Long and short of cinema buzz

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Carmentis director Anthony Webb and Lead Actor Ben Mortley
Camera IconCarmentis director Anthony Webb and Lead Actor Ben Mortley Credit: Louise Coghill/Louise Coghill

CinefestOz Film Festival has named four finalists in the running for the top prize in its inaugural Short Film Competition.

For the first time in the festival’s 13-year history, CinefestOz will champion the country’s best short filmmakers by awarding cash prizes in six categories, including for Best Short Film.

The finalists in the running for the $5,000 top prize are; Carmentis (WA), I Want to Make a Film About Women (NSW), The Immortal (NSW), and Carrie’s Doing Great (SA).

All of the films are either WA or world premieres with a certain buzz surrounding the talented directors and producers who are looking to break into the world of feature film.

One of such directors, Antony Webb, said he was looking to take his experience as an advertising director and talents as a writer and producer to feature films with Carmentis his “last short film.”

Webb said Carmentis was set in the future and involved the story of Mac, a miner stranded on a foreign planet dealing with the five steps of grief.

The 15 minute film has only two characters, Mac and an artificial intelligence suit system called EVE, who Webb said “challenges his beliefs.”

“I’ve always found stories based in genre, such as horror or Sci-fi, a more interesting take on subject matter,” he said.

“Sci-fi uses allegories and stronger metaphors to strengthen what the writer is trying to say.”

The movie goes on to explore the physical embodiment of what Mac is experiencing emotionally.

“The story began with a character moving through the five stages of grief and then developed and became more nuanced.”

The Perth-based director studied film and television at Curtin University with an honours in Screen Arts and has worked on 13 films but said being nominated for the first Cinefestoz Short Film Competition was “an amazing opportunity”.

The competition also includes prizes for; Indigenous Best Short Film, Best WA Short Film, Best WA Female Short, Best Director, Best Lead Actor and Actress and the Audience Choice Award.

The CinefestOZ Short Film Showcase can be viewed at the Esplanade Hotel in Busselton or Margaret River HEART culminating in an awards celebration on August 29 at the HEART.

For those who can’t attend the festival, the showcase and CinefestOZ Short Film Awards are also offered on demand through the festival website.

Short films will be available for viewing from 5pm on Tuesday August 25 until Sunday August 30.

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