Microflix 2021 Wrap-Up

Hello all!

The Microflix Festival and Awards are officially over for this year! We held our festival and awards night on Friday the 26th of November and had an incredible turnout as well as some fantastic participation from our audience. It was wonderful to see people engage with the works screened in the chat and vote on the People’s Choice Awards for their favourite films and texts so enthusiastically. A special shoutout to our host Cassandra Atherton, who kept the good vibes going the entire night (and sneakily promoted some excellent works of microfiction like “Pulped Fiction”, “Shuffle”, “Time” and “Scars”.) And special thanks to Microflix Team members, Emily James and Taylah Darnell for their stirling efforts in helping to deliver a fantastic film festival program. Here’s a recap of this year’s winners and what they received from our wonderful 2021 sponsors, the City of Sydney, Spineless Wonders and Screenwriting Scriptease.


Best Sound: “The Bottom of the Billabong” by 54th Story

Adapted from “The Anonymous Site” by Scarlett Wightley

A young girl’s attempt to swim to the bottom of a billabong turns sinister when she quickly realises she is unable to return to the surface.

The 54th Story production team received a cash prize of $200.

Best Direction: “Jungle Train”

Adapted from “Jungle Train” by Danielle Baldock by a team of UTS students.

A woman’s dull morning commute to the city is transformed when her train carriage begins to change in ways unimaginable and invisible to almost all her fellow passengers.

The filmmakers behind “Jungle Train” received a cash prize of $200 as well as a full script assessment by one of our wonderful sponsors at Screenwriting Scriptease.

Best Adaptation: “Esplanade”

Adapted from “The Swimmer” by Richard Holt by team of UTS students

After seeing what he believes is a swimmer struggling in the water, a man begins to lose his grip on reality as strange images begin to haunt him.

The filmmakers behind “Esplanade” received a cash prize of $500.

Best Writing: “Lord of the Servo” by Jake Dean

Adapted into “On Shift” by the JAHAs, a team of UTS students

Can a servo workers control the fate of his customers? One god-like employee seems to think so.

Jake Dean received a cash prize of $500.

Production Runner’s Prize: “Terra”

Adapted from Earth Enraged by New Humans by Jen Webb

The filmmakers behind “Terra” received a cash prize of $100.

People’s Choice Award (Writing): “Tiny House For Sale: Perfect Fit For You And Your Muse” by Maddie Godfrey

Adapted into “Remember to Close Unnecessary Door”

People’s Choice Award (Film): “Jungle Train”

Adapted from “Jungle Train” by Danielle Baldock


This year, we were very thankful to have several writers and filmmakers involved in this year’s festival speak to us about their creative process and the experience of writing and adapting microfiction. It was fantastic to speak with these creatives and hear their thoughts on microlit, microflix and adaptation and we thank them all for their eager participation.

We will be sharing these interviews on the Microflix website shortly. Stay tuned.  


Although this will be the last Microflix festival for the foreseeable future, this is not the end for new opportunities at Spineless Wonders for writers, actors and filmmakers to showcase their work and collaborate with other artists. To stay updated with upcoming projects and opportunities, make sure you subscribe to the Spineless Wonders newsletter Sluglines and follow us on our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Have a safe and happy holiday and end to the year!

The 2021 Microflix Team

Choose your story

It is high time to praise the superstar writers who have put their blood, sweat and tears into pieces of microliterature and given us their permission to share them with the world. Our one-of-a-kind authors have proven their mettle by wielding the pen like a blade to carve out outstanding stories, and now we are going to examine some of these masterpieces individually to showcase their talent.

Samuel Pringle, ‘Tick’

“As you look through the dappled light cast by the tree you feel like a ghost; you’ve been
sitting here for no time at all and for eternity.”

A writer from Melbourne, Samuel Pringle is a Literature and Mathematics student who has
entered their piece ‘Tick’ into the Microflix Awards. Their hope is that ‘Tick’ will inspire
filmmakers, and prompt them to carefully consider the portrayal of anxiety and
overwhelming thoughts on camera, alongside how to express internal monologue through the film medium.

Monique La Terra, ‘Pink Elephant’

“Won earlier at the carnival by the pier, the pink elephant sits seemingly unaware of the
crisis. I knife the tusker, pull out the white bating and with a gloved hand stuff the phone in.”

Monique La Terra’s literary skill is showcased in her suspenseful work ‘Pink Elephant.’ With
a diploma, five years’ writing experience and a completed manuscript under her belt, her
wordsmithing talent has allowed her to expertly weave vital elements of tension and drama
into a 200-word story.

Suzi Mezei, ‘The Christmas Beetles’

“Under a faded sheet patterned with faded lemons, they burrow like small bugs and lie still.
‘When is mama coming back?’ Jamison asks. Gertie won’t answer.”

