(L-R): Samantha Lang, Jamieson Pearce, Melissa Anastasi, Sunday Emerson Gullifer, Nathan Mewett, Nashen Moodley and Marta Dusseldorp.
Melissa Anastasi, Sunday Emerson Gullifer, Jamieson Pearce, and duo Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett are this year’s recipients of Sydney Film Festival’s Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship.
Each filmmaking team will receive a $50,000 grant to make a short to premiere at next year’s festival.
Each were selected by an industry jury, headed by chair and Janet King star Marta Dusseldorp, along with SFF director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia senior manager sales and marketing Vin Naidoo, Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin and Australian Directors’ Guild president Samantha Lang.
“What an honour it has been to read and indulge myself with great short Australian films. The four finalists showed a holistic understanding of their craft and vision. We believe these filmmakers have truly embraced all that was asked for by the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship and Sydney Film Festival,” said Dusseldorp.
“These are strong, unique stories investigating identity, love, family, relationships and the human experience. We cannot wait to see them at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019.”
Anastasi has made short films such as By This River and This Feral Life. As a writer, her feature screenplays have been shortlisted for the Sundance Lab, and previously selected for the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam. She is currently developing the feature screenplay Bluebirds with support from Screen Australia and Screen NSW.
Emerson Gullifer’s short Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, had its world premiere at SFF in 2017, where it was Highly Commended in the Dendy Awards, and went on to premiere internationally at Telluride Film Festival. She has previously been nominated for two ADG Awards.
Pearce is a freelance director and editor, whose most recent film Adult, adapted from a story by Christos Tsiolkas, screened at SXSW last year.
Mewett is a writer/director from WA who has produced numerous short films, documentaries and music videos. With Taylor he co-directed Yulubidyi – Until The End, which is in this year’s festival line-up. His previous short Sol Bunker has also won over nine awards across Australia and is a ‘proof of concept’ for a feature film of the same name, and he is also currently in development on another feature Baby.
Taylor has worked as a community coordinator and youth development officer at Martu Media (a division of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa), where he also spent 18 months working on the major Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route project as a filmmaker and youth ambassador. His acclaimed short film Mamu, has been shown in international film festivals, and he was the director’s attachment and is the narrator of Emmy Award winning VR documentary Collisions.
This year’s fellows were announced as last year’s – Thomas Baricevic, Emily Avila, Lara Köse and Goran Stolevski – had their films The Coin, Fitting, Kaya, and My Boy Oleg screened for the first time. (Read our interview with Avila on Fitting here).