‘Big Chef, Little Chef’ triumphs in Panasonic’s LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge

L-R: Danny Kim, Jemma Ha, Kerrod Cooper, Cain Howlett (Caimaniacs), Aiman Malik (Caimaniacs), Kevin Rickert, David Shannon.

Kerrod Cooper’s Big Chef, Little Chef was crowned the overall winner of Panasonic’s inaugural LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge yesterday evening at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Place in Sydney.

The competition saw 10 filmmaking teams selected to create a short 3-6 minutes long in just 72 hours using the recently launched Panasonic LUMIX S5IIX and supporting equipment. In addition to the time constraints, the creatives also had to integrate the theme ‘broken’ and object ‘egg’ into the film.

The overall winner was selected by a panel that included cinematographers Liam Brennan and Carolyn Constantine and writer, director and producer John Harvey, who evaluated each film using a criteria based on creativity and originality, cinematography, and the smooth and unique integration of the theme.

In Big Chef, Little Chef, a charismatic children’s show presenter (Danny Kim) whisks young viewers into a culinary adventure filled with laughter and learning. But behind the cheerful facade, he must grapple with a simmering internal struggle as the hustle of the kitchen mirrors the intensity of his emotional past.

In addition to serving as director, Cooper was editor and sound designer, while Kim was also a co-writer. The team also included David Shannon as director of photography, Dylan Esguerra as sound recordist, Kevin Rickert as art department lead, and Jemma Ha as production assistant.

As the winner, the team received a prize package including over $14,000 in LUMIX imaging products and equipment from sponsors CR Kennedy Imaging, SmallRig and Atomos, plus $5,000 cash.

“The competition was an excellent opportunity and we jumped at it. We started with the premise: ‘what if The Bear was a kids’ show?’ and went from there. These types of projects are our bread and butter, and our team thrives on being creative and collaborative,” Cooper said.

“There is so much untapped filmmaking talent in Australia, and it was great to see so many of us get together in this way. My advice to other filmmakers is to continue making cool films, and eventually somebody important will take notice.”

Aiman Malik and Caimaniac were the recipients of the People’s Choice Award for their film Making Magic, which explored the idea that true magic isn’t about spells and potions, but about the special moments we share with our loved ones.

Selected by those in attendance at the award ceremony, they received a prize package of over $5,000 in LUMIX imaging products plus equipment from sponsors SmallRig and Atomos.

“We wanted to make a film that explored a parent and child relationship in a positive light. This is only our second project, and we are so pleased to be here among all these amazing filmmakers. It is such a dream of ours to win an award, and we never imagined we might be standing here so soon,” said Malik.

Panasonic Australia managing director Paul Reid said it had been amazed by the talent demonstrated by all entrants.

“These films are dramatic, thought-provoking and heartfelt – impressive when you know they were tasked to go from concept to screen in just three days,” he said.

“Panasonic remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering Australian filmmakers of all experience levels and abilities. Part of that commitment is giving opportunities that challenge and grow the entire industry. While the LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge created a competitive platform for cinematography, it also delivered an opportunity for ten outstanding filmmakers to explore and showcase their passion for the medium.

“We are grateful to the judges for the time they took to carefully consider all entries, and we hope that the recognition of the award encourages and spurs the winners and finalists on to even greater success and look forward to seeing what next year brings.”

You can view all the films on YouTube.