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AACTA Wraps Stand-Alone Shorts Fest

From 20-23 August, AACTA Shorts Fest shined a dedicated spotlight on short filmmaking in Australia, featuring a tailored program of events including the inaugural AACTA PITCH event, a Masterclass in Web Series Creation, the 2018 Oscars® Short Film Program and the 2018 AACTA Short Film Program.

Over 1,000 guests attended the ten events held in Sydney at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, Melbourne at Cinema Nova, Brisbane at Event Cinemas Brisbane City Myer Centre and Perth at Event Cinemas Innaloo.

AACTA would like to thank all those that joined us for the events, including our event hosts Clem BastowLaura Clelland, Richard FabbJustin HamiltonWarwick HoltBlake HowardJames JenningsJay Peardon and Shaun Tan.



Following a sold-out event as part of Vivid Sydney earlier this year, AACTA’s Masterclass in Web Series Creation was held in Melbourne at Cinema Nova on Wednesday 22 August.

Hosted by screenwriter and creator of BRUCEWarwick Holt, the masterclass brought together some of Australia’s successful web content creators and developers to share their experiences creating and commissioning scripted content for online audiences worldwide, including:

  • Screen Australia Junior Investment Manager, Online and co-creator of I CAN’T EVEN, Alyce Adams;
  • Co-creator of HOMECOMING QUEENSChloë Reeson;
  • Princess Pictures Partner and Producer, Paul Walton; and
  • Co-creator, co-writer and director of RESTORATIONStuart Willis.

Over 100 audience members attended the event which provided insight into all facets of web series creation including concept development, scripting, casting and shooting, finding and growing your audience, and funding opportunities. The event was a fantastic opportunity for the Melbourne community to connect and discuss this exciting new realm.



On Wednesday 22 August, claymation series MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND was announced as the inaugural AACTA PITCH winner in Sydney. With special mentions given to VIRGIN IN A SEX STORE, PIXEL RAIDERS and EMERALD WAY.

Hosted by writer and comedian Justin Hamilton, over 150 audience members joined us at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction to hear the eight finalists pitch their series. They were joined by our four AACTA PITCH judges: Princess Pictures Senior Producer Scripted and Unscripted, Mike Cowap; Foxtel Drama Development Executive, Carly Heaton; Screen Australia Online Investment Manager, Lee Naimo; and Jungle Drama Development Manager, Shay Spencer.

The duo behind MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND, Melbourne-based Darcy Prendergast and Seamus Spilsbury, also received an AACTA nomination for Best Short Animation earlier this year for the series’ pilot. MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND follows the adventures of fun-loving siblings Bro-Bro, Siswa and their pal MONSTER! With his rusty and unpredictable magic, a clap of Monster’s hands can conjure a bathtub rocketship, attract a flock of winged hedgehogs and, more often than not, place Bro-Bro and Siswa in sticky situations.

AACTA also congratulates all the AACTA PITCH finalists who pitched their series: BULLDOG'S ALLEYEMERALD WAYGOOD GRIEFTHE MIRAGEPIXEL RAIDERS, TRADIES and VIRGIN IN A SEX STORE. Read more about their series concepts here.



AACTA Shorts Fest launched in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with AACTA’s popular 2018 Oscars® Short Film Program. Presented in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the exclusive showcases were attended by over 700 AFI | AACTA members and their guests.

A truly international collection, the 2018 Oscars® Short Film Program gave members the opportunity to see ten of the finest short films made worldwide in the last year on the big screen, with nominees from France, Germany, USA, Kenya, UK and Australia. Among the ten films screened were winners of some of the most prestigious short film festivals in the world, including Clermont-Ferrand, Brooklyn, Rhode Island, Annecy, Nashville, Palm Springs, Hamptons, LA Shorts Fest and last year’s AACTA Award winner for Best Short Fiction Film (THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK).

Shorts Fest culminated nationwide on Thursday 23 August with in-cinema screenings of the eight AACTA-nominated Short Animation and Short Fiction films. Over 400 audience members from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth attended the AACTA Short Film Program, which also included introductions with some of the nominated filmmakers prior to the screenings, including: TANGLES AND KNOTSPEEPIN’, NURSERY RHYMES and ALL THESE CREATURES in Sydney; MONSTER’S PLAYGROUND and ALL THESE CREATURES in Melbourne; and iRONY in Perth.


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