The Benalla Short Film Festival is back

The Benalla Short Film Festival will return next month with several films from local directors.

The festival is now in its seventh year and organizers look forward to presenting the 12 finalists at Benalla Town Hall on Saturday December 4th.

The event is used as a thank you to all of the frontline workers who kept the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The finalists were chosen from a range of entries and represent some of the best emerging filmmakers from the region and beyond.

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The festival organizers are happy to welcome back last year’s judges:

  • Tony Bonner AM (Skippy the bush kangaroo);

  • John Orcsik (Flic Shop); and

  • Krista Vendy (The neighbors).

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Festival president Anna Smith said Benalla Shorts were delighted to host a live audience after hosting last year’s event online due to COVID-19 regulations.

“We have made this year’s festival an opportunity to host an invite-only event to thank our local heroes who have been on the front lines for all of us,” Ms. Smith said.

“The invitations have been extended to frontline health, emergency and reception workers in the vital retail sector.”

Ms Smith said there would also be an opportunity for the wider community to see the films.

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“Swanpool Cinema will be showing a public screening on Saturday February 19,” she said.

Keep an eye on the Ensign pages and on www.benallensign.com.au for how to get a ticket for it.

The total prize pool for the event is $ 2,250 which will be shared among the winners in categories that include the judges’ prize; Local incentive prize; Public Prize; Student price; and best documentary.

Three local filmmakers have been selected this year, with Charlie Williams of Benalla in his film The Devil and I; Lachie Allemand de Cobram with his entry The Sisterhood of Mika and Sophie; and Matthew Poidevin of Shepparton in his film Forever House.

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Mr Williams said it was amazing to pull out two categories last year and he was excited to see all entries for this year’s festival.

“My wife Rhiannon and I worked on this one together,” Mr. Williams said.

“She has been playing for over 10 years and has a lot of friends who we worked with on this project.

“In fact, we have worked with some pretty impressive people.

“We wrote the script together and you can tell it was a real team effort.”

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Mr Williams said the film was also selected to screen as part of the Monster Fest.

Monster Fest is a celebration of all that is weird and wonderful in the palette of international cult cinema – including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, dark drama, dark comedy, animation and more. .

“This is the big festival for this kind of film and there are some big prizes to be won there,” Mr. Williams said.

“So it’s very exciting.”

The Benalla Shorts committee thanked all its sponsors and supporters. They include Film Victoria, Benalla Rural City Council, Tricia Vale and Associates, the Australian Academy of Film and Television, the Australian Center for the Moving Image, Concrete and Paving De Fazio, Bendigo Bank and the Gliding Club of Victoria.

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