Summer shorts

16 March 2009

As a Sydney-sider, each time summer rolls around it brings celebrations, barbecues, beaches and icy-cold drinks to endure the sweltering heat. It’s also the time when Sydney’s festival season gets into full swing…

One of the perennial festival favourites for me is TropFest. Billed as the world’s largest short-film festival, its premise is clear – submit an original film less than seven minutes in length, containing a reference to the ‘signature item’ which changes from year to year. 16 finalists are chosen from the 600+ original entries and are broadcast to the public at the main screening at a park in Sydney, and simulcast to other cities around Australia.

Over the past 15 or so years, what began as an idea in a Sydney café, has become an important part of the Australian cultural calendar and a haven for budding film-makers all keen on capturing that ‘big idea’ on video.

This year’s festival was no exception with 16 great short films, but the one that stayed in my mind afterwards, wasn’t one of these… it was the winning entry from TropFest’s first international short film festival held in New York at the end of 2008.

The winning film-maker used only a mobile phone to capture visuals across Sydney and New York. It isn’t big budget – it isn’t all that steady – but it is powerful in telling the story of homelessness in both cities.

I hope you enjoy it is as much as I did. Anyway, let me know your thoughts… Does it move you too? What works (or doesn’t) for you?

3 Responses to “Summer shorts”

  1. Nadia Habib

    I love the work of Yann Arthus-Bertrand – he does the Earth From Above shots. He always manages to give such a different perspective to things he captures from a distance.

  2. Jörn Sanda

    We talk about the power of video, but maybe it should be ‘the force of multimedia”… I completely respect the discipline of producing and editing the footage – the movement comes from the music. It just goes to show that something as feeble as a mobile phone camera, combined with the emotion that is evoked through an excellent choice of music – makes a lasting impression. The mastery comes in choosing the right combination – and I for one will think of NY when encountering Sydney’s homeless…

  3. Natural Gas Barbecues

    If you keep the info pouring in you will have tons more viewers coming to see what you have to write, thanks.

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