We are certainly biased, after being invited by Capricorn Film Festival’s Luke Graham to trek north to be a part of the judging panel, along with panels on everything from film distribution to acting.
On the acting panel – which we moderated – were David Field, Melina Vidler (800 Words), Ben Mingay (Wonderland, Home and Away, Hacksaw Ridge) and Morrissey Management’s Michael Montgomery. In the audience were locals, young filmmakers and actors. The answers were candid, the advice priceless.
The night before, David Field took part in a post-screening Q&A for the feature film The Pretend One, which received an enormously positive reception. People were amazed that this quality local production would struggle to find an audience in the cinemas.
Earlier that day we had flown with David Field from Sydney to Rockhampton and then drove on to Yeppoon. During our journey, Field was approached by fellow travellers about everything from The Secret Daughter (no, the show’s done, sorry), No Activity to those OAK ads.
It was clear that the heartland of this country was being ignored by the film industry and that this type of event is essential to keeping culture alive in Australia.
There were 3 categories of short film at the Capricorn Film Festival – CAPS Junior, CAPS Open and CAPS World. The first two were limited to Queensland productions, with the quality of films second to none.
Winning CAPS Junior was the comedy The Shelvador, made by Gladstone local Jordan Muller, with cast and crew in attendance and dressed in character accepting the award. Gladstone based Luke Graham – who recently produced Broke (filmed in Gladstone) and is currently working on a number of future productions – also awarded Kasey Deeth with a Rising Star award for his film Tick Tock.
The CAPS Open award went to Dominic Russell for his short Come Correct, which escalated the bartender / bar staff relationship in a stylised and entertaining way. The film was co-directed by Alex Russell, who is currently in the US working on TV show S.W.A.T. Dominic, who also stars in the film was on hand to pick up the award.
All up there were 26 short films entered by local filmmakers across the two categories, with 10 of the films screening on the day.
There were 200+ submissions from around the world in the CAPS World category, with Canberra based Brendan Kelly winning the jury prize with his film Dying Art about an actor anxious to shoot a scene which may see him killed. Kelly was on hand to accept his award.
“We were over the moon with Yeppoon’s and the CQ community’s attendance to the weekend event and can’t wait to expand on what we have started,” said Festival Co-ordinator Peter Szilveszter, a filmmaker in his own right.
“It was the hardest year to date for the Judges to select the winners, with so many quality films being produced by our regional filmmakers,” added Luke Graham, Festival Director.
PICTURE CAPTION: Bill Ludwig (Mayor of Livingstone Shire Council, and quite the musician), Ben Mingay, David Field, Dying Art star/writer/director Brendan Kelly, Melina Vidler, Michael Montgomery and Dov Kornits.