Grant Scicluna, writer and director of the acclaimed 2008 short film Neon Skin, has taken out the inaugural National Film and Sound Archive (NSFA) Orlando Short Film Award for the best GLBTI short Australian film.

NFSA chair Chris Puplick presented the award, which comprises a cash prize of $5000, to Scicluna at the My Queer Career screening in the Entertainment Quarter last Thursday night.

Artistic directors of Australia’s leading queer film festivals were invited to nominate one film from their respective 2010 festivals. Scicluna’s film, about a tactile encounter between a young gay blind man and his straight friend, was chosen from the shortlist by a judging panel comprising artistic director and performer Robyn Archer alongside Meg Labrum and Vincent Plush of NFSA.

Neon Skin, nominated by the Melbourne Queer Festival, was in strong competition with Chris Scherer’s Believe It (Feast Festival), Craig Boreham’s William Yang: The Art of Seduction (Queer Screen) and Lauren Anderson’s Vigilant! Healthy! Wholesome! (Queer Fruits Film Festival).

“Through this award, the NFSA aims to raise the public profile of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex screen culture and filmmaking,” NFSA acting CEO Ann Landrigan said.

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