AACTA announces short-form nominees

'Robbie Hood'.

‘Robbie Hood’.

AACTA unveiled the nominees for this year’s awards for Best Short Film, Best Short Animation, Best Short Documentary and Best Scripted Online Video this evening at Shorts+Web Fest in Sydney.

In contention for Best Short Film are: Jane Cho’s The Egg; Michael Shanks’ Rebooted; Madeleine Gottlieb’s Snare; and Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett’s Flickerfest winner Yulubidyi – Until The End.

Up for Best Short Animation are Lee Whitmore’s Sohrab and Rustum; Yori Narpati, Erika Ju and Quynh Truong’s Sole; Simon Rippingale’s Jasper and Greg Holfeld’s Pinchpot.

AACTA introduced the award for Short Documentary earlier this year, with the inaugural nominees Pia Borg’s Demonic, which premiered in Cannes earlier this year; Luke Taylor’s Home Front – Facing Australia’s Climate Emergency; Stefan Bugryn’s War Mothers: Unbreakable, which premiered in Tribeca, and Michi Marosszeky’s Woven Threads.

Ludo Studio are up twice for Best Scripted Online Video for ABC ‘vertical comedy’ Content and SBS’s Robbie Hood, the latter a co-production with Since 1788 Productions. Also nominated in the category are Princess Pictures’ Koala Man; Adele Vuko and Christiaan van Vuuren’s Over and Out, which won Best Short Form Series prize at Canneseries; and Aunty Donna’s Glenridge Secondary College.

Projects shortlisted for these awards screened at the Shorts+Web Fest event across yesterday and today, with Danielle Cormack and Jake Ryan announcing the nominees live at the event’s conclusion. The event also featured a range of industry masterclasses and interviews hosted by Jan Fran.

The event also hosted AACTA Pitch: Elevate, a national pitching competition designed to discoveroriginal and exciting ideas for globally focused, high-concept scripted series. The winner was Angela McDonald’s The Department of Last Requests. She received  $5,000 cash, $2,500 worth of support from Spectrum Films and tickets to the 2019 AACTA Awards. She will also receive guidance on the development of her pilot screenplay.

Voting in the short-form categories will open tomorrow and end September 8. All nominated projects will also screen at AACTA Shorts + Web Fest in Brisbane September 2-3 and Melbourne on September 3-4, and will also be online on AACTA TV from tomorrow.

AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said: “The inaugural AACTA Shorts + Web Fest was a tremendous success that provided emerging Australian creatives the opportunity to get invaluable advice and support from industry leaders as they embark on their creative careers. We are thrilled with the strength of nominees in the short form categories which highlight the incredible talent within the Australian industry.”

In mid-August AACTA also announced it was introducing another short-form category, Unscripted Online Video, to recognise short-form non-scripted/factual entertainment produced for social platforms. Entries are open now and close September 12; nominees in this category will be announced in October.

This is the second set of nominees to be announced for this year’s AACTA Awards, with nominees for Best Documentary announced last week.

Winners will be announced in Sydney across the Industry Luncheon December 2 and the Ceremony & Official After Party on December 4.

The full list of nominees:



 A young girl is dropped off at an elderly Korean woman’s house each day to be babysat whilst her mother works. Bored, lonely and mistreated in this muted world of foreign suburbia, the girl looks for anything to break the monotonous routine of congee, old Korean movies and mandatory naps. Becoming infatuated with an Easter egg upon the refrigerator, she fantasizes about the day where she will find the courage to claim her prize. 

Director: Jane Cho

Producers: Jane Cho, Ilana Lazar


In an industry obsessed with the superficial, it’s not easy being an aging movie star. It’s even harder when you’re also a stop-motion animated skeleton monster. Phil used to be a cutting edge special effect. As a stop-motion animated skeleton from the 1960s, modern movie studios just aren’t hiring him to star in blockbusters anymore. Refusing to succumb to his own irrelevance, Phil takes drastic measures when he learns the film for which he was created is being rebooted without him.

Director: Michael Shanks

Producers: Nicholas Colla, Chris Hocking


At an ageing Chinese restaurant in 1997, a dad (Steve Rodgers) asks his punk musician son (James Fraser) to help him follow his dreams.

Director: Madeleine Gottlieb

Producers: Madeleine Gottlieb, Tom Slater


A young Aboriginal man, Jarman, is tasked with protecting his younger disabled brother, Brianol, from life in a harsh remote community. His father, Thunder, wants him to become the leader of the tribe and mocks any weakness in him. Brianol is seen as useless and yet Jarman senses that the boy has a great connection to the land and spirit. After witnessing abuse and intimidation from their overbearing father, Jarman takes matters into his own hands and flees with Brianol to the desert. Thunder pursues them, aiming to bring Jarman home and abandoning Brianol to die. But they are helped by a dreaming creature (Mamu).

Director: Curtis Taylor, Nathan Mewett

Producer: Glen Stasiuk



Jasper is wild little girl who doesn’t come home when she’s supposed to and prefers a big sky over her head rather than a screen in front of her face. She doesn’t care what people think she should do or be. She just wants to fly – and she isn’t going to give up until she does. Jasper explores the idea that the dream of flight completely transcends gender.

Director: Simon Rippingale

Producer: Alessandra Grasso


A story about giving and receiving, art and work, life and death, and things made from lumps of clay.

