St Kilda Film Festival Competition : Under The Radar

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St Kilda Film Festival Competition : Under The Radar


Entries for the 2011 St Kilda Film Festival have now officially closed – that is, unless you’re under 21.

Entries for the 2011 St Kilda Film Festival have now officially closed – that is, unless you’re under 21.

And if you are (or know someone who is and want to live vicariously through them), there are still $1000s worth of prizes up for grabs and the chance to have your film screened at the internationally renowned festival. Oh yeah – and that sweet serving of street cred that goes along with it.

The Under The Radar portion of the competition AKA the "Under 21s" has been presented and produced by the City Of Port Phillip for four years now and has become an integral part of the festival – helping contribute to its longevity and also in building lasting relationships with filmmakers who participate, both young and old.

"Although the St Kilda Film Festival is an open entry competition, sometimes it’s difficult for young people to compete against more experienced and mature filmmakers," says Mayor Cr Rachel Powning. "So Council developed the Under The Radar category, which gives young people the opportunity to compete with their peers. This is a great opportunity for young filmmakers to showcase their work and potentially produce future stars of cinema both in front of and behind the camera."

Martin Goffin – Youth Project Officer For The City Of Port Phillip – tells me Under The Radar has seen a steady increase in submissions over the past three years and is expecting to hit its peak as of this year.

"We screen anything from animation to comedy to drama to docos. There have been a few documentaries in the past that were pretty neat – but it’s really all over the shop," he laughs.

Not only that – but the competition welcomes young filmmakers from across Australia, though Goffin admits there does seem to be a strong Victorian contingent always along for the ride.

"We get plenty of submissions from other states. The first year we held the competition the winner was from South Australia. We’ve even had films from Tassie! So we do get submissions from all over the country, but most of them do come from Victoria and I don’t know why…"

Not only that – but Goffin neglects to mention that all winning directors to date have been female – another trend that is sure to spark a little controversy amongst those competing this year. So where are they now?

2008 Under The Radar winner Charlotte Rose Hamlyn has gone on to start her own production company – Mango Fandango – alongside David Robert Tring, who produced the film Mona that won the two of them the first time honour and a heap of national recognition. Hamlyn was only 17 at the time.

2009 winner Grace Louy has gone on to win the Australian Teachers Of Media (ATOM) EnchanceTV Award for her film Wax Wings – the same short that brought her the St Kilda Competition fame.

And lastly, 2010 winners Zoe Coldham and Bethany Milkins have gone to compete in the youth portion of several other film festivals across the country with their film Charlotte, including the Canberra Short Film Festival, with no signs of slowing the initial hype they received from their first place finish at Under The Radar.

"Some of the winners have received additional funding for their films as a consequence, been accepted to prestigious university film programs or gone on to make other films,’ Goffin explains."

And now – if we haven’t convinced you already – it could be your turn to share the spotlight. "Because we work in youth services – I don’t actually work in the festivals team – I’ve got lots of links to all the schools. We’ve done a lot of work with Wesley College in the past, and VC," Goffin reports. "Also, through my work I can now find people who are studying film at the tertiary level. So I’ve tapped into those guys before, which has been pretty neat. They link up with their friends, pick the content, and actually produce and have submitted these films as years have gone by – so that’s been a bit of a link I’m proud of."

Entries for Under The Radar , the St Kilda Film Festival’s under 21 category, close on March 1. For more info, applications forms and terms on conditions, head to or call 9209 6167. As a FReeZA event, it’ll be alcohol, smoke and drug free.