MIFF 56th Shorts Awards Winners Announced!

MIFF 56TH SHORTS AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Monday 14 August – From a pool of 77 eligible shorts competing for $56,000 worth of cash prizes, the MIFF 56th Shorts Awards announced seven winners at a ceremony last night, with the winning films spanning tales of misogyny and diversity, to stories about rural life and animated performing animals.

One of the most highly regarded short film competitions in the Southern Hemisphere, the MIFF Shorts Awards are Academy Awards accredited, with the winners of the Best MIFF Short, Best Australian and Best Documentary awards eligible to submit their films to the 90th Academy Awards® in 2018.

The awards were presided over by a jury consisting of film and TV publicity consultant Alicia Brescianini, award-winning comedian Judith Lucy, and Matchbox Pictures Chairman and Swinburne University of Technology Professor of Film and Television, Michael McMahon.

The 2017 MIFF 56th Shorts Awards winners are:

City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film
Fry Day
Director – Laura Moss
Producers – Brendan O’Brien, Valerie Steinberg, Danelle Eliav

Jury Statement: This movie is the complete package; beautifully shot and acted, it begins with the almost carnival like atmosphere surrounding the prison where Ted Bundy is about to be executed.   Director Laura Moss uses this backdrop to explore the multi layered effects of misogyny on women’s lives.  What makes this piece so impressive is that Moss accomplishes this while also giving us a taut, engrossing film.

Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film
Mrs McCutcheon
Director – John Sheedy
Producers – Andre Lima, Jenny Vila

Jury Statement: The jury was unanimous in its love for this vibrant, colourful and uplifting story. With strong performances from all performers, stunning production design and sleek cinematography, Mrs McCutcheon is, most importantly, a film full of heart and the joy of celebrating life in all its diversity. John Sheedy is a lively and refreshing new voice in Australian cinema and one that the judges are keen for all Australians of all ages to be able to enjoy!

Swinburne Award and Emerging Australian Filmmaker 
Julietta Boscolo for Let’s See How Fast This Baby Will Go
Producer – Eva Di Blasio

Jury Statement: Julietta Bosco’s Let’s See How Fast This Baby Will Go is a film with the all-too-rare but truly treasured quality of being able to make the viewer both laugh and cry. The film is driven by 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. The character and her quintessentially rural Australian world are at once familiar and yet bring something new to the screen that makes for a compelling ride.

Cinema Nova and Melbourne International Film Festival Award
for Best Fiction Short Film

The World In Your Window
Director – Zoe McIntosh
Producer – Hamish Mortland

Jury Statement: Making the most of cinema as a visual medium and using barely any dialogue, director Zoe McIntosh has crafted an exceptional and emotionally moving story of three isolated individuals. McIntosh uses images, movement and light in original and often enchanting ways to explore the journeys, feelings and relationships of her characters and has elicited exceptional and nuanced performances from her three actors.

RMIT University Award for Best Documentary Short Film
The Rabbit Hunt
Director – Patrick Bresnan (not in attendance – has provided an acceptance speech video)
Producer – Ivete Lucas

Jury Statement: The Rabbit Hunt is pure observational documentation of characters who live in a part of the world which most viewers will not know or be familiar with.  The film informs and educates in a non-judgmental way, maintaining the dignity and humanity of the characters at all times. Patrick Bresnan’s restrained direction and beautiful cinematography put the audience at the centre of an age-old story about a community’s hunting, preparation and consumption of food.

SAE Institute Award for Best Animation Short Film
The Burden
Director – Niki Lindroth von Bahr
Producer – Kalle Wettre

Jury Statement: Niki Lindroth Von Bahr’s gem of a film invites us into a world of singing and dancing animals mired in their own loneliness or dead end jobs. The animation is stunning and often hilarious, but what takes it to another level is the filmmaker’s ability to turn the plight of a monkey in a call center or a tap dancing mouse into a poignant, universal question: what is holding us back from living our dreams?

School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and Melbourne International Film Festival Award
for Best Experimental Short Film

Bad mama, who cares
Director – Brigid McCaffrey

Jury Statement: In Bad Mama, who cares Brigid McCaffrey combines exquisite imagery and mesmerising sound to draw the viewer into the world of her film.  It is impossible to just passively watch this film.  The viewer is intrigued and seduced by the composition of the images, the colours and textures that the filmmaker has chosen in combination.  But also challenged to engage and question because of a sense of mystery and foreboding which the filmmaker has achieved through her use of image and sound.

Special Jury Mention
Lost Property Office
Director – Daniel Agdag
Producer – Liz Kearney

Jury Statement: Daniel 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.

Best MIFF Shorts screens 4pm Sunday 20 August
at Hoyts Melbourne Central.

The 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival runs until 20 August

For full program information visit miff.com.au