AUDIENCE AWARDS 2019
'JUDAS COLLAR' SCORES ITS FOURTH WIN IN THE 2019 PROGRAM
Oscar-eligible 'Judas Collar' won the Australian Short Film Today Audience Award for Austin, Texas at a screening hosted by Austin Film Society on January 15, 2020.
The film won four 2019 Australian Short Film Today Audience Awards - in Los Angeles, Berlin, St Tropez and Austin - as well as two Runner Up Awards - in Paris and London.
The Founder of Austin Film Society, iconic American indie director Richard Linklater, was present at the Austin screening.
In the film, set in outback Australia, a feral camel is fitted with a tracking device known as a Judas collar that brings with it betrayal of the rest of the herd with which it travels.
'Judas Collar' won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short Film at the Austin Film Festival (unrelated to Austin Film Society) in 2018 and won Best Film and Best Director at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2019. Each of these wins made 'Judas Collar' eligible for the Academy Awards in 2020.
The film was written and directed by Alison James of Perth, Western Australia and produced by Brooke Tia Silcox, also from Perth. After ten years in documentary filmmaking for Australian television, Alison has transitioned to narrative filmmaking. This is her third narrative film.
At the Q&A at the Los Angeles screening in October 2019, Ali and Brooke said they were "just two girls from Perth." Somehow we don't think so.
From left: Alison James (writer/director) and Brooke Tia Silcox (producer) from JUDAS COLLAR, Chris Beale from Australian Short Film Today, and Brenden Dannaher (writer/director) and Nicole Shostak (lead actress) from A QUICK LOVE STORY at the Los Angeles screening of AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILM TODAY hosted by Australians in Film at Raleigh Studios
'FIRE IN CARDBOARD CITY' CATCHES FIRE IN NEW YORK, AND HAS AUSTIN GUFFAWING
The animated comedy/drama 'Fire in Cardboard City' by a ringer from New Zealand, Phil Brough, won the 2019 Australian Short Film Today Audience Award at the Asia Society in New York on May 14, 2019. We focus on Australian films and don't often screen films from other countries, but after we saw 'Fire in Cardboard City' we liked it so much we felt we had to screen it. Solidarity with our Kiwi mates! Except in Rugby.
The film also won the Audience Award in London on January 25, 2020 and the Runner Up Award in Austin on January 15, 2020.
The city in the animated film looks an awful lot like New York. This "free-wheeling disaster movie ... feels like a joy ride," said The New Yorker magazine after the film had its U.S. debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Brough confirmed to us that the city portrayed in the short is based on New York City, and says it also includes some iconic New Zealand buildings.
'A QUICK LOVE STORY' WINS IN PARIS
The 2019 Australian Short Film Today Audience Award for Paris went to ‘A Quick Love Story’, a comedy written and directed by Brenden Dannaher of Sydney. He was in attendance at the Paris screening on November 20, 2109 along with Dominique Fusy, the film's editor, who lives in Paris. This win follows the film’s 2019 Runner Up Awards in Los Angeles and New York, where the film had its global premiere at Australian Short Film Today in May 2019 at the Asia Society.
Dannaher is from Sydney where he works at SBS (the public Special Broadcasting Service) and has a background in educational films. It is clear from the subject matter of his comedy that he has experienced one online survey too many. This short seems to be his revenge.
In the cleverly written film, a young man, who has been rejected by the woman to whom he has proposed, finally meets a woman who is fascinated by him and wants to know his opinions. The only problem? She's an online survey.
'NURSERY RHYMES' SERENADED IN ST TROPEZ
The 2019 Runner Up Award in Saint Tropez went to 'Nursery Rhymes', directed by Tom Noakes, a graduate of AFTRS, who is based in Sydney. It opens with a continuous 4 minute shot with a metalhead standing in a field singing a nursery rhyme, with a ten second shot to finish.
The film "disorientates its audience initially via a surreal, contextless opening. Confusion gives way to a slowly unfolding puzzle however, serving up revelations all the way through to its emotional close, when it delivers." - Celine Roustan, Short of the Week.
THEY LOVED 'HIGH SCHOOL LOVER' IN BERLIN
The 2019 Runner Up Audience Award in Berlin went to 'High School Lover', a poignant drama about a young man composing a text message to his former high school girlfriend. The film is directed by Cielo Croci from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Cielo is studying for his masters of film and television at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. It is remarkable that a film by a young filmmaker, himself only recently at high school, could touch so many audience members, some of whom are long removed from their high school love.