Sony has announced the winners of the third annual Catchlight Film Festival, which recognises filmmakers from Australia and New Zealand that have chosen to tell their stories with a Sony camera. The 2023 Catchlight Film Festival judges, Yolanda Ramke (Non-Fiction), Gracie Otto (Fiction), Simeon Bryan (Student Fiction) & Sony Music Australia (Music Video) chose the four winning films from the remarkable finalist films in this year’s line-up.

Jun Yoon, Head of Sony Digital Imaging ANZ commented, “On behalf of the Sony filmmaking community, I extend a huge congratulations to all our finalists and winners across the film categories and cinematography laurels. The creativity, dedication and passion of these gifted storytellers was so evident in the work they submitted. The Australian & New Zealand film industry is in good hands.”

Watch all the winning and finalist films here.

Fiction Winner

Bangay Lore by Jahvis Loveday

Shot on: Alpha 7S III

Bangay Lore, meaning spear in the Dyirbal language of Far North QLD, is a short film that showcases how aboriginal culture is perceived when it is performed on stage and when it is expressed in everyday society. It is about the limitations wrongly placed on the expression of aboriginal culture. It follows the journey of a young aboriginal dancer as he struggles with acceptance of his culture outside of the theatre.

Non-Fiction Winner

Pitch Black by Guillym Davenport

Shot on: FX6 & Alpha 7S III

Pitch Black takes us inside the claustrophobic worlds of three young men who fell down the ‘blackpill’ rabbit hole and are struggling to reckon with their action. Mark and Luke now claim to be ex-incels and are trying to shed their destructive mindset – but have their beliefs really changed or are echoes of a hateful ideology still ringing out? Aaron is on the opposite path; a downward spiral into the abyss. Full of self-loathing and rage, he lives in a bleak reality that revolves around filming self-destructive ‘blackpill’ vlogs in his car. Pitch Black is a chilling docu-drama that radically challenges the documentary form and unpacks how small acts online can lead to horrific acts of violence offline.

Music Video Winner

Baby Prince – Shake ft. Blessed by Bronson Moyle

Shot on: FX6

The music video has a samurai/ninja aesthetic overall and the story follows a young man who has his heart set out for the princess. They have had a bond in the past however gatekept by the emperor, her father. He has done awful things to gain power and she is trapped. We see a flashback to another timeframe where the artist approaches a wise sensei. He becomes his mentor and shows him the path he must take. Ultimately coming back to the present time as a battle take place.

Student Fiction Winner

The Extra by Tyler Kang

Shot on: Alpha 6400

A young Asian actress named ‘Kaylee’ auditions for a series of roles in an upcoming major film. Kaylee’s initial excitement quickly fades away when she realises she is being typecasted into Asian stereotypes. Each audition soon becomes a battle for her own agency, as she wrestles between her self-expression of the role and the casting director’s stereotypical vision of each role.

Special Laurels judged by Stefan Duscio ACS

Best Cinematography in Fiction, supported by Videocraft

Subject by Fraser Whitehead

Best Cinematography in Non-Fiction, supported by VA Hire

Where the Dreamings Come From by Matt Deavin

Best Cinematography in Music Video, supported by Lemac

Baby Prince – Shake ft. Blessed by Bronson Moyle

Best Cinematography in Student Fiction, supported by Atomos

Hills Hoist by Angus Becke-Smith

Best Sony Lens Work

Where the Dreamings Come From by Matt Deavin

The awards were announced on Saturday 9 September 2023 at the red carpet awards ceremony held in Sydney.

The Catchlight Film Festival will return in 2024. Please register your interest here.