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Lights! Canberra! Action! 2018 Films for You

On the 9th of March, Canberrans from all walks of life filled Old Parliament House’s Rose Gardens for the 15th annual screening of the illustrious Lights! Canberra! Action! film festival. The 13 films presented throughout the night spanned a variety of genres and themes, with films for all ages. With different films popular with different audiences.

To assist you and your viewing pleasure, here is your list of Lights! Canberra! Action! films to look out for based on your tastes. The festival’s encore screening takes place on the 20th of March, 6:30pm, at Dendy in the Canberra Centre.


Image credit: Scott Cadzow

Puddles (dir. Scott Cadzow)

This animated short managed to snatch the Best Film award, the award for Best Use of Theme, and the Best Visual Effects/Animation award. The film centres on the humorously dark plight of a man and his dog, who seem to be the sole survivors of a post-apocalyptic future. With animation and humour reminiscent of a strange Wall-E/Wallace and Gromit mashup, the film would be enjoyed by fans of those productions.


Image credit: Max Jasinski

Warped (dir. Max Jasinski)

A light-hearted short about a teen who reveals a magical secret to his roommate, only for it to get them into an unforseen predicament. The innocent and childish humour is a great flashback to Saturday morning kid sitcoms, and would appeal to fans of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place.


Image credit: Kaitlyn Boyé

Buddy (dir. Kaitlyn Boyé)

Buddy was graced with a multitude of awards, such as the award for Best Director, Most Memorable Performance, Best Editing, Best Original Music and the Orchard Female Filmmaker Award. It tells the heart-warming tale of a boy’s feathered best friend and the unexpected journey it takes to reunite with its human pal. A good watch for younger fans of Disney Pixar’s Toy Story.


Image credit: James Robinson & Brendan Kelly

Punctured (dir. James Robinson & Brendan Kelly)

This is the hilarious story of an awkward, hopeless romantic who is constantly getting himself into serious trouble by chasing a woman that he really, really shouldn’t be chasing. The style of humour would be a hit for fans of Arrested Development, Friends and Peep Show.


Image credit: Lachlan McLennan

The Day I Met a Dead Guy (dir. Lachlan McLennan)

Winning the Best Performance and Best Screenplay awards, the story revolves around a distraught man, recently fired from his job, who gets his problems put into perspective when he meets the ghost of a dead man. The dark humour and themes would be a winner for fans of the Ricky Gervais starring film, Ghost Town.


Image credit: Paul T. McGilvray

A Holt in Time (dir. Paul T. McGilvray)

A comedic, animated “what-if” story, about former Prime Minister Harold Holt (who disappeared at sea) returning, 50 years after his disappearance, to modern-day Canberra. The style of animation and storytelling would be appreciated by fans of Horrible Histories and Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids.


Image credit: Abhi Jeyakkumar

Tagged (dir. Abhi Jeyakkumar)

Gifted with the award for Best Student Film, Tagged takes the audience on a fast-paced, thrilling chase, as the protagonist tries their best to evade the mysterious figures that are out to get him. Complete with a concluding plot twist, this film is for fans of Black Mirror, specifically fans of the episodes Metalhead and White Bear.


Image credit: Tina Costessi & Adrian Muscat

Tarot (dir. Tina Costessi & Adrian Muscat)

An awkwardly dark comedy about a man trying to connect with a dead loved one via a painfully fake psychic. The film resembled a skit that could have been written by Monty Python, and as such, would be the choice for fans of that group.


Image credit: Jon Holden

The Fisherman (dir. Jon Holden)

A thrilling short engulfed with landscape imagery and which is, for the most part, void of dialogue. This is a film that will keep audiences wondering what will happen next, as well as a film that will leave audiences having to ponder on it for a little while after viewing. This one is for fans of Cast Away.


Image credit: Ashlee Kate Robinson

Vlog (dir. Ashlee Kate Robinson)

A young girl and her rebellious sister begin the innocent hobby of videoing their daily happenings and activities, however the hobby quickly results in something much more sinister in this short horror flick. A must-see for fans of Paranormal Activity.


Image credit: Sebastian Chan

A Friend in the Night (dir. Sebastian Chan)

This is a stunning, cinematic short that deservingly won the awards for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Sound Design. The film revolves around two people discussing their most personal, prominent and disturbing dreams. Definitely recommended to fans of Black Mirror and Inception.


Image credit: Nick Stannard & Craig Alexander

The Photographer (dir. Nick Stannard & Craig Alexander)

This comedy-thriller places the audience in the den of a menacing killer as he taunts his potential victim. The use of unorthodox time/plot structure, humour and dialogue is quite reminiscent of a Quentin Tarantino film, so this one is for fans of Pulp Fiction.


Image credit: Tanya Chaophrasy

Much Ado About Nothing (dir. Tanya Chaophrasy)

Though this film didn’t make it through to the festival’s top twelve, the organisers thought it was too good not to screen, and even awarded it with the Best Under 18s Film award. The short is a coming-of-age drama about two young girls tackling the grit of friendship and romance. This film is for fans of Thelma and Louise, Brokeback Mountain and Blue is the Warmest Colour.

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