Entries open now for the SmartFone Flick Fest

Thirroul's Angela Blake says the SmartFone Flick Fest 'democratises film making' while the smartphones make it more accessible. Picture: Sylvia Liber
Thirroul's Angela Blake says the SmartFone Flick Fest 'democratises film making' while the smartphones make it more accessible. Picture: Sylvia Liber

The Illawarra is one of the state’s more “arty” regions but a little help from state and federal governments would help, according to the co-director of a short film festival.

Angela Blake was speaking to the Mercury as entries have opened again for the SmarkFone Flick Fest, which accepts short films shot entirely on a smart phone or tablet.

Ms Blake said Wollongong City Council was doing a great job in nurturing the arts but could be supported by funding from higher levels.

“You look at other nations and the money that goes into the arts and into film makers … a lot of [Australians] have to go overseas to work which is really unfortunate,” she said.

“It would be great for more money in the industry to produce Australian stories.

“If we can somehow redirect money from sport and share it more evenly with the arts, because people are dedicating their lives to the arts and they train from when they are a young age.”

The finalist films are judged by a panel of industry specialists with winners
in 11 categories announced at the gala screening. Picture: Supplied

The finalist films are judged by a panel of industry specialists with winners in 11 categories announced at the gala screening. Picture: Supplied

It follows calls by Robertson’s award-winning artist Ben Quilty for tax breaks for creatives, during the Create NSW Arts 2025 Summit in March.

Quilty delivered the keynote speech to advocate for change within our tax system, urging artists and athletes to be taxed the same.

Currently tax is paid on the Archibald Portrait Prize, the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and all literary and film prizes but the education, training and winnings of athletes are largely tax-free.

Meantime, Ms Blake admitted like many other film industry ventures the Flick Fest doesn’t make much money.

“There’s no money in film festivals, it’s such a difficult industry to make any kind of money but we all just do it because we can’t do anything else and we don’t want to do anything else,” she said.

Each year ten of the best short films are selected as finalists and screened in Sydney. The aim is to take the film festival to regional areas in future years.

This year categories have been added for child film-makers and virtual reality films.

“From first time filmmakers to industry stalwarts, the technology, apps and editing software that’s out there means the quality of films being produced is staggering,” festival co-director Ali Crew said.

The deadline for submission is Wednesday August 1, details at: www.sf3.com.au