Shorts and web series shortlisted for AACTA Awards to screen at festival event

‘Sarah’s Channel’ is among the projects shortlisted for the AACTA Award for Best Online Series. 

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) will screen a selection of the projects shortlisted for the AACTA Awards for best short film, best short animation, best short documentary and best online series as part of Shorts+Web Fest, a free event to be held in Sydney late August.

The two-day festival, to be hosted by Jan Fran (The Feed), will feature screenings, masterclasses, Q&A interviews, stand-up comedy, as well as food trucks, pop-up bars and a live DJ. The event will culminate in special guests Danielle Cormack and Jake Ryan announcing the nominees for each category.

Among the projects shortlisted for best short film are Gracie Otto’s Desert Dash; Jane Cho’s The Egg; Marcus McKenzie’s The Projectionist, which won five prizes at the South Australian Screen Awards; Madeleine Gottlieb’s Snare, which premiered at SXSW, Michael Shanks’ Rebooted and Flickerfest-winner Yulubidyi – Until the End, from Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett.

In the best short animation category are Robertino Zambrano’s Accents; Marisa Martin’s Della Mortika: Carousel of Shame, which won best animated short at Flickerfest; Simon Rippingale’s Jasper; Greg Holfeld’s Pinchpot; Lee Whitmore’s Sohrab and Rustum and Yori Narpati, Erika Ju and Quynh Truong’s Sole.

Up for best short documentary, a new award, are Pia Borg’s Demonic, which screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; Luke Taylor’s Home Front – Facing Australia’s Climate Emergency; Chris Phillips’ Lost Rambos; Gary Hamaguchi’s Saving Seagrass; Stefan Bugryn’s War Mothers: Unbreakable, which screened in Tribeca, and Michi Marosszeky’s Woven Threads.

Ludo Studio has been shortlisted twice for the award for Best Online Video and Series: for Content, an ABC ‘vertical comedy’ series, and SBS on Demand series Robbie Hood, a co-production with Since 1788 Productions.

Other projects shortlisted in the category include Over and Out, which won Best Short Form Series prize at Canneseries 2019, ABC’s Sarah’s Channel, which just had its own panel at San Diego Comic-Con, a first for any fully Australian series; Mad Kids’ Lift; Aunty Donna’s Glenridge Secondary College and Princess Pictures’ Koala Man, one of the pilots from the ABC/Screen Australia’s Fresh Blood Initiative.

The Shorts + Web Fest will include panels and interviews such as:

  • Masterclass in Web Series: Storytelling for the Internet, looking at the the art of delivering a story online and how opportunities and challenges differ from the traditional methods of television and film.
  • Short Film: From Beginning to Beyond: Award-winning short filmmakers will take practitioners step-by-step through the process of producing a short film and discuss the opportunities once it’s completed.
  • Short & Sharp: A quick series of Q&A interviews positioned throughout the festival including Michael Cusack (Damo and Darren, Yolo), Adele Vuko (Skit Box, Over and Out) and Christaan Van Vuuren (Bondi Hipsters, Over and Out) answering questions  about animation, web series creation, pitching concepts and more.

“Short films and web series are the perfect platforms for new, diverse and exciting voices, and I can’t wait to showcase what some of Australia’s emerging creators have come up with at the Fest. The day will also feature some insightful masterclasses, hilarious stand-up comedy and opportunities to hang out with other creators and fans! Tell your friends, tell your neighbours, tell your mother and come celebrate some of the most exciting content creators in Australia,” said host Fran.

Shorts + Web Fest will also feature the live final of AACTA Pitch: Elevate, a national pitching competition designed to discover the most original and exciting ideas for globally focused, high-concept scripted series. Attendees will also gain insight from AACTA Pitch: Elevate judges in a Short & Sharp workshop to master ‘the perfect pitch’.

“The online space is an incredibly exciting new branch of the Australian screen industry with many emerging creators finding their voice through web and short form content and building loyal, global audiences to follow them through their careers.” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella.

“From masterclasses and Q&A sessions to the opportunities to connect and collaborate with their peers, AACTA Shorts + Web Fest really does have something for everyone, from Australia’s creatives to the fans and supporters of those creating this exciting new content we get to enjoy.”

Shorts + Web Fest is a free event, however RSVPs are essential for each session via the AACTA website. It will be held August 30 – 31 at the Factory Theatre, Sydney.

All nominated short films will also screen in Brisbane September 2-3 and Melbourne September 3-4.