31st St Kilda Film Festival

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By Payton Booij

The Academy-Award accredited St Kilda Film Festival runs from Thursday May 22 to Saturday May 31. On the program this year are Australia’s top 100 short films competition, the SoundKILDA Music Video competition and the Under The Radar competition for filmmakers under 21. Films will be screened at the Palais Theatre, the Astor Theatre, Forum Hall and St Kilda Town Hall.

Under The Radar is in its 7th year and the finalists will be shown at the iconic Astor Theatre. Recent winners have included Blake Borcich in 2013 and 2012 for Resistance and The Trouble With Alexander and Natalie James for The Venting Place in 2011. According to Mayor Amanda Stevens, “This is the perfect platform to give young people opportunities in the arts.”  So be on the look-out for offerings from up-and-coming filmmakers.

SoundKILDA is Australia’s only dedicated music video competition. Loud and on the big screen, it has three award categories including Best Music Video, Best Independent Music Video and Best Music Video – Animation. A special audience award will also be presented on the night. The competition has increased in popularity in recent years in terms of the number of entries, the fierceness of the competition and the quality of the clips. Some entries are from major-label recording artists, but indie talent have also been known to take out the top prize.

Aspiring filmmakers listen up: the festival’s filmmaker development program includes free talks, panels, workshops and networking events, to help aspiring filmmakers get their work made and seen and take the next step in their careers. The program addresses current trends and issues in filmmaking with advice from from talented industry representatives. Participating organisations have included Screen Australia, Film Victoria, AFI, MIFF, Screenwest, SA Film Corp, Portable Film Festival, NSW Film and Television Office, interfilm Berlin, Cork Film Festival and Annecy Animated Film Festival.

Armed and Dangerous is the student-based part of the festival. So far Armed and Dangerous has screened 60 films as part of the St Kilda Film Festival. As part of the opening night there will be a screening of the winning film from the “Make A Film.  Make A Difference” competition which is run by Victoria’s Transport Accident Commission.

After the festival, the regional tour kicks off in June. The tour goes to towns all over the country and places where audiences wouldn’t normally have a chance to view short films of such high quality. Festival Director Paul Harris states, “The awesome shorts chosen for our tour showcase offer audiences the opportunity to view some of the most innovative, cutting edge, inspiring and just plain entertaining work from Australia’s current crop of emerging filmmakers, who are literally taking the world by storm.”


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