The Melbourne Int’l Film Festival Int’l Short Film Competition concluded over the weekend with a collaboration between the late artists Salvadore Dali and Walt Disney coming out on top.
The animated short Destino was chosen from a field of 922 entries and 88 finalists to receive the City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film. The film recently opened the 2003 Annecy Int’l Animation Festival. The jury also gave the top Australian award to Harvie Krumpet, the short that opened the 2003 Melbourne Int’l Film Festival and won the three major awards at Annecy.
Dali Walt Disney began working on Destino in 1946. The film was recently rescued from the archives by nephew Roy Disney and rushed into competition at MIFF by the film’s producer, Baker Bloodworth.
“I couldn’t be more pleased that this important part of the history of the Walt Disney Company has been honored by the Melbourne Film Festival,” says Roy Disney. “I feel sure that both Dali and Walt Disney would be honored and pleased as well, as they both invested a great deal of passion into the project.”
“Director Dominique Monfery and I are honored and thrilled,” says Bloodworth. “Melbourne marks the first festival in which Destino will have competed for an award. It is wonderful news.”
Harvie Krumpet, a 22-minute clay animation short by internationally renowned Melbourne filmmaker Adam Elliot, follows the life of an ordinary man cursed with perpetual bad luck. Academy Award-winning actor Geoffrey Rush provides narration for this film, which takes home the Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film.
“I am very relieved that Harvie has been accepted because he took a lot of years, a lot of money and a lot of risk to create,” says Elliot. “Already his life is turning out to be a whole lot luckier than the life he has in the film!”
Read our interview with Elliot and Krumpet producer Melanie Coombs at http://www.animationmagazine.net/article.php?article_id=1289.
The third major award, the Melbourne Airport Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker ($5000) went to director Cris Jones for Excursion.
U.K. director Ignacio Ferreras’ How to Cope With Death won Best Animated Short Film and a $3000 prize. The 2D work about an old woman who receives a visit from the Grim Reaper also received the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a first film at Annecy.
Best Experimental Short Film ($3000) went to Austrian director Virgil Widrich’s mezmorizing Fast Film. The short uses thousands of printed film frames from classic movies to place cinema icons in harrowing action sequences with an origami twist.
The MIFF Int’l Short Film Competition is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the Asia-Pacific Region. Notching up 42 years of competition, MIFF received entries from Argentina to Azerbaijan and Singapore to Syria. The int’l entries joined over 250 entries from Australian filmmakers competing for AUD$35,000 in prize money. They were judged by Amanda Higgs, Andrew Wiseman, Lucy Maclaren and Lizzette Atkins.
Best Documentary Short Film ($3000)
Captive, Waiting (Iran) Dir. Mohammad Ahmadi
Best Fiction Short Film ($3000)
Thomaschek’s Plan (Germany) Dir. Ralf Westhoff
Kino Dendy Cinemas Award for Creative Excellence in an Australian Short Film ($3000)
The Projectionist (Australia) Dir. Michael Bates
Melbourne International Film Festival Award for Best Student Production ($3000)
A Short Story (Opowiadanie) (Poland) Dir. Marcin Pieczonka
Award for Short Film Promoting Human Rights (Special Citation)
(A)Torsion (Slovenia) Dir. Stefan Arsenijevic (Honourable Mention to In Absentia (Argentina)