Albany high school students make final cut in CinefestOZ film competition

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Edward and Henry Baker, Mia Swanepoel and Josh Clark.
Camera IconEdward and Henry Baker, Mia Swanepoel and Josh Clark. Credit: Great Southern Grammar

Four aspiring young Great Southern filmmakers have been recognised for their creative talents and imaginations as finalists in the CinefestOZ Cinesnaps short film competition.

Great Southern Grammar students Josh Clark, Mia Swanepoel and Henry and Edward Baker have had their short films chosen to be screened at next month’s CinefestOZ Film Festival in Busselton.

Now in its ninth year, the competition invites students from the Great Southern and South West regions to create an original three to five-minute short film based on this year’s theme, Treasure.

Topping many young filmmakers from both regions, eight short films by the selected students will be shown as part of the full festival program, set to be viewed by a range of film industry professionals.

The finalists’ short films will be screened before an audience of 200 people on August 26 at the Esplanade Hotel in Busselton.

Selected for his film One Man’s Trash, Josh Clark, 17, said he felt lucky to represent his school with his passion.

“My short film stars my friend Blake, who in the film collects trash in the forest. The trash becomes his treasure despite its rejection by the people who live around him,” he said.

“I particularly drew inspiration from the competition’s theme and decided to play on what we (see as treasure) in our world. In this case, the treasure of trash challenges previous assumptions of what treasure should be.”

Josh said he hoped to continue his love of filmmaking after high school.

“I really believe I can create something special in film, but I need to gain the experience first,” he said.

Mia Swanepoel, 16, said her film The Treasure of Courage followed the journey of a girl estranged from her father.

“It feels really great knowing the judges thought my film was good enough to select it as a part of the group of finalist films,” she said.

“I’m really excited to see the public’s reaction to my film, and am interested to find out how they will interpret the message within it.”

Brothers Henry and Edward Baker were joint-selected for their film Pillow Dude and the Unexpected Weird Attack of Mr Bellybutton Fluff.

Using a mixture of animation, stop-motion and live action, the pair feature as several different characters throughout the film that follows a superhero trying to save a town from a bellybutton fluff monster.

Taking a comical approach, Henry was inspired by Monty Python, Captain Underpants and “other silly superhero stories”.

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