Luke Eve’s ‘High Life’ takes home three awards at Melbourne WebFest

Luke Eve, creator and director of 'High Life', took home three awards at this year's Melbourne WebFest. 

Luke Eve’s High Life took home the most awards at this year’s Melbourne Webfest, earning Best Australian Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Benson Jack Anthony).

Melbourne WebFest is Australia’s only international web series festival, now in its fifth year. Over the weekend it screened a selection of 50 web series from around the world, in addition to hosting industry panels, workshops and a live pitching competition conducted in partnership with ABC iview. 

The festival’s keynote speaker, LA-based filmmaker Christopher Leone (The Lost Room, Parallels) said: “Like the rise of independent film 20 years ago, we're now witnessing the rise of independent television delivered via the web. Melbourne WebFest is a fantastic event to discover the new wave of television creators and a damn good time.”

The festival gave out some 24 awards, with New Zealand non-fiction series Amy Street winning the Grand Jury Award, worth $1,500.

As well as High Life, other Aussie winners included Bruce, which saw Mat Blackwell and Warwick Holt honoured for Best Screenplay, and Sebastian Peart’s animated comedy Fightin’ ISIS, which won the Crowd Favourite award.

Ludo Studio’s Doodles won Best Australian Animation, Like You Best Editing, Goober Best Australian Comedy, and No Strings Attached Best Australian Non-Fiction. Lesbian drama Starting From Now, directed by Julie Kalceff and produced by Rosie Lourde, was also given an award for Outstanding Diversity.

Pitch iview, the festival’s live pitching competition, saw 20 finalists present a two-minute pitch for an original web series based on the theme ‘Everyone’s Invited’. Tim Potter took out the comp with his pitch Waiting and will receive a cash prize of $5,000 towards professional development. This is intended to cover travel and accommodation to Marseille WebFest to attend its screenwriting residency, where Potter will develop his idea and pitch it back to the ABC.

“Our special congrats to Tim Potter and Jo de Fina, creators of Waiting, an evocative and carefully crafted pitch, set in an outback diner with a backdrop of great Aussie characters,” said ABC iview manager Sally O’Donoghue. 

“We look forward to working with Tim and Jo as they develop their idea, with funding to attend a screenwriting masterclass at Marseille WebFest. The ABC is proud of the relationship we have with emerging Australian screen producers, and we're committed to supporting careers and original local content through terrific initiatives like Melbourne WebFest.” 

Melbourne WebFest 2017 Award Winners:

Best Australian Comedy: Goober (AUS)

Best International Comedy: Orazio’s Clan (CHE)

Best Australian Drama: High Life (AUS)

Best International Drama: Exode (CAN)

Best Australian Non-Fiction: No Strings Attached (AUS)

Best International Non-Fiction: Waynak: Where Are You? (FRA)

Best Australian Animation: Doodles (AUS)

Best International Animation: Deluxe Motion (CAN)

Best Director: High Life (AUS)

Best Editing: Like You (AUS)

Best Lead Actor: Jezabel (FRA)

Best Supporting Actor or Ensemble: High Life (AUS)

Best Cinematography: Rapt (IRE)

Best Score: Exode (CAN)

Best Screenplay: Bruce (AUS)

Best Sound Design: Supa Supa (FRA)

Best Visual/Special Effects: Exode (FRA)

Best of Spotlight on Melbourne: Method (AUS)

Best Student: Two Weeks (AUS)

Crowd Favourite: Fightin’ ISIS (AUS)

Outstanding Diversity: Starting From Now (AUS)

People’s Choice: Krudo (CHL)

Pitch iview Award: Waiting – Tim Potter

Grand Jury Award: Amy Street (NZL)