Sixteen stunning short films produced in just six weeks showcase the diversity of creative storytelling and talent in our region and the flexibility of Unreal Engine virtual production.
Epic Games together with Film Victoria and screen agencies from all Australian states and territories are pleased to announce the culmination of the first Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge. Participating filmmakers ranged in levels of creative and technical experience, and the quality of the resulting short films is a testament to the fantastic talent in the region, and the power that real-time tools put in the hands of creatives.
Over 1,800 aspiring and seasoned artists and filmmakers from all across Australia took part in free Unreal Engine online training over the course of two weeks, through which they learned the latest techniques in real-time animation and virtual production, and then teamed up to create short film pitches. Sixteen of the top pitches were selected and given $20,000 AUS to produce a short film in six weeks.
Following a call out from all Australian state screen agencies, Film Victoria received 55 applications from Victorian creators, with 17 projects shortlisted for the initiative. Epic Games selected three Victorian projects – Love Letters to Our Trees, Iopu and Eggs Cannot Fly – as finalists, and Wilding Productions, Happening Films and LateNite Films each then received $20,000 from Film Victoria and Epic Games to produce their short films.
Of the final shorts, Cassini Logs submitted by NSW creatives, was selected as the top film receiving a A$50,000 grand prize.
“The level of production quality achieved in these shorts is remarkable considering the tight six-week turnaround,” said Connie Kennedy, Head of Los Angeles Lab, Epic Games. “These incredibly talented filmmakers, many who were using Unreal Engine for the first time, produced a portfolio of sophisticated live action and animated films. We’re delighted that many of these filmmakers are pursuing efforts to develop their projects further into episodic series and full-length features.”
The sixteen selected filmmaking teams also collaborated with visual effects facilities, production studios, and universities across Australia to leverage every tool in the virtual production playbook from LED stage shoots, to real-time animation workflows, to performance capture, in-camera visual effects, and VR.
The resulting films portray everything from futuristic journeys into alternate universes under the sea and in outer space, to suspenseful live-action narratives with stunning visual effects, and thoughtful, whimsical fully animated tales. Get a taste of the finalists' short films below or watch the individual films at vimeo.com/showcase/ueaustralia.