The St Kilda Film Festival has been celebrating short films, music and local filmmakers for 30 years now. Established in 1984 as the first festival in Australia to chiefly focus on the short film, St Kilda Film Festival has grown into a cultural event to treasure, not only showcasing the work of Australian filmmakers, but also providing inspiration and support to Melbourne’s filmmaking community in the form of the festival’s many industry workshops and forums. It has also garnered a reputation for giving proper attention and respect to an often maligned filmic mode, the music video.

Get stuck into the best of the past year of Australian shorts with the Top 100 – 15 sessions comprising, yes, the 100 Australian short films in contention for the $10,000 festival prize, awarded on closing night. The festival has previously nurtured shorts by the likes of Nash and Joel Edgerton, Adam Elliot, Cate Shortland and many others who are now Australian film luminaries. Who will join the ranks this year?

The festival will also have a taste of Texas in the form of the SXSW Shorts Showcase, where SXSW programmer Claudette Godfrey will introduce Melbourne audiences to the festival’s best short films and music videos.

Speaking of music videos, a highlight of the festival as always is SOUNDkilda, in which music videos by Australian musicians and filmmakers compete to be judged the year’s best. See videos from Goyte, The Presets, Archie Roach, The Bamboos and even Bob Dylan on the big screen.

If that’s not enough to sate your music video love, then One Step Ahead is a must. A retrospective celebration of the golden years of Australian music video production from the 1970s onward (long before MTV), One Step Ahead will feature a round table discussion by a handful of the most prominent music video filmmakers of the era, including Ray Argall, Paul Goldman, Chris Lofven and Richard Lowenstein. It will also feature the first public screening of the newly restored film clip to Daddy Cool’s seminal Eagle Rock, followed by an Aussie rock and punk dance party into the wee hours.

Don’t forget about the festival’s traditional Industry Open Day, where aspiring and professional filmmakers alike will converge upon the Astor Theatre for a full day of industry talks covering everything from funding your short film to distributing it. Industry forums will occur throughout the festival as well, and they’re all free. St Kilda Festival is a wonderful reminder of the vibrancy of Melbourne’s film and music communities, and of the role St Kilda itself has played in our film and musical iconography. Don’t miss out.

St Kilda Film Festival runs from May 23 to June 1.

stkildafilmfestival.com.au