St Kilda Film Festival celebrates its 40th year

SKFF The Astor Theatre AudienceSt Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) has announced the full 2024 program including Australia’s top short films. Presented by City of Port Phillip the program features more than 150 films to be shown over 52 screening sessions at venues across St Kilda and South Melbourne.

“This program is the biggest the festival has ever mounted and it’s hardly surprising given the 40th anniversary celebration,” said SKFF Director, Richard Sowada.

“In curating the program, I had the pleasure to be able to select from a record number of entries and although tough to do, what we’re delivering to audiences is a rare glimpse into the future of Australian cinema. It’s incredibly thrilling to experience and be a part of.”

The famous St Kilda Film Festival opening night will be held at The Astor Theatre on Thursday 6 June featuring a superb selection of Australian short films that will amaze, amuse, and astound.

Drawn from a call for entries from hundreds of new, short films from around the country, this year’s red-carpet opening night gala event features a sensational program of comedies, powerful drama, animation, horror and fantasy, emceed by Brian Nankervis.

The screening will be followed by an after party for a chance to rub shoulders with the filmmakers for a spectacular celebration of Australian short films.

This year’s program will take audiences on an incredible journey through some of Port Phillip’s iconic theatres including The Alex Theatre and The Astor Theatre, in addition to some unexpected venues such as South Melbourne Market.

In 2024 SKFF has received record entries from First Nations filmmakers and the Festival is very privileged to be able to screen the work of these Australian filmmakers and showcase so many stories.

St Kilda Film Festival program highlights include:

A Robot’s Dream, director Morteza Halimi. In this animation, two robots, equipped with Artificial Intelligence, roam the post-apocalyptic world looking for humans to give them their purposes.

Blame The Rabbit, director Elena Carapetis. After surviving a horrific assault by her husband, Helen uses the time of his incarceration to painstakingly rebuild herself into the entity that will have the most power over him: a beautiful woman. A modern take on the Gorgon myth about what happens when you disrespect the Divine Feminine.

Distant Space, director Rohan Jones (Australian premiere) In this sci-fi thriller, Robbie Scott is working for a commercial mining company on Mars. The vicissitudes of the alien Martian world and the commercial space base have dissolved his sense of humanity. He is morally and physically lost. Through an apparition of his daughter, his sense of humanity is restored, and he can be hopeful of rescue and redemption.

Edie and Audrey, director Alexandra Millen (Australian premiere). An older sister takes her younger sister out of the house for a day of movies, arcade games and bowling as a distraction to a more ominous situation unravelling at home.

Esperance to Fremantle, director William Sebastian Turner. Not having seen his father since he was an infant, wayward teenager Rob searches for him in Fremantle, Western Australia. Tracking his father to a pub, Rob resolves to approach him as if he were a stranger, in order to discover who he really is and his reasons for leaving.

Finding Addison, director Francisca Braithwaite. In the vibrant and carefree 90s, two best friends, Isabelle and Lucy are inseparable, the epitome of teenage adventure. When Lucy and Isabelle’s crushes, Steve and John, invite the girls to ‘hang out’, the carefree days of innocent laughter and flirtatious glances take an unexpected turn.

Fast forward 31 years, and the past, once thought well hidden, finally comes knocking at the door. Finding Addison interweaves the lives and timelines of five women: Isabelle, Lucy, Addison, Lynnie and Jewel. The story transitions between the past and present, leaving an undeniable mark on those involved.

A highlight event as part of the First Nations program will be held at The Espy on Saturday 15 June: Through the Lens of Protest and Resistance. In this very special session – MC’d by Tasha James, Manager of Indigenous Collection and Archives for ABC – SKFF presents a snapshot of First Peoples’ fight for justice and equality through the moving image.

The session includes No Way to Forget, directed by Richard Frankland; ASIO Makes a Movie, directed by Dr Alec Morgan; and Babakiueria, directed by Don Featherstone. Musician, singer and songwriter, Jungaji will perform live with his band and he, with Richard Frankland will share their personal journeys.

This year SKFF has partnered with Dogmilk Collective to present a program of alternative and ambitious screen works. Dogmilk is an independent filmmaking collective dedicated to the promotion and production of alternative and ambitious cinema. The two-part program will be a multi-sensory, immersive experience that challenges the very notion of what cinema can be.

Other new sessions for 2024 include: First Nations in Conversation, The Edge of Seventeen, Ageing (Dis)gracefully, International Perspectives, Experiments in Film, Moving Portraits, Captioned MixTape and Short to Feature.

All the familiar favourite showcases and programs are back for 2024 to take audiences on a diverse journey through the medium of short film, including: Australian Comedy Showcase, Pride Without Prejudice, Dark Matters, International Family Animation Explosion, Australian Documentary Showcase, Australian Crime Stories, Brave New Worlds, Australian Drama Showcase, Shifting the Gaze, Animation Showcase, Under the Radar, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Tandem Tales and Made in Victoria.

“We’re delighted that St Kilda Film Festival is back bigger and bolder than ever for its milestone 40th anniversary,” said Mayor of Port Phillip, Cr Heather Cunsolo. “We are proudly presenting a record number of short films over 10 jam-packed days at venues across St Kilda and South Melbourne and can’t wait to get the party started with opening night at the amazing Astor Theatre.”

The St Kilda Film Festival (SKFF) returns to the big screen from Thursday 6 June – Sunday 16 June 2024. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Audience at The Astor Theatre (supplied)