In this edition:
- Festive Glamour: When the festive season throws you an occasion, you need to glam it up.
- Andrew McUtchen looks for fun in cricket with former Australian cricketer Damien Fleming.
- Take a look at our Christmas Gift Guide.
Paul Harris doesnt say it, but hes probably a little tired of being asked what themes have emerged from the St Kilda Film Festival. The stock answers are that short films are very personal, and there are often stories about families or adolescence but, judging from the previews at least, there might be something new this year.
Of note is Transmission, a post-apocalyptic thriller that makes excellent use of Australias desiccated landscape, and Cryo, which is straight-up hard science fiction. Harris describes them as calling cards for feature-film projects.
Theyre both made by filmmakers who are a few rungs up the ladder, who have amassed quite a bit of experience, Harris says. The people who made Cryo had previously made a film called Miracle Fish, which was screened at Sundance and was actually nominated for an Oscar for best short film.
They have a deal with Paula Wagner, Tom Cruises producer, and theyve got a project called Cargo, which this short film is kind of like a teaser for. Similarly, the guy who made Transmission has now received funding for a feature film.
If youre making a short film, what really counts and Im a bit of an expert on this, having watched thousands of films is the singularity of your vision, he says, and you can almost hear the grin.
If you come up with an original story idea that grips the audience, it doesnt matter how low the budget is, it doesnt matter how technically rough the film is, its still going to stand out. But if youre lucky enough to have a big budget and professional actors, if the film is unengaging its for nothing.
So what stands out in 2012? Harris, as he has in years past, declines to pick which of his children he loves most, but brightens at the impact he is expecting one film to have.
Harris waded through more than 550 films to get to the top 100 that will be shown this year. He first directed the festival in 1999, and has seen several filmmakers go on to bigger (and longer) things, but they keep coming back to St Kilda Harris points out that the Edgerton brothers and their company Blue-Tongue Films are fine examples of the festivals not-quite alumni.
Their success should be an inspiration to other filmmakers. Its like a model. You set up a production team, help each other with each others projects and build up a body of work, he says.
Everyone wants to be a visionary auteur, and thats very good, but filmmaking is also a very collaborative medium, and I like seeing groups of filmmakers collaborate like that. I think its very good for the industry.St Kilda Film Festival May 22-27
The Astor Theatre/Palais Theatre