A story about a homicidal teddy bear with extreme jealousy issues will be among the creative offerings to lead the Canberra Short Film Festival when it opens tomorrow.
Festival director Christian Doran launched the program for the three-day event at Dendy Cinemas yesterday morning, announcing finalists who beat off competition from more than 250 entrants to have their work screened during the festival.
Among those to make it through was Queanbeyan's Marisa Martin, who made an animated film about the life of an adorable Care Bear-esque teddy who gets miffed when he is pushed aside because his owner grows up and gets a boyfriend.
''It's a three-minute animation and it is black comedy,'' she said.
Mr Doran said this year he had widened the scope of the festival to include international and documentary categories.
He received entries from around the globe, which were put through two rounds of judging - first by an ACT panel and then by a second panel of national and international judges including Paul McDermott, Rhys Muldoon and LA-based Chuck Noland.
The entries were whittled down to the best 42 films, from a mix of experienced and new filmmakers.
''It was an extremely high-quality field of entrants and very hard to choose from,'' Mr Doran said.
''It was good to see the Canberra entrants were so strong and Canberra really coming into its own.''
Among those to make the final cut were Dallas Bland, of Reid, who made a futuristic film titled Blue World Order, set in a world where a bio-tech virus has taken control of the population.
The seven-minute film follows a man who has avoided infection and who has to save his daughter.
''He is the last person on earth with free will and the film deals with the ideas of free will versus control,'' Bland said.
''Government control over society is growing and growing and it's getting to the point a human being will not need much more than one brain cell to get through the world.
''And that annoys me and that's what this film has come from.''
New filmmaker Megan Watson has made a documentary, following a Canberra musical duo called The Cashews as they prepared and staged ''guerrilla' gigs around the ACT.
''I study media arts and production at the UC and I followed them around as they prepared their first gig for the 2011-12 season,'' Watson said.
''Guerilla gigs are a lot like music's answer to a flash mob.''
Belconnen's Kris Kerehona secured his place among the finalists with Dancing Auschwitz, following a death camp survivor's triumph over persecution.
''Adam Kohn struck me as a man who had gone through the most difficult and serious circumstances a human could endure but who has remained positive enough to want to go back and dance at Auschwitz,'' Kerehona said.
Doran praised the film for its sense of optimism and hope.
''It is a beautiful story about new life rather than dancing on the ashes of dead people,'' he said.