Local filmmaker Matt Vesely will compete for the Dendy Award for Best Australian Short at the Sydney Film Festival in June.
His short film, My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling, made its debut at the Adelaide Film Festival last year, and the Sydney Film Festival will be its second outing. The winner of the Dendy Award for Best Short will take home a $5000 cash prize and be eligible to contend for the Academy Awards.
A part of booming Adelaide film company Closer Productions, Vesely is proud his work will be included in the line-up of 10 Australian shorts. “It took the film six months to get into another festival, so it’s great to be included,” he says.
My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling is a quirky short film from the emerging filmmaker. At pains not to give too much of the story away, Vesely says the short is a “romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist”.
“Basically you have this guy Connor who is in love with his best friend Rach, and he gives her a special sort of present when her birthday comes around.”
Having worked on large productions with Closer and being commissioned to write feature-length scripts, Vesely says working on a short film is a great way to “cut your teeth as a director”.
Yet, the required writing style is quite distinct from feature films and all about working efficiently. “It’s a very different art to write a short film,” he says. “Structurally it’s completely different. It’s all about working out a way to establish information quickly. They have to see the relationships as they are, not be told about it.”
Vesely says he is lucky to have had a good cast in Tom Ward and Erin James to communicate these messages quickly.
“It’s a 10-page script essentially, so you’re relying on a lot of great performances.”
My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling is also up for a slew of awards at this weekend’s South Australian Screen Awards, including Best Film, Best Comedy and Best Screenplay.