Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finalist in Sydney and Melbourne Queer Film Festivals and Tampere’s Film Festival in Finland

LASH is doing really well around the world at the moment.


LASH is a finalist for the 2010 My Queer Career Awards in Sydney and the 2010 Best Australian Queer Short film of the City of Melbourne Award competition. In the same month LASH is also competing in the International competition of Finland’s exclusive Tampere Film Festival as the only Australian Film.

Each year the festivals receive larger number of entries and the competition is fierce.
These selections are an indication of Kerkhofs’ courage to keep pushing the boundaries and create intriguing and thought provoking films that members of the community and industry respond to.

“What an incredible month for queer films, that’s all I can say. To be finalist again at both Sydney and Melbourne and to even break through at Tampere is a lot to digest in one go. I feel truly humbled and honoured that my work has been received so well all over the world.”

Kerkhofs was a finalist with her animation film ‘Filled With Water’ at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival in 2008 and an Award winner at the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2007. She is no stranger to awards with LASH either, winning The Best 2008 VCA Graduation Film Award and the Unique Aesthetic Film Award at Sydney’s Underground Film Festival in 2009.

Asking her if she anticipates another award, she replies

“First of all it’s already a reward to be one of only 8 finalists at Sydney and Melbourne and one of only 70 films selected at Tampere from 3000 entries. Secondly the most joy is received by the creation itself, rather then rewards reaped. But if an award spins my way then I gracefully accept and will feel very encouraged to continue making films.”

The Winner of the City of Melbourne Award competition for Best Australian Queer Short film receives $2000 cash and the Winner of the My Queer Career competition will automatically be in the running for The International “Iris Prize” worth £25,000, the world’s largest prize for gay and lesbian short films.

‘LASH’ is a film about the persecution of women throughout the ages for their sexual preferences, with a message that religious and cultural punishments cannot kill the power of love.

And while Elka is delighted with the success of ‘LASH’ she is already back at the drawing board making her next animation film with her colleague Leigh Ryan, in which the boundaries of mainstream cinematic storytelling are being pushed again. However this time it’s a very quirky queer comedy, she let us know.

LASH plays on opening night of the Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival on12 of Feb, 7.30pm, Recital Hall, Angel Place.

At the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, ACMI, as part of the OZ shorts program on 20 March and 27 of March.

At Byron Bay Community Hall on the 13 of March as part of the adult animation section.

At Cleveland International Film Festival on the 30 March.

And in Tampere, Finland, on 10 and 12 of March, if you feel like a little trip up North.

Friday, September 25, 2009

honoured with the most ‘Unique Aesthetic Film Award’ at SUFF

Filmmaker, Elka Kerkhofs was honoured with another award for her short animation film ‘LASH’.

“It was wonderful to be honoured at this fantastic festival that focuses on the exposure and critical discussion of independent, experimental, artistic, subversive and provocative films. With over 120 films screening it is very encouraging to receive an award for the unique aesthetics of LASH.”

The SUFF award recognizes filmmakers who really are pushing the boundaries of filmmaking.
Honoured filmmakers received a SUFF handmade award created by Mark Wotherspoon, a Sydney glass artist, who casts statues from recycled television screens found on the side of the road. Also the filmmakers received a custom made SUFF Crumpler bag and rolls of Kodak 16 mm film.

‘LASH’ is a five-minute experimental animation film about the persecution of women throughout the ages confirming that religious and cultural persecution cannot kill the power of love.

Kerkhofs attended the Cannes Film Festival with her film LASH earlier this year and also travelled to the Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival and the Palm Springs International ShortFest in the US.

