The great Ingmar Bergman once said “No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.”

The dark rooms of our souls will certainly be illuminated in the company of (screen and sky) stars at this years free Peninsula Short Film Fest. Over 20 short films will be aired in the outdoors on the Mornington Peninsula.

A star-studded line up including Peter Helliar (of The Project), Michala Banas (Upper Middle Bogan), Lachy Hulme (Offspring), Pia Miranda (The Secret Life of Us), Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) and Rob Connolly (Director of Paper Planes and Balibo) will head to Rosebud this weekend to form the judging panel of the Peninsula Short Film Fest.

Held on Saturday February 6 at the Village Green Rosebud, this FREE outdoor film festival showcases a selection of short films to the public.





Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theatre.
– Roman Polanski

It’s BYO beanbag or picnic rug and plonk yourself down in the middle of a very relaxed outdoor vibe.

This is how movie watching should be – out to the flicks on a balmy evening, collective discussions, cheers from the crowd, families and friends mesmerised by unfolding storytelling. Sometimes I think we’ve lost a little of the social aspect of viewing films – it’s nice to park your bum on the grass occasionally with others to cheer on emerging talent as it takes centre stage.

The talented film-makers are vying for some impressive prizes – the short films are judged live on the night by the celebrity judging panel and there’s $30,000 in prizes up for grabs including  a first prize of $5K with second prize of $2.5K and third prize of $1,250.

Festival Director, and accomplished actor Steve Bastoni has been thrilled with the entries to this years festival, “We’ve received a record number of entries this year and many from overseas.”

Steve Bastoni has drawn on his own film and acting experiences and networks to truly inspire both local talent and those from further afield.



In announcing the 12 shortlisted finalists last week Steve said “We are excited to have renowned Australian Director Rob Connolly on our judging panel and the crowd will also get the chance to hear more from him with a special Q&A hosted by Open Channel scheduled to run during the evening.”

I’ve loved watching the evolving journey of several previous PSFF winners as they’ve gone on to feature at other international film festivals and begin their careers in Australian film and television avenues.

We have some impressive emerging film-makers and actors telling the stories of contemporary Australian culture on the big screens. Last years Hairy Soul Man was one of my stand-out fav winners.




Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it.
– Banksy

Planning your Peninsula Short Film Fest evening

Before the movies start, there’s live entertainment from 4pm with music by Hunter Reyne and Terrence .C. Serio, and the films screening from 7pm as the sky darkens.


There’s no BYO alcohol, but there’s plenty of food and drink stalls surrounding the event. Make sure you turn your heads away from the screen as the sky darken to enjoy the colour of the sensational WOW structures in the VIP area as well.

One of my favourite summer nights on the Peninsula. Make sure you grab your spot on the grass, and enjoy a very special night at the movies.

2016 Peninsula Short Film Fest finalists

  1. Too Dark – by Sean Lahiff
  2. Lucy – by Mark Davis and Tawni Bryant
  3. Potluck – by Claudia Pickering
  4. Neighbourhood Wars – by Madeleine Dyer and Daniel Mulvihill
  5. Uber X –Citing Day – by Michael Jones and Jackson Tozer
  6. Flushed – by Richard Eames
  7. How Deep Can I Go? – by Kai Smythe
  8. The Girlfriend – by Luke Mayze
  9. I Am Fairy – by James Vinson
  10. Night Terrors – by Merinda Staubli
  11. Processed – by Joel Kohn
  12.  Time Trap – by Michael Shanks

Good luck to all the finalists – I can’t wait to see what you offer up.

The Festival will launch on Friday 5th Feb with a VIP ticketed event, the Oz Indie showcase movie ‘Broke’ at Rosebud Cinema at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25pp incl drinks and nibbles.

More info is available at or on facebook 

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