In January 2014, inspired by the vibrant Melbourne filmmaker community, I decided to initiate my own film festival focused on connecting this talent and collaborative energy.
I wanted to help stir a hive of warm and generous talent in one room– only accepting films to screen where filmmakers agreed to represent their work and make themselves available for questions and mingling. Three questions went through my mind:
• How to encourage dedicated and aspiring filmmakers to get to know each other in a way that might lead to future collaboration?
• How to highlight the important contribution of *all* filmmakers on a good project? Film is a collaborative effort. Camera, sound, post production, writers, producers, actors, directors. I wanted these people connecting, offering insight and support on how to make every aspect of good film.
• How to have amazing shits n’ giggles? 🙂
When I first returned to Melbourne 5 months ago as an aspiring filmmaker and actor, I knew one person in film– Cory Corbett, the dynamic organiser of Comfortable Shorts, a monthly Melbourne film festival. Through Comfortable Shorts, Made in Melbourne, and West Side Shorts I not only saw dozens of local short films, but also met and befriended some of the most open and generous creatives I have met in any field.
When Comfy Shorts went on holidays for 2 months I thought “No!!! Does this mean I’m going to have to make my own???”
I tried to come up with a name and style worthy of a Comfy spin-off– “Snazzy Shorts” and “Eye Catching Shorts” were amongst the name contenders for my proposed spin-off festival. I felt like a little girl trying to walk in my mom’s sparkly high heels. I was afraid the “spin-off” was going to be a dizzy glittery fall.
Comfy Shorts is a dynamic recurring Melbourne film festival– full of banter, showmanship, and the seamlessly smooth operation that comes from an experienced team. I had none of that. But I did have, in Texan terms, a “shit ton” of enthusiasm, a respect for excellence, and gratitude-driven desire to do my film family proud.
I decided to focus and “do what I know,” what I love– pick good film, get good people together, and hope good things happen.
So, that’s the story of Connect Film Festival:
Share good films.
Meet good filmmakers.
Make better films together.
… let’s do it again! Hope to see y’all in February.
Lindsey “Loon” Ricker