Gallery 2 at North East Artisans was converted into an intimate 'art house' cinema on Saturday 8th of April for screenings of the Benalla Shorts Film Festival.
A total of 188 Australian short films were entered in the Festival, shortlisted, then judged by actors John Orcsik and Tom Long. The winners?
BEST FILM - $1000 - Michael Raso's film SOLITUDE - 'Margaret spends each day visiting her local train station. The staff, aware of her presence, give her something significant in an envelope, hoping she'll no longer return. What's in the envelope?''
STUDENT AWARD $250 - Jessica Lytton's film DEIGHTIES 'Explores the ever changing world of courting, the difficulties of growing old single, and highlights the simple, undeniable truth that in one way or another, everyone is searching for companionship?'
ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD $250 - Nicholas Hall's - film TURTLE SOUP ''Adelaide Bell, a downtrodden 7-year old, must harness her inner strength to save a turtle from his fate as turtle soup.'
PEOPLE'S CHOICE - $200 - Aaron Ellis's film SPILL 'It is 1999 at West Meadows Primary School and the marble craze has hit an all time high. Maxy, through his good sense of judgement and likeability, has scored himself a decent marble collection.'
Nicholas Hall, John Orcsik, Anna Smith, Michael Raso at the Benalla Short Film Festival 2017
Judge John Orcsik's observations about the qualities he looks for in judging films were highly valued by the audience. John noted that sometimes it's the simple story well told which wins through. He made particular note of student Jack Morrow's engaging Film, 'Notes' which was told without dialogue using 'notes'.. John also noted the theme of bullying in a number of the films selected.
There will be an encore screening at the Swanpool Cinema on the 6th May 2017 at 1.30 pm.
Congratulations to Anna Smith - Festival Director - for her inspired perseverance in ensuring that a third Benalla Shorts Film Festival would be held. Anna left no stone unturned, holding fund raising events; seeking sponsorship; holding an information session at the Library; organising an effective marketing campaign; coordinating the entries and the judging all culminating in a very warmly received community event at NEA.
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