Film festival has a buzz about it

Film festival has a buzz about it, by Emily Dunn and Kerry Coleman - 3rd Jan 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

The amateur film festival Tropfest is just around the corner but first there is Flickerfest, the only Australian short film festival accredited in the United States with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - that's the Oscars to the laymen out there. Now in its 17th year, the festival opens tomorrow night at Bondi Pavilion until January 11, with 85 films chosen from a record 1300 entries. Opening night features the first group of international short films but the first film up for viewing is by the Australian comedian, broadcaster, writer and filmmaker Paul McDermott. McDermott's nine-minute animation The Girl Who Swallowed Bees, featuring actress Pia Miranda, won the jury award at the Seattle Film Festival, screened at the Berlin Film Festival and, most recently, won an Australian Film Institute award for best animation. Saturday night's selection of films from the international category of the festival also includes an Australian effort, the nine-minute Spider by stuntman-turned-director, Nash Edgerton (winner of the Tropfest competition in 1997.) The director of Flickerfest, Bronwyn Kidd, said films such as McDermott's and Edgerton's demonstrated the profile of Australian short films on the international stage. "It shows the high standard of shorts we are producing … [The Girl who Swallowed Bees] was impossible to ignore because it is such a visually stylish and creative film." Other nights during the festival will see screenings of Australian and international short films and documentaries - most of them Australian premieres - with subjects ranging from One Of The Lucky Ones, a documentary by Australian filmmaker Wendy Chandler about the night she was raped by an intruder in her home, to an Icelandic animation, Anna & The Moods, starring the voice of Bjork. Kidd has also compiled three short-film showcases including a selection of international short films entitled Bad Girls and The Bold, The Brave And The Best: 30 Years Of Australian Animation, curated by Oscar-nominated short film director Anthony Lucas from the animations that have inspired his career. The collection pays tribute to the achievements of Australian animators such as Sarah Watt, Adam Elliot and Bruce Petty alongside screenings of iconic television commercials including Louie The Fly, Mr Sheen and Aeroplane Jelly. Kidd describes the festival as "a bit like Cannes … both festivals are on the beach. Although Cannes has more red carpet and glitz, they are both showcases of high-quality films." For details visit



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Bondi Beach