Presented by City of Port Phillip, upcoming highlights include:

The FREE Filmmaker Development Day continues to grow in popularity, helping creatives hone their craft, with a chance to upskill with a unique series of hands-on workshops, forums, panels, exhibitions, screenings and Q&As on a diverse range of filmmaking topics with some of Australia’s top emerging and established film talents.

The Filmmaker Development Day takes place on 8 June at JMC Academy in South Melbourne and will delve into the likes of ‘Navigating Intimacy from the Screen’ where actor and intimacy coordinator, Eve Morey, opens up the conversation on current best practice around screen intimacy. The session will cover all sorts of areas about the world of navigating delicate content, and how to create safer workplaces when dealing with confronting material.

One of SKFF’s most popular workshops is back, ‘The Wonders of 16mm Filmmaking’, with its fantastic exploration of 16mm film craft. It’s fully analogue, it formed the base of the indie film revolution in the ’50s and ’60s, and it opened the door for some of the great film movements the industry has seen.

“I’m so pleased with this year’s program texture,” say Festival Director Richard Sowada. “What I’ve tried to harness is the wonderful sense of momentum these films collectively exhibit and translate that movement, propulsion and excitement to audiences across all our venues and events. It’s just packed.”

This year’s program is bursting with must-see events and screenings, including ‘Directing Actors with Ted Brunetti & Donald Petrie’Ted Brunetti is New York-based and has worked with the likes of Robert De Nero on A BRONX TALE on Broadway, James Gandolfini on his last five feature films, Uta Hagen, as her protégé for over 20 years, and many more prestigious actors. Also based in New York, Donald Petrie is a television producer, actor, and novelist who has worked on the likes of Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Just My Luck and many more. This workshop is a must for those interested in working with actors to bring their vision to the screen.

On Monday 10 June, CLIPPEDKilda presents a celebration of the artform of music videos at the iconic Alex Theatre in St Kilda. The night will be packed with exciting music video premieres, discussions on how the music videos were created, and Q&As with the filmmakers and artists.

There are several new screening categories for 2024, including Ageing (Dis)gracefully, a variety of beautiful films about ageing. Screenings include Cold Water (directed by Jay Perry and Shaun Perry), inspired by true events in St Kilda, where an elderly woman’s peaceful retirement is interrupted when her husband takes up a bizarre new hobby. Also in this session, Margret RoadKnight ‘LONG TIME…’ documentary follows blues / folk / jazz icon Margret RoadKnight’s 60-year music career, featuring an in-depth interview around her 80th birthday.

Short to Feature matches the first short with the first feature of a range of well-known filmmakers including Jane Campion (Sweetie), Robert Connolly (The Bank), Tony Ayres (Sadness) and Richard Lowenstein (Strikebound). Richard’s work includes a significant number of music clips for the likes of U2, INXS, Crowded House, Cold Chisel, The Church and many others, and his feature film work rates as some of the most well-known titles in Australian cinema. In this short to feature journey in this series, we take the leap from his first short, Evictions, to first feature Strikebound…and best of all, he’s St Kilda through and through.

In the Experiments in Film session, audiences can see We Used to Own Houses (Directed by David Robinson-Smith) where Thom, a determined renter, confronts Ben, a burdened landlord. As walls crumble and secrets are laid bare, a haunting truth emerges, shattering the illusions of home. In this unsettling invasion, power shifts and the consequences of greed unfold. In untitled / unfinished (directed by Matthew Victor Pastor) shows how a video of a racist attack filmed in Melbourne and posted on TikTok turned into a viral video with millions of views and thousands of hate comments. This is the story of the filmmaker who filmed the incident and went into an existential crisis.

Showing across multiple sessions is Period Party (directed by Georgia Brogan). With the help of her family, Bee puts on a period party to celebrate the return of her period after a battle with anorexia. While the vagina cake melts and the uterus piñata awaits a beating, Bee comes to terms with the messiness of family and womanhood.

Showing in the Brave New Worlds session is Vigil (directed by Pippa Samaya and Tara Jade Samaya), an intimate reflection on the ripple effects of gender-based violence that unpacks the layers of trauma of an abusive relationship or event.

A returning staple of the Festival is Under the Radarpresented by FReeZA.  The Under the Radar competition showcases the 11 best short films from young filmmakers across Australia. The competition is assessed, judged and organised by the City of Port Phillip FReeZA committee who themselves are talented young creatives. Screenings include Single Use Abuse (directed by Lucy Bond and Leo Mitchell). This compelling documentary explores the far-reaching impact of pollution on the environment and culture in Kuching, Malaysia, through those who are determined to make an impact for a cleaner and more sustainable future. In the film Sunburn (Uma Chaghaghi), a young woman with an allergy to the sun ventures out of the shadows during a rare eclipse to bask in the daylight just once.

Always a best seller is the Australian Comedy Showcase – part one and two. In Ashes (directed by Georgina Haig) Michael Caton stars alongside Georgina Haig, Michala Banas and Toby Truslove and follows the story of Frances, who misses an appointment to pick up her beloved dad’s (James) ashes. Through a bizarre posthumous prank, can James rectify his daughter’s habitual lateness, even after he’s gone? A darkly comedic story about grief, tough love and the unexpected ways those who have passed continue to influence us. In the film AstroNots (directed by Andrew John James Seaton), two astronauts are about to take off on a vital mission to Mars. As they sit in the cockpit awaiting launch, Major Tom Collins realises his co-pilot Abe is nowhere near as qualified as he should be.

For more information on screenings and bookings, visit: stkildafilmfestival.com.au

Now in its 40th year, St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) returns to the big screen across Thursday 6 June – Sunday 16 June 2024. SKFF is Australia’s longest-running short film festival, recognising the genre of short film, including music videos, gaming and immersive forms, celebrating some of Australia’s best local short filmmakers and screen artists.

SKFF is supported by major government partners Screen Australia and VicScreen.

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