Short films at the NFSA

Crafting a collection of short films
 Itzell Tazzyman

As a film and documents curator at the NFSA, I’ve recently taken over acquiring short films.

A dedicated collection program for Australian short films was established in 2005, although the NFSA has been collecting short films for longer than that. Curator Joanna Fleming worked hard to raise the profile of the program among filmmakers across Australia and we now enjoy great support and enthusiasm for our collecting work. Short films are arguably Australia’s most successful storytelling vehicle and a focused program gives recognition and emphasis to the creative activity happening in this area of filmmaking.

Short films have presented the Australian sensibility to festival audiences both here and overseas to much critical acclaim. Highlights among recent short film acquisitions are Miracle Fish (Luke Doolan, 2009) – nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short and winner of AFI Awards for Best Short Fiction Film and Best Screenplay in a Short Film; Jerrycan (Julius Avery, 2008), winner of the Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival and the AFI Award for Best Short Fiction Film; and The Saviour (Peter Templeman, 2005), nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short.

In the field of animation, Birthday Boy (Sejong Park, 2004) and The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (Anthony Lucas, 2005) were both nominated for an Academy Award and Harvie Krumpet (Adam Elliot, 2003) won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. All these films are preserved and available in the NFSA collection.

In keeping with this run of highly acclaimed shorts is Nullarbor (Alister Lockhart, 2011), currently nominated for an AACTA Award for Best Short Animation, winner of the Sydney International Film Festival Yoram Gross Animation Award and on the qualifying list of animated shorts for next year’s Academy Awards. This Aussie road movie has just been acquired for the NFSA collection with the support of the film’s production company, The Lampshade Collective. See below for a few details of the incredible 3D-rendering and a short clip from the film.

Nullarbor and other AACTA award-nominated short films are screening at Arc cinema on Saturday 26 November at 2 pm. Many short films have their own websites, so check them out and support our talented short-film makers and their work!