The best films to see at St Kilda Film Festival over its final weekend

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The best films to see at St Kilda Film Festival over its final weekend

Words by Staff Writer

St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) is in full swing, with a jam-packed program of short films, special events, and the popular Awards Ceremony & After Party still to come.

Running until 12 June, highlights of the last few days include the following.

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Showcasing innovative films by filmmakers under 21, the Under the Radar competition allows Australia’s next generation of filmmakers to present their incredible talent on the big screen (Thursday 8 June, The Astor Theatre):

Guided (Director Sam Davison) is a film about love and regret, explored through the relationship between a brother and his sister.

Bloody Brilliant (Director Giulia Assenza) follows the story of 14-year-old Evie who can read minds while on her period. She uses her strange and wonderful gift to help those around her, however Evie soon discovers that maybe not everyone wants her help. (Pictured left)

Brave New Worlds: Australian Cinematic Visions – Part 2 explores different form, genre, and narrative structures in film. Expect shorts big on ambition, surreal in presentation and wonderfully idiosyncratic in style. With striking imagery and bold concepts, this showcase continues to inspire ideas for the future of cinema (Friday 9 June, The Astor Theatre):

Lucky Peach (Director Grace Tan) presents a visually imaginative, deeply personal story about the tensions that develop between an immigrant mother and a young woman as she prepares to head abroad.

Delving into emotional complexities, Static (Director Miri Wilson) tells the story of a group of young people grappling with identity, guilt and mourning after learning of a close friend’s death.

Filled with uniqueness and originality, the Acoustics, Abstractions & Esoterics program presents films that kick caution to the sky and go hard in pushing concepts and audiences to breaking point (Saturday 10 June, The Astor Theatre):

Rich in creativity, Pastel Hell (Director Hugo Kit Miklos Vadasz) is an experimental film drawing on traditional artistic techniques to explore a young person’s first experience with time.

Pink Reef (Director Chloe de Brito), a fantasy that revolves around mermaid Jules who is trapped in a suburban dysphoria without running water. In an effort to make contact with something living, Jules asks, “is anyone there?” into her shellphone but receives no clear response. When water begins to leak from the ceiling, Jules’ subconscious and surroundings collide in an explosive confrontation with her own identity. (Pictured left)

Shifting the Gaze (Presented by WIFT) is one of the program’s most popular sessions as it celebrates films made by women. Presented in collaboration with Women in Film and Television Victoria (WIFT VIC), the showcase depicts a luminous array of films including: social justice animation, powerful social commentary, moving musicals, striking minimalism and tales from far-flung front lines (Saturday 10 June, The Astor Theatre):

Highly imaginative, I wanted to be a butterfly (Director Raquel Rose Potenza) follows the story of a young woman coping with her father’s battle with brain cancer by reimagining parts of their lives together from the perception of a butterfly.

MumLife (Director Ruby Challenger) depicts first-time mother Sarah who struggles to connect with her new-born baby and is pushed to her limits when she discovers her Insta-famous bestie has thrown her a surprise birthday party.

Galup VR Experience at the Astor Theatre showcases a cinematic virtual reality film exploring the transformative impact of truth-telling. In the heart of suburban Australia is a lake with a buried history. Aboriginal Elder Doolann-Leisha Eatts spent her life sharing the story of what really happened there. Galup VR Experience invites viewers to sit with Doolann by her fire and hear the truth for themselves. Highlighting the ongoing impact of colonisation, this intimate truth-telling experience is resonating as it brings people together for healing (Sunday 11 June, The Astor Theatre).

The Australian Animation Showcase celebrates the rich cinematic history of Victoria. Australia’s best animators are filling the Astor’s big-screen canvas with quiet poetic beauty, heart-breaking animated documentary, and swashbuckling medieval fantasy. (Sunday 11 June, The Astor Theatre):

Handmade Happiness (Director Vivien Mason) is a colourful stop motion animated documentary exploring how a passion for their craft helps four makers overcome adversity.

Marionettes (and the virtue of a lotus flower) (Director Prajdnik Awasthi) tells the story of a mother who questions her existence to her God, and supplicates for liberation from an unfortunate tradition.

Made in VIC – Part 1, presented by VicScreen, along with Part 2 round out the screening program of St Kilda Film Festival. Judging from previous years, this is set to be a rollicking and raucous affair that highlights some of the great achievements in the local scene over the last year. Packed with bold animations, twisted comedy, breath-taking visualisations and sparkling dramatic turns, this is a can’t miss event for local film fans (Sunday 11 June, The Astor Theatre):

Disparate fragments form patterns (Director Paul Edmund Fletcher) portrays a mysterious, intricate but simple sensory journey or moment of reflection.

Visitors (Director Alex Badham) presents an enigmatic vignette of displaced animals, menacing lights in the sky, and two young women stranded in a country house. Despite not sharing a common language, they form a unique unspoken intimacy.

Made in Vic – Part 2 fills the Astor auditorium with visions of the future, meditations on the present and deeply felt emotions. These are quite simply beautiful films, filled with poetic moments and finely tuned talent. (Sunday 11 June, The Astor Theatre):

Big Rig (Director Thomas Elliot) surrounds a lonely truck driver who embarks on a spiritual pilgrimage around Australia in the hope of contacting the ghost of his best friend, Rodger.

Trees (Director Benjamin Bryan) portrays a dystopian world where all trees are outlawed and one council worker chooses to rebel.

To gloriously wrap up the success of this year’s SKFF, the Awards Ceremony & After party will be held on Sunday 11 June at The Astor Theatre. Taking place after the Made in Victoria screenings, this evening will honour achievement in short filmmaking across a range of categories and embrace elements of craft across the form, including editing, sound performance, directing, cinematography and more. It’s a fantastic evening where nominees and winners have an opportunity to shine and platform their works and ideas to national audiences.

Award Winners Screening on Monday 12 June at the Alex Theatre presents some of the finest Australian short films produced in the last year, together in one program for the first time. Plus, audiences can hear directly from the filmmakers behind these amazing cinematic visions.

For more information on all screenings and bookings, visit: