- Jason van Genderen and siblings Luci and Jacob Trevaskis take home A$5,000 each for their winning short film creations, Dark Matter and Life in Boxes.
- Both to attend regional finals where they will be in with a chance of winning the US$30,000 grand prize and getting their short film viewed by millions of people across the region.
- Connect5 competition encouraged creative Australians to shoot, upload and submit 5-minute films that focused on the theme of ‘Connecting Lives’.
Optus has today announced the winners of its inaugural short film competition ‘Connect5’. ‘Life in Boxes’ by Jason van Genderen and ‘Dark Matter’ by siblings Jacob and Luci Trevaskis captured what ‘connecting lives’ meant to them using a mix of mobile phones and filmmaking equipment. The aspiring filmmakers were selected from entries submitted from across Australia by a panel of judges, taking home A$5,000 each.
‘Life in Boxes’ captures the reactions of 30 of Jason van Genderen’s Facebook friends after opening an envelope with a startling diagram of a 90-year-old life broken down into weeks. The visual representation of life, simplified into boxes, draws raw emotions from van Genderen’s friends, who were all filmed on webcams and smartphones, creating an unscripted, intimate connection between audience and subject.
In ‘Dark Matter’, Luci Trevaskis plays the role of a teenager going about her ‘normal’ everyday life whilst being followed by a sinister figure; a constant reminder of her battles with depression and thoughts of self harm. Through sound effects, lighting, composition and editing, Jacob and Luci used an interpretation of ‘connecting lives’ to shine a light on an issue that many youngsters choose to hide from their friends and family.
The aspiring filmmakers have now been entered into the regional final of Connect5 in November where they will go head to head with other winners from Africa, India, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia for a chance to take home a further US$30,000 and get their film seen by millions of people across the region.
Speaking about his film, Jason van Genderen, said, “‘Life in Boxes’ was captured on everyday technology inside the homes, offices and bedrooms of my friends from Australia to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and I didn’t have to travel one step to record it. No-one knew what to expect, least of all me, but I think that’s the magic of storytelling.
“Optus really raised the bar with this creative opportunity. There are thousands of talented creatives all around Australia who have the tools and ideas to make content but lack a platform to spur them into action. At a time when funding for the arts is being scaled back, brands like Optus are filling an immense need,” Jason added.
Siblings Jacob and Luci Trevaskis were delighted to have won with their short video, ‘Dark Matter’. Jacob said, “Luci originally came up with the concept to combine horror film editing with the topic of depression; something we feel deserves to be spoken more about, for a school thesis she was working on. Both of us filmed and acted, with Luci also taking the role of make up artist and editing the film at school. Until now we hadn’t had the platform to share it so Optus’ Connect5 competition has given us a huge opportunity and we’re really excited to be heading to the regional finals.”
Simon Joyce, Connect5 Judge and Founder of social video content marketing agency, Emotive, said, “The standard of entries was incredibly strong and really highlights how the boundaries to film making are being broken down; we now all have the ability to shoot great films with the devices in our pocket, making it accessible to everyone.
“What I liked most about ‘Life in Boxes’ is that it’s genuinely relatable, honest and authentic and not remotely dependant on production values. ‘Dark Matter’ on the other hand offers a great use of genre to appeal to an audience that might otherwise shy away from a hard-hitting message about depression or teen suicide.
“Connect5 is a really cool platform that has the ability to ignite passion and uncover new talent. Video creation connects people with their friends, family and complete strangers and can help them manage the ups and downs of real life.”
Interview opportunities are available on request, please contact Thrive PR for more information.
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