Our 2018 festival results……
A sell out crowd saw the screening of short films at the 4th Benalla Shorts festival held on Sunday. The screening was held at Raffety’s Reception Centre and the cabaret style seating, with refreshments available, was a very successful element of the event. The screening was held to coincide with the Wall 2 Wall Arts weekend.
The Best Film went to ‘iRony’ written, scripted and directed by Perth based student Radheya Jegatheva. His film explored the relationship between man and technology, told from the perspective of a phone. The award sponsors were the Friends of the Benalla Library and the Friends of BPACC and they kindly donated $1,000 for the Best Film Award.
This year we had a new prize for a local filmmaker and to enter this section, the film maker had to live within 100 km radius of Benalla. The award valued at $250 was sponsored by the Benalla Lions Club, with ‘Munchies’, directed by Hayley Warnock determined the winning entry. Hayley also won an award in an earlier Benalla Shorts Festival.
Munchies was an animation in plasticine and showed Herbert pleasantly spending the afternoon in his vegetable garden until he discovers something has been munching on his crops.
The Rotary Club of Benalla sponsored $250 for the Student Award and ‘The Ghoulies’, directed by Harrison Lane, was successful. Harrison also was a finalist in 2017 as well. His film this year portrayed two brothers having their relationship tested when 11 year old Cooper wanted to become a part of his older brother’s gang.
West End Post Office sponsored $200 for the People’s Choice. This was resolved after all the votes were counted, with ‘iRony’ a clear winner and ‘Munchies’ coming in second.
John Orcsik, who judged the films with Tom Long, was again in attendance having travelled to Benalla that morning. He presented the awards to the winners and the Best Film director had sent a video to be screened, should he be lucky enough to win a prize. Fittingly, this was played at the appropriate time in the presentation ceremony. In all, we had 9 of the 15 finalists present and they had travelled from Melbourne and country Victoria, also interstate
Both Judges commented on the fact that festivals such as this must be held in as many communities as possible, in order that the Australian Film industry may prosper and survive. John also said that the continued promotion, by Benalla Shorts, of young film makers was also very pleasing and he hoped that would continue.
All the local sponsors were thanked for their continued valuable support, in particular the major sponsor Tricia Vale and Associates. Special mention was also made of The Royal Hotel and Benalla Taxis as Silver Sponsors. The Northo had in fact sponsored our Judge’s evening meal. A thank you was extended to Con and Jan (Raffety’s) for their kind donation of the venue and the work they did in preparing the darkened room for the event.
We were pleased that the 2017 winner, Michael Raso, was present on the day and he has been a great ambassador for Benalla Shorts during the last 12 months. He was delighted to tell the audience that his film ‘Solitude’ had just been selected to be archived by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, a high honour indeed.
The commitment from our Judges and sponsors has seen one the most successful Benalla Shorts yet and this is greatly appreciated by the organisers. Our judge John Orcsik has promised to return again next year.
A second screening of the 2018 films will be at Swanpool Cinema on the 12th May at 3pm for those who miss the March screening. Another screening is planned for Bright later in the year.