Meet the 2023 Filmmakers

The Very Short Film Festival Premiere Screening Event was held at Spring Bay Mill, 26 May 2023. 

2023 Open Category

First Place

Jaimie Conlon & Rishi Le Hunte (NSW): Sustenance

Jaimie Conlon grew up in the small town of Littlehampton in the Adelaide Hills. In South Australia, she completed an Advanced Diploma in Film and Television Production from Adelaide College of the Arts. Jaimie’s graduating film, Amelia, was nominated for the South Australian Screen Awards in 2019. She is also a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and her directorial graduate piece, Jellybean, premiered at Perth Revelation International Film Festival in 2022. Her producing credits include Bloody Red Riding Hood, an 18-minute retro slasher which screened at Monsterfest Adelaide. Her choreography credits include A Little Blue Pill Called Song, which took home the Audience Choice Award at Pierre Cardin’s Lacoste Music Festival. Jaimie is fascinated by the insular worlds that exist within small communities, and how they can be a microcosm for society at large. Rishi Golembiewski is a shooter producer, born in Delhi and raised in Australia. After a bachelors degree at AFTRS he has found a career in everything from Bollywood productions in Mumbai to regional news in Canberra. He has witnessed the food crisis first hand at a very early age and has been bin diving for food most of his life. A lifelong vegetarian, he is also hyper aware of the damage that industrial food production has had on the planet and he is a passionate advocate for climate justice and corporate accountability.

Food waste isn’t just scraps at the end of a meal, it’s the tonnes of food that never make it into shopping bags. Sustenance is a timely portrait of the human consequences of a destructive society, and the power behind the act of giving.


Meet Jaimie Conlon & Rishi Le Hunte


Miranda Sharpe (NSW): The Universal Struggle

Melbourne born, Newcastle based independent filmmaker Miranda Sharpe studied film theory at Monash University, and later at Newcastle TAFE school of screen and media. She has worked as Her love for cinema started at an early age, with the Cowboy midday movies and Elvis musicals. She is a first generation Italian, and has often struggled with notions of identity and belonging. Common themes like misplacement and loneliness are often explored in her work. Her work often depicts saturated color-grading and non-verbal protagonists who are alienated by their environment, particularly within the urban landscape. Her influences include 90s Hong Kong Cinema of Wong Kar-wai, Jim Jarmusch and Buster Keaton.

This is a story of the universal struggle: Man vs remote. Who will win?

The Universal Struggle

Meet Miranda Sharpe


Alison Stanton-Cook (TAS): ROE

Alison (she/her) grew up in nipaluna/Hobart, performing in local theatre and films before moving toSydney where she attended Actors Centre Australia; earning an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts and working with esteemed directors Gale Edwards and Jennifer Kent. Alison worked in public relations, fashion writing and owned a scented candle company before starting a family with husband Rob Stanton-Cook. Alison and Rob moved back to Hobart to raise their two daughters, Imogen and Madeleine and Alison fell in love with performing arts again; completing further actor training with Lesly Kahn & Company in LA and Les Chantery in Sydney. Alison is the Screen Acting Lead Tutor at Musical Theatre Crew and specialises in Laban techniques for theatre and film, learning under the mentorship of renown Laban teacher Adrian Barnes and was recently a guest speaker on Laban for camera in a workshop run by acting coach Miranda Harcourt. Alison is in the process of becoming an Intimacy Coordinator, training with Theatrical Intimacy Education and was recently awarded a Mental Health First Aid course by Screen Well, in the aim of increasing mental wellbeing in actor training. Since returning to Hobart, Alison has performed with the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), PLoT, Salamanca Arts Centre, various TV shows and commercials. Alison is also trying her hand at producing and assistant directing, working on Bad Company Theatre’s production of The Hitmen and Claremont College’s production of The Wedding Singer. ROE is Alison’s first short film.

ROE follows teacher Jenna as she struggles under the pressure of creating boundaries with her students. This coincides with incidences of family issues and mental health crises in the students under her care.


Meet Alison Stanton-Cook

Runners up:

Alex Thomson & James Cameron (VIC): Tact

G’day! I’m Alex, I’m a writer, director and actor* (but not a wanker) based in Melbourne. I love making films that are surprising, funny, dark, absurd, satirical, emotional, ridiculous – anything with a great story and a strong point of view. Since graduating from a Film & Television degree at the VCA, I have had my short films & web series screened at both local and international film festivals, including Manchester Film Festival,Flickerfest, Cinefest OZ, Melbourne WebFest, Foyle Film Festival Derry, Byron Bay International Film Festival, Peninsula Film Festival & Gold Coast Film Festival. Alongside making short form content, I have developed scripts & concepts for TV and feature length Films. In 2020 I was scouted by Hopscotch Features for their talent pool, and as of 2021 have been on the Key Talent Placements register at Film Victoria.

James Cameron is a writer and director based in Melbourne (Naarm). He has a Master’s of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne, and spent three years developing his writing, acting and producing with the MelbUni LawRevue. James is also a Melbourne (Naarm) based Location Manager, and has enjoyed working on locally produced films including Moja Vesna, Petrol, Shayda, Of An Age and Strange Creatures. Prior to that he worked at Sweetshop & GreenProductions. In 2019, James won the Writer Duet 48-Hour Screenplay Throw down for his script Coffee, and he went on to direct that short in December 2022. James enjoys working with actors, writing, and meeting new people to collaborate with.

Two brothers attempt to compose a heartfelt text message..


