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Optus Connect5 Winners!

You remember that really cool short film competition called Connect5? The one about “connecting lives” and being awesome? Well, the winners have been announced!

The winners are:

  • Save.My.Soul by Alexi Collins and Joshua Heaton.
  • Just For A Moment by Michael O’Neill.

Both ​were incredible five minute films that truly engaged with the theme, on how connecting with others helps change lives. These two winners were chosen by a panel of Optus executives and industry experts, including filmmaker, Genevieve Clay-Smith. The winners have claimed $10000 in prize money and will travel to Singapore with a friend to compete in the regional finals in November.

What was it about these two short films that really stood out to the judges?

Save.My.Soul is a moving silent film about a lonely man stranded on an island who starts a relationship through messages in bottles. It’s a compelling tale of relationships and human connection, created in one location, with one actor and two filmmakers.

Save.My.Soul (2)
Save.My.Soul. Source: Optus.

One of the filmmakers, Alexi, stated:

“I’m very grateful to Optus for this opportunity. Filmmakers across Australia are some of the most talented creatives in the world and having Optus provide a platform that can help showcase this talent is a huge boost to the industry.”

Just For A  Moment follows a more technical path, telling the story of a young man looking to reestablish a connection with his home, younger brother, and his past through a soccer match. His only obstacles: the physical distance between them, a faulty fuse and a password protected Wi-Fi connection. Now that is a millennial struggle.

Just For A Moment (3)
Just For a Moment. Source: Optus.

Michael O’Neill, the mind behind Just For A Moment, stated:

“The theme ‘Connecting Lives’ is such a great concept and it was great to expand this theme with my film Just For A Moment. I wanted the audience to be able to connect with the common feeling of longing for the simpler times of our childhood and the familiar memories that stay with us as we grow up.”

There is something amazing about film, about the stories they tell and how they impact us as viewers. Aspiring or professional, films are important to forging connections and communicating stories that only a medium such as film can.

Once again, congratulations to the winners! If you’re looking to submit a film for next year’s Connect5, check out the link here.