The 68th Sydney Film Festival will once again play host to the 52nd Dendy Awards For Australian Short Films. This year, among the ten finalists is LGBTQI filmmaker Adrian Chiarellawith his film Dwarf Planet.

As Chiarella told Star Observer, the film is based on the short story Concealer by Andy Boreham.

I read a short story, which at the time was part of a collection of stories that had won a competition. I was drawn to it, thinking that it was this quite poignant story told in this really fun acerbic voice. I started the process of adaption from there.

The resulting film Dwarf Planet is a tender story which explores an encounter shared between a lonely, awkward teenager and a male sex worker on a brisk morning in suburban Sydney.

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I think the body image idea was a big draw card, but for me it was more about identity at that age,” Chiarella explained.What it means to feel like you have to have an idea rather than get in touch with what your own desires are.

Adrian Chiarellawith

With Sydney Film Festival, suffering like many others thanks to numerous delays over the last year, Chiarella told us he is both excited and a bit anxiousI still have not sat in a theatre with an audience to watch Dwarf Planet, to see if they are going to laugh at those jokes. If they are going to feel anything at the end.

 We shot this just before the pandemic, and with everything going on the world we waited a very long time to get an Australian screening, so this will be the first time I get to experience it in that way.

 Adding of the importance of queer representation on the silver screen, Chiarella said he has always been interested in seeing where queer films play in film festivals. I can probably only count a handful of queer shorts I have seen in this program; it is really important that we are representing more than just a film.

As Sydney is my hometown this opportunity does mean a lot to me, as does being included in the Dendy Awards For Australian Short Films.

Sydney Film Festival is screening NOW at the State Theatre and in cinemas across Sydney. Get your tickets: www.sff.org.au

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