MEET THE 2022 FILMMAKERS

The Very Short Film Festival is delighted to announce the shortlisted filmmakers for 2022.

The festival is a vehicle for social change – a place where diverse voices are front and centre in an environment full of opportunity. Using the power of storytelling through film, the festival provides a chance for creative sides to be discovered and existing skills sharpened. It’s where many of the entrants pick up a camera to shoot something for the first time in years (or ever!).

Director Justin Kurzel, says “It is the freedom in making shorts where a cinematic voice develops, where a point of view reveals itself to the filmmaker. And it is at these short film festivals where future filmmakers are revealed, where oxygen is pumped into their passion for film. The Very Short Film Festival gives these young filmmakers a platform, and celebrates their curiosity and love of cinema in a meaningful way. It is an essential event which will have lasting ripples for this group of talented filmmakers.”

Very Short Film Festival Premiere to Announce the Winning Films

Date: 5.30pm, Friday 20 May 2022
Where: Spring Bay Mill, Tasmania

Livestream starts at 6pm

MC Casey Bennetto
Acknowledgement of Country: Graeme Wood AM
Junior category: Leta Keens & Rocco Fazzari
Open category: Justin Kurzel
Live Music: Ange Boxall

2022 JUNIOR CATEGORY

JUNIOR CATEGORY : WINNER

Jahvis Loveday & Joy Ben Hur (Aged 21, NSW) : Home

My name is Jahvis Loveday, I am a young Indigenous Filmmaker from the Northern Rivers of NSW, Australia. I have grown up in a big family of seven brothers and sisters, all raised by my mum. After her passing, we moved in with our uncle and aunty and cousins. I first picked up a camera in 2016, to create a memory of one of our travelling adventures. Since then, I have not been able to stop myself from being engulfed by the world of storytelling through film and video. Over the past two years, I have completed a bachelor of film, along the way making over 150 videos and 10 short films that have gone on to win me the honour of best Young Australian Filmmaker of 2020 at the Byron Bay International Film Festival as well as many other recognised awards around Australia. I have experimented with lots of different stories and how to tell them, and the biggest thing I have learned is to create what I know, tell my stories, what I have experienced and what lessons I have learned. Once I have more skills and knowledge, I want to travel around our country and help tell the stories of all my traditional brothers and sisters.

Hi, my name is Joy Ben Hur and I am a filmmaker, online content creator and brand owner based in Byron Bay, Australia. I have always been passionate about telling authentic stories through film and photography, in the hopes that it will inspire others to do the same. I was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and moved to Australia at the age of four when my parents found a Steiner school they felt suited me perfectly. It was there that I was able to explore my passions and nurture my creativity to start things like my brand ‘Humble Ego.’ Humble Ego is about empowering creatives to find the balance between self-love, respect for others and the world we inhabit. Through ethically made jewellery & meaningful conversations, Humble Ego believes in giving creators permission to feel confident and worthy of admiration without allowing arrogance and narcissism to manifest. I started my YouTube channel ‘Joyish’ as a school project in 2014 and it has now become my visual diary where I can share advice and film daily vlogs. Nothing makes me happier than connecting with thousands of like-minded people all around the world, as I navigate the highs and lows of being a female in her twenties.

A girl must leave her home town, her family, her friends. Everything she remembers that was horrible, how the town was so small, everyone knew everyone, becomes the things she will miss the most.

JUNIOR CATEGORY : SECOND

Anika Jocumsen (Aged 18, QLD) : Under the Rainbow

Anika Jocumsen is based in Caboolture in south-east Queensland. This is her debut film project entry. She developed a love of the medium through her senior high school, Music Industry College, where she took a film class for the first time in year eleven. Encouraged by supportive film and art teachers, she has plunged into the artform and is currently working on a film project centring on women’s recognition. She has also developed an interactive art installation using film and other sensory media to express Beauty Through Decay. Anika has always had a love of the arts and in 2021 co-produced, choreographed and performed in a production of the musical Be More Chill. She is currently studying drama at Queensland University of Technology and is exploring the use of film in theatre productions.

The film ‘Under The Rainbow’ explores the struggles and tensions a child in a toxic or abusive environment and deals with how they express themselves. Influenced by the quote from ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true’, the film experiments with dissociation and the lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity.

JUNIOR CATEGORY : THIRD

Lily Lunder (Aged 17, Vic) & Koko Crozier (Aged 18, Vic) : The Backwater

Koko Crozier is an ambitious and talented actor and filmmaker who has pursued extensive training in both fields. Her short film Hereafter was selected for Top Screen 2022 as part of the VCE Season of Excellence.

