Lights! Canberra! Action!

6 March

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Enlighten Festival is shining a spotlight on Canberra’s talented film-makers as competition sparks creativity.

Filmmakers are given a list of ten items to include in their movie, with only ten days to shoot, edit and produce a seven minute film exploring the theme of ‘one small step’. This year’s theme has been chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, which the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, just south of Canberra, helped televise to the world.

The screening of the top twelve finalists will again take place outdoors in the Senate Rose Gardens at the Museum of Australian Democracy, with the awards winners announced immediately after the screening. Find out more about the finalists below.

Bring your chair, bean bag or blanket and settle in for a great night of film viewing. Picnics are welcome and foodies will be on site providing movie snacks. Family friendly films will be screened before the intermission.


Family, 7 mins, G

Producers: Kaitlyn Boyé and Janelle McMenamin , Director/Writer: Kaitlyn Boyé

At his 7th Birthday, Henry discovers that his best friend AJ has to leave, Henry must overcome his social anxiety and take a step towards making a real friend of his own.

Filmmaker Bio: Kaitlyn Boyé and Janelle McMenamin are a mother/daughter creative duo who first entered Lights! Canberra! Action! with their quirky family film Buddy. Their love for film began on the other side of the lens as actresses and has since evolved into a passion for all aspects. Kaitlyn is an AFTRS graduate where she studied camera fundamentals and post production. She can be seen in front of the camera as Abbi on Network 7’s Home & Away as well as upcoming slasher The Furies. Janelle is a Screenwise graduate, voiceover artist and theatre performer soon to play the title role in Hello, Dolly!

Drama, 6mins 30 sec, G

Producers: Sam Martyniak/ Stephanie Jewell Director: Sam Martyniak, Writer: Stephanie Jewell

A young girl, driven by her infatuation with space, embarks on a journey to discover where history was made.

Filmmaker bio: Sam and Steph are both film students at the University of Canberra, both sharing a passion for storytelling and bringing those stories to life through film. As first time directors/producers, they felt especially proud of their achievements as a team and the story they were able to tell in their film.

Dramedy, 7mins, G

Producers, Writers: Adrian Muscat and Tina Costessi Director: Adrian Muscat

Science geek Claire Brown fabricates her past only to find out her school reunion is two weeks away.

Filmmaker Bio: Adrian Muscat and Tina Costessi are co-owners of Red Gadget Films and have been making Lights! Canberra! Action! short films together for the last 4 years. Their love of filmmaking will continue for years to come and hopefully branching out into feature films and documentaries.

Drama, 7mins, PG (Deals with death)

Producers: Dan Sanguineti & Masoud Varjavandi, Director: Dan Sanguineti, Writers: Russell Lee, Dan Sanguineti & Masoud Varjavandi

Set during the first Moon landing in 1969, Phillip discovers his Dad now lives on the moon, and so, he and his cousin Tommy set out to build a rocket to go bring him home.

Filmmaker Bio: Dan Sanguineti has been producing short films for Lights! Canberra! Action! since its inception in 2004. In 2017, his Top 12 film, ‘The Balloon Man’ won Best Sound Design and Best Use of Item. Dan has grown his producing career as result of the opportunity and experience Lights! Canberra! Action!  has provided and now has four feature film credits, including internationally released cult zombie comedy ‘Me and My Mates vs the Zombie Apocalypse’. For 2019’s festival, Dan has for the first time collaborated with Masoud Varjavandi, who is an advocate and producer of optimistic science fiction stories and films, producing ‘The Man in the Moon’. This is Masoud’s first Lights! Canberra! Action!  film.

Comedy, 7mins, PG (Bleeped out coarse language)

Producers: Madeline Woldhuis and Jess Docherty, Directors: Caitlin Harris and Samantha Bruce, Writers: Jess Docherty, Madeline Woldhuis and Caitlin Harris

Online cooking personality Bri is taking her channel to the next level! It’s a small step, what could go wrong?

