Waltzing Tilda won the Best Director, Best Producer, Best Editor and Audience award at the 25th Sydney Film School Festival in December. It’s an ambitious project that stars Holly Fraser as a jaded young woman, Tilda, who wakes up in Sydney to find all of humanity gone. Her only company is Shane the rabbit, voiced by Glean De Goya and played by Bandit the Rabbit.
The post-apocalyptic setting is particularly impressive when considering the constraints on the group of student filmmakers that created the project. Some of the ambitious effects include demolishing iconic buildings in the Sydney skyline and painting graffiti on the Sydney Opera House.
“One of the reasons I wanted to make this film was to see if we would be able to create a world usually reserved for Hollywood productions, that of post-apocalyptic Sydney,” writer and director Jonathan Wilhelmsson said in an email. “With the help of some of my experience within visual effects we were able to shoot scenes in the city around thousands of people that I would then digitally paint out, leaving only Tilda.”
Wilhelmsson is originally from Sweden and the short film is a co-production between Australia and Sweden. It is produced by his classmate Raquel Linde, of Spain, with a mostly Australian team, according to Wilhelmsson.
“The ambitions were big but the budget was small. There was a vast amount of locations and getting permission to shoot at the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge isn’t easy,” said Linde. “After all the stress and sleepless nights, I’m so thankful and proud to belong to this project.”
Waltzing Tilda is also an official selection at the Depth of Field International Film Festival in the United States and an award nominee at the Stockholm Independent Film Festival.