Judas Collar Takes Top Prize at 2019 St Kilda Film Festival

June 30, 2019
The Western Australian film about a camel’s lot in Australia has won Best Short Film and Best Director at the 36th SKFF, the final hurrah for Festival Director Paul Harris.

“I would like to recognise and thank all of the filmmakers who have submitted their hard work to the St Kilda Film Festival over the last 21 years during my time as Festival Director,” said Paul Harris. “The effort that goes into creating these short films is evident – the quality has remained exceptional over the years and we continue to see St Kilda Film Festival alumni go on to progress their craft skills in their subsequent careers.”

Judas Collar, a 14-minute, dialogue-free short film following a camel’s journey after being collared by cullers took out both the Best Short Film and Best Director prizes for Writer/Director Alison James and Producer Brooke Silcox. The filmmakers also receive a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the City of Port Phillip.

“I wrote four drafts of this story with a human central character,” says Alison James. “Making the decision to have a camel as the protagonist meant having nowhere to hide. There would be no dialogue for exposition, and it meant heavily relying on the central performance of a camel. The story had to be simple enough to follow and yet full of drama, conflict and active decisions. All craft elements would need to work together so that an audience might enter this strange world and connect with a single camel and her journey.”

The prize for Best Documentary was awarded to Angus McDonald, director and producer of Manus. McDonald is now eligible for consideration in the OSCARS® Documentary Shorts category.

Other awards included Best Achievement in Cinematography to Carl Robertson ACS for Ascendant, Best Achievement in Screenplay to Clayton Waddell for Shepherd, Best Achievement in Editing to Rohan Cooper for Here There Be Monsters, Best Actor went to Patricia Menses for We Vanish whilst Best Young Actor was Yared Scott for All These Creatures. The Craft Award (Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe) and Best Original Score (Adrian Sergovich) went to the animated Lost and Found, Best Achievement in Sound to Simon Lister for Kapara, whilst Best Youth Short Film went to Tape, directed and produced by Jordan Giusti.

The 10-day St Kilda Film Festival featured Australia’s Top Short Film Competition, a specially curated screening of award-winning shorts from the US-based industry disruptor Slamdance Film Festival, the Under the Radar Youth Short Film Competition, a free two-day filmmaker development program and more.

From July through to September, St Kilda Film Festival will tour highlights from the Australian Top Short Film competition across Victoria. The Tour aims to showcase award-winning films and highlights from the Festival to a regional audience, with locations including Castlemaine, Mt Beauty, Queenscliff and Ballarat. https://www.stkildafilmfestival.com.au/

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