“It always feels good to get recognition, what made this one special is that it was in my home town. It means a lot that it was a hit with the audience amongst innnnnnnnsane competition, we couldn’t be happier.”

Round Trip Director Ren Thackham, having won plaudits following a tour of Festival screenings, among them Sydney’s own Freshflix and the recent Kino Sydney, rounded out the short flick’s run at the Short + Sweet Film Festival (Sydney) on Thursday where she garnered second in both the Jury and Audience Awards; the only filmmaker to place in both categories.    

“The festival run for this film has been the most exciting in my career, travel highlights include screening in México, Las Vegas, London. I think the greatest moment was being presented a trophy by Stephen Curry,” said Ren. “This short has a strong Australian flavour and the fact that it’s been so well received has boosted my confidence in my feature film.”

Jelena Sinik’s ON, a well-staged, kinetic animation centred on a day in the life of a smartphone and it’s owner (from the former’s perspective) took the first Jury ranking while Night Fill from Joel Stephen Fleming, chronicling a bizarre night in the life of a night shift worker, took the third spot. Marni Little’s Valentine’s Day, a hilarious skewering of modern dating and our dependence on the gig economy for of all things one’s love life nabbed first in the Audience vote while Larry Time, a dark though not at all self-serious comedy about fame’s perils, starring Larry Emdur, took third place. Emdur was even on hand to come on down and accept the Award alongside filmmaker Daniel Krige.

A Remarkable Career by Paul Dawkins will head to Los Angeles to compete in the international strand, with Short + Sweet, now in its third year in Sydney, continuing the local run and launching into the Illawarra segment this coming Friday-Sunday (September 13-15).    

“I think it was the perfect short to end my short film career on and it’s been a truly awesome journey showing it to audiences all over the world,” concluded Ren.

on Falkenscreen