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“A man walks into a toilet cubicle and says ‘ You look kind familiar, have we met before?’   This is a story of strange acquaintances and bonding, friendships of a lifetime  and the way we take things for granted. It will be a low-budget feature with seminal childhood flashbacks and homemade special effects. it will appeal to a very wide audience and I will be the director, producer and main star with Armitage Shanks playing second fiddle.”

So goes an imaginary pitch to a prospective funding agency.  Last night I attended a PITCH CLINIC as part of the filmmaker development forum series. I was a tad late but just in time to witness a half-dozen nervous souls pitch their ideas for film projects to a panel of industry professionals. The pitchers had 8 minutes to plead their case and then be critiqued on their delivery with the winner receiving a cake and possible encouragement to take their idea to the next level. My only criticism of the night is that their wasn’t a demonstration of how to pitch like an old pro.  The event ran a little over the scheduled time so I left early and dashed across the road to catch the first session of Australia’s top 100 short films.

Four dramas, one documentary and a comedy made up session one and the winner in my mind(and on the voting card) was the ultra low-budget comedy ‘Captive’. Shot over two  days for $200 with a limited cast but a brilliant script, ‘Captive’ delivered the goods in five minutes and 47 seconds flat.  The other films were all engaging and well made to a degree but have all received screenings and awards previously so I shall not mention them in the vain hope of raising the profile of ‘Captive’.

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Follow this link to Screen Hub Australia’s website and their opening night review with thanks to David Tiley, editor. Includes clips and links with no need for subscription.


The highlight of day two was: The Best of Annecy: 1997-2004, session 1.  12 animated films from all over the world but with one thing in common: imagination. I will also add that comedy was present in seven of the films on show.  My favourites: The Mermaid-beautiful, Jolly Roger-funny ha ha, Roof Sex-60 seconds of al fresco armchair copulation, How to cope with Death-geriatric Die Hard, Ryan-revealing and tragic, The Crab Revolution-witty with a great french voice over.

‘Ryan’ was the only animated film that I heard of before and partly seen. An interesting and tragic true story of Canadian animator Ryan Larkin who came so close to success only to succumb to the drink and the drugs. Click here to watch the film on you tube.

A still from Ryan.

Roll on day 3 and another 12 cinematic gems.

Check out this film by Alex McCloskey which screened on opening night. It contains interviews with the film makers and insights into the process.

The last words go to Marzipan, the Astor cat, who made an appearance in the dress circle and found a warm lap to her liking. The link will direct you to The Astor’s blog.