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The first ever Short+Sweet Film Festival Gala Final was held on Sunday 19 March at the Dendy Cinema Newtown.

BY Sirmai Arts Marketing | 21-Mar-2017
A packed cinema saw 12 finalists screened followed by the announcements of the awards: Best Film - Turtle Soup by Nicholas Halls (Glebe) and Erin Foy (Allambie Heights), tells of a downtrodden 7-year-old,
who must harness her inner strength (and face down a playground full of mean girls!) to save a turtle from his fate as soup. Shot on location in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Best Film - Turtle Soup by Nicholas Halls (Glebe) and Erin Foy (Allambie Heights), tells of a downtrodden 7-year-old, who must harness her inner strength (and face down a playground full of mean girls!) to save a turtle from his fate as soup. Shot on location in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Full press kit available!

People's Choice - Deighties by Jessica Lytton (Perth) is a beautiful film about octogenarian widower, Phil, who navigates the complexities of modern dating apps in his quest to find a companion.

Best Director and Best Screenplay – David Hansen (Melbourne) for Slingshot, a delightful take on modern love through the eyes of one of Cupid’s latest ‘victims’. Frankie is a kid on summer vacation at a run-down trailer park. When Tayla, a 10-year-old girl, shows a romantic interest, Frankie’s holiday becomes a whole lot more complicated! Full press kit available!

Best Cinematography - Hellion by 24-year-old Tim Nathan (Bondi) is a powerful film set in quintessential suburbia about a youth’s suicide and the effect on his best friend. Shot in just two days on a tiny budget, it muses on life, love and the innocence of youth.

Best Short+Sweet theatre adaptation - Dark Outside by Amanda Jermyn (Northbridge). Some sisters never learn to play nice. After punishing her husband for years of mistreatment, Christy calls on her sister for support. The situation becomes both perilous and absurd, threatening to destroy their relationship.

Best Actor – (tie) Lance Henriksen (LA) from Fragile Storm and Ruaumoko Toatoa (Melbourne) from Slingshot.

Best Actress was Mackenzie Mason (LA) from Fragile Storm, by Dawn Fields (USA). A scared young woman goes to extreme measures to escape the clutches of a terrifying older man only to realise the shocking and heartbreaking truth about who she is and why she’s really there.

Festival co-director Angela Blake said the Gala was a fun and wonderful night celebrating 12 of the absolute best short films from around the world. “And with 10 of the films from Australia - 7 of those from Sydney - it's so awesome to see how alive and full of talent the Aussie indie film industry is!"

Ali Crew added: "Such a wonderful night of brilliant short films and that was just the top 12… there were so many amazing films screened across the festival. We’re so grateful to the filmmakers and the audiences that came out to support the festival in its inaugural year and can't wait to see what other gems the festivals unearths as it grows from strength to strength.”

Prizes included a very generous RENTaCAM gear hire voucher, a photography package from Maryna Rothe, Ribbet Premium photo editing subscriptions, entry to SmartFoneFlickFest (SF3), rehearsal space at the World Bar, a Stella Adler Studios scholarship and - most exciting - the winners of Best Film and People’s Choice get their films screened in the Short+Sweet Film International gala at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood in August.

Presenters were Wayne Tunks, Mark Cleary, Sue Smithers, Megan Riakos, Greg Dologopolov, Cinzia Coassin and Dean Francis.