RESFEST 2004 Digital Film Festival

RESFEST 2004 Digital Film Festival

3-7 December, Melbourne
9-12 December, Sydney


Welcome to the Eighth Annual RESFEST Digital Film Festival! Get ready to enjoy our biggest festival yet, with programs that include short films, music videos, motion design, live music, guest speakers and much more. In the next four months, the festival will take place in 33 cities in 13 countries on six continents. It is the largest festival of its kind.

Each year we travel the globe and watch thousands of films in search of outstanding works to program. In reviewing this year's 1,500 submissions, we found many works that reflect our strange and uncertain times. In light of that, we've put together a special shorts program, Bushwhacked!, highlighting filmmakers' responses to the political climate in advance of this year's US presidential election.

For this year's festival identity, who better to represent RESFEST's international reach than kozyndan, the LA-based illustrators whose whimsical panoramic illustrations of cities around the world (often under siege by monsters, SARS viruses and bunnies) portray their simultaneous unease with and love of the modern world. We turned to the acclaimed studio Motion Theory to - literally - bring this year's identity to life for our festival opener. It is a work of art in its own right, rivaling this year's short films in its inventiveness.

Back in 1999, we premiered Richard Kenworthy's student short film The Littlest Robo. That same year we screened an amazing music video for UNKLE directed by Jonathan Glazer. Five years later, Shynola (the animation collective of which Kenworthy is a member) and Glazer have built impressive bodies of work and their names are synonymous with originality.

Glazer, the subject of this year's Director Retrospective has created some of the most cinematic commercials and music videos of our time. He made the successful transition to the big screen with his feature debut Sexy Beast (in which Ben Kingsley shed his Gandhii> image once and for all) and we eagerly await his second feature Birth, set for release at the end of the year. For our program, Glazer handpicked a selection of his work from the past 10 years, including rare "making of" films that give a glimpse behind the scenes of his productions.

Since 1999, the four members of Shynola have taken an idealistic approach, only doing work for artists they love. From UNKLE to Blur, Lampchop to Radiohead, with 13 videos in all, they have established an enviable track record, making beautiful videos for great music. Thanks to their unique, unflagging creativity, Shynola is the focus of this year's Rarities program; with a little encouragement they've dug through the closet to unearth rarely seen commercials, tests and early short films.

This year's festival also includes some works underwritten by major brands. In 2003 and 2004, several visionary companies offered filmmakers and designers the opportunity to create work that exemplifies branded entertainment's ability to transcend its commercial origins and become an art form. Just as music videos have evolved beyond mere promotional vehicles for recording artists while still effectively communicating band identities, we believe that branded media can tell compelling stories that awe and entertain even as they deliver the essence of a brand. We are excited to present work we find aesthetically exhilarating and truly exemplary of what branded entertainment should and can represent in this new age. We are pleased that major brands and bands (as the case may be) are taking risks and supporting the types of visionary filmmakers and artists that RES has long championed.

Adverse times often inspire the best art and we are excited that in the fall of 2004, in the midst of intense national and international debate, artists worldwide continue to inspire us in turn, helping us see the world in new ways.

On behalf of the filmmakers and our producers and staff around the globe, we hope you enjoy RESFEST 2004.

Jonathan Wells
Festival Director