Charles Williams’ ‘All These Creatures’ named best Australian short at MIFF

‘All These Creatures.’

Charles Williams’ All These Creatures won the award for best Australian short film at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the film stars 13-year-old Ethiopian-Australian Yared Scott as Tempest, a boy trying to understand the dark presence growing inside his father and the events that led to an inexplicable tragedy while his backyard is infested with cicadas.

Lauding the film as evocative, thought-provoking and timely, the judges said: “From the opening cacophony of the cicadas that are slowly infesting the family home, to the poetic cinematography, this is a polished piece of filmmaking from director Charles Williams. The subject matter is extremely relevant, with mental illness still a difficult topic, even in a time where more open discussion has lulled us into thinking it is no longer taboo or suffered in silence.”

The grand prix for best short went to Canadian-based director Jérémy Comte’s Fauve, the saga of two boys who double-bluff each other in a surface mine, which won the special jury award at Sundance. The judges praised the director’s understanding of the existential dangers of what masculinity expects of even the youngest, with a poetic sucker punchline.

The emerging Australian filmmaker prize went to VCA 2017 film graduate Astrid Dominguez Ortega for We Vanish, a Mexico-set tale on the the dangers of being a teenage girl in a patriarchal society.

Describing the film as part-parable, part-thriller with a chilling conclusion, the judges praised the performance of Patricia Menses, adding: “This is cinema worth talking about and a masterful debut from a filmmaker to watch.”

The award for best fiction short went to director Zoel Aeschbacher’s Bonobo, which explores the annoyances and injustices of three tenants in a run-down tenement block where the lift is broken.

Mark Olexa and Francesca Scalisi’s Black Line, which examines the impact of an oil spill on a village in Bangladesh, was named best university short.

The award for best animated short went to Lucia Bulgheroni’s Inanimate while Dimitri Venkov’s The Hymns of Muscovy was deemed best experimental short.