Themes of Relationship Prove Strong Motive at This Year’s best MIFF Shorts Award

$35,000 in prize money upped by another $3,000 thanks to film industry professionals

Attracting an incredible 1,100 entries from all corners of the globe, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is delighted to announce the winners of the best MIFF short awards. Now in its 45th year, the best MIFF shorts competition is the most prestigious short film competition in the Asia Pacific Region.

This year, the 91 short films competing for AUD$35,000 in prizes were judged by the official best MIFF short competition jury - Joel Pearlman (CEO, Village Roadshow), Matt Hearn (403 Productions, Rogue, Wolf Creek), Robyn Kershaw (independent producer) and Angus Sampson (Kokoda, Where The Wild Things Are). So impressed by the selection of films, jury members created 3 new categories and chipped in an additional $2,500 in prize money.

"The breadth of filmmaking talent who have submitted shorts this year has been outstanding. The program has created an opportunity for Melbourne audiences to be exposed to recent works from around the world as well as a tremendous line up of new Australian filmmakers. The animation program which was a sell out, contained some inspiring films and there is no question that many of these short filmmakers will go on to create important features in the near future." said jury member Joel Pearlman, CEO, Village Roadshow.

The City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film ($7,000) was awarded to Lluis Quilez for his film Avatar a cool psychological drama about a disabled husband and his carer.

The Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film ($5,000) was awarded to director Rene Hernandez and producer Kristina Ceyton for their film, Small Boxes. A participant in MIFF’s Accelerator ’06 programme, Hernandez’s Small Boxes tells the coming of age story of a young Latino-Australian male.

The Melbourne Airport Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker ($5,000) was awarded to Melbourne’s Julius Avery for End of Town - a moody yet beautiful glimpse of a girl standing on a lonely road looking into the distance and into her future.

Best Documentary Short Film ($3,000) was awarded to Steven McGregor’s My Brother Vinnie (Australia). The moving observational documentary looks at actor Aaron Pedersen’s relationship with his mildly handicapped brother Vinnie - a loving relationship that crosses cultural boundaries, family relationships and traditions.

The Transurban Best Fiction Short Film ($3,000) was awarded to director Talya Lavie for her film The Substitute. From the renowned Sam Spiegel Film School in Israel, this well paced film tells the story of a girl soldier on an isolated military base. The Substitute won the audience award at this years Berlin Film Festival.

Not wanting two other fiction shorts to go without special recognition, Village Roadshow decided to step in at the last moment to put up $1,000 in prize money for Antonio’s Breakfast - also a BAFTA winner for Best Short fiction, the films looks at the relationship between a son and his dependant father; and Red - a Canadian film by Maxime Giraux which looks at the protracted conversation between a son and his mother.

Nova Cinemas Award for Creative Excellence in Australian Film ($3,000) has been awarded to Denie Pentecost’s Sexy Thing. An Accelerator ’06 participant and in official selection at Cannes, Sexy Thing looks at 12 year old Goergie’s life - slipping between the reality of her abusive past and the imaginary underwater world she escapes to.

Other award recipients include; Accelerator ‘06 participant Amy Gebhardt for her film Look Sharp winning $3,000 for the Best Student Production; Austrian Arash T Riahi’s Mississippi for the Best Experimental Short Film ($3,000); the Best Animated Short Film ($3,000) has been awarded to the hilarious Astronauts (Matthew Walker, UK); 403 Productions has contributed $500 in order to highly commended the animation One Rat Short - US Alex Weils’ love story between two rats; and Celeste Geer has taken the Award for Short Film Promoting Human Rights for Veiled Ambition which Palace Films has very generously chipped in a $500 prize for.

best MIFF shorts: Award Recipients

  • City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film ($7,000)
    AVATAR, DIR: Lluis Quilez
    PROD: Just Films, SPAIN

  • Best Documentary Short Film ($3,000)
    MY BROTHER VINNIE, DIR: Steven McGregor
    PROD: Sarah Bond, AUSTRALIA

  • Transurban Best Fiction Short Film ($3,000)
    THE SUBSTITUTE, DIR: Talya Lavie
    PROD: Sam Spiegel Film School, ISRAEL

  • Village Roadshow Highly Commended Fiction Award ($1000)
    ANTONIO’S BREAKFAST, DIR: Daniel Mulloy
    PROD: Howard Stogdon and Amber Finlayson, UNITED KINGDOM

  • Village Roadshow Highly Commended Fiction Award ($1000)
    RED, DIR: Maxime Giraux
    PROD: Paul Barbeau, CANADA

  • Best Experimental Short Film ($3,000)
    MISSISSIPPI, DIR: Arash T. Riahi
    PROD: Golden Girls Film Production, AUSTRIA

  • Best Animated Short Film ($3,000)
    ASTRONAUTS, DIR: Matthew Walker
    PROD: Matthew Walker, UNITED KINGDOM

  • 403 Production Highly Commended Animation Award ($500)
    ONE RAT SHORT, DIR: Alex Weil
    PROD: Bryan Godwin, USA

  • Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film ($5,000)
    SMALL BOXES, DIR: Rene Hernandez
    PROD: Kristina Ceyton, AUSTRALIA

  • Melbourne Airport Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker ($5,000)
    Julius Avery, DIR: END OF TOWN, AUSTRALIA

  • Nova Cinemas Award for Creative Excellence in Australian Film ($3,000)
    SEXY THING, DIR: Denie Pentecost

  • Award for Best Student Production ($3,000)
    LOOK SHARP, DIR: Amy Gebhardt

  • Palace Films Award for Short Film Promoting Human Rights ($500)
    VEILED AMBITION, DIR: Celeste Geer

    For more information visit www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au

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