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Introducing the SBS Short Film Festival, showcasing diverse and underrepresented Australian creatives

Dark comedies. Distinctive documentaries. Dramatic soap operas.

SBS has announced the inaugural SBS Short Film Festival, premiering exclusively on SBS On Demand from Friday, 13 September to Sunday, 15 September 2019.

The festival will celebrate diversity in all its forms, showcasing 14 short films over three days from emerging Australian creatives.

The SBS Short Film Festival features an array of formats, subjects, topics and talent. Some films highlight the importance of friendship, family, culture and food, while others tackle topical issues such as Aboriginal child removals in the 1950s. Although the films are very different, they’re all heartfelt and heart-warming – there’ll be something for every viewer.

The SBS Short Film Festival is the product of the Short-Form Content Initiative, a commitment to providing increased opportunities for Australian creatives from diverse communities. SBS partnered with Screenwest, Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Tasmania to run the initiative, with the aim to increase the career development opportunities within diverse groups.

All 14 short films at the festival feature Australian creatives from underrepresented societies, including those from multicultural, Indigenous and LGBTIQ+ communities, and those living with disabilities.

SBS Director of TV and Online Content Marshall Heald said“Our Short-Form Content Initiative announced last year was a promise from SBS to encourage and celebrate emerging local talent, and we’re thrilled that the initiative has culminated into the SBS Short Film Festival for SBS On Demand.”

“These films represent Australia’s diversity and will give a platform to creatives from communities that are underrepresented in the screen sector. We’re delighted to see this festival launch in September.”

Western Australian projects include MOLLY & CARA and TRIBUNAL.

TRIBUNAL is about a gay man seeking asylum in Australia and the translator who is assigned to his case.

MOLLY & CARA is a dark comedy series about the unlikely friendship between an Aboriginal student and a bigoted, elderly lady.

Other scripted films include:

  • OUT OF RANGE, starring Australian actor Aaron Pedersen, a film about an estranged father and son who reconnect when their car breaks down on a quiet road
  • AMAR, the story of a Muslim woman with Down syndrome who organises the wedding of her dreams, without a groom.

Viewers will be able to watch a collection of moving documentaries including:

  • LIMITED SURRENDER that follows an artist’s journey after being diagnosed with MS;
  • LOST DAYLIGHT which explores Aboriginal child removals and stolen wages, focusing on one woman’s experience of being taken and placed in the Sisters of Mercy convent within All Hallows’ School in 1950s/60s Brisbane.

Fans of bold and poignant tales will love THE LOOP a comedic film about a first-time television director with Down syndrome, Lorcan Hopper, who must work with a cast that can’t quite match his level of intensity and professionalism.

MONSTERS OF MANY WORLDS, divided into three episodes, is a live action and animation series that explores mythical creatures from different cultures.

BANANAS and FLAVOUR SWAP both delve into the connection between food, family and culture.

THE SMALL TOWN DRIFTER and SIDELINES showcase drift racing and cricket, highlighting everyday Australians who are overcoming their struggles by harnessing their passion for sport.

DEAFINITION and LIVES IN ACTION explore the first-hand experiences of a diverse cast –DEAFINITION takes us on a journey through the eyes and ears of someone who is profoundly deaf and LIVES IN ACTION documents a group of neurodiverse filmmakers as they interview six disabled Australians.

The SBS Short Film Festival runs from Friday, 13 September until Sunday, 15 September 2019 on SBS On Demand.


Broadcast schedule

Friday, 13 September 2019

  • BANANAS – Series 1

Saturday, 14 September 2019

  • MOLLY & CARA – Series 1

Sunday, 15 September 2019

  • AMAR


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