2020 Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival

2020 Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival

A worldwide audience will get the opportunity to experience the coolest film festival in the tropics for the first time when the 2020 Best Of Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival hits screens on October 16-17.

The Port Shorts Film Festival has grown to become one of Australia’s most important launching pads for emerging filmmakers over the past five years with the 2020 Best Of Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival showcasing their amazing talents over two huge nights of entertainment.

Supported by Screen Queensland and Tourism & Events Queensland, the 2020 Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival will also feature free virtual Masterclass Series workshops hosted by industry heavyweights including Hollywood’s go-to drone operators XM2 (Star Wars, 007, Fast & Furious, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thor), acclaimed sound engineer Steeve Body, producer Ashley Davis and screenwriter Kier Shorey.

Legendary Aussie actor and Port Shorts Ambassador Stephen Curry will resume hosting duties for the 2020 Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival and be involved in the Masterclass Series expert panel.

Festival Director Alison George said although it was disappointing the usual Port Shorts Film Festival had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19, organisers were excited by the opportunity to reach new audiences with the 2020 Best Of Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival.

“We’ve put together an incredible selection of short films across all categories which promises to put the spotlight on the future of our screen industry,” Alison said.

“Audiences will laugh, cry and hopefully be encouraged to participate in the Port Shorts Film Festival when we roar back to life as a live event again in 2021.”

For all the details on the 2020 Best Of Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival go to www.portshorts.com.


Port Shorts shines spotlight on future of filmmaking 

Port Shorts shines spotlight on future of filmmaking 

The 2019 Port Shorts Film Festival has shone the spotlight on the best short films from our own backyard and around the world in a hugely successful celebration of the future of filmmaking.More than 1200 film enthusiasts gathered under the stars and swaying palm trees of Port Douglas’ iconic Rex Smeal Park on October 25-26, the magnificent Coral Sea and Daintree Rainforest the backdrop for a magical two nights of short films on the big screen.

Festival Ambassador and MC Stephen Curry described the vibe of Port Shorts as like nothing he has experienced at a film festival before.

“The sense of anticipation from the crowd being in such a beautiful location and then seeing their reactions of pure joy when they realise what they’re watching is probably the best showcase of short films on the planet is a real pleasure to experience,” Curry said.

“Myself and fellow festival Judges and Ambassadors Matt Hearn and Kier Shorey are involved in this festival all year not just because it’s such a fabulous and fun event to be part of, but this festival is all about providing opportunities for emerging filmmakers and giving them the platform and skills to pursue their dreams in the industry.

“That’s why so many talented filmmakers are engaging with the festival now and coming up to be a part of it and why some of the best technicians in the industry volunteer their time to be involved each year as well.’’

Almost 1000 people enjoyed the Port Shorts Drone Awards, Port Shorts Local Filmmaker Awards and Port Shorts Open Filmmaker Awards on Saturday October 26 with Perth wunderkid Radheya Jegatheva winning the $5000 major prize for the third time with the worldwide premiere of his haunting animation The Quiet.

The Port Shorts Local Filmmaker Awards was an amazing showcase of local talent with James “Fry” Allen’s hilarious The King earning him the accolade along with plenty of laughs while one of Far North Queensland’s finest professional camera technicians Cam McGrath wowed Port Shorts Drone Award judges with Smile. Always.

Tumoulin filmmaker/farmer Matthew Blythe’s tearjerker Sea Rogue earned the Jury Prize with Adrian Rayner’s apocalyptic Sanctuary winning Peoples’ Choice.

The inaugural Port Primary Challenge and world-class Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Awards demonstrated the depths of talent and imagination Australian audiences can look forward to with the next generation on Friday October 25, the most creative clips from around the globe featuring afterwards with the Port Shorts Music Video Awards.

Mossman State School was crowned the inaugural winner of the Port Primary Challenge with their film karandal and the new category proving so successful festival organisers are keen to invite national and international entries from next year.

Cairns teenager Thaine Wood was a deserved winner of the Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Awards with his beautifully-framed me – a film about self while Melbourne filmmaker Lucy Knox impressed as winner of the Port Shorts Music Video Awards with her clip I Am Not Afraid.

The Emerging Artist Award was presented to Imogen Daly for her short film Broken Parts while Vasco Gonsalves received a special award and will spend a day working with festival special guest, acclaimed sound designer Steeve Body, for his film Missing.

