Port Shorts Film Festival https://www.portshorts.com Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia Mon, 07 Dec 2020 02:06:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://www.portshorts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/port-shorts-logo-100x100.jpg Port Shorts Film Festival https://www.portshorts.com 32 32 Port Shorts on 10Play https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-on-10play/ https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-on-10play/#respond Mon, 07 Dec 2020 02:04:00 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=236716

A unique collaboration between Australia’s coolest short film festival in the tropics, national broadcaster Channel 10 and the Far North Queensland tourism industry will showcase some of the best emerging filmmakers from our own backyard and around the world to a national audience over the summer months while promoting our tropical destination to interstate holidaymakers.

The Very Best Of Port Shorts Film Festival is set to entertain audiences nationally from December 7, featuring on Channel 10’s hugely popular 10 play platform for three months alongside some of Australia’s favourite  television shows and supported by a major destination marketing campaign by Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree and Douglas Shire Council.

The two-hour smorgasbord of snack-sized cinema classics celebrates the most amazing short films to be screened under the stars at Port Shorts Film Festival held in Port Douglas in tropical Far North Queensland  every October.

Legendary Aussie actor and long-time Port Shorts Ambassador Stephen Curry will resume his host role for the 10 play showcase to support a festival he and fellow Festival Ambassador, Wolf Creek and Rogue Producer Matt  Hearn, have taken to heart over the past five years.

“I mean let’s face it, who wouldn’t accept a trip to the tropics with one of your great mates to judge a film festival?” Curry said.

“But what me and Hearny found when we got up to Port Douglas for Port Shorts in 2015 was a really cool festival that put on a show of exceptional short films.

“We can’t wait to get back there every year, they can’t get rid of us, except when the festival clashes with COVID-19 lockdown.
“In the meantime we’re glad we get to share some of our favourites from the last five years because there’s some filmmakers featured, many of them Australian, who audiences deserve to hear a lot more about and 10  play is a great platform to achieve that.”

Hearn, whose company hotglue produced The Very Best Of Port Shorts for 10 play, has mentored several  filmmakers he met at the festival and believes the future of filmmaking is in excellent hands.

“Good on Channel 10 for supporting these filmmakers by showing Australia what they’re capable of producing,”  Hearn said.

“Each film featured moved us as judges in some way and hopefully the audience enjoys the journey as much as we have.”

Port Shorts Festival Director Ali George said the collaboration with 10 play was also a welcome boost for the local tourism industry hit hard by the financial impacts of COVID-19.

“We’re delighted Tourism Tropical North Queensland, Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree and Douglas Shire Council are supporting The Very Best Of Port Shorts on 10 play with a destination marketing campaign encouraging the 10 play audience to come up here and experience the tropics for themselves,” Ali said.

“After such a crazy year for everyone The Very Best Of Port Shorts on 10 play is a nice way to say goodbye to 2020 and welcome what will hopefully be a much brighter new year for the arts and tourism industries.”

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen said the world’s oldest rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef had charmed many filmmakers wanting to capture the beauty of two World Heritage areas side by side.

“This collaboration with 10 play gives us the opportunity to reach a new audience of film lovers and encourage them to experience the destination that hosts Port Shorts,” he said.

TPDD Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett agreed it was a great way to shine the spotlight on the destination.

“I am delighted to be involved in this collaboration to showcase our destination to a diverse audience via 10 Play and Port Shorts,” Ms Bennett said.

The Very Best Of Port Shorts is available on 10 play over the summer months. To check it out visit here.

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2020 Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival https://www.portshorts.com/2020-port-shorts-virtual-film-festival/ Sun, 16 Aug 2020 06:10:22 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1821

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  https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-shines-spotlight-on-future-of-filmmaking/ https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-shines-spotlight-on-future-of-filmmaking/#respond Wed, 30 Oct 2019 10:55:27 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1779 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.



























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Port Shorts gets Council Backing https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-get-scouncil-backing/ https://www.portshorts.com/port-shorts-get-scouncil-backing/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:15:23 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1658  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.” 

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ENTRIES NOW OPEN https://www.portshorts.com/entries-now-open/ https://www.portshorts.com/entries-now-open/#respond Sun, 02 Jun 2019 00:10:27 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1656 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

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2018 Event Wrap Up https://www.portshorts.com/2018-event-wrap-up/ Wed, 31 Oct 2018 05:01:21 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1517 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! https://www.portshorts.com/recycle-reuse-single-use-plastic-free-festival/ Sat, 20 Oct 2018 01:34:57 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1392 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!








