SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

As part of the Sydney Film Festival, the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship gives emerging filmmakers an opportunity to kick-start their careers and be the next to step forward.

LEXUS AUSTRALIA SHORT FILM FELLOWSHIP

Lexus has a proud history of supporting the best in creativity, design and craftsmanship, including in the annual Lexus Short Film series, which gives emerging filmmakers around the world an invaluable opportunity to kick-start their careers.

Now, Lexus Australia has partnered with the Sydney Film Festival to provide a new platform to support the next generation of filmmakers locally with the largest cash fellowship for short films in Australia. Up to four talented winners will receive $50,000 each to produce their next short film in 2016 and 2017, to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in 2017 and 2018.

COMPETE ON A WORLD STAGE

Aspiring filmmakers must first enter the international Lexus Short Film series, where their films will be evaluated by The Weinstein Company who will then select a shortlist of 21 Australian finalists. This shortlist will be judged by the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship jury, headed by renowned Australian actress Judy Davis, who will then select the four winners of the Fellowship grants.

AN IMPORTANT LAUNCHING PAD

Many successful Australian directors have received their start by making short films that have launched at the Sydney Film Festival, including Gillian Armstrong and Jane Campion. Gillian Armstrong enthused about the importance of such a program, saying, "Short film is such an important launching pad for young film makers. The best shorts are like a little short story or poem, a tiny jewel in themselves. My 10 min AFTRS short, One Hundred a Day, which was screened at the Sydney Film Festival in 1970, truly launched my career."

FINALIST ANNOUNCED

Twenty one filmmakers have now been shortlisted by producers at The Weinstein Company, who will compete for the cash fellowship to make their short film.Presiding over the selection process as Jury Chair is Judy Davis, and she will be supported by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia's Adrian Weimers, and Australian producers Jan Chapman AO and Darren Dale.

The jury will assess each finalist's proposed short film project to select up to four filmmakers, each of whom will receive a $50,000 Fellowship grant. The four successful candidates will be announced at the Sydney Film Festival, 8 - 19 June 2016.

Congratulations to the shortlisted filmmakers:

Alex Murawski (NSW), Alex Ryan (NSW), Anya Beyersdorf (NSW), Billie Pleffer (NSW), Brooke Goldfinch (NSW), Genevieve Clay-Smith (NSW), Hazel Annikki Savolainen (NSW), Gene Jacobie Gray (NSW), Lucy Gaffy (NSW), Tim Russell (NSW), Venetia Taylor (NSW), Dave Redman (VIC), David Hansen (VIC), James Vinson (VIC), Victoria Thaine (VIC), Mikey Hill (VIC), Thomas Baricevic (VIC), Erin Coates (WA), Anna Nazzari (WA), Eddie White (SA), Stephen de Villiers (SA).

Jury Chair Judy Davis said,

It's an honour to be chosen as the first Jury Chair of the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship. I'm very much looking forward to being part of the selection process and exploring the work of this new generation of Australian filmmakers.

Lexus is thrilled to support future generations of Australian filmmakers with the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship. For more information, visit www.sff.org.au/fellowship