Best Experimental Short
Director: Maryam Tafakory
Statement from Director: "Full of codes and tension, the impossibility of translation (long pause) and the dangers of speaking"
Statement from Jury: "...poetic and quietly forceful found-footage collage is pure cinema"
Best Animation Short
Winner: Ice Merchants
Director: João Gonzalez
Statement from Jury: "Like a storybook come to life, Ice Merchants transports us to a serene, beautiful place"
Best Documentary Short
Winner: Will You Look at Me
Director: Shuli Huang
Statement from Director: "This is a personal letter, a love letter to my mother I have been drafting in my heart"
Statement from Jury: "...poignantly weaves together super-8 archive, autobiographical voice-over and an audio recording of a heartbreaking conversation the filmmaker had with his mother, where she is in the process of confronting him over the despair she feels about his homosexuality"
Best Fiction Short
Director: Nuhash Humayun
Statement of Director: "Thank you everyone and this short will be developed into a feature soon, please look out for that"
Statement from Jury: "...intense, inspiring, thrilling, engaging and ultimately heartwarming take on a story we thought we knew"
This is a high-concept, higher-tension horror which finds two sisters attempting to survive the end of the world by trapping themselves inside a moshari (mosquito net)
Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award
Director: Rudolf Fitzgerald-Leonard
Statement from Jury: "...powerfully taut and understated examination of frustration, desire and humiliation that, in its deft ellipses, stirs the emotional waters in which these sensations are mingled"
VicScreen Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film
Winner: An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
Director: Lachlan Pendragon
Statement of Director: "Wow thank you I am very very surprised, I spent 10 months in lock-down animating this"
Statement from Jury: "...with its playfully long title and vintage stop-motion animation (the film) is a subtle delight. In a cinematic landscape full of increasingly generic computer animation, it’s refreshing to see the care put into this"
City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film
Winner: Murmurs of the Jungle
Director: Sohil Vaidya
Statement from Jury: "...masterfully crafted and captivating piece of cinema, which gently invites the viewer to be part of a story that reaches back to the beginning of all things. Even in its comparatively short 20 minutes, the film gifts us with two of the most precious commodities: space and time. Amid stories that speak to the roots of our relationship with place, nature and the Country beneath our feet, we are taken on a journey, guided by place itself"