The Astor and Palais Theatres are once again hosting the St Kilda Film Festival, which opened on Tuesday night and runs until Sunday. So what, for the uninitiated, does the festival entail?

Festival Director Paul Harris explains: “St Kilda Film Festival is a national competition for Australian short films, the largest and most unique event of its kind in the country.” One hundred Australian short films compete to win the grand prize and the festival presents the opportunity to watch them all – a great chance for the public to see what’s happening at the creative end of the industry.

There are also two international short film programs this year, the first featuring a selection of films from Annecy (the biggest animation film festival in the world) and the second from the Cork Film Festival in Ireland. But the festival is not just about watching short films. There’s a plethora of film and industry events to attend as well.

Thursday sees the music video competition SoundKILDA take place and 16 of the best Australian music videos battle it out for supremacy. Audience members can vote for their favourite and Rockwiz guru Brian Nankervis will host proceedings.

The jewel of the festival is sure to be Corman At Ya!, which, as Harris explains, is a “feast of outrageous, mind-numbing trailer trash from Roger Corman, the undisputed king of B films”. See all the best moments of Corman’s 400-plus film career mashed together into a pulpy feast. This will be a hoot for all genre fans, so make sure you’re at the Astor at 11pm on Friday.

Industry development forums will take place throughout the week and are free and open to the public. Learn about everything from how to pitch a film, how to shoot and edit it, and then the best ways to market and distribute it.

And don’t forget about Blaze of Glory, the late-night Saturday party featuring all the best songs you remember from all the best – if not the most kitschy – films of the 80s and 90s. Get amongst it.

The St Kilda Film Festival runs until May 27.

stkildafilmfestival.com.au