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Wednesday, 13 June 2007
Page: 157


Mr DANBY (9:47 AM) —Last week I had the opportunity to attend the opening of the St Kilda Film Festival, which opened with a party at the Dogs Bar and adjourned to the Astor cinema by tram. All the participants arrived at the Astor on these very Melbourne vehicles. We were treated to some of the great short films that constitute the St Kilda Film Festival, including one very black film called Black Lassie. ‘St Kilda Film Festival,’ as Paul Harris, the festival director, said, ‘now in its 24th year, provides a unique platform for Australian short filmmakers.’

Last year Peter Templeton and Stuart Parkyn’s 12-minute film The Saviour won best achievement in screenplay at the festival. This year it was nominated for an Oscar. We all hoped that they might make it onto the big stage as a long-time festival entrant and judge Adam Elliot did in 2004 for his claymation triumph Harvie Krumpet, which of course won the Oscar that year. Last year’s surprise Australian hit Kenny, which I saw in this house—where I met the Jacobsons—also got its start as a short in the 2004 festival where it won both a comedy prize and the audience choice. I congratulate the Jacobsons on continuing to be interested in filmmaking in St Kilda. As Mayor Janet Bolitho said:

ยท               St Kilda’s love affair with the flicks stretches back a century to when both locals and visitors queued for open air picture theatres on the foreshore. The then St Kilda Council banned Sunday shows but what it couldn’t quash was the unalloyed enthusiasm for the moving picture or for picture palaces like the Palais and the Astor—

which are so well known in St Kilda.

I want to congratulate the winner of the best short film—Swing, which was directed by Christopher Houghton and produced by Louise Pascale—as well as the winner of the best comedy, Car Pool, directed by Martha Goddard, which has something for, and will be of great interest to, all people no matter where they live in Australia. I also want to congratulate the festival director, Paul Harris, and the producer, Adele Denison; Mayor Bolitho and the Port Phillip Council on their continued support of these things, and their chief executive, David Spokes; and the Jacobson brothers. The creative energy that one sees in my electorate amongst filmmakers is largely prompted by this wonderful festival and out of it we see emerge great Australian cultural heroes like the Jacobsons and Adam Elliot. My partner, Amanda Mendes da Costa, and I were very fortunate to meet at the opening one of my great heroes, Tiriel Mora—the great character Martin di Stasio from Frontline and from The Castle.