a sculpture runs away from the Louvre to confront real life on the streets of Paris.
Lydia Rui’s THIS PERFECT DAY is a well structured film, with minimal dialogue that nevertheless says a lot about families and relationships.
Florence Keith-Roach’s A FAMILY AFFAIR is an excellent comedy. Annabelle wakes up in a stranger’s bedroom on her 30th birthday. She thinks her day can’t get any worse but then Bernard walks in. It is cringe worthily awkward and then it gets worse. Florence Keith-Roach story is beautifully outrageous as she takes us down some unexpected rabbit holes.
The Flickerfest short film festival continues until January 19th at Bondi Pavilion before hitting the road and travelling interstate across 50 dates and various locations. It is highly recommended and a great opportunity to experience some innovative short films.