Five recent graduates from Griffith Film School have made it to the finals of the Brisbane International Film Festival Centurion Short Film Awards.

Griffith Film School alumni took out half of the finals spots and will screen their short films at Palace Centro cinemas tonight.

A platform for emerging filmmakers

Acting Head of Griffith Film School, Professor Trish FitzSimons,said the strong showing at the Brisbane International Film Festival (BiFF) reflected the calibre of talent nurtured at GFS.

“We are very proud of what our students and graduates are producing,” she said.

“It is fantastic to see the Brisbane International Film Festival up and running again, and championing the work of emerging local filmmakers.

“Competitions like this allow the next generation of filmmakers to make industry connections and build a wider audience for their work.”

The films were part of the students’ graduating project and originally screened at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year.

A labour of love

Bachelor of Animation graduate Lachlan Pendragon directed The Toll, a stop motion claymation film about a lonely toll booth operator whose night takes a turn for the unexpected.

The young filmmaker will attend the festival tonight and is looking forward to the first screening of his film in Queensland.

“It is great to bring it home and watch it with a local audience,” he said.

The project was a labour of love for the young filmmaker, who documented the process in a blog.

“Claymation is very time consuming — I designed the faces of the characters on computer and 3D printed them, but I was also creating bits and pieces with wire and foam and fabric,” he said.

“It’s all part of the fun — you literally build your characters.”

Lachlan said claymation was a niche style, but one with a growing presence on social media.

He is currently completing an Honours degree at Griffith Film School focusing on creating short form social media content.

“It’s introducing a whole new audience to this style of filmmaking,” he said.

“There is also a growing international community of stop motion animators online.”

Bridging education and industry

The judges for the Centurion Short Film Awards areKiki Fung, film critic and former Head Programmer for BiFF, ABC Radio Brisbane film criticMatthew ToomeyandDes Partridge, former film critic for The Courier- Mail.

Festival Co-Director Maxine Williamson said BiFF was pleased to showcase the best homegrown graduate films.

“These are our filmmakers of the future and BiFF is providing an important bridge between education and industry.”

The full list of finalists from Griffith Film School are:

Carey Ryan (Empathy is the Devil)

Susanna Van Aswegen (Red Kite)

Lachlan Pendragon (The Toll)

Robert Corless (Furu Ike)

Claire Randall (Wolfe)

All of the finalists are in the running for a cash prize of $2,000 for the Best Short Film Director.

The Brisbane International Film Festival runs until 3 September.