Australian short film festival Flickerfest has come a long way.
Now in its 27th year, Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd is still surprised by the passion filmmakers and audiences still have for the festival.
“It’s incredible to think that way back we got 200 entries, this year we got 2500,” Bronwyn says. “Across that time we’ve become Academy qualifying for a number of our awards, which is a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers. We’ve seen our tour grow from three venues to over 50 this year. They’re all fantastic milestones that have really shown the growth of short-filmmaking in Australia, and also audience’s passion for independent creative content outside that Hollywood formulaic model.”
The festival takes place along the Bondi Pavilion, with films screened in small venues and also under the stars. Flickerfest features the best of the best short films from Australia and across the world, from small productions to ones featuring stars such as Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Idris Elba.
“It’s always an incredible amount of fabulous stars that come in and knowing that they come up in the industry and the reason that they’re successful is because people have supported them. I think that’s really important to remember. Everyone has to start at the beginning, and there’s not any big star that’s just been instantly overnight a star. It’s always come about through other people support of their career. I think people like to pay back and support emerging filmmakers.”
This year’s programme will also feature a number of categories, including comedy, documentaries – featuring two films shortlisted for the Oscars – Flickerkids’ children’s programme and the new category Rainbow Shorts.
“This year for the first time we’ve got an LGBTQI programme called Rainbow Shorts, which is a look at contemporary shorts from LGBTQI filmmakers across the world, and that’s a fantastic thing to celebrate, particularly with the marriage vote going through this year in Australia. We thought it would be a good time to celebrate and showcase these filmmakers at Flickerfest as well.”
Past programmes have seen a lot of exceptional films, and Bronwyn believes this year’s programme will also have films that audiences will be talking about.
“I think people are always blown away by the quality of the short films because it’s the best of the best of what’s happening across the world. It really does point to the next generation of filmmakers and forms of storytelling because it’s so fresh and its media is so contemporary.”
Following the Bondi Beach instalment, Flickerfest will tour across the country showcasing the best short films the festival has to offer. It’s a lot of work for Bronwyn and her team to put together the festival, but after 20 years as Festival Director, her own passion is still very much there.
“It’s just kept going and going and going, so it’s kept me very busy, but exceptional short film screenings and great enthusiasm from audiences makes that all worthwhile.”
Flickerfest screens at Bondi Beach from 12-21 January. It tours nationally from January to May.