St. Kilda Film Festival – Top 100 Session 7

On Tuesday, I attended my very first session ever at the St. Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne. Being an avid TropFest attendee, and a film student, I have always been fascinated by the ways in which narrative can be expressed in only a short amount of time. Unfortunately for me, Session 7 of Australia’s Top 100 was full of duds.

I know that seems harsh, or perhaps even somewhat flippant given how much work and time had obviously been put into these productions. But sometimes beautiful camerawork just cannot make up for half-hearted narrative or bad acting, which unfortunately reigned supreme in this particular selection of short films.

The films screened were:

Treading Water

2012 / HDCam / 22mins

Genre Drama

Director Melissa Anastasi

We’ve All Been There

2012 / QuickTime Digital Video / 6.46mins

Genre Drama

Director Nicholas Clifford

Continental Drift

2011 / HDCam / 15mins

Genre Drama

Director Anna Helme

Tidiest Town 2002

2013 / QuickTime Digital Video / 9.50mins

Genre Documentary

Director Anne-Maree Shelton


2011 / HDCam / 10mins

Genre Drama

Director Phoebe Hartley

The night started out with Treading Water, a decidedly draining number that attempted to cover too much at the expense of subtlety. Although the direction and cinematography was indeed gorgeous, the script and acting were far from. This seemingly amateurish dip into the most depressing fictional family in Sydney set the tone for the night – almost every feature shared the same common traits of surface-level attractiveness, with no real substance below this. The best acting by far was by the girls in Switch, and their collective age couldn’t have been more than 30. I guess that says something about promise of future generations, but maybe not this one.

It speaks volumes to say that my favourite film of the evening was The Magnificent Max Amberson, a self-reflexive mockumentary (ticking two of my major boxes there) which upon researching this article I discovered was produced purely as promotional material for the festival. Does not bode well.

Well, I suppose SKFF has 94 other films to redeem itself with. Let the shorts begin.

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