The red carpet was rolled out for the premiere of the Striking Film Festival at Collins234. It was an enchanting, intimate affair of celebration. The event recognised Melbourne’s budding student filmmakers by unveiling their short pieces to a panel of notable judges and cinema fanatics.
The challenge: producers could only submit films with budgets below $20,000. $2,500 of prize money was awarded across various categories. The quality of films from local newcomers with limited budgets was strikingly impressive, as was the ambience.
The event styling transformed the top level of the venue into a soiree fit for the stars. Above the crowd, a net of twinkling lights hovered. Guests were welcomed with champagne and a spread of exquisite nibbles. We drank and filled ourselves with an array of cheese, all while listening to splendid live music from local band Jimmy and Niki. On the way into the theatre gourmet popcorn was readily available, completing the scene.
It was a night full of movies, with 13 pictures dazzling the audience. The beauty of the festival was the invitation into the contrasting worlds of exceptional creative minds. The film durations ranged from five minutes to 15, allowing guests to experience a wide range of flicks as well as an array of emotions and reactions. We laughed, we cried, we cheered and we gasped. We even rubbed elbows with the filmmakers. All were happy to share their visions, inspirations, and what inventive projects they have in store.
We joined a princess at a tea party, a father and son pleading the return of a train to town, a murder on a golf course, and the curse of an evil camera. My vote went to Spill, a story of a coveted marble and the rise against a playground bully.
- Student Film: NIGHT MAIL (director Camille Van Wessem)
- Under $5000 Budget: PEACEKEEPER (director Joshua Hoareau)
- $5000-$20000 Budget: WELCOME TO DOOKIE (director Justin Evans)
- Most Outstanding Film: PEACEKEEPER (director Joshua Hoareau)
- People’s Choice: BRINGING HOME LAKAYA (director Tom Jordan)
Judging by the popularity of the festival, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a sequel next year. The films will be releasing to the public soon. If you have a chance, immerse yourself into a night of on-screen stories.
Leah Sparks is a Canadian girl living in Melbourne. Other than her love of maple syrup, she digs the outdoors, beer, the 70s and cruising around town with her white wolf.
Find when the Striking Film Festival returns next year by signing up on the Collins234 email list.