In our current climate of funding cuts, illegal downloading and widespread apathy, trying to make a go of it in the creative arts has never seemed so out of reach. So when an opportunity arises to show off your wares, it appears like manna from the heavens. At the 2017 Next Gen Short Film Festival, screening as part of Perth’s Fringe World, nine short-listed finalists were provided with such an opportunity.
Dishing up to audiences a tasting plate of various cinematic styles and flavours, the Next Gen Festival caters to even the fussiest of film-goers. But for those with broad tastes, the program has every base covered, from serious to silly, highbrow to low, and everything in between.
Watching the films, you do notice a disparity in quality, but what is common to all is an undeniable passion for the the medium. If the actors on-screen are anything to go by, each film must have been a lot of fun to work on.
With this being said, the standout film for this reviewer was Avalon Park, a darkly gripping story about two teens who discover a dead body out in the woods. Full of inventive camera work, expertly edited together, the film is a stunning piece of work.
As an audience member, there is a great pride that comes with supporting emerging talent. And it is events such as the Next Gen Festival which serve as a timely reminder that it is up to us, the general public, to keep the arts thriving in our own backyard. Chris Prindiville
The Next Gen Short Film Festival is screening as part of Perth’s Fringe World on February 16 and February 19.
For event details and ticketing information visit www.fringeworld.com.au.