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:: Spotlight :: 2011 St Kilda Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Opening at St Kilda‘s iconic Palais Theatre on Tuesday May 24, the 2011 St Kilda Film Festival celebrates the spectacular triumphs of the local film industry. Running over six days, the Festival will showcase Australia's 'Top 100’ short films, SoundKILDA - a music video extravaganza, plus international short film programs from Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland and a special collection of films from Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers.

St Kilda Film Festival is Australia's longest running and largest competitive short film event in Australia, supporting up-and-coming-filmmakers by presenting their work as well as conducting a range of open and interactive events including an Industry Open Day to connect filmmakers with the industry as well as a number of free forums hosted by industry practitioners.

Produced by The City of Port Phillip, the Festival finds a new home this year at the Astor Theatre after the George Cinemas recently closed. The St Kilda Film Festival will take up residence with Marzipan the cat who can be seen in this year's key art.

St Kilda Film Festival is a competitive Festival - the ‘Top 100’ Australian short films are eligible to win $40,000 worth of cash and in-kind craft awards, with the winner of the Best Film being awarded $10,000 cash - the richest cash prize in Australian short film.

Competition sessions are packed with the best of Aussie shorts featuring some well known names and faces; Nash Edgerton presents the world premiere of his new short Bear written by David MichÔd (Animal Kingdom); Angus Sampson stars in Pop and There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake; Offspring's Don Hany features in Suburbia; Damon Gameau can be seen in both Cockroach and Roman's Ark; Paul Capsis stars in Oscar's First Kiss; Josh Lawson lines up alongside Damon Herriman in Pet; Marg Downey comes into focus in Us; Camille Keenan writhes around in Snake and also appears in Everything is Super; while Gracie Otto directs her dad Barry Otto in Seamstress.

As always a few actors step out to try their hand at the craft of directing - Matt Day has his directorial debut with Beat; so too Nadine Garner directs her first film, Afterglow with real-life partner Cameron Barnett as producer and director of photography; and Fox FMs Tim Lee and comedian Tom Gleeson bring us the comedy Call Centre.

This year sees a strong collection of Melbourne documentaries; These Streets - a personal insight into three of Melbourne's ambulance paramedics; Burnside - the story of a man falsely accused of spitting on Richmond coach Danny Frawley in 2004; Sally's Story a deeply personal look at being a 40 year old Jewish transgender woman; while Chong World sees Rose Chong speak about her passion for make-believe and her iconic Fitzroy costume store.

Get rockin' when the Festival once again screens and awards the best in Australian music videos at SoundKILDA. Hosted by Alan Brough, the session includes film clips from the hottest bands of the moment including Dan Sultan, Megan Washington, Birds of Tokyo, and Spoonbill but firmly shines the spotlight on the filmmaking team behind them.

As a very special event, this year the St Kilda Film Festival revives one of horrors greats - from late night Friday's way back in the 1960s comes the one and only Deadly Earnest. A ninety minute program of horror clips and trailers entitled Horrorpalooza has been programmed by Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) and Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend) and will screen 10.30pm - midnight on Saturday May 28.

The St Kilda Film Festival Industry Open Day takes place on Saturday May 28 at The Astor Theatre - the filmmaking industry comes together to offer a program of free forums, information from leading film organisations - plus radio RRRs much loved Film Buffs Forecast will broadcast live from 12pm - 2pm.

Free forums run throughout the week and offer a broad range of information and advice. Meet key contacts at the session on Funding Bodies; SPAA Fringe presents a dynamic session on Producers; get the low down on the International Film Festival circuit with representatives from Cork and interfilm Berlin; and learn what the next step for your filmmaking career is with Open Channels session And now… What?

The full program and other information can be viewed here

For more information, visit

www.stkildafilmfestival.com.au