Greta Nash has won the top honour at this year’s Tropfest short film festival in Parramatta, with a film based on “traumatic” shopping experiences with her mother.
Homegrown and international stars turned out for the event including Rachel Griffiths and Susan Sarandon, along with thousands of movie-buffs.
Sixteen finalists competed for the first place, which included a prize of $10,000, a car, and a trip to Los Angeles.
Two Piece, a short film from 23-year-old Nash, impressed the judges with its intimate portrayal of a young teenager shopping for a swimsuit with her mother.
The Melbourne-based director said the plot was inspired by her own personal experiences.
“I was shopping for a dress for opening night with my mum, I found a dress and really liked it but it was a bit too tight … and I asked if they had it in a bigger size and they didn’t,” she said.
“It became this whole thing and … it just made me think of all those times I have been shopping with my mum and how they can be quite traumatic experiences for the both of us.”
She said accepting the award from Susan Sarandon was an experience she would never forget.
“Time stopped when I walked on stage and she was looking at me and I was looking at her,” she said.
“I was just so excited she was the head of the jury, and that she would be watching.”
Hugo Johnson, 30, won best actor for his portrayal of Bert in the comedy/thriller Combination Fried Rice.
Best actress went to Freya van dyke Goodman, the 14-year-old who starred in the film she described about “teen angst”.
She said she dreamt of making a career out of acting.
“I’m actually an American citizen, so hopefully I can move to America and ideally make it big, do something like that,” she said.
Hollywood star Sarandon led the panel of judges and said she was looking for the filmmakers to both move and surprise her.
“Something that is creative, courageous, well-done, unusual,” she said.
“I want to be moved, usually, and I want to reframe my perspective somehow, I don’t want to be able to guess what is happening next.
“When something unfolds in a way I haven’t anticipated I really love it.”
The festival is in its 26th year, and promises to return next year with the theme of “candle”.