Anthony Maras’ The Palace wins Best Aus Short Film at 2012 Flickerfest Festival

16 January, 2012 by Sam Dallas

Sunday, January 15, 2012 will go down as one of Anthony Maras' most proudest days. The South Australian filmmaker's latest powerful short film, The Palace, cleaned up at both the inaugural AACTA Awards and last night's Flickerfest.

Earlier in the day, Maras – an AFI Award winner – won gongs for Best Short Fiction Film and Best Screenplay In A Short Film at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts' revamped awards before travelling to Sydney's Bondi Beach last night to collect Best Australian Short Film at the 21st annual Flickerfest ceremony. Not a bad 10 hours.


Inspired by true events, The Palace – an Australian-Cyprus co-production – tells the story of a Greek Cypriot family which flees advancing Turkish forces and takes refuge in an abandoned palace. 

Produced by Maras, Kate Croser and Andros Achilleos representing AntHouse Films, Cyan Films and SeaHorse Films respectively, the 15-minute short netted numerous gongs last year including Best Short Film (at the Melbourne International Film Festival and Sydney Film Festival) and the Audience Award in Adelaide. Last September it had a positive response at the Telluride Film Festival during its US premiere. (The trailer can be seen below.)

Maras is now collaborating with The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas on an international crime drama. Croser is currently in production on her new feature, 100 Bloody Acres, starring Damon Herriman and Angus Sampson.

Matthew Moore’s Julian, a 13-minute short that explores a day in the life of a nine-year-old boy, was also recognised at Flickerfest, receiving the Special Jury Award. The short film stars Morgana Davies, best known for The Hunter and Australian-French co-production The Tree. Writer/director Moore, who also produced the short along with Robert Jago, has recently been seen in Burning Man, Me And My Monsters and Home and Away.

Other big winners on the night included Nash Edgerton (Best Direction; Bear), Sam King and Nick Matthews (Best Cinematography; Collision), Katie Flaxman (Best Editing; Peekaboo), Matthew Jenkin (Best Australian Screenplay; Cockatoo) and Nullarbor (Best Achievement in Sound).

Brendon McDonall’s The Law and Miranda Nation’s Eli The Invincible won in the Most Resourceful Film and SBS broadcast categories respectively.

A string of international awards were also handed out on the night; with winners including Las Palmas (Johannes Nyholm, Sweden), Opastica (Eric Morin, Canada), It's Such A Beautiful Day (Don Hertzfeldt, USA) and Ebony Society (Tammy Davis, New Zealand).

Touted as a festival which screens the best short films from Australia and the world, Flickerfest is the country’s only Academy-accredited and BAFTA-recognised short film festival.

The festival’s director of almost 15 years, Bronwyn Kidd, said this year’s selection had been the most accomplished yet with 108 films chosen from a record 2200 films entered.

She described the short films as “the most innovative and creative and entertaining” from both Australia and the world.

“For me all films selected into competition are winners and I would like to commend all the films we have had the great honour to screen in competition this year,” she said in a statement.

“I know the judges over the past week have faced some extremely tough decisions and I congratulate all of our award winners across all sections of our competition.

“I hope that through winning their awards our winner will be noticed and embraced by the film industry both at home and internationally for their amazing talent and go on to have extremely successful careers in the film industry for many years to come.”

The festival now heads to Byron Bay before embarking on almost another 40 venues until May. Such places include: Melbourne, Alice Springs, Perth, Broome, Canberra, Hobart, Margaret River and Townsville. For full details on tour dates and venues, click here.


Movie Network Channels Award for Best Australian Short Film:
‘The Palace’ wr/dir Anthony Maras, prods Kate Croser, Anthony Maras, Andros Achilleos

Special Jury Award: ‘Julian’ wr/dir/prod Matthew Moore

Icebergs Dining Room & Bar Award for Best Direction in an Australian Short Film: ‘Bear’ dir Nash Edgerton, prod Lauren Edwards & John Polson¨

Miller Australia Award for Best Cinematography in A Short Film: ‘Collision’ wr David Ngo & Nick Matthews, dir Nick Matthews, Cinematography, Sam King & Nick Matthews

Avid Award for Best Editing in An Australian Short Film: ‘Peekaboo’ wr/dir Damien Power, prod Joe Weatherstone, editor Katie Flaxman

The Sydney Morning Herald Award for Best Australian Screenplay: ‘Cockatoo’ wr/dir Matthew Jenkin, prods Matthew Jenkin & Oliver Leimbach

Sandcastle Studios Sound Design Award for Best Achievement in Sound: ‘Nullarbor’ wr/dir Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell, prod Katrina Mathers, Merrin Jensen, Patrick Sarell, Daryl Munton

Chaotic Post Award for Most Resourceful Film: ’The Law’ wr/dir/prod Brendon McDonall

SBS TV Award for a Film Chosen by SBS for Broadcast: ‘Eli The Invincible’ wr/dir Miranda Nation, prod Dominic Allen


SAE Institute Award for Best Use of Digital Technology in a Short Film: ‘Las Palmas’ wr/dir/prod Johannes Nyholm (Sweden)¨

Flickerfest Special Jury Award: ‘Opastica’ wr/dir/prod Eric Morin (Canada)¨

Yoram Gross Award for Best Animation: ‘It’s Such A Beautiful Day’ wr/dir Don Hertzfeldt(USA)* Academy ®Accredited¨

ING DIRECT for Best Short Film: ‘Ebony Society’ wr/dir Tammy Davis, prods Ainsley Gardiner & Chelsea Winstanley(New Zealand) *Academy® Accredited


Flickerfest Greenflicks Award for Best Environmental Short: ‘The death is in the field’ wri/dir Patrick Chappatte¨

Highly Commended Environmental Short: ‘Common Ground’ dir/prod Hollie Fifer, wri/prod Uncle Bob Randall¨

Highly Commended Environmental Short: ‘It’s Okay to Call it Odd’ wri/dir Anna-Sofia Nylund, prod Stefan Gustafsson


Flickerfest Award for Best Documentary: ‘Cutting Loose’ wri/dir/prod Adrian McDowall, Finlay Napier & prod Paul Welsh(UK)¨

Highly Commended Documentary: ‘My Mallorca’ wri/dir/prod Bernadette Knoller(Germany)


Avant Card Award for Best High School Animation: ‘The Fences That Divide Us’ wri/dir/prod Cait Mahoney

SAE Award for Best Upper High School Production: ‘A Hollow Whimper’ wri/dir Emily Christensen Producer Sean OKeefe Lithgow High School 

Flickerfest Award for Best Primary School Production: ‘Independence Day’ wri Amy McKinnon, Paris Tsoukatos, Zach Barnett, Shoryu Zaman-Das, Cormac Lavery, Esther Kim, Sarina Chew & Madison Du, dir Maria Kotouc & Lisa Jencsok, prod, Gladesville Public School¨

Yoram Gross Award for Best Primary School Animation: ‘The Search for Thunderbolt’s Gold’ wri KPS IT Classes, dir Royden Lake & prod Kingstown Public School¨

Family Movie Channel Award for Highly Commended High School Production: ‘Tubby’ wri/dir/prod: Matthew Thorne