There was no doubting the accolades for locally produced and directed film Giants and its place as winner of the Flickerfest 2022 Best of Australian Shorts at the screening of both Australian and International short films at The Crossing Theatre on Thursday, July 28.

Directed by Sydney’s Eddy Bell, the film magnificently portrayed the hardships of a family struggling with implications of drought in rural Australia.

Emotionally charged acting with a ravaging and moving musical score that also claimed its own winning category kept the audience spellbound throughout.

The event was attended by Narrabri local and co-producer Steven Rees and chief cattle wrangler, horses and props manager Trent Mortimer of Wee Waa.

The audience was treated to a question and answers session after the screening where Mr Rees talked about the filming process with Narrabri Shire cultural services and tourism manager Scott Pollock.

Among other standouts in the Australian Shorts category was the comedic Stonefish, directed by Megan Smart, written by George Pullar and co-produced by Nonny Klalie, Megan Smart and George Pullar.

This film is a black comedy about an anxious young poet who accidentally sparks a war with his criminal neighbour when he tries to silence the relentless barking of his neighbour’s dog.

The Australian film You, Me, Before and After took place entirely in a tattoo parlour.

Directed and written by Madeleine Gottlieb, and produced by Cyna Strachan and Liam Heyen, it explored the premise of two adult sisters who love each other, on their journey to actually learn to ‘like’ each other while getting their first tattoos together in the same room.

To round off the Australian shorts session, the audience was greatly entertained by a wickedly dark comedy Shark, directed, written and starring Nash Edgerton and produced by Michelle Bennett.

Completing a trilogy of shorts that began with Spider and Bear, in the film Shark Nash Edgerton’s Jack and Rose Byrne’s Sofie portray a happily married couple who are perpetually playing practical jokes on one another.

Out on the ocean during a holiday boating trip, the practical joke goes horribly wrong and ends in disaster.

Flickerfest animated films often have a point to make and a moral to the story.

This was no exception with the Australian Short Objects of Life, clearly depicting life’s struggles greatly hindered by consumerism – and the futileness of society’s obsession with owning material possessions.

Likewise, first off the rank in the International Shorts session was the Spanish animated film Loop, directed and written by Pablo Polledri and produced by Iván Miñambres.

In this society, each human being repeats the same action over and over again throughout the film, pointedly portraying the average life of working men and women, eternally striving to match the cost of living.

A New Zealand film, Space Invader, directed by Isaac Bell, written by Matt Kelleher and produced by Lissandra Leite, features Max, a small boy with a big imagination.

He and his Dad form a tight knit crew. But when Dad gets a new girlfriend, Max finds a way to confront this new menace before she steals his father forever.

Rounding off the night’s entertainment at The Crossing Theatre was the UK short film Roy.

Trapped in a lonely existence, reclusive widower Roy (BAFTA winner David Bradley) passes the days by cold calling strangers from the phone book, looking for brief moments of companionship.

But when he accidentally calls adult hotline worker Cara (Oscar winner Rachel Shenton), an unlikely friendship is born that will help them both rediscover the joy of life.

Directed and written by Tom Berkeley and Ross White, and produced by Bryony Pulizzi, this poignant film brought a tear to the eye amidst its humour.

Berkeley and White took inspiration for the film using their own family experiences, they considered how losing someone you have spent a lifetime with could affect someone.

Very aware that the film could easily become a depressing fifteen minutes, the writers brought humour to its audience alongside the portrayal of grief and isolation.

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