MIFF Shorts Awards
August 3, 2010
Having not really had time to check out all of this year’s Shorts strand at MIFF, I thought heading along to the Shorts Awards would at least afford me with a working knowledge of and opportunity to see the festival’s most outstanding highlights. After a fair bit of talking and some occasionally amusing anecdotes, the actual award ceremony got under way and the winners in each category were announced. They are as follows:
- Jury Special Mention: Out of Love (2009)
- Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Experimental Short Film: Long Live the New Flesh (2009)
- Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Animation Short Film: Angry Man (2009)
- Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Documentary Short Film: The Mystery of Flying Kicks (2009)
- Cinema Nova for Best Fiction Short Film: Autumn Man (2009)
- Melbourne Airport Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker: The Kiss (2010)
- Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film: Franswa Sharl (2009)
- City Of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film: The Lost Thing (2010)
Somewhat disappointingly they didn’t quite have enough time to show all the shorts (although I dare say that if they’d cut some of the comedy intro – no offense to Colin Lane intended – along with the absolutely pointless “montage” of shorts’ opening credits that some poor bastard spend time needlessly editing together, then they could have fit them all in), but the majority of those shown were of a very high standard.
First up was The Kiss, a well observed Australian “coming of age” dramatic short that was well shot and suitably atmospheric.
Next was the fascinating documentary surrounding the act of “shoe tossing” which illuminates a number of global theories on the “origin” and “meaning” behind the phenomenon. Amongst the reasons cited are; marking the loss of one’s virginity; signaling a crack house; indicating gang territory; a sign of bullying and performance art. Using mixed media and with a strong but not omniscient voice, The Mystery of Flying Kicks is a tidy little film with peculiar yet intriguing subject matter.
The less said about Franswa Sharl the better – let’s just leave it at this: sometimes it seems Australian filmmakers don’t know where the line is – no matter what the motivation, an intentionally comedic character who “blacks up” is wildly inappropriate and always offensive.
Finally, The Lost Thing: a sweet, endearing, well animated tale about individuality and imagination. A kind, subtle metaphor for the anomalous nature of pure imagination within an industrial cityscape: “A place you wouldn’t know exists.”
Thomas Caldwell said it best in his brief intro when he urged the filmmakers present, “Please continue to make films that are true to your own visions because they’re going to be the good ones.” Just so long as they can leave the racial offenses aside, I wholeheartedly agree.