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Now screening: Canberra’s short film showcase

Presenting both an incredible opportunity for local filmmakers and an amazing showcase of some of the world’s best short films, the 24th iteration of the Canberra Short Film Festival (CSFF) launches on Saturday 7 September.

A competition-based festival comprising nine categories, the CSFF will screen international, national, Canberra, documentary, music videos, animations, First Nations films, under 18s and two-minute films.

CSFF Director John Frohlich tells Canberra Weekly having nine categories allows the festival to cater to a wide array of punters.

“It’s quite a wide variety of short films; it means a lot of things to a lot of different audiences.”

He says the proliferation of affordable filmmaking technology in the past 10 years means there’s been a lot of innovation within the short film space.

“The technology has changed so much over the last decade, we have a two minute category because people make films quickly on their phones or other devices these days.

“It’s become a genuine form of communication and art, so the short film festival is able to plug into that and tap into that creativity in a way that probably no other festival can,” he says.

Having existed now for almost a quarter of a century, the festival continues to go from strength to strength.

This year they received a total of 387 submissions, up from 315 in 2018. Frohlich estimates there were at least 60 submissions from local filmmakers.

He says providing that opportunity for local filmmakers is the driving force behind CSFF.

“Having your work distributed, seen, exhibited, and being able to sit with an audience and watch them react to it is what motivates you to make it in the first place.

“A lot of the filmmakers in Canberra love it, they value it, and we’ve got people who have submitted films every year from the last five to six years.

“It’s very affirming and validating to say to your friends and family, ‘come to Dendy on Saturday night, my film is screening’,” Frohlich says.

CSFF’s national and international film component brings in some of the world’s best short films.

“Some of the work from around the world is really good to watch, and it’s great for the local filmmakers to see them,” Frohlich says.

The festival has received 53 films from Iranian film makers this year and have therefore decided to run a mini festival to celebrate and promote these fascinating films which reveal so much about contemporary Iranian society.

This year there’s also been a range of First Nations films submitted, not just from within Australia but also from Norway, Mexico and Brazil.

This is the third year they have run the First Nations category, and submissions have doubled on 2018 numbers.

A record number of music videos and animations have also been submitted from all over the world in a range of styles.

There will also be a range of animated movies, including 3D work from studios in Indonesia, USA and Australia, other works include puppetry, beautiful hand-drawn works and stop motion.

Having received 53 films from Iranian film makers this year, CSFF will run a mini festival to celebrate and promote these fascinating films, such as Hermit. Photo supplied.

The CSFF runs 7-22 September at Dendy Canberra; csff.com.au

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