LOCAL filmmaker Travis Bain has won the top awards at the 10th annual Understory Film Festival with his horror-comedy film, Zombies Vs The Men’s Shed.
More than 500 people descended on Munro Martin Parklands on Saturday for the annual festival, which showcases the talents of local filmmakers.
Mr Bain took home $5000 for both major prizes, Best Film and People’s Choice awards, for his film.
The film is set during a quiet morning at the Cairns Men’s Shed which is rudely interrupted by a horde of zombies, spawned by a chemical factory accident.
This prompts the members of the Men’s Shed to take up arms and fight for their community, their organisation, and Australia.
The film was a sequel to his short Zombies V the C.W.A, which won Best Screenplay and People’s Choice awards at the 2019 Understory Film Festival.
In a Facebook post, Mr Bain reflected on his time as a filmmaker.
“Since I started making films 25 years ago, all I’ve ever wanted to do is entertain people and give them a good time,” he said.
“Showmanship is in my blood and there was no better feeling last night than to hear the audience laughing and applauding the film.
“Good cinema can inspire, lift you up and make you feel alive, and that’s all that I want to do for you, my viewers, until I’m too old and decrepit to call ‘Action’ anymore.”
Acting Mayor Terry James said the Understory Film Festival has been a launching pad for aspiring filmmakers for the past few decades and is well known for pushing creative boundaries.
“It showcases the unique stories of Far North Queensland through short film and supports council’s vision to make Cairns the arts and cultural capital of northern Australia,” he said.
Understory judge, Alex Smee, who is well-known in the local film industry, and also appeared on the panel of the Understory Filmmakers Symposium on Friday, noted the quality of Zombies Vs The Men’s Shed.
“This film stood out because of the high production quality, the script, acting, camera, editing, makeup, all of it – it was obviously a huge collaboration and Travis pulled it off.”
Ms Smee said noted there was “so much experimentation and chance taking” at this year’s festival.
“Understory is a great opportunity for emerging storytellers to share their work with an audience,” he said.
“It’s so important that creative talent and ideas are seen and recognised so people are encouraged to keep making.”
Further accolades were awarded to the following North Queensland filmmakers:
- Highly Commended: Singularity by Shirley Vue
- (also awarded the Essential Screen Skills Best Overall Filmmaker at Understory High 2023)
- Best Emerging Filmmaker: Taking Me Nowhere by Imogen Loukas
- (also awarded Best Year 11-12 Non-narrative at Understory High 2023)
- Best Experimental Film: The White Face or Blak Art by Jack Wilkie Jans
- Best Animation: Shorty and the 3 Snakes by Xavier Barker and Karin Calley
- Best Documentary: Tree of Life by Vino Flower
- Best Music Video: 1962 – The Pad Boys by Slim Deal
- Best Non-narrative: Frames of Japan by Jason Macalpine
- Best Narrative: Infinitely by Joel Devereux
- Best Cinematography: Kogei by Jason Macalpine
Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Away for the day mobile phone ban campaign launched and Mayor’s appeal receives boost.