Nominees Announced for the 2024 AACTA Award for Best Short Film
Today the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) announced the six nominees for the 2024 AACTA Award for Best Short Film. The nominees represent Australia’s finest, most captivating self-contained fictional live action or animated film under 40 minutes in duration.
With over 80 productions entered for consideration, the six nominees are:
- AN OSTRICH TOLD ME THE WORLD IS FAKE AND I THINK I BELIEVE IT
- FINDING ADDISON
- MUD CRAB
- NOT DARK YET
The nominees cover a wide spectrum of themes, from poignant personal narratives to a mysterious talking ostrich.
A summary of each short film is as follows:
AN OSTRICH TOLD ME THE WORLD IS FAKE AND I THINK I BELIEVE IT
Lachlan Pendragon created the stop-motion film over a 10-month period during the COVID-19 lockdowns and continues its successful festival run. Initially a project for his PhD studies, the short film was nominated for an Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film. It follows the story of a young telemarketer who after being confronted by a mysterious talking ostrich, he learns that the universe is stop motion animation. He must put aside his dwindling toaster sales and focus on convincing his colleagues of his terrifying discovery. It’s scary business living in a stop motion world, where your faces fall off and a giant hand controls your every move.
Filmmaker Georgina Haig was inspired by her own story of her father passing and how she forgot to pick up his ashes. The short film is a darkly comedic story about grief, tough love and the unexpected ways those who have passed continue to influence us. The story follows Frances, who bereft after the loss of her beloved Dad James, misses the appointment to pick up his ashes. Through a bizarre posthumous prank, can James rectify his daughter’s habitual lateness, even after he’s gone?
FINDING ADDISON interweaves the lives and timelines of five women: Isabelle, Lucy, Addison, Lynnie and Jewel, and as the story transitions between the past and present, we witness the unfolding narratives of these women, showcasing the struggles, sacrifices and secrets that have shaped their lives, whilst exploring friendship, identity, forgiveness, and the profound impact of hidden truths that reverberates through generations, leaving an undeniable mark on those involved. Director Francisca Braithwaite also found inspiration close to home, having based the story on a friend who discovered they were adopted.
A lyrical and moving film about loss and connection, JIA centres around Ming, a grieving Chinese mother, who arrives in Australia to embark on a road trip with a young Caucasian man, Eric, to remember her late son. But she soon discovers that Eric was in a romantic relationship with her son, which clashes with her conservative values. Vee Shi’s short film JIA was the beneficiary of the 2021 AACTA Pitch: Focus student short film production Initiative.
MUD CRAB, a drama film, portrays a woman recounting the traumatising assault she witnessed of a young man in a small Australian coastal town. To stay true to the female perspective of the film, the entire camera crew was run by women.
NOT DARK YET
The film follows a man confined in his room in an aged care facility, who struggles with his son’s abrupt departure. Lead actor Richard Moir, who lives with Parkinson’s disease, is the father of director Bonnie Moir. The NOT DARK YET team stated that collaborating with Richard on this story in pre-production and during the shoot allowed them to highlight a voice authentically, one not often heard in our community.
The nominees were determined by AACTA Members, Australia’s largest community of screen professionals and fans. The winner of the 2024 AACTA Award for Best Short Film will be announced at the new home for AACTA on the Gold Coast at HOTA (Home of the Arts).
The remaining 2024 AACTA Award nominees are to be announced later this year. Round 2 voting will begin December 9 and will determine the 2024 AACTA Awards recipients.