Meet Alex Thomson & James Cameron

Runners up:

Harrison Warne & Jack Breedon (QLD) : In my Bones

Harrison Warne grew up on the NSW far south coast, spending much of his childhood and teenage years in the bush or ocean getting to know the behaviour of reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals and fish. Now living in North Queensland, he works as an ecologist and filmmaker. Recently, Jack Breedon and Harrison co-founded ‘Lacelid Productions’ as a way of creating more science communication films and nature documentaries

Originally from Melbourne, Jack Breedon grew up snorkelling and driving along Australia’s southern coastline. Since leaving school he has studied at James Cook University completing a Masters of Science in Marine Biology.

In my bones is a short featurette on Palaeontologist Adele Pentland. Adele lives a double life, spending most of her time on a large remote cattle station in Western Queensland, she occasionally goes to Winton (nearest town to her home, 130km away) where she works as a researcher at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum.

In my Bones

Meet Harrison Warne & Jack Breedon

2023 Junior Category

First Place:

Dylan Burrows (Aged 15, VIC) : The Polish Nut

Dylan Burrows is a 15 year old highschool student who has a passion for photography and filmmaking, based in Melbourne, Australia. At the age of 11, through watching short films with his grandfather, he discovered a passion for filmmaking and photography. By 12 years old Dylan started a freelance video editing business that quickly became successful and has allowed him to work with clients all around the world. The videos he has edited have over 46,000,000 views. Dylan’s dream is to create a feature-length film and to premier at a prestigious film festival. He is currently working on a short film and numerous photography projects.

The Polish Nut is a story that revolves around a boy’s routine visits to his Bubi’s house until a significant event alters their daily routine.

The Polish Nut

Meet Dylan Burrows


Christopher Mansfield (Aged 17, NSW) : Left to Cool

Christopher Mansfield is a seventeen year old high school student and stop-motion animator from Sydney. He likes to animate with whatever he can find including clay, paper and everyday objects. He likes to tell quirky, fun stories. He is also into running, cycling and playing guitar. He has two younger brothers. He has moved around a lot. He has lived in three different states or territories and attended five different schools.

A story of what two cups and a teapot get up to when the people leave the room to allow the tea to cool.

Left to Cool

Meet Christopher Mansfield


Charli Kemper (Aged 19, QLD) : The Good, the Bad, and the Library

Charli Kemper is a talented writer and director, best known for her uproarious short film, The Good, the Bad, and the Library. Currently, in her second year at Bond University, she is studying a Bachelor of Film and Television and is set on achieving her ultimate career goal of becoming a Showrunner.

Born and raised in Sydney, Charli’s passion for film was ignited at a young age thanks to her father’s love of photography and videography. She was no stranger to being in front of the camera, and her love for being behind it was sparked in Year 5, when she and a friend submitted a claymation short for a school competition and took home first prize. At the award show a presentation by an employee at Animal Logic, opened up the possibility of a career in filmmaking, which has been Charli’s driving ambition ever since.

Throughout her studies at Bond University, Charli has been fortunate enough to work alongside a group of like-minded individuals who share her passion for film. Together, they have created several successful short films, and Charli has honed her skills in various areas, including production and costume design, editing, and writing. This led Charli to her writing and directing her own film, The Good, the Bad, and the Library.

Charli draws inspiration from her love of animated shorts and classic 1920s slapstick comedy films, with a particular admiration for the works of Pixar, Chuck Jones, and Buster Keaton. Her storytelling puts a strong emphasis on visual storytelling, holding strong to the well-known saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

Charli seeks to continue writing and creating films and tv shows and looks forward to furthering her career in this industry

A studious artist and a rebellious bookworm clash in a library, continuously attempting to out-irritate the other into leaving, all whilst evading the Librarian’s keen ear.

The Good, the Bad, and the Library

Meet Charli Kemper

Runners up:

Ben Van Leen (Aged 15, WA) : Chris.P

My name is Ben van Leen, I am a 17 year old in Perth, Western Australia and have been living here for my entire life. I have a love for films and filming and am currently studying my diploma in screen and media at North Metro TAFE. I also currently hold a position at spud shed innaloo and work there part time. I eventually want to open my own small production company and make small movies. I have made quit a few small short films already but plan on starting to film more weddings and corporate videos in the future to gather funds. But I have large dreams and aspirations for the future and where I want to head and where I want to get to.

A light comedy about two best chip friends coming to terms with their freedom, until it is cut short.


Meet Ben Van Leen

Runners up:

Julia Woods (Aged 15, TAS) : A Non-linear Exploration of the End

I am a young queer creative living in Tasmania. I recently graduated college, having studied Media Production and English Writing, both of which honed my skills in this field. I discovered an ambition for film in late high school, when I realised my love for television could be translated into a creative outlet. I already had a passion for creative writing and used this to begin learning scriptwriting. I was always particularly inspired by media that included diverse queer representation, and found that this could be an empowering way to spread a message of inclusion. I taught myself to edit, and learnt how to operate cameras in my final year of college. I finally got the opportunity, with the help of some friends, to see my scripts come to life. Being able to see a draft through to a finished piece of film only confirmed my love of the medium. This is a path I wish to continue down as I aim to study screen production at university after a gap year, and I hope to use this medium to represent and empower queer people as other media has done for me.

A mockumentary style comedy following a group of young queer time travellers, who come back to the 21st century to try to discover the reason for humanity’s decline.

A Non-linear Exploration of the End

Meet Julia Woods