Bayside Film Fest finalists announced

The Bayside Film Festival will announce the winners in the Youth Documentary Awards following a screening of the finalists at a gala event on Friday 18 July. The Awards will be hosted by Alan Brough (Spicks and Specks) and kicks off from 7pm at Palace Brighton Bay Cinemas.
The Youth Documentary Awards are the culmination of Bayside Council’s Youth Documentary Project, an innovative educational filmmaking program running in schools for the last four years. The Project, which was recognised with a High Commendation in Youth Engagement in the National Awards for Local Government and a finalist in the 2007 Local Government Awards in Excellence, aims to develop skills of investigation and expression through the experience of making short films.
Four years on, almost 800 students have created documentary works on topics as varied as gangs in schools, dredging in the bay, free speech, discrimination, animal cruelty, graffiti, depression, eating disorders and music.
Professional filmmakers work directly with youth groups, and alongside media teachers to deliver film production workshops over a four-month period. In 2008, funding has allowed the Youth Documentary Project to extend beyond Bayside municipality to include Debney Park Secondary School in Flemington (considered the third most disadvantaged school in the State), and Horsham Secondary School in regional Victoria.
“We are excited to showcase the finalists in this year’s Youth Documentary Project. More than 60 films were produced from this year’s workshops, and of those the 19 best films will be judged in competition by an jury of film industry professionals and previous YDP winners,” said Bayside Film Festival’s Artistic Director Sally Hussey.
“The central philosophy behind the Youth Documentary Project is to encourage young people to engage with issues that affect them directly or are close to their fields of experience through an artistic form.”
“It is an incredible thrill to work with young people in documenting the world through their eyes, focussing on issues in their worlds – and it is amazing and surprising to see the results.”
The Competition Jury includes writer/director/producer Richard Lowenstein (Dogs in Space, He Died with a Felafel in His Hand), documentary filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Chasing Buddha, Cicada), Festival Artistic Director Sally Hussey and two previous YDP Award Winners, Katie O’Rawe (2007 Artistic Director’s Award winner for Wrong Turn) and Callum Harrison (2006 Achievement Award for Canned).
The 19 Finalists in the 2008 Bayside Youth Documentary Awards are:
High Rising Tension
Debney Park Secondary College
Crew: Adam Yassin, Ali Hassan
Documentary – Problems between youth and police at Flemington high-rises.
Footscray City College
Crew: Michael Clarke, Nick Reed
Documentary – Do people who play computer games have an unfair image?
The Perfect Tan
Firbank Grammar School
Crew: Louise Mitchell, Isabel Keeton, Anna Gelai, Bronte Thompson, Sarah Keeton
Documentary – Why do people risk skin cancer in pursuit of the perfect tan?
That Cooking Show
Footscray City College
Crew: Mitch Gibson, Ksaniel Hasanki, Lloyd O’Hanlon
Satire – A daytime cooking show the way it should be done.
Fading Away
Sandringham College – Highett Campus
Crew: Elle Willersdorf Greene, Sarah Thomas, Katya Evangelista, Eden Fennessy
Documentary – A look at eating disorders and the problems they cause.
Do Fish Have Feelings?
St Bedes College
Crew: Tom Howard, Jordan Kelly, Luke Rochford
Documentary – Is the socially accepted act of fishing actually inhumane?
Firbank Grammar School
Crew: Erica Farrer, Kat Mews, Alison Link, Steph Campbell
Documentary – Will computer technology eventually create an isolationist society?
Sandringham College – Highett Campus
Crew: Amber Garland   , Kathleen Dale, Tonie Rayne-Steele
Documentary – What are the causes and possible cures for depression?
School Police
St Bedes College
Crew: Lucas Carlson, Brandon Blood, Kane D’Atri, Wayne Bartholomeuz
Mockumentary – An examination of the trials of a school policeman.
Cheltenham Secondary School   Crew: Joshua Collins
Documentary – A visit with some very accomplished model railway enthusiasts.
Hard to Understand
Debney Park Secondary College
Crew: Najma Hassan
Documentary – Somalian refugee Najma talks about the problems of language barriers.
Sandringham College – Beaumaris Campus Year 10
Crew: Ben Lydiard, Todd Nuttall, Jordan Caligiore
Mockumentary – A light-hearted look at how we are all affected by time.
Teachers Strike Back
Sandringham College – Beaumaris Campus Year 9
Crew: Andrew Warden, Mitch O’Dwyer, Nathan Mahar
Documentary – Looks at the recent industrial action by teachers.
Buddy Who?
Horsham Secondary School
Crew: Allie Crosgrove, Greta Wood, Rowie Johns
Documentary – Students try to track down a mysterious SMSer called 199Buddy.
Sandringham College – Beaumaris Campus Year 10
Crew: Charlotte Mardling, Jacky Cooke, Patrick Reaby
Expressionism – How to make sense of a poignant personal experience of a noisy world.
Animal Neglect
Mentone Grammar School
Crew: Emily Mercurio, Stephanie Umina
Documentary – What happens to pets that are abandoned by their owners?
Sandringham College – Beaumaris Campus Year 9
Crew: Carla Picker, Matt Heron
Documentary – Examines the controversial dredging of Port Phillip Bay.
Below the Bay
Sandringham College – Beaumaris Campus Year 10
Crew: Austin Giordano, Riley Bush
Documentary – An underwater exploration of local marine life.
A Dog’s Life
Horsham Secondary School
Crew: Robert Sinn, Madeline Krahe, Emily Newton
Documentary – Looks into the issue of dogs being shot at the Horsham Pound.
The 5th annual Bayside Film Festival opens on Wednesday 16 July with a gala event featuring the world premiere of Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s Cicada. The Festival continues until Saturday 19 July with a celebration of local youth cinema. Highlights include Jump Cut, showcasing the best short films from young filmmakers across Australia, workshops with Angus Sampson and Damian Walshe-Howling and forums, In the Cannes and Documenting the Personal, which give access to industry professionals to share in the journey of filmmaking.
Phone 9596 3590 or go to
The 2008 Bayside Film Festival is presented by Bayside City Council and supported by Film Victoria and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. The Festival is sponsored by Palace Cinemas, Melbourne Weekly Bayside, Jeans West, Heydon Films, Screen Education, Bendigo Bank Sandringham, Victoria College of the Arts (The University of Melbourne), Cameraquip, Mother’s Milk, Open Channel, Music and Effects, Kodak and Madman Productions.
[Release by CG Publicity]