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Teen drama wins queer film award
A 2009 short film starring a pre-Twilight Xavier Samuel and Love My Way actor Miles Szanto has taken out the National Film and Sound Archive’s (NSFA) Orlando Short Film Award, an annual celebration of Australia’s best LGBTI short films.
The 2012 NFSA Orlando Short Film Award has been awarded to Craig Boreham, writer and director of Drowning. Boreham received a $5000 cash prize and his film will be placed in the national audiovisual collection.
The film, which last year won Best Film at both the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) and My Queer Career at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, has been screened at more than 20 film festivals around the world.
“It has definitely travelled well. We knew there was an audience out there for it but it surprised us that it was much wider than we thought. It’s really fantastic to get emails from people all round the world telling us how much they loved the film and the story or asking us how they can see it,” Boreham told the Star Observer.
“I have heard from a lot of gay guys who have said they really relate to the story of falling for your best friend. A lot of us have done that at some point and it’s always messy.”
The film tells the story of teenager Mik (Szanto), whose world has been turned upside down by the sudden death of his older brother. When best friend Dan (Samuel) gets a new girlfriend, his grief is replaced by feelings of jealousy.
NFSA chairman Chris Puplick presented the award at the closing night of the MQFF on Sunday, and Boreham said the cash prize would help in filming his current project, Teenage Kicks, a feature-length version of Drowning.
Pictured: Director of photography Bonnie Elliott (left) and director Craig Boreham on the set of Drowning. Photo: Hugh Rutherford