By Rachael Turk

In an age where channels for short form content are multiplying, an initiative has been launched under the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) banner specifically to promote Australia’s quality short films.

S.O.S. – See Our Shorts – will be formally launched on July 23 at a party for the new short film, The Ballad of Betty & Joe, directed by Martha Ansara. The Board of the ADG has accepted the proposal of the S.O.S. working party that the group be a subcommittee of the ADG with guild membership a requirement.

With the increase in online distribution such as and festivals such as Tropfest and Flickerfest, S.O.S. seeks to expand the distribution and exhibition outlets for short films produced by ADG members.

“We think there are enormous opportunities now for short films in their own right,” says Martha Ansara, who sits on the interim S.O.S. committee along with Lucinda Clutterbuck. Lee Whitmore and, representing on the ADG Board, Antoinette Starkiewicz. “People make short films for all kinds of reasons, not necessarily just as stepping stones”.

Another primary goal will be the development of alternative venues for the screening of short films.

Television is another area deserving further exploration, says Ansara. “SBS’s Eat Carpet [1989–2005] originally broke new ground with considerable fanfare – is there a way of creating excitement around the free to air broadcast of shorts once again?”

Further details are expected to be announced soon.

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