Over the last four years, Sparrowland Short Film Festival has grown into one of Australia’s top festivals, showcasing the bravest and boldest of indie short films alongside industry expert panels, networking events, visual art and live indie music. This year, around 50 short films will be showcased across four nights, all of which have been carefully curated from 250 entries from across the country and around the world.

Kicking things off on Wednesday 8th May is Indie Internationals featuring films from across the globe. Student Showcase is on Thursday 9th May where future filmmakers in both high school and university categories have their time to shine. Locals Night is on Friday 10th May, showcasing the best of Queensland indie filmmaking, and the Gala Day is on Saturday 11th May, where documentaries will be presented as well as a family-friendly hour of films, followed by a Best Australian Films section featuring the finest from around the country. The festival concludes with a black and white-themed Gala Night that night where the best of the fest will be screened alongside an awards presentation and after-party. Affordable season passes are available to attend the entire festival, or event attendance can be curated depending on your interest and availability.

I was fortunate to be given a sneak peek of some of the films screening at the festival to provide a taste of what’s on offer. Victim, a dramatic short film directed by Robin Summons, can be seen at the Best Australian Film session. This is a deeply uncomfortable but immensely relevant viewing, especially for young men and the people closest to them. The film chronicles the danger men can encounter online from radical groups who incite hate and violence against women. An excellent performance can be seen from Kat Stewart (Black Snow) in the main role.

Where’s Weirdo, directed by Duncan Peake, can be seen at the Locals Night. An outstanding offering, this is a must-see for fans of the horror genre. Films in this genre are so hard to get right, but Where’s Weirdo succeeds in capturing a genuinely scary experience, and bibliophiles will love it too. The production design and book art are also remarkable.

Forbidden, directed by Charlotte Vacková from the Czech Republic, can be seen in the Indie Internationals session. This is a stunning, coming-of-age surrealist drama about a girl stuck between order and passion. Shot beautifully with a soft colour palette, the visual components tell the story more than the dialogue. Films like this are the next best thing to international travel and they will inspire audiences to see more world cinema.

Feather, directed by Andrey Goulter, can be seen in the Family Shorts session. This is a heart-warming story about a grandfather and his young granddaughter on a day out together which doesn’t go exactly to plan. Shot on location in Winton with a charming score, this is a beautiful, multi-generational film.

It’ll Pass, directed by Ashleigh Ramirez, is screening in both the University section at Student Showcase and at Locals Night. A Griffith Film School graduate film, It’ll Pass is a contemporary story about a 20-something’s experience with her toxic relationship and the techniques she’s used to deny her reality. The filmmaking is cleverly executed using a stand-up comedy scenario to depict a retelling of events, and the performances by the three key cast are strong.

Festival Director Caroline Sparrow has a dream for Sparrowland Short Film Festival to become Queensland’s answer to Sundance and Cannes. She would love to see film executives and creatives arriving via boats on the Brisbane River to mix and mingle, immersed in inspiring and unique cinema and artscapes.

Sparrowland are looking to partner with organisations and corporations that align with their ethos of building a supportive and inspiring community of independent and dedicated content creators and invite interested parties to get in touch.

Sparrowland Short Film Festival dates:
8th – 11th May at PIP Theatre, 20 Park Road Milton

Tickets: https://piptheatre.org/sparrowland-film-festival/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparrowlandshortfilmfestival

Enquiries: sparrowlandproductions@gmail.com