Ainsley Halbmeijer, winner of the Open Category, right, onstage with, from left, judge & mentor Marta Dusseldorp, second placegetter Thomas Herbert, third placegetter Eva Justine Torkkola and MC Casey Bennetto.

The Very Short Film Festival is delighted to announce the winners for the inaugural national competition. This was 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 competition encouraged all sorts of stories to be told and shared.

Congratulations to all the filmmakers showcased at the Very Short Film Festival Premiere Screening on Friday 21 May at Spring Bay Mill! We are delighted to announce the winners.

“What an enormous pleasure it has been watching all the short films submitted for the festival,” said actor and judge Marta Dusseldorp. “Smart, engaging, thoughtful stories – full of intrigue, heart and connection. Celebrating this complex life and nodding to our beautiful Tasmania.”

If you weren’t able to join us in the audience or online, you can watch the livestream recording and meet the filmmakers, here.

Open Category 

Winner: Ainsley Halbmeijer (Vic): The Hotline

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

Third: Eva Justine Torkkola (Vic): Bound

Junior Category

Winner: Olivia Buonopane (Age 21, ACT): Sweet Dreams

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

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

Eva Justine Torkkola says, “What an absolute dream of a time I had. Thank you again so very much for everything. It was an honour to be a part of the festival.”

“I had an incredible time and it was such a fantastic event. So grateful to have come along!” says Ainsley Halbmeijer.

“It is a challenge to produce a short film. The incentive for an outlet for filmmakers’ creativity is welcome. I thought the selection was diverse and interesting,” says Stephen Bennett, festival guest.