‘Fry Day’, ‘Mrs McCutcheon’ top MIFF short film awards

'Mrs McCutcheon.'

‘Mrs McCutcheon’ was awarded Best Australian Short Film at the MIFF Shorts Awards. 

An American coming of age story set against the backdrop of Ted Bundy’s execution in 1989 has won the Best Short Film prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Laura Moss’s Fry Day, produced by Brendan O’Brien, Valerie Steinberg, and Danelle Eliav won the City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film, beating 77 eligible shorts and gaining accreditation to be considered for the 90th Academy Awards.

The jury, comprising publicity consultant Alicia Brescianini, comedian Judith Lucy, and Matchbox Pictures Chairman Michael McMahon said Fry Day “ is the complete package; beautifully shot and acted…and a taut, engrossing film.”

John Sheedy’s short about a 10-year-old dealing with his identity, Mrs McCutcheon (produced by Andre Lima and Jenny Vila), won the Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film. The jury said it was “unanimous in its love for this vibrant, colourful and uplifting story.”

Julietta Boscolo won the Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award for her film about a rushed delivery, Let’s See How Fast This Baby Will Go, produced by Eva Di Blasio. The jury praised “Liv Hewson’s powerful and dynamic performance in the lead role as a courageous and determined character who faces the challenges in her life head on.”

American film The Rabbit Hunt, about a Florida family chasing rabbits during sugarcane burns, won the RMIT University Award for Best Documentary Short Film for director Patrick Bresnan and producer Ivete Lucas. It is also now eligible for the Academy Awards.

Zoe McIntosh’s New Zealand drama The World In Your Window won the Cinema Nova and Melbourne International Film Festival Awardfor Best Fiction Short Film and Swede Niki Lindroth von Bahr, won the SAE Institute Award for Best Animation Short Film for The Burden. One of her previous shorts, Bath House, screened at MIFF in 2014. The jury described The Burden as a ”gem of a film (that) invites us into a world of singing and dancing animals mired in their own loneliness or dead end jobs.”

Brigid McCaffrey’s American film about Mojave Desert geologist Ren Lallatin, Bad mama, who cares, was named Best Experimental Short Film (presented by School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and MIFF).

Local sci-fi animation Lost Property Office, earned a Special Jury Mention for director Daniel Agdag and producer Liz Kearney. The jury said “Agdad had created a meticulously crafted piece of animation; from the music to the lighting this John Brack’s painting come to life is a joy to watch.  The story is surprising and ultimately uplifting and is a superb example of what animation can achieve when this much care is put into every aspect of it.”

The filmmakers shared $56,000 worth of cash prizes and the winning films will be screened at MIFF on its final day, Sunday 20 August.