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6 Not-To-Be-Missed Picks At Flickerfest's Brisbane Dates In April

Clockwise from top left: 'The Masterpiece', 'A Study Of Empathy', 'Yeah The Boys', 'Sideswipe', 'Cold Water', 'I'm Not A Robot'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Celebrating 33 years of great short film, Flickerfest hits Brisbane for two big cinematic nights at Palace Cinemas, James Street, showcasing a selection of local and international talent fresh from their Oscar Qualifying festival, handpicked from over 3,400 entries.


On Thursday 4 April, enjoy a welcome drink, filmmaker intros and stunning films from Queensland filmmakers, screening alongside inspiring Aussie award-winners and favourites in Best Of Australian Shorts. On Friday 5 April, celebrate all things Euro and Flickerfest with eight stunning EU Shorts. From Ireland, to The Netherlands, to Spain, Germany and beyond these contemporary views of EU life, will have you mesmerised.

Win tickets to Flickerfest Brisbane's Best Of EU Shorts Showcase.

Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd has given us her six not-to-be-missed top picks from this year's Flickerfest Brisbane programme. All are inspiring, engaging and super creative cinema gems that will transport audiences to new worlds, celebrate alternative lives, challenge perceptions and broaden minds – powerfully and tenderly and all in just a matter of minutes.

One

'Cold Water' (Best Of Australian Shorts). Winner of the AFTRS Award for Best Original Screenplay at Flickerfest 2024, 'Cold Water' is by Flickerfest alumni Jay and Shaun Perry, two siblings with enormous talent and a unique eye for the sensitive and tender stories that lurk beneath the surface of life. This film stood out for me, as it tackles the emotional and difficult subject of homophobia and police brutality set in St Kilda in the '60s and '70s and intertwined with the now. Our lead actor Bruce Spence ('Mad Max') gives an incredible performance as an elderly man who battles with a loss of memory and a weak grip on the present, played out through his daily bad jokes and tolerated by his loving wife who understands his inability to face the trauma of the past. 'Cold Water' is told with a striking poignancy that reveals this personal story in a unique and surprising way.
The directors say: Inspired by true events and an old next-door neighbour from their childhood, who was ashamed of his past actions as a policeman in the 1960s and '70s. Everyone sees the world in their own subjective windows, and when they watch a good movie, it's generally because it's helped to nudge that window just a little wider – it’s helped to create more understanding, tolerance, and compassion, and that’s what they hope to achieve with 'Cold Water'.

Two

'Sideswipe' (Best Of Australian Shorts). Another sibling short film that stars on the big screen is the delightful Queensland hook-up comedy 'Sideswipe', produced by Brisbane-based filmmakers, brother and sister Kristie Yates and writer/director Tyson Yates. 'Sideswipe' beautifully captures the comic and at times cringeworthy beauty and awkwardness of today's hook-up culture. Shot across the streets and cafes of Brisbane, it's also a love letter to its home town and the exhausted singles who seek love in today's era of abundant choice. A fun premise, clever script and great performances see this film buzzing on the screen.
The Director says: Do you really think your mum would be with your dad if she could have swiped left on that moustache? Brissie film 'Sideswipe' explores this dilemma through two millennial flatmates, both caught between worlds and dazzled by too much choice – the last generation to remember physical courtship, yet young enough to be expected to slide into DMs.

Flickerfest Sideswipe1
'Sideswipe'

Three

'Yeah The Boys' (Best Of Australian Shorts). ‘Yeah The Boys' is a stunning and unique short that won the Oscar Qualifying Panasonic Award For Best Australian Short Film at Flickerfest 2024. It's an almost perfect example of how the short film form can explore alternative subject matter in an unconventional way, revealing the subject matter to the audience from an entirely new lens. 'Yeah The Boys' is a collaboration between director Stefan Hunt and his partner choreographer Vanessa Marian, who initially created this work as a dancer's exploration of Australian masculinity viewed through a feminist eye and told without dialogue. 'Yeah The Boys' explores a backyard piss-up on a suburban afternoon through gesture and body language, by mapping passive aggression, male social hierarchies, Aussie larrikinism, tenderness, and mateship exclusively through movement. Iconic Australian band The Avalanches' stunning original score captures the three phases of an increasingly debaucherous arvo drinking sesh, in a way that is specifically Aussie while still reading universally.
The filmmakers say: Their combined goal was not to villainize or reduce the Aussie male lived experience but to show the full, crushing, complex layers of masculine identity in a way that is equal parts larrikin, brutal, and tender. They achieve this in spades in this unique, memorable and not-to-be-missed short.