Lily Lunder is a passionate filmmaker with a number of accolades including winning ACMI’s 2017 Screen It competition and being selected as a finalist for Tropfest Jr 2019. She has written, produced and edited films on diverse topics such as time travel, UFOs and rare childhood diseases.

Both from Melbourne, Koko and Lily make a formidable filmmaking team with an ideal combination of directorial and acting prowess. The Backwater is their debut short film as a duo.

A young girl awakes by a backwater spring and struggles to recall the night before. As the events begin to unravel, she experiences a shocking revelation. ‘The Backwater’ interprets the signature both literally and metaphorically.

Rywinne Logan (Aged 15, Vic) : In Search of Spring

My name is Rywinne Logan and ever since I was young, I was fascinated with storytelling. I would invest myself in books and film, in fact I would write these stories about these grand adventures and all sorts, although I never realised my passion for it all at that age. It was only when I read the book on the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey that I realised my love for film and filmmaking – the amount of effort that goes into this medium of storytelling is admirable and fascinating. That’s when I said to myself, “I want to be a movie director when I grow up.” Funnily enough, this was only last year.

In 2021, during one of the long lockdowns, I decided to join a film competition. Although I didn’t win, I got shortlisted and I’m proud of that and grateful to the people who actually watched my film. Afterwards I spent most of my time writing this massive screenplay, and thought to myself, “I’m going to make a feature length film.” But then I realised I’m only a 15-year-old boy, and after beginning the second draft of it, I also realised I needed to make something smaller. So, I wrote another screenplay that I scrapped as I realised again that I was a 15-year-old boy and decided to move on to youth film competitions, which brings me here.

On the night I found out about this film competition, I wrote the screenplay and drew up a story board along with character designs. And once it was all filmed, we dubbed the audio all over, I added sound effects of my own and I got my friend to compose music for it. And I did this all because I read a book on 2001: A Space Odyssey.

For some unknown reason, Spring did not arrive for the people of a faraway kingdom, as a result the King sent two of his most trusted men and his cousin to find Spring and return it back to his kingdom.

Daisy Pyefinch (Aged 15, Tas) : Imprisoned

I’ve made four films in the past and won prizes at the Mystate Film Festival including best in age group. I enjoy writing scripts, directing and acting. I love the world of film and the creativity it brings. I am a grade 10 student at Hobart high school. This latest film was made specifically for the Very Short Film Festival and I’ve collaborated with friends and family who have helped me in the past. I am particularly interested in making comedy films.

This film follows the journey of a 15 year old girl with an obscure aspiration. Her story is told in the form of a documentary. My film is a comedy and I love the style of mockumentaries, my inspirations are Chris Lilley and ‘This country’ by Daisy May Cooper.

2022 OPEN CATEGORY

OPEN CATEGORY : WINNER

Mark Bernard: New Life (Vic)

Mark Bernard was born in Melbourne in the ’80s to South Indian parents who migrated to Australia in the late ’70s. A self-taught artist, he has only started painting on canvas after an absence of more than a decade. His artwork mainly consists of acrylics and paint markers, and his work is heavily influenced by street art. Recently his interest in has moved into animation as it reminds him of his childhood – he hopes to further his skills in short animated films in the near future.

‘New Life’ is the story and journey of a young person’s progression in life amidst war and diversity. The main character of the story has faced more hurt than love and therefore would rather look away and not deal with the pain – a new life is what’s needed to change this perspective.

OPEN CATEGORY : SECOND

Matthew Newton & Anna Brozek: Spring Release (Tas)

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.

Tasmania’s Orange Bellied Parrot, the worlds most endangered parrot, is a brilliant little bird staring into the abyss of extinction. Five years ago there were only 17 known birds in the wild. But it seems they are making a comeback.

This film shines a light on the people behind the parrot, the people that refuse to let this bird go extinct – the conservation scientists of the program and the small army of incredibly dedicated volunteers. We will follow the birds from the innovative captive breeding program in Hobart where they are raised and prepared for a life in the wild. Approximately 50 young birds will be flown in spring to a release site at Melaleuca in the Tasmanian World Heritage Area, the parrot’s only know wild breeding site.

This is the story of how a small team of scientists and volunteers are working together. Often in extreme conditions to breed, release, monitor and provide the best possible conditions to give this little bird every chance of surviving as a species into the future.

