With young Canberrans literally walking around with 2018 mini film studios in their pockets, the 23rd Canberra Short Film Festival is set to be one of the biggest yet.
The festival, commencing on Sunday, September 9, runs for seven days in locations across Canberra including Dendy Cinemas, Belconnen Community Centre and Smith’s Alternative.
For only the second time in the festival’s history, more than 300 films have been submitted with a significant increase in the number of young filmmakers submitting films.
Festival director John Frohlich said the high number of submissions reflected the popularity of short films both locally and around the world.
“This year we will see films with themes entailing romance, satirical looks at millennials and social media, refugees and LGBTIQ, as well as some dark films addressing loneliness and depression,” Mr Frohlich said.
Local filmmaker and four-time Canberra Short Film Festival entrant Sebastian Chan said finding the right idea for the right moment was essential for delivering a film that resonated with an audience.
“The film I entered this year is called ‘Bus Trip’ which is about a man with a disability on a bus who stands up for what is right and fair,” Mr Chan said.
One in four films submitted is selected for festival screening and, according to Mr Frohlich,“there is a lot of really cool stuff coming from Canberra filmmakers, particularly in the two-minute film and music video categories".
Technology such as the iPhone and drones are allowing for more innovative storytelling. The “Two Minute” film category has been added to this year's festival to capture today’s trends and inspire emerging young filmmakers.
“The technology is fantastic. Five years ago you wouldn’t have been able to afford the type of poetic and dramatic shots drones can produce and the accessibility iPhones provide,” Mr Frohlich said.
Mr Chan agreed. “The technology filmmakers have access to today is amazing. Anybody can make something that looks great and filmmakers are a lot less limited in how they can produce a great film."
The Canberra Short Film Festival has kickstarted more than a few careers, Mr Frohlich said. "Many of the people who have gone on to have successful careers in the film industry have come through this festival.”
This year's festival encompasses nine categories, with prizes for best film in each. The prizes range from cash to studio access and mentorships.
Canberra Short Film Festival, 9-16 September 2018, various venues across the capital. For more information head to www.filmfest.net.au