TOP TALENT: Nimbin Youth Film Festival winners with mayor Isaac Smith and organiser Darmin Cameron.
TOP TALENT: Nimbin Youth Film Festival winners with mayor Isaac Smith and organiser Darmin Cameron.

Future film stars

IT WAS a big night at the Nimbin Bush Theatre on Saturday night, as young filmmakers had the chance to premiere their works as part of the Nimbin Youth Film Festival.

There was standing room only in the newly-refurbished theatre, with 15 locally-produced films vying for $2000 in prize money in the festival's 9th edition.

Festival organiser Darmin Cameron said the Nimbin Youth Film Festival is about celebrating young people and encouraging them to tell their stories through the medium of film.

"The barriers to film making have been removed,” he said.

"A film can now be made on an iPhone and screened in a cinema.”

He said the festival has been "riding this technological wave” since its inception in 2010, where organisers offered a $100 prize for the best film made on a mobile phone.

The films were judged based on a number of factors, including entertainment value, story and narrative, direction, editing, audio including a soundtrack, as well as camera technique.

This year's festival saw the return of the $500 Party Safe Award, as well as the $300 Sustainability Award.

Mr Cameron said these two special sections attracted some very confronting films that were highly emotional, entertaining and all with powerful messages.

"These young filmmakers did not pull any punches,” he said.

"There was fantasy, animation, music videos, arthouse, horror and humour.”

Two films tied for first place in the Party Safe Award, one of which was 11 year old Aisha Bergman's film BB's Night Out.

The low-budget production astonished the judges, Jeni Kendall and Paul Tait of Gaia Films, who said, given her age, "this is an amazing production with a maturity of concept and execution and we all felt this would be very well received by her age group and older children.”

The $300 Junior first prize went to Javhis Loveday's A Rest Out of Time, which judges said was a "nicely-directed, engaging and complex production about a young man who doesn't want to really join in life around him”.

While the $300 Senior first prize was take home by Teko Win-Win, for his film Stoned Shitless.

"This is a really clever and captivating film that has a cruel twist at the end that the audience doesn't really predict before it happens..”

Mr Cameron said the move to the Nimbin Bush Theatre had elevated the whole festival to a "whole other strata”.

"Having a silver screen and cinema-sized sound and cinema seating just gave the festival the touch of class it needed.”

Mr Cameron encouraged all young filmmakers in the Northern Rivers to get started on their next film.