Getting attention for a short film is like throwing a rock into a dam. To get the rock to skip, first you need the dam. Cinefest Oz had added to the irrigation system by inaugurating its own set of short film awards to play out in its distinctively non-urban landscape.
The festival’s reputation depends on the annual feature film award, at $100,000 the richest in Australia and definitely enough to make a huge difference to the winners. This year it has been suspended because COVID but will return in 2021. But, the festival is providing some modest love to the short filmmakers and surfaced an interesting selection. We should note that three of the four finalists are genre films – four if we want to consider experimental films as a genre. The other prominent films over the last few months have tended towards naturalism and rewarded precise observation.