“It’s fantastic that ‘LASH’ has travelled so far and been so well received by such top festivals. It has encouraged me to pick up my pencils and start animating again. Just last week, I began production on my next animation film ‘PVG & me’ with my very talented colleague Leigh Ryan and should be finished by January next year”

LASH can next been seen in Sydney as part of the official selection of the WOW Film Festival running from the 14 till the 18 of October.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lash Opens at Oberhausen and Cannes

Last Friday on the 1 of May we had a surprise screening of LASH at the Oberhausen International Shorts Film Festival in the 'Lichtburg' cinema complex. Since early April we where put on a standby waiting list for the open-screening (a new initiative by the festival where the first 29 who register and come and present the film to the public in person are in) since we were the 30st to register. Only the day before on the 30 of April at 3 pm in the afternoon did one of the registered Directors cancel and were we given a screening spot! I rang a couple of friends and on friday afternoon we all drove to Oberhausen (only 2 hours drive from my parents place in Belgium) for a 8 pm start of the screenings. I was very excited and did not care that LASH was scheduled to screen last around midnight. We all had a fun night and even in one evening at the festival met some wonderful people. Unfortunately because of such late notice i had made other plans for the weekend and had to return to Belgium that night. But i had a chance to taste something of this very small and seemingly lovely short film festival. I will keep on submitting with future projects! Right now i am preparing for my trip to Cannes, where LASH is pre-selected (35 films of 1400 submitted) for the Amazon Awards as part of the Short Film Corner! I'll be in Cannes from the 13 of May until the 20 of May. And like a true Australian independent filmmaker I'll be camping in a tent at Cannes! After a small break LASH will continue it's journey in June to NewFest New York and Frameline San Francisco. We will join the film also in San Francisco! In July LASH will have it's Australian Premiere at the Perth International Film Festival. See you at one of the festivals!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BEST FILM at 2008 VCA Film Awards

In photo L to R
Lorraine Jenkinson, Elka Kerkhofs, Karen Maxwell and Jo Simpson

Last night, Elka Kerkhofs won The Victorian College of the Arts Best Masters Animation and the VCA Best 2008 Graduation Film Award with her new animation film ‘LASH’, announced at the premier night of the VCA Film and TV school (University of Melbourne) graduations screening at ACMI, Melbourne.

The VCA Best 2008 Graduation Film Award is awarded by a panel comprising industry experts and University professionals who viewed the 52 graduating films from the Film and TV school 2008. This award provides the recipient with $5000 and is sponsored by Village Roadshow. The Best Masters Animation Award was $2000 sponsored by the Orloff Family Charitable Trust.

‘‘It makes me especially proud that the judges picked ‘LASH’ from such a selection of quality films. I’m truly elated having won these awards. These awards will provide the film with a magnificent launching pad, blasting it off into the International Film Festival circuit.”

Kerkhofs acknowledges that this year her skills have further developed and have become more sophisticated. ‘LASH’ carries an extremely dynamic and powerful message that has built upon Elka’s many years of artistic endeavor.
“Lash will now be sent around the world to tour to National and International Film Festivals! And I will accompany the film to a couple of Festivals in Europe and America next year, which is very important to find support for the next projects.”

Click here to go to Awards and Official Festival Selections

‘LASH’ can still be viewed as part of the Program-A VCA Graduation screenings at ACMI this week on Thursday the 11 of Dec at 7 PM and on Saturday the 13 of Dec at 9 PM.

Awards and Festival Screenings


Most Unique Aesthetic Film Award
Sydney Underground Film Festival, Sydney, Sept 09

Best VCA Graduation Film 2008 Award
VCA Premier Awards, ACMI, Melbourne, Dec 08

Best Masters in Animation Film Award
VCA Premier Awards, ACMI, Melbourne, Dec 08

Special Commendation
Best Australian Short Queer Film,
Melbourne Queer Film Festival, March 10

My Queer Career Competition
Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival, Feb 10

