An Otford film-maker has shown an interesting use for $50,000 with her new film shot in Helensburgh.
Anya Beyersdorf’s How The Light Gets In was made possible by a $50,000 grant after she was one of four winners chosen from hundreds for the first global Lexus Short Film Fellowship, the largest cash prize for short film in Australia.
The short film will now have its world debut in this year’s Sydney Film Festival, screening at the Dendy cinema at Opera Quays in June.
“Opportunities like this are so precious and rare, not to mention critical for developing the emerging screen sector, and I feel honoured to have been granted this experience,” said Ms Beyersdorf.
The film follows a single mum living on the fringe of society who wakes in the night to discover light shining from her fingertips. The glow quickly takes over her life as it takes over her body.
“It’s not to be taken literally, it’s a metaphor,” Ms Beyersdorf said.
“I was really interested in looking at broken people and what they do. I think that at end of day it doesn't matter how much we have or don’t have in life, but what counts is what we do with the moments we do have .”
While she was grateful for the much coveted opportunity Ms Beyersdorf admitted the task was challenging due to “pressure to do well”.
“There aren’t many resources around to make a film, so if you are lucky enough to be one of the few that gets these kind of resources it’s kind of a lot of pressure on you to do something really good with it and not waste it,” she said.
“It’s all I’ve been working on for the last year [to get it] up to that level where I thought was worthy of that investment.
“Every time I make a short film I walk out the other end and say I’m never directing again.”
Ms Beyersdorf did admit the community around Helensburgh and Otford helped ease the pressure slightly with their support.
“They really got behind me,” she said. “Everyone was really keen and wanted to pitch in. You won’t get that from Bronte [in Sydney’s east].”
Ms Beyersford is going to leave directing alone for a while and focus on scriptwriting, with the aim of “making money, rather than spending it”.
She’s currently looking at two US feature films with big name actors, but can’t give too much away yet.
Every time I make a short film I walk out the other end and say I’m never directing again.- Anya Beyersdorf
Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley said Beyersdorf and the other three film-makers in the fellowship had taken risks with their films, tried new techniques and ideas, and given voice to their stories.
The fellowship will choose up to four more winners this year, again each receiving $50,000 to produce their next short film.
The fellowship aims to develop and foster young talent and ultimately contribute to the longevity of the medium, and the Australian filmmaking industry.
The Sydney Film Festival is one of the world’s longest running film festivals and screens films, short films, documentaries and animation.
The 64th Sydney Film Festival will run from Jun 7 to 18. Tickets can be purchased via www.sff.org.au OR by phoning 1300 733 733