The Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship is the largest cash fellowship ($200,000) for short film in Australia. The Fellowship aims to develop and foster new talent by allowing young writer director filmmakers to be assessed by key industry figures and premiere their work at Sydney Film Festival. The Fellowship provides a launching pad for the careers of emerging Australian talent and ultimately contributes to the longevity of the medium, and the Australian filmmaking industry.
Launched in 2015, the Fellowship is presided over by an industry jury, which was chaired by renowned Australian actress Judy Davis in its first year. Other jury members were Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia's Adrian Weimers and Australian producers Jan Chapman AO and Darren Dale. In its second year, the Fellowship jury was chaired by leading Australian actor David Wenham. Other jury members were Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia's Vin Naidoo and Australian producers Kath Shelper and Sandra Levy AO.
The inaugural Fellows had their first short films premiere at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival. Red Ink by Alex Ryan, How the Light Gets In by Anya Beyersdorf, Snow by Alex Murawski and Outbreak Generation by Brooke Goldfinch screened at the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship Gala, and were also screened as part of the program at the State Theatre.
The 2017 Fellows were announced at the Gala event, and their short films are currently going into production, and will be screened at SFF 2018.
Lexus Short Films International Contest
Sydney Film Festival and Lexus Australia encouraged all Australian filmmakers to submit for the Lexus Short Films season 4. This international contest gives four filmmakers the chance to collaborate with Oscar-winning film studio The Weinstein Company on their own film project.
The competition sought out the next generation of emerging filmmakers who will craft stories around the season 4 theme 'TRANSFORMATION' – a theme born from the Lexus brand’s belief that amazing things happen when you transform the ordinary into extraordinary.
Australian filmmakers entered the international Lexus Short Films contest where their film was viewed by a prestigious international company, who selected the International finalists.
All Australian entries were also automatically submitted into the 2018 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship for the opportunity to be one of four filmmakers awarded the largest cash fellowship ($50,000 AUD per filmmaker) for short film in Australia.
"Winning the Lexus Short Films season 3 has been an extraordinary experience for me as a filmmaker" said Australian actor-director Damian Walsh-Howling. "The competition allowed me to write and direct my third film concept MESSiAH, in collaboration with The Weinstein Company, travel around the world for premieres at international Festivals - including our World Premiere at Sydney Film Festival, make invaluable connections, and ultimately to discover so much more about the filmmaking process."
2018 Lexus Short Films series finalists will be announced in November 2017, and the inaugural Lexus Australia Short Film Fellows will be announced in June 2018, and see their work premiered at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival.
Entries for the 2018 Fellowship have closed.
Meet the 2017 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellows
For the second year, four Fellowship winners received $50,000 each to produce their next short film, to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in 2018.
“The Fellowship is a significant investment in filmmakers looking to bring their next groundbreaking project to life,” Jury Chair David Wenham said.
“The Fellowship is about discovering new voices and ideas that keep art forms moving forward at the local level, and just one example of how we invest in fostering creativity and emerging talent,” Vin Naidoo, Corporate Manager of Lexus Australia said.