Flickerfest is on its way to Newcastle, bringing with it some of the most original - and amusing - short films of the past 12 months.
It's all happening at Event Cinemas Kotara next Saturday, February 15, from 6pm.
The Flickerfest programs present a selection of entertaining, inspiring and award-winning films hand-picked from the festival's 3500 entries. Flickerfest director Bronwyn Kidd delights in bringing the hottest short films in the world to audiences in her home town of Newcastle each year.
Two programs will be featured: Best Of Australian Shorts and Short Laughs Comedy.
"Our Flickerfest tour event in Newcastle will give audiences an opportunity to experience these world-class short films on their doorstep and connect with festival organisers and other film lovers at the event," Kidd tells Weekender.
"As I grew up in Newcastle it's always exciting to have the opportunity to bring Flickerfest back to my home town.
"I'm also thrilled to include filmmakers with a Newcastle background, like Kalu Oji of Blackwood, in our Newcastle program, sharing his experiences of growing up locally on screen."
Blackwood won Best Cinematography at Flickerfest Bondi and was written and directed by Oji, originally from Lambton and a former student of Lambton Primary and Lambton High schools. It is the story of a novelist and her teenage son who face their own unique challenges over the course of a day, finding recognition and respect difficult to come by in small-town Australia.
Blackwood was also selected for the Palm Springs and BFI London film festivals.
Oji is a Nigerian-Australian filmmaker whose work has a strong focus on intersectionality and the African-Australian experience. In 2018 he graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and Television).
In keeping with the Novocastrian theme, Flickerfest's Grease-inspired trailer was made by Jake Nielsen and Matthew Predy, who both attended Hunter School of the Performing Arts in Broadmeadow. Their film On Hold won Best Australian Short Film at Flickerfest 2018.
"Winning the Flickerfest award has given us the opportunity to see our film on all manner of screens, and enjoyed by many audiences across the country," Nielsen says.
"We had the excitement and honour of qualifying for the Academy Awards; it's unbelievable. We are so grateful for Flickerfest providing a platform for emerging filmmakers to find their footing in this industry.
"We were also excited to return and work with Flickerfest again on this year's Grease-inspired trailer. We got to write and produce a full musical number on Bondi Beach, working with amazing performers Penny McNamee, Paul McDermott, Jake Speer and a fantastic chorus."
Highlights from the Best of Australian Shorts include the winner of the Best Australian Short Animation award at Flickerfest 2020, Rebooted, directed by Michael Shanks; Best Australian Short Film at Flickerfest 2020 The Egg, by Jane Cho, and This Perfect Day, by Lydia Rui, which won her Best Emerging Female Director.
A selection of off-kilter funny short films from Australia and across the world is also on the line-up. Highlights include Flickerfest 2020 Best EU Short Film winner The Land Over There (Drubenland) from Germany; The Tent from Norway; and the Korean animation Division Series set in a KFC where Donald Trump and presidents from various countries play cards in an attempt to win the last chicken basket.
Celebrating its 29th year in 2020, Flickerfest remains Australia's leading Academy accredited and BAFTA recognised short film festival. It kicks off the summer cinema season each year under the stars at Bondi and then visits more than 50 destinations across the country on its annual tour.
The Best of Australian Shorts kicks off at 6pm on February 15 at Event Cinemas Kotara followed by Short Laughs Comedy at 8.45pm, with drinks during the intermission included in the ticket price. Tickets at flickerfest.com.au.
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