Abi Muir picked up the most popular Shout Out Award for her fun music video Heebeejeebies.

Overall more than $15,000 in cash and prizes was distributed to filmmakers at the 2019 Port Shorts Film Festival making it one of the most rewarding in Australia.

Organisers also hosted the Port Shorts Masterclass Series in the days leading up to the festival, with more than 100 emerging filmmakers attending workshops conducted by film industry experts Steeve Body (sound design), Lawrence Woodward (stunt co-ordination), Mary Eggleston (acting), Kier Shorey (screenwriting), Dr Dean Miller (conservation filming) and XM2 (drones) as well as a full-day Youth Masterclass for Far North Queensland school students.

Masterclass Series organiser and Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Awards and Music Video Awards Festival Director Elliot Davidson said providing emerging filmmakers with access to the skills and knowledge of industry experts will always be a feature of Port Shorts.

“We put a lot of time and effort into bringing the best in the business to Far North Queensland and our Masterclass Series experts love working with our Port Shorts filmmaking community as they genuinely appreciate the opportunity,” Davidson said.

“As the world leaders in drone technology for the film industry, XM2 work on pretty much every major international film production from Star Wars to 007 and and receive hundreds of requests to participate in film festivals around the world but they only do workshops at one festival and that’s ours so that tells us we’re doing something worthwhile.”

Port Shorts Film Festival Director Ali George paid tribute to everyone involved for making this year’s festival such a success on all levels.

“We had record entries, record attendance, record sponsorship and our best show yet this year and that all comes down to not only the efforts of organisers, Ambassadors and participating industry experts but the support of our volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and the local community who come out to support us each year,” George said.

“It takes a village to put on a festival the size and quality of Port Shorts and we really appreciate the way our local community and the wider filmmaking community embraces Port Shorts.” 

The 2020 Port Shorts Film Festival will be held at Rex Smeal Park on October 16-17. To stay up to date with all the latest news visit www.portshorts.com.



























Port Shorts gets Council Backing

Port Shorts gets Council Backing

 THE coolest film festival in the tropics just got a warm reception at Council chambers. 

Douglas Shire Council has moved to support the Port Shorts Film Festival, approving annual funding of $15,000 and $5,000 worth of in-kind support for the next three years. The 2019 event will be held in Port Douglas on October 25 and 26 this year. 

Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said the annual festival attracted filmmakers and audiences from outside the region. “Port Shorts has become a standout on our region’s event calendar,” she said.

“Every year, Rex Smeal Park turns into one of the most picturesque outdoor cinemas in the country, putting our beautiful Port Douglas and natural beauty on display.  Council is thrilled to again back this fantastic event and looks forward to getting out the popcorn and watching as the event attracts more people to Douglas Shire.” 

The Port Shorts Film Festival has been an iconic international film festival event for 20 years that highlights local and regional short films and incorporates classes for upcoming filmmakers in the area.  It also features cash and prizes across various filmmakers’ awards. 

Mayor Leu said a full events calendar helped stimulate the economy. “Last year, more than 600 film enthusiasts grabbed their camp chairs and packed into Rex Smeal Park,” she said.  “What we love about Port Shorts is it celebrates our local filmmakers, educates aspiring talent, and highlights Douglas Shire as a fantastic place to film a movie.” 



The coolest film festival in the heart of the tropics is looking for fresh, new films of the season to be screened under the stars at the 2019 Port Shorts Film Festival.

Port Shorts is Australia’s fastest growing film festival and is rapidly gaining a reputation for screening quality short films currently on the festival circuit.

With $5000 up for grabs for Best Short Film in the Open category, other categories include the Drone Award, Local Award, Music Video Award and the Young Filmmakers Award, with a prize pool of over $15,000 in cash and prizes.

Enter your film by September 13th, 2019 filmfreeway.com/PortShortsFilmFestival

Come and join judge and ambassador Stephen Curry at the festival under the stars in beautiful Port Douglas on October 25th and 26th.

The Port Shorts Masterclass series will be hosting workshops on acting, screenwriting, documentary making, sound design, stunts and more from October 22nd.

Get your tickets to the event and the workshops here www.portshorts.com

2018 Event Wrap Up

2018 Event Wrap Up

More than 800 people enjoyed some of the best short films from around the world under the stars in the most amazing film festival location on the planet at the 2018 Port Shorts Film Festival held in Rex Smeal Park last Friday and Saturday night.

