Big things come in small packages at the St Kilda Film Festival, Australia's oldest and most prestigious celebration of short-form cinema. Taking over the beachside suburb from 17–26 May, the festival program is as jam-packed as ever, with films of every conceivable genre along with a VR lineup, filmmaking resources and a whopping $50,000 prize pool.
As always, the centrepiece of the festival is Australia's Top 100 Short Films. The competition is split into 16 different sessions — spread across the ten days — including two documentary streams and an intriguing "after dark" contingent.
Highlights from the lineup are The Story, which was filmed in St Kilda and centres on a man that witnesses an emergency; a film about four women in a futuristic Australia, called Cooee; and Mrs McCutcheon, the story of a 10-year-old boy who likes to wear dresses and go by the name of Mrs McCutcheon.
The festival is also home to The Big Picture, one of the country's largest free filmmaker development programs, where attendees can pick up tips of the trade from leading industry professionals on everything from working with actors to making a movie on your smartphone.
While the festival's flashy opening night will take place at the grand Palais Theatre, the rest of the program will be screened at St Kilda Town Hall.