Bondi View

Flickerfest: short films with soul

The Blues Brothers trailer for Flickerfest 2014. Photo: supplied

More than 2200 entries have been submitted to this year’s Flickerfest, with 169 films set to screen at the Bondi Pavilion this month.

The ten day festival, now enjoying its 23rd year, will showcase a wide variety of films and extend its reach to 50 venues across Australia with the hope of delivering “an inspiring look at the world” through short film.

For director Bronwyn Kidd, the aim behind Flickerfest is to recreate the magic of short films independent of the commercial pressures normally associated with box office feature films.

“Originally cinema was an artform but then it became [commercialised]. With short film, my passion has always been in the independent area of cinema,” she said. “That’s something I’m really passionate about and that’s why it’s just beautiful to be able to bring all these short films to people that they wouldn’t get a chance to see anywhere else.”

Ms Kidd said Flickerfest was a festival that celebrated the independence and uniqueness of cinema, with the accessibility of Flickerfest resting in its capacity to engage with a broad spectrum of audiences through the nature of storytelling.

“I’m a documentary maker myself, I’ve produced and made short films. It’s about being able to tell a story, unconcerned by the whole commercial aspect of the cinema,” she said.

This year’s festival will run 21 different short film programs including Greenflicks – a series of short films with a strong focus on environmental themes, Flickerkids – a family program for children and adults, and Flickerclips – a showcase of the best music clips from around the world which has been curated for Flickerfest for the first time this year.

Ms Kidd said it was important to recognise the need for more cultural entertainment venues like the Bondi Pavilion to facilitate the growing demand for short films.

“We’re not a huge outdoor commercial music event, but [we] began in a whole incredibly unique venue like this where we’re screening this Australian Academy accredited and BAFTA-recognised festival under the stars here at Bondi,” she said.

“The [Pavilion] is very much our home, it features in our artwork and Bondi is very much the centre of our trailer that we’ve created. It’s all about recognising that places like this didn’t [always] exist. It’s very much a part of our identity of being at Bondi and at the Pavilion.”

The promotional trailer for Flickerfest 2014 looks at the process of making a short film and features the Blues Brothers at Bondi Beach. Its director, Alex Weinress, said the trailer is about projecting the concept of storytelling into an iconic setting.

“Bondi was more of a tradition for us. [The trailer] was also about a filmmaker trying to create an idea around something iconic, the Blues Brothers, in an instantly recognisable location like Bondi.”

Mr Weinress’ latest short film, A First Date, premiered at Flickerfest 2013 and has gone on to receive international acclaim, winning Best Comedy at both New York Shorts Fest and the Heart of Gold International Film Festival.

For Mr Weinress, the secret to film-making is continually practising your craft.

“Film-making is not too different from any skillset that you are trying to develop in life. It takes practice and you have to get out there and make your mistakes…keep evolving and developing,” he said.

The Bondi Pavilion is one of 50 venues across Australia which will host Flickerfest 2014. The festival opens January 10 to 19.

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