The inaugural Short + Sweet Film Festival Gala screened at Dendy Cinemas Newtown on Sunday night, will all but two of the Festival’s twelve finalists hailing from independent Australian filmmakers.

“The 12 short films we showed tonight were really incredible, so much local Sydney and Australian talent which is just amazing, said Festival Director Angela Blake. “We had a full house, we even had standing room, it was a really amazing atmosphere.”

Sydney filmmaker Nicholas Andrew Hall’s Turtle Soup took out the top prize of the night – a clear audience favourite about a 7-year-old who attempts to save a turtle from his fate at a local restaurant. It will join the Audience Choice Winner Deighties from Perth’s Jessica Lytton this August at the Gala Final of the Short + Sweet International Film Festival at Los Angeles’ famous Egyptian Theatre.

“Deighties is a beautiful doco about dating in your 80s and it always made me cry, I’ve seen it so many times now and I’m still crying tonight, it was a wonderful film,” said Angela.

The Short + Sweet Theatre Festival a long-running local fixture which hosted its latest final this past Saturday, the Short + Sweet Film Festival has plans to expand with events happening local and internationally.

“It’s rolling out in other short and sweet theatre festival cities around the world,” said Festival Director Ali Crew. “The film festival is also coming online and then the top films from each of those Festivals which are happening around Australia and internationally, those top films will culminate in the Gala International Final in Hollywood.”

Fragile storm, one of the most moving films of night and featuring only two performers took home both acting nods, while Melbourne filmmaker David Hansen’s Slingshot, a very amusing take on adolescent love, took out Best Director and Screenplay.

Sydney filmmaker Alicia Rose’s The Wave, shot on location in Newtown, proved an audience highlight and treat for anyone who ever relished an episode of Seinfeld, while Michael Jones’ Uber X-Citing Day got some of the biggest laughs of the night, following around an Uber driver as he makes his rounds with some more colourful characters.

“It was great to see a full house and people coming out to support independent cinema as well,” said Ali. “And that’s just the 12 films that got through, not to mention the amazing films from the four weeks of heats that didn’t quite make it, there’s still so many great films that we would have love to have screened.”

The inaugural Short + Sweet Film Festival Gala Final took place at Dendy Cinemas, Newtown. The Gala International Final will take place in Los Angeles later this year. For more on the Short + Sweet Film Festival, head to the website

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