Big Mountain Short Film Festival

Big Mountain Short Film Festival

The Big Mountain Short Film Festival is a short film festival based in Ohakune, New Zealand designed to encourage and celebrate creative short film making and storytelling. Entry is free and open to filmmakers internationally, who are encouraged to use maximum creativity on minimum budget. In addition to screening short films, the festival also features professional guest speakers offering tips and techniques on an assortment of topics of particular interest to low and no-budget filmmakers.

The 2006 Festival

The first annual Big Mountain Short Film Festival was held on October 20–22, 2006 at the Ohakune Cinema on Goldfinch Street in Ohakune.

The festival screened 34 short films from 14 countries, 6 educational interviews with industry professionals, the full presentation of Making Fantastic Short Films, and two live presentations.

The Films (2006)

The selected films fall into two categories. Program A (Budget) screens films made with budgets of over $1,000 or which are made with professional equipment and crews. Program B (No-Budget) screens films made with budgets of less than $1,000 which are made with home video cameras and personal computer editing systems

Program A films

* KUB: Country: Finland: Budget: $2,000: Director: Anastasia Lobkovski: Plot: A couple’s long-awaited baby is born into a wrong dimension.

* DOMESTIC: Country: Australia: Budget: $13,000: Director: Katie Hides : Plot: It’s crouching lover, hidden agenda when a couple puts their relationship to the test.: "Awards: THE BIG MOUNTAIN (Best Short Film Overall)"

* HELL OR HIGH WATER: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $1,100: Director: David Gunson: Plot: A lighthouse keeper’s isolation is broken by the discovery of a shipwrecked sailor.

* VIOLINIST: Country: Russia: Budget: $3,000: Director: Yulia Payusova : Plot: A man discovers the feeling of life through the sounds of his music.

* ELEMENOPEE: Country: Australia: Budget: $5,000: Director: Natalia Amoore: Plot: A sell-out writer is terrorized by strange messages on his fridge.: "Awards: THE FLURRY (Audience Favourite)"

* MAKE EVELYN SMILE: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $3,000: Director: Geoff Talbot : Plot: A secret competition is run in a 1950’s pub to make Evelyn smile.

* A FAVOUR: Country: Poland: Budget: $1100: Director: Lukasz Termer: Plot: A brief moment in a pensioner’s life trapped in an isolated bubble of his own choices.

* CROSSING: Country: USA: Budget: $12,000: Director: Riad Galayini : Plot: A brother and sister learn that sometimes the only way home is to leave it.: "Awards: BEST STORY"

* EVILS: Country: USA: Budget: $1,200: Director: Kiera L Faber : Plot: A world recreated from childhood memories where emotional pain combines with visual beauty.

* THE LETTER: Country: Canada: Budget: $15,000: Director: Martin Doepner: Plot: When a Canadian WWI nurse tends to a German soldier, grief and revenge are awoken.

* TUG-OF-WAR: Country: Finland: Budget: $2,000: Director: Anastasia Lobkovski : Plot: A lyrical battle between a boy and a girl over time.

* A QUIET SPOT: Country: Australia: Budget: $16,000: Director: Ashley Fairfield: Plot: A significant memory shapes the life of a professional high diver.

* TIGHT HEADS: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $1500: Director: Beau Cuthbert : Plot: Two rugby mates become obsessed with a beautiful girl on the sideline.

* LAST WORDS: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $5,000: Director: Peter Bell: Plot: A man attempts to fake his own suicide but a bum decides to help.

* BIG BAD WOLVES: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $9,000: Director: Rajneel Singh: Plot: An alternative interpretation of the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood.: "Awards: BEST DIRECTOR (Program A)"

* MELODRAMA: Country: Poland: Budget: $10,000: Director: Filip Marczewski : Plot: A rite-of-passage story about a fourteen-year-old boy on the fringe of manhood.

Program B films

* THE HIT: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $95: Director: Campbell Cooley: Plot: A street kid is contracted for a “hit” on a gang leader.: "Awards: BEST EMERGING DIRECTOR (Program B)"

* THE CONSEQUENCE: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $22: Director: Nat Brunt : Plot: A man learns to think twice when making decisions.

* ELEGANT DISPOSITION: Country: USA: Budget: $10: Director: Will Forrester: Plot: A visual allegory to challenge mainstream definitions of beauty.