Filmmaker Bio: Battered is an all-female short-film, from initial concept to completion. Each individual took on multiple roles, with Caitlin Harris spearheading the project as Lead Director/Editor. Working together in the private sector, Samantha Bruce (Production Design/Graphics), Jess Docherty (Actor/Producer), Madeline Woldhuis (Actor/Producer), and Rachael White (Sound Design/Audio Operator) came together with a shared passion for creativity, story-telling and film production.

Adventure, 6mins, G

Producer, Director, Writer: Ananya Giridhar

Two shoes embark on a perilous journey, run into unlikely people and gain words of inspiration.

Filmmaker Bio: Ananya Giridhar and Grace Clee are two students interested in screenwriting and film making. ‘One Small Step Behind’ is their first venture into short film competitions and they had a fun time experiencing what it was like to be on a film set, behind the camera and post production.

Mockumentary, 7mins, M (Horror, implied violence)

Producers: Callum Lawrence / James Halloran, Director, Writer: Callum Lawrence

Take a glimpse into one of the city’s worst killers as he chases down strangers and friendships.

Filmmaker Bio: Callum is a keen filmmaker from Canberra. He secured his current job as a sports videographer by making a film about Canberra’s icons. Callum aspires to produce more content that showcases Canberra.

Comedy, 7mins, M (Mild coarse language, drug references and drug use)

Producers, Directors, Writers: Craig Alexander & Nick Stannard

Cody’s come in to some stock and needs financial advice on what to do. But how did he get it?

Filmmaker Bio: Nick Stannard and Craig Alexander have been collaborating on various comedy projects over the years, culminating in the founding of The Horse You Rode In On Media as a vehicle for their comedic endeavours. Hailing from the provocative world of financial planning by day, Nick lives a secretive double life as an aspiring writer and producer across multiple art forms by night; whilst Craig, an award-winning professional actor, writer and film/theatre maker, is really just trying to avoid having a real job…

Sci-Fi, 6mins, M (Gun violence and mild coarse language)

Producers: Philip Meddows, Aaron King, Craig Wilson, Director, Writer: Philip Meddows

At the end of the brave new world, a soldier saves the life of a young girl in the search of his own family.

Filmmaker Bio: Philip Meddows, Aaron King and Craig Wilson have been making movies together since graduating CIT in 2013. Each one has achieved great success in their own right creating media for leading Government Institutions, working on Feature Films and continuing to nurture emerging Canberra Film Makers.

Thriller, 6mins, M (Horror and implied violence)

Producer, Director, Writer: Ashlee Kate Robertson

A girl walks to the park, alone, at night.

Filmmaker Bio: Ashlee Kate Robertson is an award winning Canberra film maker. Her experience extends to directing, writing and editing. Ashlee Kate has a passion for storytelling and a love for creative expression in all forms.

Dark Comedy, 7mins, M (Themes of suicide, mild sexual reference)

Producer, Director, Writer: Lockie McLennan

A telemarketer tries his best to close a sale, but instead unintentionally coerces someone into doing something a bit more sinister.

Filmmaker Bio: Lockie McLennan is the creator of the well-known Canberra YouTube channel, Film Squad. Lockie created and uses the platform to learn and build skills for himself and for local Canberra actors and film-makers. He endeavours to one day produce feature length films and hopefully bring along the people who helped him get there.

Comedy, 6mins, M (Coarse Language)

Producer, Director, Writer: Max Jasinksi

Greg and Simon rush to find a fix for an issue at work after Greg accidentally deletes something important.

Filmmaker Bio: Max is a 21 year old filmmaker from Canberra who is currently undertaking his third year of a Visual Arts Degree at ANU, majoring in Video and Animation. Max started making short films in 2009 with his friends as a hobby and hasn’t stopped since. He has participated in several Canberra based film festivals such as Canberra Short Film Festival, and this is his fourth time entering Lights! Canberra! Action!.

Fantasy, 1min 40 sec, G

Producer, Director, Writer: Li Tan

This is an animation based on the creator’s crazy thoughts and imagination.

Filmmaker Bio: Li Tan is a graphic artist who is inspired to create animations out of pure enjoyment of the art. This is his first personal short animation this year.

Senate Rose Gardens