The short and sweet festival

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The short and sweet festival is an international organization that focuses on creative shorts under 10 minutes. The festival has been around for over 15 years specializing in theatre plays, this year was its first folly into film shorts.

With over 600 shorts submitted worldwide from over 30 countries. The winners would be played in Hollywood in August. Chapter 5 studios were the only film company to have three shorts entered into this festival in Melbourne.

The show runners


The festival was directed by Dr Greg Dolgopolov a senior lecturer from the University of New South Wales. Greg was very welcoming to film makers and was responsible for organizing the films and running the show. Nina Danko assistant directed and proved to be a great help in running this big event. PR and Marketing was done by Veronika Gstoettl who has previous experience in journalism and theatre studies.

Even under technical glitches the show runners acted professional and made the film makers feel welcome amongst the fierce competition in the independent Melbourne film making scene.

The audience choice

Chapter 5 studios went into the short and sweet competition with three films. Our first film ‘The Lazy barber’ Our shortlisted tropfest film “coinflipper” and our recent award winning film “Congratulations”. The festival was run over three heats were 4 films were selected to go into the finals on the last day.

On the first night “The Lazy Barber” was awarded the audience choice award. This came as a surprise to the team as we felt the film had many short comings. However, it proved to be entertaining and a crowd pleaser for its comedic moments. This also raised a big statement that if something is written well and has an entertaining story, people will look past the shortcoming. Which is one of Chapter 5 studios biggest mantras “Story is King”.

Unselected films

Over the next two days our more refined and creative films “Coinflipper” and “Congratulations” missed out on making the finals. It’s a hard one to work out and one can easily assume that they are not as good as the team thinks. However, it seems that different festivals look for different things and that it’s important to understand that festival decisions are subjective. “Congratulations” recently won a few awards at a different festival but didn’t even make the finals here. To just show how diverse things get “Turtle soup” won the Sydney short and sweet festival but didn’t even make the finals in Melbourne. Just because a film didn’t make the finals did not mean it was a bad film, it just meant that in this festival different films did best according to the audience and the judges

The finals

The Lazy Barber was the only film that made it to the finals at the old treasury cinema in the Melbourne CBD. It was great to see our film on the big scene amongst other hard working film makers across Australia. There were some great dramas, comedies and animation that shows some serious talent. At the end of the day there can only be one winner. The judges award went to “Nathan Loves Ricky Martin” which was a very different film that took a gamble at trying something new. The film focused on a disabled man while his mom forced herself onto her neighbour in a light hearted comedy that had Ricky Martins “livin the vida loca” playing at the end.


Chapter 5 studios had a great time at the Short and Sweet festival in Melbourne, having the luxury to attend every screening and showcasing our films it was a great insight into the creative landscape of the indie scene in Melbourne and the hard working film makers that were working behind the scenes.

We look forward to next year’s festival and wish the finalist all the best in Hollywood in August.


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