The 2017 Port Shorts Film Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and audiences with more than 700 people enthralled by some of the most impressive short films on the planet over two massive nights of entertainment under the stars.
Eighteen-year-old Perth wonderkid Radheya Jedatheva brought the crowd to their feet with his powerful animation detailing the intrusion of digital technology told from the perspective of a phone, iRony, collecting the $5000 Port Shorts Open Filmmaker Award major prize for the second consecutive year for his efforts.
Organisers awarded the Port Shorts Jury Prize – an Atomos Inferno recording monitor valued at $1600 – to Mornington Peninsula-based filmmakers Frank Magree and Paul Henri for their stunning portrayal of a drifter caught up in a Bali drug deal, Sengatan.
Port Douglas adrenaline junkie James Fry was a popular winner of the $2000 Port Shorts Local Filmmaker Awards with his epic documentary Uberflieger showing what can happen when a BASE jump in the Swiss Alps goes wrong.
In the Port Shorts Young Filmmakers Award on Friday night, Mossman State High School student Jake Girgenti impressed the judges with his short film Oswin which tells the story of an American prisoner of war who escapes his Japanese captors into the jungle, winning a Panasonic GH5 DSLR kit valued at $4100 for his efforts.
Judges couldn’t separate the joint winners of the inaugural Port Shorts Music Video Award on Friday night, with local filmmaker Paul Sinkovich and musician Frank Frikker sharing the honours with their hilarious The Leafblower Anthem with Melbourne maestro Natalie James’ magnificent Fires.
Shannonvale teenager Raine Ward’s beautiful interpretation of the Amy Shark hit Adore won the audience’s Shout Out Award on Friday night, with festival favourite Hayden Bevis winning his second People’s Choice award on Saturday night for his tree-climbing documentary Ant.
Festival Director Alison George paid tribute to the talents of almost 50 emerging filmmakers whose work was showcased over the festival.
“We were overwhelmed with the quality of the films entered this year and the diversity of stories they shared on the big screen,” Ali said.
“As organisers we felt priveleged to showcase such an amazing cinema experience to our audience who showed their appreciation for each film with their heartfelt applause.
“We’ve set the bar very high this year and can’t wait for filmmakers to leap over it again in 2018.”
Port Shorts Film Festival Ambassadors – legendary Aussie actor Stephen Curry, Wolf Creek Producer Matt Hearn and screenwriter Kier Shorey – agreed the record Saturday night audience were treated to the best line-up of short films they’ve ever seen.
“I’ve been to a lot of short film festivals all over the world and I can honestly say that’s the most impressive program of short films I’ve watched anywhere,” Curry said.
“Normally when you go to a short film festival you see a few brilliant ones, a handful of really good ones and others not quite of the same calibre that make up the program.
“With Port Shorts this year, all the films were of such amazing quality, audiences were treated to one cinematic gem after another and it was just an incredible experience to be a part of.”
Hearn said judges were in awe of the talent on display.
“Locally, nationally and internationally, the filmmakers featured at Port Shorts this year are going to make a big impression on the film industry in the years to come,” Hearn said.
“It’s very exciting to see what the next generation of filmmakers is capable of and I can’t wait to see where they take us next year.”
Hearn also hailed the success of the Festivals Australia-sponsored Port Shorts Masterclass Series in the four days leading up to the festival, with presenters including actor Peter Phelps, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 drone operator Stephen Oh, music video producer/director Natasha Pincus, cinematographer Warwick Field, former Hollywood writer/producer Jim Gorman and Australian Teachers of Media Queensland President Moneth Montemayor joining Ambassadors Hearn, Curry and Shorey and Port Shorts organisers to hone the filmmaking skills of more than 150 participants.
“The Masterclass Series workshops were an exceptional opportunity for local and emerging filmmakers and actors to learn from some of the best in the business,” Hearn said.
“I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone who participated in saying that it was incredible to be a part of, that’s an experience you wouldn’t get in a major capital city, let alone a tropical paradise in Far North Queensland.”
You can keep up to date with the festival at http://www.portshorts.com