Meet the 2021 shortlisted filmmakers for the inaugural Very Short Film Festival. This is no ordinary film festival. One of the positives of this very strange pandemic era has been that many of us have found the time, and the urge, to explore our hitherto unknown or overlooked creative sides. This national competition sprung out of the world we’re been living in, encouraging all sorts of stories to be told and shared – particularly from those people who are not usually heard.

“What an enormous pleasure it has been watching all the very short films submitted for the 2021 festival,” says actor and 2021 judge Marta Dusseldorp. “Smart, engaging, thoughtful stories – full of intrigue, heart and connection and celebrating this complex life.”

The 2021 Festival Premier Screening Event was held at Spring Bay Mill, Friday 21 May 2021, watch the Livestream again:


WINNER: Olivia Buonopane (Age 20, ACT): Sweet Dreams 

My name is Olivia Buonopane. I was born in the Australian Capital Territory in the year 2000. I used to be a sprinter growing up and made short films with my friends and family. My passion started to grow. I then decided to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Production at the University of Canberra. On the side I made short films, wedding videos and promotional videos. This has lead me to starting my own videography business.

SECOND: Luca Yi (Age 16, Bega NSW): The Waiting Room 

Luca Yi is a student who grew up on Djiringanj country on the NSW South Coast before starting Year 11 at Sydney’s Conservatorium High School in 2021. As well as film-making animation and music Luca’s passions include theatre, dance and writing. He has had work published in Ash Dust Air, a collection of writing by young people across southern New South Wales in response to ongoing drought, bushfires and Covid-19, and was awarded the Olga Masters short story award youth prize in 2020. He has performed in several local theatre productions as well as written unpublished short works for radio and stage. Luca has been playing with animating and filmmaking since a young age, starting with stop-motion, and has since created many short films using a variety of different techniques. He is always searching to expand his horizons and build upon his skills, and hopes in the future to create his own animated series.

THIRD: Chloe Kealy (Age 16, Tas): Chloe’s World 

Chloe Kealy is 16 years old, and has grown up in North West Tasmania. She and her family live on top of a hill, and in spring it is surrounded by a blooming rainbow of tulips. Chloe enjoys hanging out with her family and spending time on the farm, helping out with the animals. Chloe knows that when she grows up, she wants to work in a hospital, and is passionate about helping people.

Fletcher Kamino (Age 14, Tas) and Flynn Kamino (Age 12, Tas): Little Tassie Series

Video 1: The Librarian; and Video 2: The Architect

Fletcher and Flynn Kamino live in rural Tasmania. Both brothers are interested in music, acting, filmmaking and design. They have collaborated to write, act, direct and edit the YouTube sketch comedy series ‘Little Tassie’, and are currently working on Season 2.

Jongmin Lee (Age 17, Qld): BRICKS 

My name is Jongmin Lee and I am 17 years old. I came from Korea. And I started filming about two years ago. And I am really passionate in filming. Currently I am studying Diploma Of Screen And Media at TAFE. I really like filming so I use to just go out and take some video and edit it. Also I do some client work as well to make my portfolio so I don’t get pay a lot. But I really enjoy doing that work. I did some promotion videos and some interview videos and event video as well. I like filming because there is a lot of works to do but after I finish I can enjoy with other people. And My video can change other people’s mind.


WINNER: Ainsley Halbmeijer (Vic): The Hotline 

My name is Ainsley Halbmeijer (she/her), I am a documentary filmmaker and creative-of-many-trades based in Melbourne. I am currently completing my Masters in Documentary Film at the Victorian College of the Arts. I’m interested in making slow, poetic films that build gently and take you by surprise. My unconventional background in environmental politics informs my love and passion for visual storytelling. I am currently working as a digital media producer for Environmental Justice Australia, and have worked as a photographer, videographer, production coordinator, and researcher across a variety of platforms including film, TV and social media.

SECOND: Thomas Herbert (Vic): Complete and Utter Garbage

Tom is a filmmaker and designer with a deep passion for building imaginative worlds on screen and a big focus on sustainability. His hope is that the stories he tells will make an impact, no matter how big or small, to the way people treat their environment. We share this planet together and must protect it and every living being that calls it home.

THIRD: Eva Justine Torkkola (Vic): Bound 

Eva Justine Torkkola is an ADG-nominated director and AWG-nominated writer. A 2019 graduate from the Masters of Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. Eva works as an Acting Tutor for the NIDA and Sessional Marker for Film at the University of Melbourne. In 2019 Eva was selected to attend the International Filmmaking Academy in Bologna, Italy with masterclass teacher Jane Campion and featuring Francis Ford Coppola. Eva was also chosen for the Looking China filmmaking program. In 2020 Eva was a Leading Lights recipient at the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC). Eva was also nominated for an Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) award for ‘Best Direction in a Student Film’ and an Australian Writers’ Guild (AWGIE) award for ‘Best Short Film’, both for her VCA graduate drama ‘Something has died in the forest’ (ЩОСЬ В ЛIСI ЗДОХЛО). In 2021 Eva was selected for the Cinespace Package to Pitch program. Eva was also selected for a Film VIC Emerging Practitioner Pass for the Screen Forever Conference.

Fenella Edwards and Brendan Kays (Tas): Claire 

Fenella has worked on short film Waterbears with Joee Kelk for a Flinders Island film festival previously, but this is the first short film she has produced. Often seen writing and performing poetry, music and stand up comedy, Fenella is an artist across many media. Member of Launceston Screenmakers and avid film fan, creating Claire was a real joy.

Brendan has extensive history with audio production, and has recently transitioned to film making, taking his audio skills with him. Since completing a Diploma of Screen & Media at RMIT, Brendan has been working on various video projects over the last two years. This is Brendan’s first short film to be released, his other films being documentary and music focused. Brendan also holds an Associate Degree Of Music Studies, and is a well-known part of Hobart’s music scene.

Matthew Newton and Anna Brozek (Tas): They say I’m a terrorist 

Matthew Newton is a Director, Cinematographer and Photographer and is Co-Director of Rummin Productions, a Tasmanian based film and digital media production company specialising in cinematic documentary. Prior to Rummin he worked on documentaries overseas. He has been a finalist in the National Portrait Prize, the Moran Prize for Contemporary Photography and the Bowness Photographic Prize on a number of occasions. He regularly photographs for editorial and news publications throughout Australia and has been recognised for his work, as a finalist in the Australian of the Year awards and the Walkley awards for journalism.

Documenting frontline activism has become the crux of Anna Brozek’s work, a fierce new voice in conversations surrounding Tasmania’s wild lands.  As an independent photographer, filmmaker and writer her work explores the ongoing resistance in the environment movement, as well as exposing the carnage left behind by industries Viscerally, it speaks to the force that drives human beings to put everything on the line for a greater purpose.

We wish to highly commend the following filmmakers

Open:  Eloïse Boutry, Ursula Woods, Kapil Hemudan Gadhvi, Alex Thomson, Sarah Badcock, Oscar Lush, Kim Nolan, Grace Roberts, Mitchell Fairbank, Judith Peterson, Grant Thompson, Victoria Haberley, Larissa and Rhiannon Camilleri.

Junior: Nina Daos Kadati, George Odgers, Lawrence Ellis, Alana Larson, Issach Mann.