By Simon de Bruyn

Ten Australian short films have been selected for the 2009 Dendy Awards, which run as part of the Sydney Film Festival program.

Shorts selected for the competition are Two Men, The Room, Boxer, The Funk, One Night, The Ground Beneath, The not-so-great Eugene Green, Miracle Fish, The Cat Piano and Burn.

Many of the films have already notched up substantial accolades elsewhere.

Kristina Ceyton, producer of the AFI Award winning Dendy finalist The Ground Beneath said it was a privilege to be among the chosen few.

“It’s always a good feeling to have your hard work recognised by a prestigious festival, so being part of the Dendy’s is really fantastic,” she said.

Drew Bailey, producer of Miracle Fish, which recently screened at Sundance, told INSIDEFILM the selection had special significance for him and director Luke Doolan.

“We’re super happy to be in the Dendy’s and finally show the film in Sydney. We’re even happier with the programming. The film’s playing alongside the documentary Stolen, which was produced by Tom Zubrycki, who gave both Luke and I our first jobs in the industry working as Ray Thomas’ assistant,” he said.

The films are competing for $19,000 worth in cash prizes across four award categories.

For the first time, the festival will screen the shorts across ten nights of the festival, ahead of other films, as well as in one marathon session in the final day before the awards.

Although short film awards have run at the festival since 1970, the Dendy Awards have been held for 21 years, since Dendy Cinemas came on board the competition in 1989.

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