The Shorts Film Festival in Adelaide, Australia - November 26 - 30 - returns bigger and better than ever after taking a year off in 2007. This year's outdoor movie event features the largest program, with 74 films selected for screening from a record 210 entries. Although founded and run by South Australians, Shorts has developed into a national competition with a cross-section of entries from all states.
While eight SA films will vie for the major prize a trip to the Cannes International Film Festival 21 from Victoria have been selected as well as 20 films from New South Wales, six from Queensland, three from Tasmania and one from the ACT.
Festival founder David Lightfoot, best known as the producer of Wolf Creek and Rogue, says Shorts is different from other film festivals because it puts the emphasis on great storytelling.
It's one of the fairest festivals in the world in that it's about storytelling, not who's in it or who made it or how technically brilliant it is. It's about how do the audience react to it, he says.
Lightfoot says this means a micro-budget film with a good idea is more likely to win than a slick, but hollow, entry from a film school.
We can have anything. It could be animation; you could be a comedy film-maker or have done a straight drama. We accept graduate entries from film schools through to someone who's made a film in their back shed. As long as they've done it well story-wise, they've got a chance to win it, he says.
From 2002 to the last event, Shorts was held in an open air cinema at the Garage Bar in Waymouth St.
We wanted to take it out of the cinema atmosphere and do it in an alfresco way where you'd have multiple screens, you could eat, drink, have intermissions where people could mix with the film-maker or discuss the film among themselves, rather than have a very formal cinema experience, Lightfoot says.
There was even an outdoor cinema in the car park with bean bags for the audience.
The event this year moves to a new home not very far away at Queen's Theatre, which will increase the capacity but keep the cabaret-style feel.
The best entries from the previous year's festival are screened outdoors accompanied by some tasty Aussie outback cuisine at the Prairie Hotel in the Flinders Ranges. Shorts this year started up a partnership with the UK Rushes Soho Shorts Festival, with the first screening of highlights from Shorts held there this year in July.
The Shorts Film Festival will be held at the Queen's Theatre, Adelaide, from November 26 to 30. Tickets are available through Bass on 131 246 or online at http://www.bass.net.au
Outdoor movie screenings begin with the opening night gala on Wednesday, November 26, at 6.30pm and continue on Thursday, November 27, at 7pm; Friday, November 28, at 1.30pm (matinee) and 7pm; Saturday, November 29, at 1.30pm (matinee) and 7pm and Sunday, November 30, at 6.30pm (including the awards ceremony and party).
Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for concessions (seniors, students, unemployed and group bookings of more than six) and $10 for Fringe Benefits, Green Room and YHA members. Patrons must be aged 18 years and over. www.shortsfilmfestival.com
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