Fifty-two awesome short films were showcased over the two nights, with the Port Shorts Young Filmmakers Awards and the Port Shorts Music Video Awards on Friday night and the new Port Shorts Drone Awards, Port Shorts Local Filmmaker Awards and Port Shorts Open Filmmaker Awards finalist films screening to a record audience of more than 600 film enthusiasts on Saturday night.

The Port Shorts Masterclass Series workshops featuring industry experts including cinematographer and broadcast specialist Cam McGrath, Powderfinger drummer and broadcaster Jon Coghill, screenwriter Kier Shorey, producer Jim Gorman, writer/director Sio Tusa, actor Mary Eggleston, Australian Teachers of Media’s Aimee Gust, the leaders in drone technology XM2 and Festival Ambassadors Stephen Curry and Matt Hearn also attracted more than 100 mostly local filmmakers given access to some of the best minds in the entertainment industry.

Port Shorts Film Festival Director Alison George said the leap of faith to the new venue and the significant investment in the state-of-the-art LED screen had paid huge dividends for organisers.

‘’There is no better location in the world for a film festival than Rex Smeal Park with the Coral Sea and the Daintree Rainforest, the palm trees and even a gigantic full moon as our backdrop,’’ Ali said.

‘’We knew the whole program across all categories featured exceptional films so to be able to share that experience with so many people was a very rewarding experience for the organisers who volunteer a huge amount each year to put the event on.

‘’It was also extremely satisfying to see how much our Masterclass Series participants got out of the workshops, a lot of effort goes in to providing local filmmakers with access to these industry experts so to see that level of engagement is hugely rewarding.’’

Ali said the dates for next year’s festival would be announced soon and thanked everyone who participated in this year’s festival.

‘’Hats off to all the finalist filmmakers, they should all be very proud of what they achieved, and congratulations to our winners, they were all very deserving,’’ Ali said.

‘’But also a huge thanks to our many sponsors, volunteers, suppliers and of course the audience who made the event the success it was on every level with record entries and attendance, we obviously can’t put on a festival without you.

‘’We won’t be changing too much for 2019 but will be out to make it even better and look forward to sharing some exciting festival news to help us get there in the coming months.’’



Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Awards winner – Jamisyn Chapman Image en Mouvement
Port Shorts Music Video Awards winner – William A. Bleakley The End
Shout Out winner – Vascoe Gonsalves Day Dream



Port Shorts Open Filmmaker Awards winner – Damian McLindon The Last Time I Saw You
Port Shorts Local Filmmaker Awards winner – Rob Parry Baffin Island
Port Shorts Jury Prize winner – Ren Thackham Round Trip
Audience Choice winner – Jake Girgenti Sausage Roll


Recycle – Reuse – Single use plastic free festival!

Recycle – Reuse – Single use plastic free festival!

We’ve recycled previous years event posters, you can download a program from our website,  at Port Shorts 2018 we’re striving to do the best for our planet and bring you a single use plastic free festival.

Come up to our bar and we’ll serve you wine in a recyclable can, with a Vegware cup to drink from – or bring your own drinking vessel.  All the food suppliers on site will serve you food in compostable packaging – no plastic!

Thirsty for water?  We won’t sell you a bottle of water – come up to the water station and refill your own bottle or use one of our Vegware cups.

What is Vegware?  Vegware looks like plastic or polystyrene but is made from sugarcane waste after it has been pressed for juice, or from corn starch – so is commercially compostable. But we didn’t just order these without a bit of research – the “commercially” bit of commercially compostable made us pause – that doesn’t sound like I can just put it into the compost bin at the bottom of the garden – so we did a little digging.

Card and paper based Vegware can be composted at home, the starch based Vegware (like our cups) need to go to commercial food waste recycling.   If you throw it into landfill, it’s as bad as plastic.

Well we didn’t want Vegware if we couldn’t dispose of it properly, so we kept digging. And you know what we found?  A commercial composting facility right here – Suez Cairns Recovery Centre, which processes the Douglas Shire’s waste.

They separate the non-organic materials from mixed solid waste and compost the remaining organic material through drum composting and maturation.

Through processing of the organic food and garden material in accordance with appropriate Australian Standards, the facility produces high-quality compost which is sold to local horticultural enterprises, such as sugarcane producers.

So welcome to Port Shorts 2018 – fantastic films and a greener festival!  And feel free to bring your own cup along with your blanket!