When the documentaries and shorts AACTA awards nominations were announced a few weeks ago there were some delightful animated and short fiction films up for awards – plus during the Sydney Film Festival and now the Melbourne Film Festival, there were even more innovative short films screening in competition. We put the spotlight on just a few short films lighting up the awards and festival circuit at the moment.

Reg Makes Contact

Reg Makes Contact follows 70-year-old Reg who’s obsessed with aliens and treasures his telescopes. He’s trying to find his missing wife who he believes has been abducted when he finds a strange object that’s fallen from the sky. Starring Helmut Bakaitis (Howzat! Kerry Packers War and The Matrix Revolutions), Susan Prior (Puberty Blues and The Rover) and directed by Corrie Chen, Reg Makes Contact is nominated for the Best Short Fiction Film at the 2016 AACTAs and it’ll screen at Melbourne Film Festival’s Australian Shorts on 9 and 13 August.

Nulla Nulla

Also nominated for the Best Short Fiction Film AACTA, Nulla Nulla follows a naïve white policeman on his first day on the job in a remote Aboriginal community. Starring Wayne Blair (Redfern Now) and directed by up-and-comer Dylan River, Nulla Nulla is a playful comedy that screens in MIFF’s Accelerator 1 on 8 and 16 August.

The Story of Percival Pilts

The Story of Percival Pilts has screened at four major film festivals so far this year, including the Annecy Intentional Animated Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival. It’s a family story about Percival P Pilts whose lived his whole life on stilts. Nominated for the Best Short Animation AACTA, The Story of Percival Pilts is written and directed by John Lewis and Janette Goody.

Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and The Rose

Writer and director Brendan Fletcher teams up with award-winning artist Del Kathryn Barton, who also directs, in this stunning and haunting adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story about the price of love. This animated short has an original soundtrack by musician Sarah Blasko, and features the voices of Mia Wasikowska, Geoffrey Rush and David Wenham. Oscar Wilde’s The Nightingale and The Rose screened at the Berlin International Film Festival this year and it will screen as part of MIFF’s Animation Shorts on 7 and 14 August.

Goodnight Sweetheart

A black comedy about ageing and deception, Goodnight Sweetheart stars veteran Australian actors Jack Charles and Gillian Jones. One of the old friends is about to commit an act of mercy, and the other an act that’s deadly. Written and directed by Rebecca Peniston-Bird, Goodnight Sweetheart screened as part of the Sydney Film Festival this year, and it will also screen at MIFF’s Australian Shorts on 9 and 13 August.

Sweat

Colin Friels stars as a farmer who’s trying to keep up with his younger, more tech-savvy neighbour in Sweat, the new short film from previous MIFF Best Australian Short Film winner, Rodd Rathjen. Sweat will screen at MIFF’s Australian Shorts on 9 and 13 August.

GIVEAWAY 

We’ve got a few double passes to MIFF’s Australian Shorts on Sunday 9 August at Hoyts 11 in Melbourne Central that will include Reg Makes Contact, Goodnight Sweetheart, Sweat and some other fantastic shorts. For your chance to win, email us (blog@screenaustralia.gov.au) with which short film you’d like to see most and why.