Opportunity for emerging filmmakers

Village Cinema’s Unscene Short Film Competition returns in 2017.
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Image: supplied.

Emerging filmmakers are invited to submit entries to the 2017 Unscene Short Film Competition, now back for its second year. The prize includes a total award worth $20,000. 

The winning short film will be played across cinema pre-show and in selected Village Cinema foyers, plus a cash prize of $10,000, new gear from Blackmagic, and a mentoring session at Open Channel. 

Visit unscenefilms.com.au to find out more.

This year entrants are asked to create a five minute short film responding to the timely theme The Future of Cinema

‘The future of cinema can be viewed through several lenses, one being the future of cinema as a concept for the filmmaker. What would you like to see as the ultimate cinema? The other is what would the screen experience be. Would it be a virtual reality experience? Would it be a complete immersion experience where you sit in a pod and experience a film completely in isolation to other people,’ said Mo Bhargava, General Manager of Marketing at Village Cinemas.

‘We’re trying to stimulate the imagination of young adults to really think about with all the innovation around virtual worlds to gaming to cinema innovation in its own right to whether the use of a second or third device in a cinema is something people will think of as being plausible in a future cinema experience.’

Last year over seventy filmmakers entered the competition with films about the impact of piracy. Thousands of people viewed and voted for their favourite online, with Marie Kelly’s film “Pirating a Film IRL” coming in first.

Pirating A Film I.R.L from Michael Campbell on Vimeo.

Second place was won by Michael Campbell for his film “The Cost of War”, while Elizna van der Walt, Ellie Beltramin and Ben Bellete grabbed third place with their entry “Midnight”.

Bhargava said the competition spread on social media organically with many entrants rallying their peers and social groups to get voting. 

Importantly, the competition offers an opportunity not just for aspiring filmmakers to get their content onto the big screen, but also a way for Village Cinemas to engage with those emerging in the field. 

‘The genesis of this competition stems from us receiving frequent contact from young filmmakers with short demo tapes looking for the opportunity to get content onto the big screen. In a lot of ways it is about legitimising their work. It is also an opportunity for us to authentically connect with that spectrum of the industry, which is not something that as a multiplex cinema we have done a great deal of. That is largely why we are doing it – so we can connect with that audience and give them the opportunity to connect with a mass audience, which is what we bring to the table. We are effectively positioning ourselves as that bridge,’ said Bhargava.

Submissions open June 30. For more information visit unscenefilms.com.au

Brooke Boland
About the Author
Brooke Boland is a freelance writer based on the South Coast of NSW. She has a PhD in literature from the University of NSW. You can find her on Instagram @southcoastwriter.