Best Shortfilms from Australia

Best Shortfilms from Australia




Drama
Australia | 10min | 2009
Choosing not to look at the synopsis of this film and instead going in fresh was something I always try to do. With the title giving essentially nothing away as to the genre, theme, story, I sat back and let the actors take me on an adventure. The past has a way of staying with us, whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not. Blending both past and present, Apricot sets us down in the middle of a first date. Questions are asked: ‘Who was your first love?’, ‘Do you remember your first kiss?’, etc. The girl answers, only getting “I don’t remember” in response. She tells her story, rather reluctantly, growing unsure when the man persists, even resorting to taking notes. The phasing back and forth between time periods was beautifully done. Images bleed-through to each other, much like their emotional counterparts. Having never seen these actors before, it was easy for me to believe their portrayals, though even the children fully embodied these characters. It was aesthetically complex and pleasing, colour and lighting shifting and flaring. Camera angles were slanted and drifted, almost ethereal. It is the kind of piece that could remain succinct, while the characters and story almost beg to be sampled just a bit longer.

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Romance
Australia | 10min | 2012
Kids can be cruel. It’s not permission, it’s just a fact. Whether it is learned behaviour, mimicking, or an expression of their own fears and shortcomings, kids have a penchant for zeroing in on the supposed weak link and torturing them. This is the reality Bat Eyes deals with. The short film cuts between two stories that we see united at the conclusion. In one sequence is a young adult male, 24 years old, undergoing a seemingly routine eye examine. He licks his lips in an anxious display, mirthlessly chuckling as he continues to get the answers wrong. In another place and time, a high school girl struggles to read in front of her class, her large glasses the subject of one particular bully’s targeting. Despite their differences, the teenage boy and girl share something, and seek to find what that is. The film culminates in the reveal of the adult male as the classroom bully, himself now the new owner of glasses, but perhaps he had already learned a better way to see the world. Bat Eyes is a beautiful and sweet film that sometimes hit a bit close to home, but shows that things are not always as expected. It is only by the passage of time that things become clear to us.

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Horror
Australia | 7min | 2013
What Cargo seeks to achieve in seven minutes is actually done in a few short seconds. From the first shot of a black screen overlaid with the sound of a car crash, we know what we are in for. But boy are we wrong. If you haven’t already read the synopsis, you’re in for a big surprise. With zombies on the loose - and in his car - a man fights to protect all that is left in his life: his baby daughter. Infected and desperately seeking to get his little girl to a safe zone, will time run out of them, or will they be one of the lucky ones? The shaking of the camera and constant motion kept us on our feet. We didn’t get a moment to rest and catch-up, much like our characters. From the very beginning we were on the move, and this connected us immediately to the story and emotion. Things are simple as a balloon add to the film’s visual beauty, with the barren Australian landscape a contrast. The sound throughout - and specifically the music at the end - were also brilliant choices, making this film a total success. With so many zombie films out there, it is almost impossible to create something new and interesting, but Cargo definitely did it.

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Drama
Australia | 13min | 2007
We have all seen or met that one person we know must struggle in their life, but we don’t know what to do about it. A rough family life is hard, especially for children, with the issues long-lasting and causing a whole slew of other problems. This is the reality Crossbow seeks to address. Definitely not for those under the age of sixteen, this short film gives the audience insight into a young teenage boy’s life, told through the faceless narration of a neighbour the same age. His chaotic family life is evident for all to see, and yet no one seems eager to do anything about it. It wears on him, making him into an outcast. With no one to help and seemingly no where else to turn, the teen takes matters into his own hands, and you won’t see it coming. Crossbow is slow moving, but the gentle tone of the narrator keeps you listening and watching. The emotionless face of the leading teen draws you in and you can’t help feel something for his baby-face that also strangely looks older than his handful of years. It is an interesting character study that shows the multi-layers of people, and how just when we think we’ve got someone all figured out, we discover another part of them.

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Comedy
Australia | 16min | 2009
What would you do if you got to meet God? What kind of questions would you ask? What would you like to tell Him? Would you have the courage or curiosity, or would you let the opportunity pass? This is the situation Michael Radcliffe finds himself in. After coming across a line of people waiting to talk to the one-and-only God, Michael figures he may as well give it a go. But coming face-to-face with a seemingly ordinary man leaves him confused. Glenn Owen Dodds (G.O.D) knows things about Michael that no other person possibly could. So is he the real deal, or is this one story too good to be true. If you watch a lot of Australian shows, you are sure to spot a few familiar faces in this cast. Their performances were brilliant, further cementing them in the mind as the new generation of classic Australian actors. The colouring of the film and scenery was drab and dreary - another thing you wouldn’t associate with God. Background music was oddly absent, making the silences all the more uncomfortable. Overall it was quirky, with the music accompaniment matching perfectly.

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Comedy
Australia | 9min | 2007
Written, directed by, and starring Nash Edgerton - the famous Joel Edgerton’s brother - is the 2010 short film Spider. Everyone has had those fights where you know you are being annoying, and yet you can’t stop yourself. We watch on as a young couple fight - over the male’s inability to not take a joke too far. Of course he doesn’t learn, and one simple moment sets forth a crazy series of events. This film looks like it could be a feature. The cinematic beauty in the colouring, shot selection, and acting, shows that short films are not just for university students, and are just as entertaining as full-length pieces. The audience isn’t given much information at the beginning of the film. We are kept in shadow, the characters’ faces are only half-shown, we don’t know who they are. This invokes intrigue. We want to know more, and so we watch on. The brilliance of this film also means you will never know where it will go. Just when you think you’e got it figured out, the plot twists. You won’t know whether to laugh or cringe - but will probably end up doing both! Underneath it all, there are real lessons to be learned from Spider, making it a well-rounded piece.

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Thriller
Australia | 17min | 2013
There’s just something special about looking up at the night sky and imagining all the creatures that could be out there. Science-fiction novels and television shows have sought to portray them - some scary, some funny, some helpless - but no one knows which of these (if any) is correct. The Landing is set in the 60s in the midwest. Edward, a young boy, is with his father when they witness something crash out of the sky. His father goes to investigate, shotgun in hand, and he’s prepared to use it. Despite his father’s words to the contrary, Edward is sure something was left from the crash. Will he find out the truth? And will be regret it when he does? The scenery and era-appropriate style really put you in the mood. It felt like a simpler time, and made the situations all the more hectic being unable to use a mobile phone or the internet. Background music was subtle and could easily have been overlooked, but did a lot to set the scene and bolster the already fabulous performances. It is no surprise The Landing was a nominee and winner of at least a dozen awards, ranging from story, to editing, and cinematography.

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