Flickerfest Opening Night

Flickerfest Opening Night is a yearly ritual in my life. Love strolling down the hill for a sundowner or two, a quick feed and then heading into The Bondi Pavilion for Opening Night films and after party.

This year I worked with Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd on a pitch to develop an online portal for Australian short films, via funding from Screen Australia and their Innovation budget, but we were pipped to the post by Ahmad Salama and his project The Cut.

Opening Night simply screens a selection of well received shorts.

First up was an early Steve Martin short, directed by Carl Gottlieb, who introduced the film via a pre-recorded video from LA. Serependitiously he also produced Jaws which of course is the ident for Flickerfest 2012.
Anyhoo here is the ever funny Steve Martin in The Absent-Minded Waiter.

Personally I found the script average, the plot poor, the production values average, though of course it is 35years old. But I love it due to the sheer talent and comedic timing of Mr Martin.

Next up was Fish and Chips
Written and Directed by Anna Borinowski
Its a fun idea – Junior Masterchef meets Iron Chef, with all the contestants playing junior versions of Obama, Kim Jong Il, Kevin Rudd, and Pauline Hanson.
It opened well with slick cinematography and sharp editing, focused writing and good performances but the joke wore thin and like many scripts the ending wasn’t worked on as much as the beginning. Could have shaved 5 minutes off. Good fun though.

Swimsuit 46 was a sweet tale of suburban Belgium. Chantal is 12 and is chubby therefore lonely. Swimming is her outlet and she needs some goggles to get to the next level. What seems a simple and somewhat innocuous story is directed with compassion and humour by writer / director Wannes Destoop, and a lovely performance by the very game 12 year old lead. Also running at 15minutes, this held my attention to the very end.

Nash Edgerton‘s follow up to Spider sees Nash play the role of Jack who whilst means well, his good intentions have horrible consequences for his girlfriend, played by Teresa Palmer. The simple script for this well executed short must have been but a page long! Cant tell you much more as it will give the game away but its 11minutes of short film fun, and sure to be a a success at short film festivals around the world.

Spider by Nash Edgerton

Brick Novax’s Diary
Probably my favourite piece of the night mainly due to its engaging script and beautiful cinematography, this short is a stop motion film with the lead Brick Novax, and all the characters, interpreted as Action Man figures. The plot is the classic rags to riches, fame and fortune, and back again story, so nothing new there but its humour won you over.
Written and directed by Matt Piedmont

Bad Night for the Blues
Writer director Chris Shepherd took me back to England with this short film involving Aunty Glad (played well by Jean Boht, better known as Nellie Boswell from Bread). The film basically takes the cliches of what todays youth get up to on a night out and re-enacts them in the elderley generation. Gladys has few too many sherry’s at the local Conservative Club with squirmingly embarrassing results and more than a few home truths being revealed. Great stuff.

Music for One Xmas and Six Drummers
Vying with Brick Noxax as the most intricate film of the night, six drummers dressed as Carol Singers find their way into an old people’s home where they play carols using unusual instruments such as a sewing machine, salt and pepper grinders, and all sorts. Didn’t really say anything of value but brought a smile to all.
Written and directed by Johannes Stjarne Nilsson and Ola Simonsson.

So a nice diverse selection of good quality short films finished and upstairs to The Bondi Pav balcony we popped for the after party. Thanks to Coopers for the free grog!

See you next year

Flickerfest plays at The Bondi Pavilion till 15th January 2012

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