Amazon Customer Award
Short Film Corner, Cannes, May 09

EnhanceTV ATOM Awards
Animation and Experimental categories, Melbourne, Oct 09

Outstanding VCA Graduate Student
VCA Premier Awards, ACMI, Melbourne, Dec 08

St Kilda SHORTS Queer film night, May 10
Toulouse feminist video collective, May 10
St Kilda Film Festival, May 10
Bommer (Ukraine) International Independent Film Festival, April 10
San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, April 10
Brisbane Queer Film Festival, April 10
Bendigo Queer Film Festival, April 10
Tampere International Short Film Festival, March 10
Cleveland International Film Festival, March 10
Melbourne Queer Film Festival, March 10
Byron Bay International Film Festival, March 10
Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival, Feb 10
All Byron Bay Shorts, Jan 10

Toronto Female Eye the 5th annual Dec. 6th program, December 09
Montreal Female Eye the 5th annual Dec. 6th program, December 09
Denver Starz Film Festival, November 09
Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, November 09
Montreal International LGBT Film Festival, October 09
Sydney World Of Women Film Festival, October 09
Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, October 09
Lesvos Greece Sappho Garden of the Arts film night, Sept 09
Fresno California Reel Pride LGBT Film Festival, September 09
Sydney Underground Film Festival, September 09
Perth International Film Festival, July 09
Tucson DinnerWareArtsSpace public presentation, July 09
Palm Springs International Short Fest, June 09
San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, June 09
Genk Belgium De Bib public presentation, June 09
Hasselt Belgium De Madam public presentation, June 09
Cannes, Short Film Corner, May 09
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, May 09
Melbourne, Opening night, Premier Awards VCA Graduation Screening ACMI, Dec 2008

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market, Feb 10
Palm Springs International Short Film Market, June 09
Toronto CFC Worldwide Short Film Market, June 09
Cannes, Short Film Corner, May 09
Oberhausen International Short Film Market, May 09

The Making of Lash

Lash was filmed in three geographical places throughout Australia’s vast continent. The beach scenes were shot on the beautiful beaches of Northern NSW. The underwater scenes were filmed in the crystal clear waters of the Northern Territory’s Bitter Springs (400 km south of Darwin) and the persecution scenes were shot at the VCA’s studio in Melbourne, Australia in 2008. The short film is a wonderful mix of hybrid arts practices, combining traditional pixilation techniques, rotoscoping and visual effects, seamlessly blending the live action performance with the more traditional hand drawn backgrounds

The process involved taking digital stills of live action and then each element of each frame was cut out in order to layer different textures onto faces, body parts and backgrounds to achieve a mysterious look. The result is very unusual, the animation taking on an almost other worldly quality and adding a surreal edge to the finish of the film. Lash was shot in five days over three months and the animation took another three months to complete.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Medium Synopsis & Directors Statement

Celina falls in the water. “What if you live your whole life in one day and that day is today?”. A cocoon grows around her and she is born inside an old wooden shack. She meditates and tries to reconnect with her memory. When her mind opens she sees a dead body washed up on the beach. She moves in and hears the body whispering a poetic language, which draws her closer. By her touch she travels on a journey through her green eye and sees into another lifetime where this woman was her lover, but they were persecuted on the cross and burnt at the stake for their love. By her second touch she sees into another lifetime where this woman was her lover again, but now time and place has changed. Again they get punished for their love. While Celina gets hung, Olisa gets stoned to death after which her body sinks away through the soil into the ocean, where she drifts to shore. The green eye drops a lash and tears run out of Celina’s hand on the beach. She embraces Olisa’s dead body and their energies merge. “One day, until then, ….my love”! They now have a chance to heal the past and find peace.

Click here to go to Tech Specs

Lash is based on the director’s experience of being brought up as a Catholic, falling in love with women, discovering Buddhism later in life and observing gay persecutions in conservative religious society. Our story explores the concept of reincarnation and reconnecting with the same group of souls through different lifetimes. The film aims to expose the unjust actions of human ignorance upon the rights of women in a man’s world. Elka wanted to symbolize the destruction of love by religion through abstract visual language whilst allowing the viewer to arrive at his or her own interpretation.