Home / World News / WA-made short film about miner stuck on desolate alien planet wins inaugural Short Film Prize at CinefestOZ Film Festival

WA-made short film about miner stuck on desolate alien planet wins inaugural Short Film Prize at CinefestOZ Film Festival

A WA-made short film about a miner stuck on a desolate alien planet has won the inaugural Short Film Prize at this year’s CinefestOZ Film Festival.

Essentially a tale about the worst FIFO swing ever, Carmentis tells the story of an injured and grief-stricken miner, played by Ben Motley, who must overcome his personal demons to get off an alien planet before the temperature drops so low he freezes to death.

A jury of industry experts, including Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh, awarded it the top gong at an award ceremony at the festival today, which came with a $5000 prize for writer/director Antony Webb and the film’s producer, Jaclyn Hewer.

Carmentis tells the story of an injured and grief-stricken miner, played by Ben Motley, who must overcome his personal demons to get off an alien planet before the temperature drops so low he freezes to death.
Camera IconCarmentis tells the story of an injured and grief-stricken miner, played by Ben Motley, who must overcome his personal demons to get off an alien planet before the temperature drops so low he freezes to death. Credit: Supplied

Earlier this year, Carmentis was selected for inclusion at the Tribeca Film Festival, and this latest achievement confirms Webb is a name to watch in filmmaking circles.

Director Gary Hamaguchi’s offbeat sci-fi short about a bloke who is abducted by an alien and kept as a pet was a deserving winner of Best Indigenous Short Film, while The Quiet from director Radheya Jegatheva was named Best WA Short Film.

Sam Lara and Jess Parker won Best WA Female Filmmakers for their work on Featherweight and Karen Pearlman (I Want to Make a Film About Women) and Doctor Doctor star Hayley McElhinney (Antecedents) took home the prizes for Best Director and Best Actor, respectively.

In previous years, CinefestOZ had been notable among Australian film festivals for its $100,000 film prize, the richest of its kind in the country, but COVID-19 border closures meant the State Government wasn’t willing to pick up the tab because it no longer worked as an incentive to lure visitors from the east.

The Short Film Prize was conceived as way to maintain a competition element in the festival, and the quality and diversity of this year’s winners should see it established as a permanent inclusion on the program.

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