Director: Greg Holfeld

Producer: Greg Holfeld


Sohrab and Rustum is the story of a young English teacher reading a poem to a class of teenage girls in 1960s Sydney. Through the poem, the girls are transported to ancient Persia where they witness a legendary fight between two warriors. The girls are confronted with the reality of death.

Director: Lee Whitmore

Producer: Lee Whitmore


Sole is a 3 minute short film based on the true story of Paul Evans, who passed away before fulfilling his dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. His wife gave out his hiking boots to strangers so that they could take ‘him’ with them on the hike. The film explores the relationship of Maia and her Grandpa, and how she overcomes grief by fulfilling his dream.

Director: Yori Narpati, Erika Ju, Quynh Truong

Producers: Yori Narpati, Erika Ju, Quynh Truong



Demonic revisits the infamous Satanic Panic of the 1980s, a mass hysteria where people around the world recovered memories of debauchery, murder, human sacrifice and satanic cults. Blending archive and reconstruction the film uncovers the forces at play between psychiatry, media, and false memory.

Director: Pia Borg

Producers: Pia Borg, Anna Vincent, Bonnie McBride


A powerful and eye-opening analysis that presents some of Australia’s former security, defence and political leaders who all warn us that climate change is ‘a catalyst for conflict’ and a ‘threat multiplier’ as it fuels instability in the world’s most vulnerable regions. The global scientific community has reached broad consensus on climate change – but its social consequences, and how we will deal with them, highlight our failure of imagination. HOME FRONT explores how climate change is inexorably linked to our national and regional security, and how the relationship between climate disruption and conflict will be the predominant force shaping the 21st century.

Director: Luke Taylor

Producer: Luke Taylor


When the war came to Ukraine in 2014, 18 year old Yana Zinkevych watched as her countrymen returned to little or no care, so she set about creating a local chapter of an ancient order of medics. Three years into the conflict, her organisation had grown from a handful of dedicated followers to a battalion of veterans, but early one frosty winter morning, Yana’s life and work came to a crashing halt as she found herself lying in a ditch, with a car bearing down on top of her…

Director: Stefan Bugryn

Producers: Stefan Bugryn, Steven Zelko


Woven Threads is an 8 x 5 minute series, which, through beautiful and powerful animations showcases many varied and moving true stories of refugees. Each episode is a realisation of one happy moment in a person’s otherwise difficult life journey so that for a few minutes it is the human and not the refugee experience that is central. Woven Threads reminds us that regardless of creed or colour we all belong to the same human family, and as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters we care for each other and dare to hope for peace and a safe place to call home.

Director: Michi Marosszeky

Producer: Michi Marosszeky, Paul Sullivan



Glennridge Secondary College is a hilarious, absurd and unrelenting sketch series simply about growing up in Australia. Aunty Donna are one of the biggest names in Australian comedy, and we’re heading back to school to poke fun at the ridiculousness that exists in every classroom across the country. Based on the 2018 award winning live show of the same name, this series is a bold mix of Film, Animation and Song that will reach deep in the psyche of anyone who has lived through High School and leave them screaming with laughter.

Creators: Katherine Dale, Rachel Millar, Max Miller, Aunty Donna


Welcome to Lucy’s phone. Lucy is a recent Uni graduate living in Brisbane with her bff Daisy. Lucy is not content with her boring AF existence. But when a car crash makes her a worldwide meme her life changes course forever. And now Lucy’s had a taste of internet fame… she’s addicted. And she will do ANYTHING to get it back. Throughout the season we follow Lucy’s increasingly desperate attempts to recapture the attention of the internet. But no matter what she tries Lucy can’t seem to cut through the noise… Or can she?

Creators: Meg O’Connell, Daley Pearson, Jackson Lapsley Scott, Anna Barnes


By day, Kevin Williams is a divorced dad, stuck in a dull IT job at the Unanderra council. By night, he’s Koala Man, a civic superhero cleaning up the streets from petty crime. Clad in a koala mask, and wielding a bottle of Eucalyptus Oil, Koala Man won’t stop until he’s rid the town of every last loiterer, litterer, and local kid who looks a bit dodgy down at the park. Wherever there’s a minor misdemeanour, there is Koala Man (Except between nine and five on weekdays when he’s at work. And every second weekend when he has his son).

Creators: Michael Cusack, Mike Cowap 


A narrative comedy about two young parents fervently trying to raise their children right, in a world full of wrong. Lewis and Freya are stuck in the middle of the two most stressful things to do ever…Raising babies and surviving the end of the world. They’re battling the cute and cuddly horrors of early parenthood alongside the ACTUAL horrors of reaving metal-clad gangs, ravenous zombies, disfigured mutants, cannibals, dehydration, disease, and starvation. Our story is about the highs and lows of parenting, maintaining your sanity and relationship whilst facing the harsh brutality of a planet that’s been all but destroyed.

Creators: Adele Vuko, Christiaan Van Vuuren, Bridget Callow-Wright, Gemma Knight, Abi Tabone, Connor Van Vuuren


Robbie Hood is only 13, but already he’s famous in Alice Springs. He and his mates – little Georgia Blue and big Little Johnny – are a notorious band of misfits who skirt the law to right the wrongs they see going down in Alice. With no parents supervising them, no money, and only themselves to rely on, Robbie and his mates spend their days getting around on their BMX bikes, causing headaches for the local copper and Robbie’s deadbeat dad. The memory of Robbie’s mum sticks in his head though, and his life of mischief is led with a strong sense of right and wrong.

Creators: Dylan River, Tanith Glynn-Maloney, Meg O’Connell, Charlie Aspinwall