Press Release

Aurora Short Film Festival, 9 June 2013

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013: This year Aurora, Australia’s leading not-for-profit STV community channel, is lifting the lid on contentious community issues by unveiling a diverse range of personal and inspiring stories with their annual short film festival.

The top films selected for the ‘Best Community Organisation’ category come from five Australian charities with each story highlighting a growing concern from their corner of the community.

The Regional Youth Support Services (RYSS) entered a documentary ‘2261 Youth in Violence’ which discusses young people involved in serious violence in the NSW Central Coast – Killarney Vale, Berkley Vale and Tumbi Umbi. The children and young teens in the real-life film speak about the issues caused as a result of violence as well as the huge impact social media has made on violence rates in the 2261 postcode.

Team Leader for RYSS Jamie McKenzie commented: “Our film ‘2261 Youth in Violence’ was originally produced to bring light to this evident problem in our area and we are very proud of the work that the young people put in to make this documentary. We couldn’t be more humbled to be included in this year’s Aurora Short Film Festival as a finalist.”

The WWF-Australia finalist entry ‘Sending the Gungu Home’ sheds light on the need to protect and save sea turtles in the Great Barrier Reef. In 2012, 1,800 green turtles washed up on the beach in suffering from starvation or sickness.

Another finalist is ‘Jonathan’s Story’ from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia. The film shows what one person can achieve by reaching out to help an at risk child from a single-parent family, giving a taste of what young Jonathan experienced when he had someone offer him his friendship and guidance by becoming his ‘big brother’.

The CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Australia, Sherilyn Hanson, said: “Being shortlisted in the Aurora Short Film Festival is fantastic. It helps us showcase not only the impact of a long term positive role model on a young person’s life, but also the benefits that result for the mentor and for the community.”

Other finalists in this category include ‘Aspect Schools’ from Autism Spectrum Australia about what the school offers for people with Autism, along with ‘The Forced Error’ from the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) which highlights the effects of peer pressure amongst youth.

CEO of Aurora Phyllisse Stanton said the films in this year’s Community Organisation category are real eye openers into the experiences of our country’s communities.

“Aurora represents all aspects of community and helps give a voice to everyone, large or small, and that’s what these short films stand for,” she said. “From troubled youth in the Central Coast to saving turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, it’s so important that these heart-felt and diverse stories are heard.”

This year the Aurora Short Film Festival is taking place as an on-air screening with the winners of each category being announced and aired during the broadcast on the 9th of June at 8pm.

Public are welcome to vote on the films, voting polls open until 31st May. All finalist films can be viewed and voted for online here:

Prizes for each category is $1000 cash. The film which receives the Critic’s Choice award will win $2000.

All finalist films will be broadcast in the subsequent weeks following the festival with a ‘Best of the Rest’ program. A selection of entrants that did not make it into the finals will also feature. These screenings will take place on Sunday 16th, Sunday 23rd and Sunday 30th of June at 8pm.


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