Friday, July 13, 2007

REVIEW: The St. Kilda Film Fest

"Twenty-four years ago the St Kilda Film Festival created history as the first in Australia to be organised by a local government. It continues to make history today and a win at the St Kilda Film Festival can now be the first step towards the red carpet at Hollywood’s Academy Awards".

"The St Kilda Film Festival provides a unique platform for Australian short
filmmakers working in a large talent pool. Thanks to the adoption of digital formats, short film culture is much more diverse in form and content and there is a dramatic increase in the amount of work being produced"

Tonight I attended the opening night of the St. Kilda Film Festival in my town. There were free drinks and pizza so right away I was impressed. Hey, it was gourmet pizza, ok?! The crappy part was that I went alone. Yes I was Nigel-no-friends. I wasn't in the mood to chit-chat with anyone especially after this horrible woman sitting next to me went on a 15 minute rant about how she hates radio and why it's unnecessary. (I work in radio so needless to say, I wasn't impressed) The 'woman' then made fun of everyone in the room. Lady, from me to you, get a life.

Ok so on to the films. I've never been a fan of shorts because I like a developed story. A short is one act and usually you're left with a desperate want for more, or a desperate need for the last 10 minutes of your life back. Both of those conflicting feelings stirred within me tonight. However, one short stood above the rest as a mini piece of brilliance.

What They Don’t Know

Producer: Carlin Smith
Director: Samuel Bennetts

A deranged man breaks into an apartment block with a personal vendetta against seemingly everyone. A voice reveals tales of his earlier life bringing to light that all is not as it seems.

This film had me holding back tears. I have never in my life seen a short film that has affected me like that. It was so incredibly moving and the actors were amazing. Usually they are film students or someone's family used as extras, but this was well cast...quality. The way it developed was really interesting, with use of tricky lighting, camera work and make-up supporting the story. The ending just blew me away. Whoever these film-makers are, I implore them to start making features STAT because Australia needs movies like this in its arsenal.

Well, I haven't sworn off short film festivals yet and my faith in them was certainly restored by this tour of professionally presented and well made shorts. I had interviewed the director of the fest,Paul Harris, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Thankfully it convinced me to attend. I felt a bit out of place among all the cinema snobs but it was well worth the snivelly stares. If it comes to your town, check it out!

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