BANGALOW'S A&I Hall was packed for the gala opening of the 22nd Flickerfest, Australia's International Short Film Festival. Joining the 430 or so cineastes were critic Peter Thompson, actor Tony Barry and Underbelly star Damien Walshe-Howling in his new role as a director.
Mr Walshe-Howling's 18-minute short Suspended - his first film - opened the festival. Shot in Murwillumbah, it features Lennox Head teen Yasmin Honeychurch, who met Mr Walshe-Howling while they were both working on the TV series Terranova.
Yasmin, a student at the Byron Bay Film & Television School for the past three years, said being on set was "a great experience" and she would love a movie career.
Sunday's awards ceremony was hit by the atrocious weather, with some winners prevented from attending.
Audience figures were disappointing for the same reason he said, about 40% of capacity for the hall.
Winners announced on the Sunday were Travis Hanley for "6mins With Lee Kirkman", a documentary about a 33-year-old competitive BOX rider, which took the iQ-Flickerfest Jury Award for Best Short Film; ABC Open documentary "My Mechanic's Love Story" by Michelle Eabry, about her mechanic, who stays fit to look after his wife, in the Special Mention of the Jury category; bird-loving mockumentary "Beyond The Beak" by Sam Ducasse, which won the SCU Audience Award; and "Melbourne Town" by Melania Jack, a music film clip of the singer Julia Rose, which won the SAE Institute Emerging Talent Award.