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Updated May 21, 2018 18:50:27

Australian wins best short film at prestigious Cannes film festival>>Video: Australian wins best short film at prestigious Cannes film festival (ABC News)
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>Related Story: Short film shot in suburban Aussie streets selected for Cannes

>Related Story: Sydney Film Festival announces line-up strong on female filmmakers

Thirty-six year-old Sydney filmmaker Charles Williams has won the top prize in the short film category at Cannes, with his 13-minute drama All These Creatures.

The film was one of eight selected from 3,943 entries for the short film competition, and took out the top prize at an award ceremony on Saturday evening in Cannes.

Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Monday morning, Williams said: "It's a short film about someone looking back at their early adolescence and trying to understand what was going on with their father; whether he was someone who was a sick person or a bad person, and trying to pull apart these memories he has, that led to this tragedy."

The film was inspired by his personal experiences: "It was a way of me seeing if I could put certain events that happened in my life, and obsessions that I've had — things I've always thought about, since I was a teenager — into a film that would make people feel emotionally what I felt."

A boy stands in a foggy, overgrown garden beside a Hill Hoist clothesline. >> Photo: Melbourne teen Yared Scott stars in the short film All These Creatures. (Supplied: Mathew Lynn)

Williams filmed on 16mm film, with a shoestring budget, in suburban Dandenong in Melbourne's east. He deliberately kept details of his protagonist vague in the script, planning to adapt it to suit whoever he cast in the role.

"There was a very specific thing that I was looking for from the lead role," he told ABC Radio Melbourne's Rafael Epstein in April.

"It's tough to find a kind of maturity and an innocence that comes across visually in a film.

"In order to give myself the widest selection possible, I just left it open to the gender and the race. I didn't think these things mattered that much with this story."

He cast Yared Scott, who was born in Ethiopia and raised by his adoptive parents in Melbourne, after a call-out that drew more than 400 kids.

"[Yared] had actually had some [acting] experience, which I was surprised at; I thought most likely I was going to find some kid out of the blue."

Williams rewrote the film to take into account Yared's background, consulting with members of Melbourne's Ethiopian community to make sure the film was both accurate and sensitive in its depiction of their culture.

Man in black tux on stage holding award, looking upwards.>> Photo: Director Charles William accepts the Palme d'Or Short Film award for All These Creatures. (Supplied: Getty Images/Pascal Le Segretain)

Speaking from Cannes on the weekend, Williams described as "overwhelming" the experience of being called by a member of the selection committee.

"[At that point] no-one had seen it who didn't work on it, and so one of the first people who saw it called me from the other side of the world, and had this emotional reaction. That, by itself, was beautiful."

"When you make a film sometimes you're working so intuitively and so hard, and you really hope someone understands what you're doing — that it connects."

Williams described Cannes as the "Mecca for great cinema". "Even to have a short film as part of that, is a tremendous honour. And it makes you more legitimate as a filmmaker, and helps to get features moving. And that's what I want to make sure I'm focusing on here — not just celebrating, but working hard and using this opportunity."

Williams has two feature film concepts he's hoping to find producers for, one of them similar in theme to All These Creatures.

The Palme d'Or in this year's feature competition berth went to Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda for his film Shoplifters, about a family of shoplifters living on the poverty line whose decision to take in a street kid has unexpected results.

American director Spike Lee won the Grand Prix for his satire BlacKkKlansman, based on the true story of a detective, Ron Stallworth (played by Denzel Washington's son, John David Washington), who infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

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External Link: Trailer: All These Creatures

Topics: arts-and-entertainment, film-movies

First posted May 21, 2018 16:01:19


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Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-21/australian-short-film-all-these-creatures-wins-palme-dor-cannes/9783454

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