Four

'A Study Of Empathy' (Germany) (Best Of EU Shorts Showcase). Sometimes a short film can be so surprising and unique that it throws us into another world completely, making it difficult to separate the characters from ourselves. While on the one hand 'A Study Of Empathy', winner of Best International Film at Flickerfest 2024, explores uncomfortable issues we are all familiar with, it also cleverly turns them back on us, the audience, asking us to confront ourselves in the process. Its award winning German/ Danish Director Hilke Ronnfeldt is a rare and super talented voice in contemporary cinema, one that can keep you guessing about your own self through the motivation and actions of the characters until the very end. Told through two very different characters, Dana, who wants to show empathy and Penelope, a university student who wants to explore empathy, 'A Study Of Empathy' is cleverly enhanced with black humour and so dripping in metaphors that we are squarely confronted by the hypocrisy of the human heart! Do yourself a favour and see why this clever short won Flickerfest’s prestigious Oscar-qualifying Best International Short Film.


Five

'The Masterpiece' (Spain) (Best Of EU Shorts Showcase). Spanish writer/director Alex Lora is an absolute cinema master, winner of seven Emmys, two Gaudí Awards and nominated for the Goya and the Oscars Student Academy Awards. He recently took home the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and Special Jury Prize at Flickerfest for his newest film 'The Masterpiece', which is incredibly deserved given his astounding talent, ability to cut to the quick of modern life, and to tell uniquely compelling stories of race that will unnerve and surprise you all at the same time. Possibly my favourite film of Flickerfest 2024, this super ambitious drama 'The Masterpiece', with its awkward and cuttingly truthful depiction of wealth, poverty and class in today's Spain, will stay with me for a long time. In 'The Masterpiece', a routine trip for a wealthy family to the recycling depot and their meeting with the refugee father and son that accept their cast-off furniture, reveals all too well the world we live in.
The Director says: “One could think that 'The Masterpiece' is the painting, or even this great short film! But it is actually the system, the fight behind the free market, the money, the capitalism, the North vs. the South, the West vs. East, the wealthy classes against everything else, playing with lives in that white and black squared board. Maybe the only real racism is economic? The rest is history. . .”

Flickerfest TheMasterpiece
'The Masterpiece'

Six

'I'm Not A Robot' (Netherlands) (Best Of EU Shorts Showcase). I love a short film that explores and explodes the current zeitgeist and 'I'm Not A Robot' is that film. 'Black Mirror', but with a contemporary twist, a good dash of comedy and a female gaze, 'I'm Not A Robot' delves cleverly into the complexities of human identity, technology, and AI, and our apprehensions about these blurred boundaries. Winner Of Best EU Film at Flickerfest 2024, its contemporary narrative also touches upon themes of labelling, embracing uniqueness, and advocating for equality and feminism all rolled into a stunning sci fi thriller/comedy. 'I'm Not A Robot' will have you laughing out loud while also unsettling your view of the world, technology and your crumbling belief systems.
The Director says: "My inspiration for this story sparked when I repeatedly encountered the 'I'm not a robot' captcha while trying to access a specific website. After several failed attempts, a wry thought crossed my mind – what if I actually turned out to be a robot? The idea of my life unravelled by this revelation intrigued me. This introspection served as the catalyst for writing this narrative, a way to give shape to my anxieties straddling the intersection of technology and humanity.”



Tickets are available now.

Flickerfest's Brisbane dates are 4 April (Best Of Australian Shorts) and 5 April (Best Of EU Shorts Showcase) at Palace James Street Cinemas.

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