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Winners & Special Mentions: Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

A massive thank you to everyone who participated in the Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival 2020. It's been absolutely fantastic having so many filmmakers involved and seeing the global support for true indie film...

The judges' votes have been counted and added to the audience's feedback. Huge congratulations to the filmmakers who screened with us!  A special well done to the following films...


Festival Winners

Best Short Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in Melbourne 2021)


Dir. Vanessa Cox
Synopsis: Set in a dystopian war torn society, Resistance is the story of a young girl, Anna, who begins to question her surroundings and those around her. She asks, 'Is it better to live scared or die free?'

Best Short Film

(next screening with Lift-Off in Melbourne 2021)

Present Images

Dir. Oskar Weimar
Synopsis: When Emma hires Seb to photograph her professionally, Seb takes its seriously. He aims for perfection, erases every blemish and shapes every curve. But in the end, who is manipulating who?

Best Short Documentary

(next screening with Lift-Off in Melbourne 2021)

Ofeina'o Lesieli

Dir. Shannon Robinson
Synopsis: Ofeina'o Lesieli is a documentary short film set in the capital city of Nuku'alofa which takes place in the Kingdom of Tonga - A tropical country situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This idyllic, tropical country is often coined ‘The Friendly Islands’ due to the hospitality and charm of its residents. Here we spend a day in the life of Lesieli, a bright and loveable young Tongan woman living with Down Syndrome.

Best Short Documentary

(next screening with Lift-Off in Melbourne 2021)


Dir. Ben McFadyen
Synopsis: Newly released Indigenous short film tells untold stories of the Wave Hill Walk-off and the Gurindji people while also revealing the true significance of the iconic song From Little Things Big Things Grow. NGUMPIN KARTIYA - Untold Stories of the Gurindji and the Wave Hill Walk-off is a film produced by the Gurindji Aboriginal Corporation, Freedom Day Festival and These Wild Eyes. Released on August 23, this 17-minute documentary film looks at a proud and sometimes difficult past, and also celebrates a bright and better future.

Audience Chioce

The Audience Choice award is given to the filmmakers whose film received the most votes during the festival. The filmmakers will be invited to join us on the Lift-Off YouTube channel for a directors commentary roundtable. Join in the conversation as we delve deeper into each film.  This event is LIVE and due to take place on Thursday 8th October.

Esports Ready

Dir. Vincent Furfaro
Synopsis: Summer is a streamer who plays video games and draws to a small online audience. She is offered a spot on a competitive esports team however, her family aren't very happy about the idea.

Death Cafe

Dir. Austin Salt-Cowell
Synopsis: A short documentary exploring the bizarre, yet supportive role of a Death Cafe, where strangers meet to discuss all forms of life and death, to form some closure about their recently-departed loved-ones.

Genre Confusion

Dir. Lachlan Brown
Synopsis: Playing heavily on the tropes of 7 different genres, this parody features an ensemble cast, that keeps switching settings and characters until their worlds start to bleed together.


Dirs. Catherine Dao
Synopsis: At 29, Shawn Wittig is the epitome of the spoiled rich kid living on the largesse of an indulgent single playboy father. The years of coddling by dad, including avoiding prosecutions from DUI to manslaughter charges continue to fuel Shawn's addictions to drugs and alcohol, When the law finally caught up with him, Shawn is released into a teaching/rehabilitation program at the local university run by JT Dalton, a brilliant but mysterious chemist. At first JT’s and Shawn’s relationship is antagonistic but, after a late night in the chemistry lab, it becomes something deeper. Soon JT and Shawn are involved in an illicit and highly sexualized affair that begins to consume both their lives. When the University catches wind of the affair, JT is promptly suspended and Shawn’s father forces the young man to give up his romance with his older professor…