St Kilda Film Festival reveals award nominees: ‘They were floored by the quality’

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St Kilda Film Festival reveals award nominees: ‘They were floored by the quality’

St Kilda Film Festival
Words by Staff Writer

Australia’s longest-running short film festival, St Kilda Film Festival, has revealed the 2024 award nominees are in the running to win more than $40,000 worth of cash and prizes across 14 categories, for the 40th annual Festival. 

Many films have been nominated in multiple categories this year, including 14 in February, nominated in four categories. Directed by Victoria Singh-Thompson, the film follows a hard-of-hearing 13-year-old student who faces reality after spending more time with her teacher.

Also nominated in four categories is Hafekasi, directed by Annelise Hickey, the film follows Mona, a 10-year-old Tongan-Australian girl who begins to realise she’s different to her single white mum and family.

St Kilda Film Festival award nominees

Best Achievement In Cinematography – Sponsored by Australian Cinematographers Society and Panavision:

  • Gorgo
  • Katele (Mudskipper)
  • Miriam
  • Yeah the Boys

Best Achievement In Editing – Sponsored by Roar Digital and Adobe:

  • 14 in February
  • Dusty
  • Gorgo
  • Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)

Best Achievement In Indigenous Filmmaking – Sponsored by Post Lab IO

  • Just Beneath the Surface
  • Katele (Mudskipper)
  • Marlu Man
  • My Journey

Best Achievement in Screenplay – Sponsored by Australian Writers’ Guild and Cinema Nova

  • Cold Water
  • Hafekasi
  • Lean in
  • Marlu Man
  • The Dancing Girl and The Balloon Man

Best Achievement In Sound Post-Production – Sponsored by Music and Effects and Australian Screen Sound Guild

  • 14 in February
  • Earwax
  • Say
  • Threshold

Best Actor – Sponsored by Chameleon Casting

  • Kartanya Maynard (Lean In)
  • Luke Jai McIntosh (Esperance to Fremantle)
  • Clarence Ryan (Marlu Man)
  • Robyn Liu (The Dancing Girl and The Balloon Man)

Best Animation – Sponsored by Hunt & Hunt Lawyers

  • A Robot’s Dream
  • Bird Drone
  • Body Says No
  • The Pansy of Pickadee

Best Director – Sponsored by Australian Directors’ Guild and Brollie

  • Victoria Singh Thompson (14 in February)
  • Joanna Joy (Generations of Men)
  • Annelise Hickey (Hafekasi)
  • David Ma (The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man)

Best Documentary – Sponsored by Shaun Miller Lawyers

  • Kala Kunbolk (Colour Country)
  • Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)
  • Patricia in the Dark
  • Pressure and Release

Best Original Score – Sponsored by JBL and Australian Guild of Screen Composers

  • Erzi
  • Small
  • We Used to Own Houses
  • Yeah the Boys

Best Short Film – Sponsored by City of Port Phillip

  • The Dancing Girl and The Balloon Man
  • Hafekasi
  • Katele (Mudskipper)
  • We Used to Own Houses

Best Young Actor – Sponsored by Melbourne Actors Guild

  • Amelia Kroehnert (14 in February)
  • Izabelle Tokava (Hafekasi)
  • Shaelyn Connor (Linda 4 Eva)
  • Will Wiseman (Miriam)

Innovation Award – Sponsored by VicScreen

  • Linda 4 Eva
  • Salt Dreams
  • We Used to Own Houses
  • Yeah the Boys

Under the Radar presented by FReeZA Best Youth Short Film Award – Sponsored by City of Port Phillip and JMC Academy

  • Sucker Punch
  • Losing It
  • A Spell to Grow a Tree
  • Chrysalis
  • Kotoba
  • My Little Cutie
  • Single Use Abuse
  • The Philosophy of Love
  • Sunburn
  • Interrupted
  • Sunlit Skies (and the Honey-Eyed Painter)

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This year SKFF has set new records for number of films screened and received. The Top Short Films Awards are judged by a panel of industry professionals, with the 2024 judging panel including Cinematographer Ellery Ryan (Wishful Thinking starring Drew Barrymore), Filmmaker Rhianna Meltzer (Thor: Ragnarok and Elvis) and Film Critic Nadine Whitney (Golden Globe Awards Voting Member).

The winners of this year’s Best Short Film and Best Documentary will also be eligible for consideration in the Oscars Short Film and Oscars Documentary Shorts Award categories.

The 2024 St Kilda Film Festival’s most prestigious title of Best Short Film will see one of five nominees take home a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of City of Port Phillip. This year’s nominees for Best Short Film are Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man, Hafeski, Katele (Mudskipper), We Used to Own Houses.

The Innovation Award winner will receive a $2,000 cash prize recognising excellence in filmmaking. Sponsored by VicScreen, the nominees for the Innovation Award are Linda 4 Eva, Salt Dreams, We Used to Own Houses, and Yeah the Boys.

The Best Director winner will receive $1,000. Sponsored by Australian Directors’ Guild and Brollie, the nominees are Victoria Singh Thompson (14 in February), Joanna Joy (Generations of Men), Annelise Hickey (Hafekasi), and David Ma (The Dancing Girl and the Balloon Man).

Festival Director Richard Sowada said: “This year the judges had to consider more films than ever before, and they were floored by the quality and diversity of the work submitted.”

This year’s winners will be announced at the St Kilda Film Festival’s Awards Ceremony on Sunday 16 June, 7.15pm at The Alex Theatre. The special night will celebrate four decades of the festival with the free awards ceremony hosted by Zoé Coombs Marr, followed by the official closing night party.

For more information on screenings and bookings, visit: