By Philippa Maclachlan

The final short film to be funded by Screen Australia, Celestial Avenue, is in the final throes of post-production with the filmmakers estimating the film will completed by June.

In December last year, the screen agency announced it would cease the funding, which in the past has attracted rising Australian filmmakers and launched their careers.

Celestial Avenue received $150,000 of its $165,000 budget from Screen Australia after its script, written by Cameron and Colin Cairnes, was nominated for the 2008 Australian Writer’s Guild Awards.

A scene from the film Celestial Avenue

The film’s producer Scott Alexander said the film marked the first time an adaptor had been created for the Silicon Imaging 2K camera, which allowed the filmmakers to shoot anamorphic, but on digital.

The filmmakers originally wanted to use anamorphic 35mm film but were told their budget would not be approved by Screen Australia.

In collaboration with Lemac, director of photography John Brawley was able to create an adaptor for the Silicon Imaging 2K camera which enabled them to shoot anamorphic. Along with creating a widescreen image, this enabled them to play with depth of field and light.

Alexander said the process involved a lot of guesswork, as it complicated focusing and they had no access to the monitor.

“It was a big risk,” he said. “We were able to do it and overcome what could’ve been a limitation.”

Celestial Avenue is set in Melbourne’s China Town and follows Kath, a thirty-something looking for love. It stars Jason Gann and Catherine Moore.

A scene from the film Celestial Avenue

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