'Inspire Me'

The finalists for the CinefestOZ Short Film competition have been announced ahead of the festival later this month, with 17 titles competing across eight categories.

More than 140 entries were received from filmmakers across Australia for the awards, which are selected by an independent jury of industry professionals.

Cash prizes are up for grabs in three of the categories, including Best Short Film ($5000), Best Indigenous Short Film ($2500) and the Cinewest Best WA Short Film ($2500).

The nominees for Best Short Film are Harry Quinlan’s Favour on the Fourth Floor, Olivia Martin-McGuire’s Freedom Swimmer, Sophie Saville’s Inspire Me, and Chantelle Murray’s Jarli.

CinefestOZ CEO Malinda Nixon said the calibre of this year’s short film entries made for an enjoyable but also difficult selection process.

“I love the Short Film Program because audience members get to experience and enjoy – and hopefully also be moved and inspired – by so many different Australian stories and communities,” she said.

“These awards also give CinefestOZ the opportunity to acknowledge the many exceptional films we have the privilege to screen each year, and to help filmmakers as they create new, and incredible films in the future.”

For the first time, this year’s awards will include a Best Short Animation category as part of CinefestOZ’s partnership with WAnimate and their own 3Thirty Competition.

The nominees for the inaugural award are Blight, Larry the Lightbulb, and While They Sleep.

There will also be a People’s Choice Award, which will run after the short film screenings.

The remainder of the nominees are as follows:

• Indigenous Best Short Film: Karla Hart’s Wirnitj, Ismail Khan’s Sunnies, Tanith Glynn-Maloney’s Finding Jedda
• CineWest Best WA Short Film: David Vincent Smith’s Good Night, Susie Vickery’s Peregrinations of a Citizen Botanist, Alexandra Nell’s Hash Browns
• Best Director: Jahvis Loveday (Bangay Lore), Megan Smart (Stonefish), Riley Sugars (Hatchback)
• Best Lead Actor Nominees: Claudia Hruschka (Jungle), Jackson Tozer (Hatchback), Kat Stewart (Victim)
• Best Screenwriter: Claudia Bailey (Right Here), Ismail Khan (Sunnies), Madeleine Stewart (Inspire Me).

The CinefestOZ Short Film Awards will be held at Margaret River Heart on Thursday, August 25.

Find out more information about CinefestOZ here.

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