* WHAT’S THE MATTER?: Country: Korea: Budget: $150: Director: Hyun Seung Hoon : Plot: An artist who is blinded by his own art is in for a big surprise.

* THE STORY TELLER: Country: India: Budget: $15: Director: Kanishka Singh: Plot: A poetic narrative of two young lovers who have a meeting of minds.

* COUCOU CLOCK: Country: France: Budget: $80: Director: Francois Cailleau : Plot: Animated battle of kitchen cutlery and a coucou clock.: "Awards: THE RUMBLE (Best short film made for under $100)" and "BEST ANIMATION"

* SOLO SINGER AND THE BLUE CITY: Country: Germany: Budget: $100: Director: Abhaya Simha: Plot: A lyrical collage of a huge and finished city.

* ONCE UPON A TIME IN WELLINGTON: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $500: Director: Rajeev Mishra : Plot: A wild west cowboy drifts into a Wellington café.

* AUTO-MA-TON: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $300: Director: Jason Howden: Plot: A lonely sculptor creates a partner from stone who longs to see what’s outside.

* THREE ON A PERFECT PAIR: Country: Russia: Budget: $15: Director: Migel Mareskin : Plot: Fake blood and cruel tricks have a trio crying wolf.

* THE SEARCH: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $100: Director: Brendan Schenk: Plot: An alarm clock, a dream, and a man who leaves his flat.

* WASH, WASH, WASH, OI, OI, OI: Country: Australia: Budget: $15: Director: Rafael Rocha : Plot: A father takes his clothes washing very seriously.

* JA05 TBO: Country: UK/France: Budget: $100: Director: Thierry Bonnaud: Plot: A man trapped in his car is travelling through time and space.

* THE LIZARD, THE FLOWER, & THE DOLL HEAD: Country: Denmark: Budget: $150: Director: Emile Brahe, Danny Chr Jensen, Johan Oettinger : Plot: A lonely lizard finds a beautiful flower in a forsaken dumpyard.

* WATERPROOF: Country: New Zealand: Budget: $10.95: Director: Christopher Haines: Plot: The employees of a charity decide to help themselves.

* SEA SIDE STORY: Country: India: Budget: $128: Director: Abhaya Simha : Plot: A son must come to terms with his father’s attachment to his home.

* WISHING YOU WERE HERE: Country: Australia: Budget: $500: Director: Brionny Dunn: Plot: A traveller prepares for the journey of a lifetime -- leaving his room.

* SHAKING LIFE: Country: Hungary: Budget: $70: Director: Péter Vadócz: Plot: 4500 still images compiled to remind us that life never stops.

Schools Section

* Making Fantastic Short Films: Director: Jeff Bollow: The full hour-long presentation of this educational DVD for schools was presented.

* The 2007 Schools Competition was also announced, wherein schools across New Zealand and Australia will enter the best student-made short films to win a competition with prizes, to be presented at the 2007 festival.

Interview Segments

Educational segments consisting of taped interviews with industry professionals talking about their jobs were followed by live Q&A sessions. The 2006 industry professionals were:

* PRODUCING: in the words of: "'Dale G. Bradley: Film Producer with over 20 feature film credits

* PRODUCTION MANAGING: in the words of: "'Susan Parker: "In My Father's Den", "The Last Samurai", "Vertical Limit"

* "'MUSIC LICENSING': in the words of: "'Jackie Dennis: Mushroom Music NZ: and: Tim Moon: Media Music NZ

* ANIMATION: in the words of: "'Dylan Coburn: President of Karactaz Ltd

* FILM EDITING: in the words of: "'David Coulson: "Whale Rider", "North Country"

* CINEMATOGRAPHY: in the words of: "'Alun Bollinger: "Heavenly Creatures", "The Frighteners", "Oyster Farmer", "River Queen"

Live Demos & Presentations

* LOW-BUDGET VISUAL EFFECTS: Zane Egginton of Auckland Unitec presented a live demontration of the technical equipment and software needed to produce powerful low-budget visual effects on a shoestring budget.

* STORY AND SCREENWRITING: Jeff Bollow filmmaker, founder of [] and best-selling author of "Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed" discussed tips and tricks for approaching the writing process.

The 2007 Festival

The dates for the next Big Mountain Short Film Festival are set for October 19 - 21, 2007.

Filmmakers will be able to submit their films from February 2007.

External links

* [ Big Mountain Short Film Festival official site]

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