Film scholar, professor, festival programmer
Historically, Australia is best known for producing the first feature film in the world, The Story of the Kelly Gang (Tait, 1906). However, in recent years as short films have become a global industry in their own right, Australia is once again a world leader in creating international short film festivals that draw stadium-sized rock crowds. Australian short films have played a significant and extensive history in our modern film history. They have been a training ground for feature filmmakers who have gone on to glittering careers in Hollywood, but, more importantly, they have been integral to Australia’s film renaissance since the 1970s.
Independent short films have allowed filmmakers the freedom to explore artistic and political expression and to use the format to experiment and move into mainstream opportunities to engage with larger audiences. There is a staggering amount of short films produced in Australia and it makes for highly competitive film festivals that are spread far and wide across this big sunburnt land.
The films that have been selected for this program are a diverse cross section of Australian themes and issues, genres and styles, creative expressions and political concerns. They come as winners from a range of film festivals some with international exposure such as the Oscars.
These films have been made with a range of budgets and filmmaker experience, some over a week others over 13 years, but they all share a desire to perfect a single idea that is pure and intriguing that exists outside pragmatic limitations and yet delivers the secret bath-time ambitions of the filmmakers to a broad and unruly audience. We hope that you enjoy this selection of the best recent Australian short films that provide a small window on to the Australian soul…
Dr Greg Dolgopolov (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)