Best MIFF Shorts
The MIFF09 Shorts Program was a veritable feast of filmmaking with 125 short films on the MIFF menu, with 67 of these being screened in competition.
The shorts jury this year comprised of Jonathan auf der Heide, who won the Australian Emerging Filmmaker award at MIFF08 and whose film Van Diemen’s Land is a part of MIFF09; Associate Professor and director of the AFI research Collection at RMIT University and Deputy Chair of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia Deb Verhoeven; and Antonio Zeccola – Managing Director of Palace Cinemas and Palace Films.
1. City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film – $ 7,000 (Academy accredited Award)
Next Floor directed by Denis Villeneuve and produced by Phoebe Greenberg (CANADA)
“A beautifully grotesque film that captivated the jury from its breathtakingly bold opening shot. Outrageously absurd in its style and production design, yet poignant and unforgettable with its pitch black view of humanity. Next Floor is thought provoking cinema at its best.” said Jury member and filmmaker Jonathan auf der Heide.
2. Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film - $5,000
Salt directed by Michael Angus & Murray Fredericks and produced by Michael Angus (QUEENSLAND)
“Courageously shot piece of film making at its best for its daring and difficult premises, contrasting with an incredible scenario full of discovery that brings to the screen a beautiful landscaped piece of Australiana not always seen in this breathtaking immensity. Colorful shot scenes of sunrise and sunset, days and night makes you wish you had the guts to be there. Not even the occasionally ring of a mobile can distract you from this glorious gift of Mother Nature.” commented Jury member Antonio Zeccola.
3. Melbourne Airport Emerging Australian Filmmaker - $5,000 and $5,000 travel grant to attend Berlinale 2010
Two Men directed by Dominic Allen
“Dominic Allen’s Two Men proves that the simplest scenario can provide the perfect premise for conveying the most profound insights. But his key achievement is to understand that even the largest ideas are best told with brevity and the most serious with humour" said Jury member Deb Verhoeven.
4. Cinema Nova Award for Best Fiction Short Film - $3,000 (Academy accredited Award)
Instead of Abracadabra directed by Patrik Eklund and produced by Mathias Fjellström (SWEDEN)
“Writer/director Patrik Eklund pulls more than a rabbit out of his hat with this occasionally nerve-wracking, frequently poignant, and continuously hilarious slacker comedy. For bringing us ‘up-close gothic death and mayhem’ in the sweetest possible way and for introducing an unforgettable new mantra to the screen Instead of Abracadabra truly ‘chimays’ as the Melbourne Film Festival’s Best Fiction Film” commented Jury member Deb Verhoeven.
5. RMIT University Best Animation Short Film - $3,000 (Academy accredited Award)
The Cat Piano directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson and produced by Jessica Brentnall (SOUTH AUSTRALIA)
"The jury was taken into this wonderfully fantastic world with its stunning visuals and haunting sounds. Impressive storytelling by some exciting new voices in animation" said Jonathan auf der Heide.
6. RMIT University Best Documentary Short Film - $3,000
Slaves directed and produced by David Aronowitsch, Hanna Heilborn (SWEDEN)
“A shocking look into the youth slavery trade of Sudan which was highly affecting and evocative. Lured in by the appealing animated facade, the film packed a punch with its raw and uncensored interview recordings of the two young victims of slavery” commented Jonathan auf der Heide.
7. Melbourne International Film Festival for Experimental Short Film - $3,000 (Academy accredited Award)
Necessary Games directed by Sophie Hyde with Paul Zivkovich, Kat Worth, Tuula Roppola and produced by Bryan Mason and Sophie Hyde
“Expressive, somewhat haunting, mysterious and gracefully performed contemporary dance theatre in three acts, this seemingly simple, part improvised and part choreographed piece of experimenta, is moving and beautiful. It lingers on with you long after the final credits have disappeared” said Antonio Zeccola.