Sinister Shorts

RMIT Cinema, Saturday 23rd February, 4:30pm


This session is restricted to persons over 15 years. It contains sexual and horror themes, violence and content relating to suicide.

Darkness takes many forms and these short films will take you on a journey to the outer limits of the human imagination - from the bizarre and the sinister to personal stories that emerge from the shadows.

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The Body Corporate (2018 / 7 mins)

It is a casual Friday: instead of sipping margaritas Jennifer has to attend yet another tedious meeting with a sexist HR manager Douglas and her unruly employee Anne. Allegiances are tested and dark secrets are revealed – as the two women realize the only solution to stop sexual harassment is complete carnage. A darkly absurdist comedy strongly influenced by the Czechoslovakian New Wave, filmmaker Stepanka Cervinkova created The Body Corporate as a response to the sexual harassment she has experienced in the workplace.

Director – Stepanka Cervinkova

Writers – Stepanka Cervinkova, Nathaniel Moncrieff

Producers – Stepanka Cervinkova, Denisa Podraska, Michael Deurwaarder, Leah Hentry, Kelly Barrett, Yolantha Morrigan, Dunja Vojnovic

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Room 264 (2018 / 5 mins)

A woman arrives in a foreign environment and is alone in her motel room. Left to her own thoughts, she falls deeper into a state of unreality and she grapples with the moments that have led to her to this place. As she falls further into this state, the room around her comes to life and the line between reality and imagination blur. Largely improvised and without dialogue, Room 264 explores the expectations of womanhood and the conflicting struggle that can lie at the rejection of these ideas. The film evokes a reaching for a sense of self and familiarity in the midst of an unfamiliar terrain.

Writer / Director – Brodie May Rowlands

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The Big Appeal (2017 / 9 mins)

10 years old with a winning smile, Holly is the region’s top collector for the annual “Big Appeal” charity door knock. But this year, the national winner has moved into town, and he’s strutting his stuff all over Holly’s patch. There’s no doubt he started the fight: but can Holly finish it? The Big Appeal premiered at Canberra Short Film Festival 2017, where it was an official selection for the Canberra Local, Best Actor and Best Editing Awards.

Writer/ Director / Producer – Hana Tow

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Consent (2017 / 13 mins)

After meeting online, a woman allows a virtual stranger into her home to fulfil a rather unusual agreement. But as they begin the process, she starts to question whether she actually wants to go through with it. The debut short film from writer/director Clare Sladden, Consent has screened nationally and internationally, winning numerous awards – including an IndieFest Award of Excellence, a Gold Remi, and the WIFT Award at Freshflix/Vivid.

Directors – Clare Sladden, Jasmine Sladden

Writer / Producer – Clare Sladden


The Wallpaper (2018 / 7 mins)

Rose is prescribed a ‘rest cure’ to treat her depression, but the isolation and boredom soon triggers a descent into psychosis. When she discovers there is a woman living in her wallpaper, her behaviour becomes increasingly self-destructive, placing her marriage under growing strain. Initially conceived as a Tropfest film – for which it was shortlisted – The Wallpaper has gone on to screen across Australia and worldwide, including the Revelation Film Festival in Perth and Female Filmmakers Film Festival in Berlin.

Directors / Producers – Susie Conte, Jenny Crabb

Writer – Dawn Farnham

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Colony (2018 / 15 mins)

After global war has decimated the earth, two sisters are sent to a labour colony on a remote planet called “Heaven” where they are immediately put to work. When one of the girls becomes seriously ill, the other must go to increasingly desperate measures to get the medicine she needs. Set in a futuristic world that is both foreign and familiar, Colony is a timely reminder of the dangers of progress if humanity refuses to learn the lessons of the past. The film has screened to great acclaim at a number of genre festivals, including the Sydney Indie Film Festival, Monster Fest, and Women in Horror Film Festival.

Writer / Director – Catherine Bonny

Producers – Catherine Bonny, Ryan O'Gorman

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Theodore's Gift (2016 / 15 mins)

Iris and her sisters live on a remote farm in Tasmania, with few friends and little connection with the outside world. When Iris decides to leave, her father Theodore gives her a necklace to take on her travels. But Iris soon starts to realize that there is much more to this gift than meets the eye. Drawing on her own personal experiences of growing up in rural Tasmania, Theodore’s Gift is an exquisite coming-of-age tale about the mysterious connections that bind us to nature and to family.

Writer / Director / Producer – Elli Iliades

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The Island (2018 / 20 mins)

Christmas Island, off the coast of Australia: as 50 million crabs make their slow migration from the jungle to the ocean's edge, thousands of asylum seekers are indefinitely held in a high security detention facility. Seen through the eyes of a trauma counsellor working on the island, this documentary bears witness to the dramatic stories of those detained – and the enduring power of the human spirit.

Writer / Director – Gabrielle Brady

Producer – Alex Kelly

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Dolls (2018 / 6 mins)

A man’s taste for plastic dolls in his bedroom continues to end his romantic interactions – until the dolls decide that it’s time to break up with him. But as emotions rise, he is determined to hang onto the unconventional relationship, no matter what it takes. Dolls is a fiendish comedy from award-winning writer/director and Academy Nicholl Fellow Clare Sladden – as well as a wry commentary on the dynamics of power and intimidation within domestic relationships.

Directors – Clare Sladden, Jasmine Sladden

Writer / Producer – Clare Sladden