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The winner of the 2018 Best Short Film at the 35th St Kilda Film Festival was announced to crowds at the Festival’s Closing Night on 26 May. Lost Property Office, directed by Daniel Agdag and produced by Liz Kearney, took home the prestigious award, walking away with a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the City of Port Phillip.

The prize for Best Documentary was awarded to Simon Direen, director and producer of A Life Together. Simon is now eligible for consideration in the OSCARS® Documentary Shorts category. Coat of Arms, directed by Dylan River and with cinematography by Warwick Thornton, took out Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking, while the popular short film, Mrs McCutcheon saw John Sheedy awarded for Best Director and Wesley Pattern awarded Best Young Actor. The prize for Best Youth Short Film was awarded to Don’t Call Me Beautiful directed by Jill Robinson and produced by Tara Wise.

Award winners of this year’s St Kilda Film Festival were presented with over $50,000 in cash and in-kind
prizes at an invitation-only Closing Night Awards Ceremony at St Kilda Town Hall on Saturday night. Celebrating 20 years as Festival Director, Paul Harris said the quality of the 2018 film submissions has been exceptional, and made it challenging to select films for this year’s program. “This year, the quality of entries is a testament to the exceptional talent coming through in Australia’s film industry. I congratulate the 2018 award winners on their well-deserved prizes and all entrants for their wonderful work. At St Kilda Film Festival we stand with calls for the wider film industry to support equality and diversity in all aspects of the industry. We always welcome feedback on the festival and look forward to any means of encouraging dialogue as to ongoing improvements in this regard”

This year’s selection of 100 Australian shorts featured 40 films with female directors and 56 with female producers, compared to figures released by Screen Australia showing that in 2015 women account for only 16% of directors and 32% of producers in traditional film.

The comprehensive 10-day program featured Australia’s Top 100 short films; a specially curated screening of Mexican cinema from the Guanajuato International Film Festival, the SoundKILDA Music Video Competition, Under the Radar Youth Short Film Competition, a free filmmaker development program and more.

City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said the 2018 St Kilda Film Festival was a huge success and in its 35th year, continues to offer a platform to showcase the incredible work of emerging Australian filmmakers. She said, “The St Kilda Film Festival has showcased many producers, directors and actors who have gone on to gain enormous recognition in the wider film industry. It has been the starting point for some of Australia’s most successful filmmakers – going on to have their films screened at renowned international festivals, be nominated for critically acclaimed awards and become industry frontrunners. We are proud to have played a part in acknowledging the talent that Australian filmmakers showcase and be able to continue to do so year after year.”

From June until September, St Kilda Film Festival will tour highlights from the Top 100 short films across Victoria. The Tour aims to showcase award-winning films and highlights from the Festival to a regional audience, with locations including Castlemaine, Mt Beauty, Queenscliff and Ballarat.

Best Short Film
Lost Property Office
Director: Daniel Agdag
Producer: Liz Kearney

Best Director
John Sheedy
Film: Mrs McCutcheon

Craft Award
Director: Toby Morris
Producer: Sam Burnett

Best Achievement in Screenplay
Shaun Perry & Jay Perry
Film: The Intentions of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best Achievement in Editing
Simon Direen
Film: A Life Together

Best Achievement in Cinematography
Warwick Thornton
Film: Coat of Arms

Best Achievement in Sound
Post Production
Matt Read
Film: The Intentions of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
ZPM Film
Film: Last Tree Standing

Best Animation
Lost Property Office
Director: Daniel Agdag
Producer: Liz Kearney

Best Comedy
Director: Henry Inglis
Producer: Cath Trimboli

Best Documentary
A Life Together
Director: Simon Direen
Producer: Simon Direen

Best Youth Short Film
Don’t Call Me Beautiful
Director: Jill Robinson
Producer: Tara Wise

Best Original Score
Michael Yezerski
Film: Fysh

Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking
Coat of Arms
Director: Dylan River
Producers: Rachel Clements, Trisha Morton-Thomas

Best Actor
Oscar Redding
Film: Red Ink

Best Young Actor
Wesley Patten
Film: Mrs McCutcheon

Audience Choice Award
Daily Bread
Director: Ruby Challenger
Producer: Ruby Challenge

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