Exclusive Interview: Founder Monica Zanetti talks about The Projects Short Film Festival


Ahead of this week’s returning short film festival The Project, Alexandra Koster caught up with the festival’s founder Monica Zanetti to find out more it….

What made you want to create The Projects Short Film Festival?

Being a filmmaker myself and going through the submission process for festivals, it became very clear that there simply wasn’t many festivals in Australia compared to the demand. As a result many Aussies filmmakers were having their films screen at a bunch of international festivals but none back home. So I decided to create a new platform for Australian filmmakers to exhibit their work, raise their profiles and be in running to win prizes that would help them further their careers.

Is there a theme to the films you decide to show? How does the selection process occur?

There’s no official theme but it’s very important that there is a variety of films, which can be quite challenging when you can only have 11 finalists but we’ve successfully managed to get a bit of everything in. It’s hard when there’s so many brilliant films that you can’t accept just because you are limited by numbers.


What was the thought process behind your judging panel? What is the importance of each figure?

They each represent an important part of the film industry from directing to distribution. The most important thing however, is that they all have really strong instincts. They aren’t given a huge amount of time at the end of the evening to agree on a winner so I needed a panel who would know a winning film when they saw it and rally behind it.

Can you give us a bit of insight into the films we’ll be seeing this year?

We’ve got two excellent Dramas from Queensland, Power State, about the QLD Union Strikes in the 80’s and then Last Stop about a young photographer who accidentally catches a life changing moment on camera. Representing the Horror category we’ve got Limbo Rock & Screaming Goats – The Movie which both bring something very different from each other. The Documentary There Once was a Boy named Geoffrey chronicles 100 years in the life of priest & teacher Father Geoffrey Schneider and the Mockumentary The Florist follows a young woman who’s job it is to collect edible hallucinate flowers.

For the comedies we have After the Deal which follows a couple who won $10 on Deal or No Deal, The Hunt about a woman who gets the roommate she never wanted and CASA DEL SUEÑOS about a blind date that goes pear shaped. Finally on the heart warming scale there’s the new film from inclusive film making company Taste, Work Mate about an introvert who and a blind man who are thrown together by work circumstance and the B&W silent film Drawn from VIC.

In your eyes, what are the characteristics of a winning film?

For me it’s about a film that stays with you after it’s finished, whether it still makes you laugh when you’re trying to explain to someone or cry in the moment because you just can’t help it. I feel all of our finalists have their own version of this.

Any words for those who are thinking of getting into filmmaking?

Technology wise, it’s never been easier to make a film, if you’ve got a great script then there is really nothing stopping you. I do feel there is sometimes too much emphasis on how pretty something looks and not enough on the story. If the script is solid you can shoot it on an iPhone and it will still be effective.


The Projects Short Film Festival will take over the Vic on the Park in Sydney (2 Addison Road, Marrickville) on Tuesday, 24th February. All tickets are $15 and 11 films will be showcased. Bondi Hipsters creator and filmmaker Christiaan Van Vuuren will be among the judges. For tickets and more details head to their official website. Tickets sold out last year so guests are recommended to pre-purchase their tickets now.


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