OPEN CATEGORY : THIRD

Adam Bigum, Dan Farmer & Ramas McRae: The Hunted (Vic)

Dan Farmer and Adam Bigum are a film director duo from Melbourne, Australia. Having first met in film school back in 2006, Adam and Dan then followed two very different paths before joining forces at the end of 2019 to direct The Starey Bampire, a short film they whipped up over a weekend which picked up a large number of awards across the festival circuit. The pair have recently teamed up with Ramas McRae, a Deaf filmmaker to make The Hunted. Ramas was initially asked to help with reworking the script and casting, but the further the project moved forward, the more the team realised how much they needed Ramas to take on more of a key creative role. Ramas was then invited to co-direct and the rest is history.

Dan Farmer is an award-winning director and cinematographer who runs a prolific video production company, Farmwalker Films, with his wife, Amelia.

Adam Bigum is an award-winning writer and director, who has worked as a head writer for the ABC and is an in-demand writer and producer.

Ramas McRae is a proud Deaf filmmaker and language consultant who has produced and directed a number of his own short films, and is an in-demand Deaf consultant in the Australian film and television industries.

Against a backdrop of the harsh Australian bush during a post-apocalyptic future, a young Deaf girl is led into an ambush by her mentor in this tale of trust and survival.

Eloïse Boutry & Billy O’Key: Maïa (NSW)

Eloïse Boutry is an emerging writer/director. With a background in sociology/psychology and having graduated from the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School, Eloïse has a passion for human stories: blurring the line between narrative and documentary. Her first short film Vulva was selected for Cannes Antipodes Film Festival and FFS Sydney, while Exodus, her second short, won the St Kilda FF 60 Second Film competition in 2017, and BAE screened at Cinequest in California. Frightened Rabbit, her most recent short film, won the Audience Choice Award & Next Gen Short at the Melbourne Women in Film Festival 2020.

Billy O’Key is a Sydney-based drummer who plays and records for multiple Australian acts. He is passionate about seeing drums intersect with technology, and continuously strives to push his instrument beyond its tradition. He also often gets roped into recording and composing for his wife’s short films.

I always had in mind to make something for this film festival. The theme buzzed around my cognition and life went on. I had initially planned for a lovely poetic piece about our daughter being born, and of how spring brought new things. But autumn came and with it came rain and the news that my husband was sick. Having just moved cities into an old house with a leaking roof, a newborn at my breast and my partner in hospital- I was at capacity. So when it came to making this, I clung on to one key mantra ‘It won’t look great but at least it’ll be honest’. And it’s true. I filmed this on my phone whilst walking my baby to sleep. Yet in a time of pure survival, it was the simple act of pausing, looking for an angle, searching for the beauty in the blaring white lights of a hospital corridor, and letting words spill out, that cracked open my numbness. That let me feel. And in the end, like in the beginning, MAÏA is a poetic piece about our daughter being born, and how spring brings new things.

Andrew Robb: Karl Heinz (Vic)

Originally from Canberra, Andrew is an award-winning filmmaker now based in Sunshine, Melbourne. Too stubborn to work with anyone else, he tries to do everything himself. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t. Andrew is known for his short films Tofu Man, My Ghoul and Odd One Out.

I love my old Volvo ‘Harvey’ but his days are probably numbered. I’ve wanted to feature him in a film for ages. I only had a few days with my lead actor (visiting from Germany) so I jumped in and used a phone, which was great for mounting all over the outside of the car and getting those tight interior shots. I know this meant a more rudimentary visual style but the phone offered a great way to capture the story without a crew, in the time I had available.

People's Choice Voting : Junior Category

Very Short Film Festival 2022
  • Junior Category (21 years or younger)

People's Choice Voting : Open Category

Very Short Film Festival 2022
  • Open Category

We wish to highly commend the following filmmakers:

Open: Angus Middleton, Jason Ng, Rohin John, Laurence Rosier Staines, James Di Martino, Llewellyn Michael Bates, Jennie Feyen, Conor Castles-Lynch, Nada Mawsouf, Henry Fisher, Shaun Wilson, Billy White, Zoe Haynes-Smith, Olivia Buonopane, James Adams, Doug Hall, Cristy Froehlich, James Guilar, Marcus Galic, Katherine Tandoc, Kyle Portbury, Martin Sinclair, Jesse Polden, Robbie Beakley, Byron Davies, Radheya Jegatheva

Junior: Sophia Pocket, Aireys Inlet Primary School, Tallulah Remond-Stephen, Pius Kung, Angelica Willis, Makenzie Young-Armstrong, Liam Miller, Markello Souvlis, Ellis Plant, Astrid Teague, Izzy Oborn, Ella Demarchi, Rose Callaghan, Layla Darwich, Jake Bell, Daniel Schafer, Madeleine Hogan, Catherine Smit, Isabel Park, Yael Green