Ben Mortley, Jaclyn Hewer and Antony Webb.
Writer-director Antony Webb and producer Jaclyn Hewer’s Carmentis has won the $5,000 CinefestOz Short Film Prize.
It’s the first year the festival has presented shorts awards, with Carmentis beating out Carrie’s Doing Great, I Want to Make a Film About Women and The Immortal for the top gong.
The sci-fi short follows a grief-stricken miner (Ben Mortley) who finds himself injured on the desolate planet ‘Carmentis’ and must overcome his personal demons in order to survive. It was previously selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, and recently screened as part of Fantasia Festival.
“We are so proud to have won the first inaugural short film prize,” Webb and Hewer said.
“CinefestOZ is a festival that has become an essential part of the fabric for the Australian screen industry and we couldn’t be more excited to accept such a prestigious award.”
Best West Australian Short Film went to The Quiet, directed by Radheya Jegatheva and produced by Jay Jay Jegathesan, and Best Indigenous Short Film was awarded to Doug the Human, written and directed by Gary Hamaguchi, and produced by Jodie Bell.
Hayley McElhinney picked up the Best Actor award for her role in Antecedents; Sam Lara and Jess Parker were awarded the WIFTWA supported Best WA Female Short Filmmakers award for Featherweight; and Karen Pearlman took home the Best Director award (supported by the Australian Directors’ Guild) for I Want to Make a Film About Women.
The CinefestOZ Short Film Prize awards were voted on by a jury chaired by screenwriter Dot West and producer Taryne Laffar, with members including actors Luke Carroll, Kelton Pell and Kate Walsh and producer Brooke Silcox.
“It was a privilege and pleasure to view such a dynamic array of shorts,” Laffar said.
“It was challenging to judge as we have such wonderful talent in the Australian screen sector. A huge congratulations to the winners and all the films selected.”
West added: “All the films were deadly but it was these filmmakers that stood out for their story and craft.”
The Audience Choice Award will be announced later this week.