MIFF unveils short film award winners

Press release from Limelight PR

Last night in front of a crowded Greater Union cinema comedian Colin Lane hosted the annual MIFF Shorts Awards, where the best shorts of the Festival were announced and screened.

With over 1200 entries, almost 100 shorts from 22 countries had their Victorian premiere in official competition in the MIFF shorts program. The MIFF Shorts Awards are the most highly regarded short film competition in the Asia-Pacific region and one of the few in which the winners will be eligible to submit their films for Academy Award consideration. The competition offers filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to compete for 7 awards and a total cash and prize pool of almost $30,000.

This year saw Australian filmmakers out in strength, winning more than half the awards on offer:
The Melbourne Airport Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker went to Ashlee Page for The Kiss. The South Australian winner picks up $5000 cash plus an airfare to the Berlinale in 2011.

The Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Experimental Short Film went to Belgium director/producer Nicolas Provost for his film Long Live The New Flesh. Provost gets a $3000 cash prize.

South Australian doco The Mystery of Flying Kicks picked up the Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Documentary Short Film. Director Matthew Bate and producer Viron Papadopoulos were in the audience to accept their $3000 prize and thank the jury for their “good taste”.

Director and producer Anita Killi couldn’t make it from Norway to accept the Melbourne International Film Festival for Best Animation Short Film for Angry Man ($3000 prize), but Awards host Colin Lane did a good job accepting the award on her behalf – putting on his best female voice.

The Cinema Nova for Best Fiction Short Film was awarded to Autumn Man from Sweden. Directed by Jonas Selberg Augustsén and produced by Freddy Olsson they received $3000 courtesy of Cinema Nova and their 15 cinema screens.

In the audience to receive the Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film to the value of $5000 was Director Hannah Hilliard and Producer Linda Micsko for Franswa Sharl. After debuting at this year’s Berlin Film Festival they chased Executive Director Richard Moore around Berlin in an attempt to get their film into MIFF. Not only did they succeed, but Hannah Hillaird was accepted in to MIFF’s Accelerator program, an intensive four day workshop for up-and-coming directors.

Announced last, but certainly not least, was the City Of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film. With a cash prize of $7000, the Australian short The Lost Thing picked up the award. While a Jury Special Mention went to Out Of Love by Birgitte Staermose (Denmark). A directorial debut by much loved illustrator and author Shaun Tan, his co-director Andrew Ruhemann and producer Sophie Byrne – The Lost Thing is a story of a thing with a weird, sad, lost sort of look that didn’t really belong anywhere.

Winners Ashlee Page (The Kiss), Hannah Hilliard (Franswa Sharl) and Mathew Bate (Mystery of the Flying Kicks) are also 2010 MIFF Accelerator participants.

Many thanks go to the MIFF short film jury which included Alan Finney (ex Roadshow Films and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia), Thomas Caldwell (film critic) and Wendy Haslem (Lecturer in Cinema Studies, University Of Melbourne).