A whimsical tale by RMIT graduates of a young girl's wish strangely coming true has been awarded in an international short film competition.
Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media graduates Jacob Mathews, Francisco Gozon and Gareth Openshaw have been recognised for their film A Gift Horse in the $70,000 My RODE Reel competition.
The film won Best Cinematography and was also in the top 10 for the Judges' Film Prize and Best Music Score categories, from more than 1,100 entries from 76 countries.
The competition rewards the untapped talents of amateur filmmakers and gives them a boost into the competitive industry.
The graduates' quirky film tells the story of a little girl who desperately wants a horse for her birthday, and whose wish comes true when her mother gives birth to a horse after the girl spikes her drink with an ostensibly magic potion.
Award-winning British filmmaker and cinematographer, Philip Bloom - who judged the Best Cinematography Award - said that A Gift Horse's cinematography was truly well thought through and executed.
"This sort of level of work is really impressive," he said.
"Everything about the camera work gelled with every aspect of the film - the lighting, movement, composition," he said.
Behind the scenes of the award-winning short. Photo: Thomas Robinson.
"It was such a wonderful short."
The five-minute short is narrated with witty rhymes accompanied by whimsical music delivering an overall tongue-in-cheek feel, referencing both adult and child-like themes.
Director Jacob Mathews said RMIT had fostered a healthy attitude in him towards filmmaking and that he came out of the program with very astute filmmaking principles.
"As a filmmaker it can be very easy to get carried away with self-indulgent ideas but RMIT equipped me with a broad range of skills including directing, scriptwriting, sound design, editing and visual effects," Mr Mathews said.
"This taught me to compromise and think outside the box in order to produce high quality films efficiently.
"The program really encouraged our initiative and pushed our limits and skills beyond what we thought we were capable of."
Mr Mathews said many of the actors that he auditioned for the film had said they enjoyed and even preferred doing RMIT films because of the effort students and graduates put into storytelling and the respect they had for the craft.
"That on its own speaks volumes about RMIT and what it's providing Australia's film and media industry," he said.
"RMIT's attitude towards filmmaking understands that it requires disciplined and capable individuals who understand and value the basics of art - and that is the attitude that we will serve the industry on an international scale."
Mr Mathews said his film crew were very strapped for time during the filmmaking process so they were thrilled to be recognised for their hard work and tight organisation.
"I'm really proud of everyone involved."
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