2018 Religious Short Film Prize Winner

The Giver

A highly accomplished, theologically confident and visually deft contemplative short film was how the judges described the winner of the 2018 Religious Short Film Prize.

Jamey Foxton and Ryan Simpson’s film The Giver received the $5000 cash prize for their 5 minute film which was shot entirely on an Iphone 6.

Judges comments

Using black and white cinematography to quietly powerful effect, the filmmaker maintains authority throughout a steady, low-key, parable-like exploration of the central problem posed within Ecclesiastes; that mortal human life is essentially without intrinsic meaning or basis for any lasting joy. The Giver manages to find expressive means to convey transcendence in the ordinary – not just in its judicious use of slowed, gravity-defying skateboarding imagery – but just as much in the dry leaves the skateboard passes through, or the sunlight bursting around a human head and shoulders as a person walks out from under trees. This is no small feat.

We’re left with a sure sense of what is so constantly and freely given, right in front of our eyes. This short film manages to give us the eyes to see it.

- judges David Millikan, Susan Murphy and Steve Mason

About the film

The filmmakers who are two Australian Film and Television Radio School (AFTRS) students said it was a real honour to receive the prize.

It’s a film exploring meaning – I struggle to find it. The slavery I guess that can be found when you’re artist or someone who performs in various ways when you find the identity in the thing you do as opposed to the one who gives this to us to steward

- Mr Foxton

Inspiring future entrants

“Film is an especially significant medium through which issues to do with religion, meaning and social problems can be engaged with in an open and inquiring manner. We are excited about the future of this prize and the opportunities it will give, especially to young filmmakers, to keep the religious spirit alive through film.”

2015 Religious Short Film Prize winners pictured
Caption: L to R: Clive Rodger, Susan Murphy, Jamey Foxton, Ryan Simpson, Julianne Nguyen, Lynlea Rodger, Stephen Pickard and David Millikan.