Brietta Hague’s ‘Baltasar’ wins Best Short Film at St Kilda Film Festival


Brietta Hague’s Baltasar continues to impress on the festival circuit, named Best Short Film at this year’s St Kilda Film Festival Awards.

The Spanish-Australian co-production about a Senegalese man’s diligent attempts to make ends meet in a new land took home the cash prize of $10,000 on Sunday, with Hague also winning Best Director and Best Achievement in Screenplay.

It comes after the project, which was produced by Estela Rasal and Gala Gracia, was crowned Best Australian Short Film at the 2021 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Shorts Awards.

Elsewhere, Olivia Martin-McGuire’s Freedom Swimmer was given this year’s Craft Award, receiving a $2,000 cash prize. Produced by Brooke Silcox and Ron Dyens, the hybrid, poetic documentary tells the story of a grandfather’s swim from China to Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution.

Other winners on the night included Samuel Rodwell’s real-time snapshot of the Black Summer mega-fires, Inferno, which won Best Documentary, as well as Best Achievement in Sound Post-Production.

The Better Angels, directed by Michael Cusack and produced by Richard Chataway, was awarded Best Animation, winning a one-on-one masterclass with one of JMC’s industry specialist lecturers, while Rowan Pullen and Stephen Potter’s Bunker: The Last Fleet took out Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking.

The judging panel for this year’s awards consisted of Emma Bortignon, Johanna Kelly, and Pauline Clague.

Bortignon said it was an “absolute pleasure” to help determine this year’s winners.

”Listening, watching and experiencing the entries was thrilling, and we had loads of excellent discussions while drilling down to the winners”.

Now in its 39th year, the St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) returned to the big screen in 2022, running from May 27 to June 5 with a program of music videos, gaming, and immersive forms.

Festival director Richard Sowada paid tribute to all the filmmakers involved in this year’s event.

“It takes a lot of heart and passion to put your ideas into the public arena, and we acknowledge the trust they put in us to look after their hard work,” he said.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Original Score

Winner: Jackson Mico Milas (Giants)

Best Achievement in Sound Post-Production

Winner: Samuel Rodwell (Inferno)

Best Achievement in Editing

Winner: Raymond Evans (Mars)

Best Achievement in Screenplay

Winner: Brietta Hague (Baltasar)

Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking

Winner: Bunker: The Last Fleet

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Winner: Kieran Fowler (Giants)

Best Young Actor

Winner: Ingrid Torelli (The Mirror)

Best Actor

Winner: Yael Stone and Emily Barclay (You and Me Before and After)

Best Animation

Winner: The Better Angels

Best Documentary

Winner: Inferno

Best Director

Winner: Brietta Hague (Baltasar)

Craft Award

Winner: Freedom Swimmer

Best Short Film Award

Winner: Baltasar

Under the Radar – Best Youth Short Film

Winner: Blue Belt (director Liam Harrington)