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New Home for Port Shorts https://www.portshorts.com/new-home-for-port-shorts/ Fri, 21 Sep 2018 08:39:45 +0000 https://www.portshorts.com/?p=1377 See you all at Rex Smeal Park for Port Shorts 2018!

Stephen Curry’s top film locations in the Tropics https://www.portshorts.com/stephen-currys-top-film-locations-in-the-tropics/ Tue, 18 Sep 2018 08:08:40 +0000 http://www.portshorts.com/?p=1366
The Port Shorts Film Festival brings some of the world’s most talented emerging filmmakers to the tropics on the last weekend of October each year to showcase the most magnificent short films under the stars.

Featuring a stunning line-up including Port Shorts Ambassadors, legendary Aussie actor Stephen Curry and Wolf Creek Producer Matt Hearn, Port Shorts showcases not only the best emerging local and international filmmakers but some of the most breathtaking locations on the planet.

Curry and Hearn know a thing or two about spectacular movie locations in the tropics, in fact they fell in love with Port Douglas so much after their first visit as Port Shorts Ambassadors in 2015 they decided to use it as the location for their action-comedy heist feature film Cape Tribulation which they’re aiming to begin production on next year with an all-star international cast.

Without further ado, here’s Port Shorts Ambassador Steve Curry’s 6 best film locations in Port Douglas and the Daintree and what makes them so attractive for the big screen.


The Great Barrier Reef Drive – Would have to be one of the most spectacular car chase locations on Earth, with the highway winding along the coastline as effortlessly as a bad hangover permeating your brain cells after a big night at the Ironbar.

Throw in a few slow caravans spicing up your car chase around the bends for dramatic effect, the potential to roll your Datsun off a seaside cliff if you go into the corners too hot and the chance to spot a whale frolicking off the coastline as you’re haring around and you’ve got all the ingredients for an epic car chase.

Image by @reubennutt

Great Barrier Reef – Port Douglas filmmaker Dean Miller had us all sucked in with his 2015 Port Shorts Film Festival Local Filmmaker Award-winning short film Seventh Natural Wonder in regards to the stunning natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.

Not only is Port Douglas and the Daintree blessed with the closest access to some of the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef, but you have world-renowned filmmakers such as Dean as well as Richard Fitzpatrick and his team from Biopixel in Cairns which recently produced the IMAX blockbuster The Great Barrier Reefin your backyard capable of bringing out the best of the location for you.

Image by @divers_den

Daintree Rainforest– Where do you begin with locations in the Daintree Rainforest, everywhere you look you’ll see a tree that’s been there for 1000 years, a bit like me on your telly it feels like sometimes, or some odd-looking critter they probably haven’t even gotten around to naming yet, again a bit like me on a furry Sunday morning.

For Hearny and I, we really love the remoteness of the Daintree, particularly its endless stretches of pristine palm-fringed beaches where there’s hardly a footprint, let alone a bus full of Contiki tourists. We thought it would make a great place to dispose of a few Russian gangsters in Cape Tribulation, thrown in the river of course.

Port Douglas CBD– There’s heaps of handy locations within a few blocks of each other in the Port Douglas CBD, with everything from clapped-out fishing dingies to billionaires’ superyachts found down at the marina, the amazing foreshore backdrop at Rex Smeal Park and the Sugar Wharf, an historic theatre, the old-school character of the cane toad races at the Ironbar and even a massive footy oval if you need one.

Just remember the cane toads are for racing, not licking.

Cane Fields– If you’ve seen the 2016 Port Shorts Young Filmmaker Award-winning film The Adventures of Mr Muscular & Sidekick Boy by Oliver Marsden you’ll know that all kinds of strange cats can be found lurking in the cane fields. They offer so much potential to scare the crap out of someone or just give that fear of the unknown, and around Port Douglas and the Daintree the cane fields are surrounded by such impressive rainforest backdrops you can’t go wrong when you’re looking for a location to provide some natural suspense.

Image by @powershala

Posh Houses– I’ve always said if it’s good enough for Rupert Murdoch, it’s usually good enough for me, and with every billionaire worth his weight in Himalayan rock salt having a luxurious holiday pad in Port Douglas there’s no shortage of deluxe homesteads for your characters to kick back in. Your biggest problem will be getting your cast and crew out of there without raiding the wine cellar.

Image by @executiveretreats

Networking – If you’re a filmmaker or just love watching short films, then check out this year’s Port Shorts Film Festival to be held on October 26-27 in Rex Smeal Park, Port Douglas. The Port Shorts Masterclass Series is also held from October 24-27 bringing together some of the best film industry experts in the country which makes a great environment for filmmakers to network and establish relationships that could lead to collaborating on their next big project.