Griffith filmmaker Claire Randall has won an award for Best Documentary at the Uni Shorts Film Festival in New Zealand for her film, Wolfe.

The acclaimed documentary continued its dream run, beating out entries from film schools in the US, Switzerland, China and New Zealand.

“This entire experience has been so unexpected, ” Claire said.
“Every time we recieve this kind of recognition it’s surreal. I’m so grateful the film has resonated with so many audiences.
“UniShorts is one of many festivals that has granted us opportunities we never saw coming.”

The film was motivated by Claire’s own encounter with mental illness as a teenager. It uses interviews and animation to explore a young man’s journey through adolescence with undiagnosed schizophrenia, and his relationship with an imaginary friend, Mister Wolfe.

The Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production student has spent the past 12 months accompanying the film to festivals around the world.

The journey began in February with the film’s selection for the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival where it wasnamed Best Short Film by the Youth Jury, winning a Crystal Bear award.

The film also received a special mention at the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen – a place where filmmakers and artists ranging from Roman Polanski to George Lucas have presented their first films.

Closer to home, the film had its Australian premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June, screened to a local audience at the Brisbane International Film Festival in August, and recently took out an award for Best Student Film at the Heart of Gold Festival in Gympie.

This month, Wolfe continued its dream run on the international festival circuit: it was named Best Short Documentary at the Antenna International Documentary Film Festival, and will screen at the Munich Film School Fest and Austin Film Festival before the end of the year.

Claire said the film’s reception had been “overwhelming”.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” she said.

“Getting the opportunity to accompany our film around the world has been such a privilege, and it’s taught me so much about the industry.

“It’s my hope we’ll screen at even more amazing festivals next year.”

Bachelor of Animation graduate Lachlan Pendragon was also nominated for best animated film for his work, The Toll.

The stop motion claymation film follows a lonely toll booth operator whose night takes a turn for the unexpected.

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

Thirty films from around the world were presented at this year’s Uni Shorts festival, held in Auckland this week.

This year’s lineup included entries from student filmmakers in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Acting Head ofGriffith Film School,Professor Trish FitzSimons,said the strong showing of student films on the international festival circuit reflected the calibre of talent nurtured at GFS.

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

“We were the only Australian film school represented at Uni Shorts, which attracts emerging filmmakers from the around the globe.

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