A Sri Lankan-born Australian writer, Suzi Mezei is the creator of award-winning stories that
draw inspiration from her culture and personal experiences. Her short story ‘The Christmas
Beetles’ depicts two children of a Sri Lankan migrant mother struggling with their new father figure, exploring themes of power, opportunity and relationships, and utilising the children’s feelings of isolation to drive the narrative.

Thomas Wadsworth, ‘The Sandcastle’

“Barbara places a hand on her tightening chest. She takes a pill. And by the time she feels as calm as the sea, the tide has washed away the sandcastle.”

Thomas Wadsworth is an Adelaide-based writer whose short story ‘The Sandcastle’ explores themes of love and loss. The 400-word piece combines elements of the real world and those belonging to Science Fiction, demonstrating Wadsworth’s ability to capture and use the emotional essence of a story to keep it grounded and entertaining to read.

… and there’s more.

If you’re looking for even more inspiration and excellent microliterature, head to our stories page.

While I wish I had the capacity to mention all of our wonderful authors in this post, you can
investigate each and every one of their works yourself by browsing the Microflix texts on this very website!

To stay up-to-date with Microflix news and Spineless Wonders’ other events, be sure to sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media.

Guest blogger, Ellyse Moir

How to make a short film – start by choosing your story

Hear ye, filmmakers! The 2021 Microflix Award & Festival is upon us, and this year’s stories are sure to spark your creativity.

After the mayhem that was 2020 (choose your character: bushfires, floods, a global pandemic, protests) our writers have overcome no shortage of setbacks in order to emerge victorious into the new year with a fresh batch of tasty tales. From stories set in futuristic dystopian worlds to ones that take place in bustling cities, our Microflix contestants have let their imaginations run wild, serving up their finest work for the chance to see them come alive on a screen.

This year, we have diverse stories touching on themes of belonging, home, family, and loss, as well as a variety that are driven by humour and wit. With a range of microliterature to offer, the 2021 Microflix Award & Festival will be one to remember.

Impeccable imagery

For stories such as ‘Finding Glory’ by Katharine Pollock, ‘Nature Therapy’ by Karen Lethlean, and ‘Ruby Sunset’ by Maria Bonar, which share a commonality in their detailed imagery, the potential for adaption is clear in their lavish descriptions and heartfelt, witty prose.

Their colourful comparisons paint clear pictures, and provide ample inspiration for emerging and experienced filmmakers alike to translate them to screen.

“Eucalypt smoke gurgles in my veins. Focus for a time on textured tree trunks and wisped grass-tree skirts. A rustling of leaves overhead will clean emotion-fogged nerve endings.”
(Lethlean, Nature Therapy)

Source: Pixabay

Emotionally evocative

Rose Hunter’s ‘Frank’, Rachael Vella’s ‘A Distant World’ and Seetha Dodd’s ‘Quicksand’ explore complex emotions, weaving feelings of immense loss, rage and happiness into their stories to create powerful scenes that resonate on a deep, emotional level.

Symbolism combined with depictions of struggling characters enhance the impact of these stories, their messages and themes doubling as both relatable and unique to the narratives’ circumstances.

With distinctive voices and universal undertones, these texts are ready to let their colours fly in an adaptation.

“I reminded the super of my history with my violent ex-husband Frank and how that was one of the main reasons I moved into this building: because of the security. But not only does he not stop this woman, he brings her bolt cutters…” (Hunter, Frank)

Captivating comedy

While some of the texts lend themselves to dark, dramatic tones, many utilise humour to provide a comedic edge and captivate the audience.

‘Our New Neighbours’ by Christine Hand contains a plot twist in its conclusion that will have you hollering, while ‘The Missing Button by Joanna Beresford tackles an awkward situation many parents and children will have found themselves in, creating a humorous encounter by misdirecting the reader’s attention before revealing the truth. For any filmmakers searching for tales with a softer side, Hand’s and Beresford’s pieces (along with many of our other Microflix entries) offer a dose of light-hearted storytelling sure to bring about a smile.

“One day I visited Carmel; she took me into the bedroom and my eyes fell on an array of leather belts. I remembered the whipping sounds from the past. I smiled as it dawned on me that these eighty-year-olds were well into a world of boudoir discipline.” (Hand, Our New Neighbours)

Source: Pixabay

Creative collaborations

For those who are reading this as a newbie filmmaker nervous to adapt their first text, fear not! The goal of the Microflix Award & Festival is to provide Australian filmmakers both new and established with the chance to adapt texts into film, and encourage collaborations from Australian creatives in the film and literary industries. Whether you’re an established professional who has been producing film adaptations for decades, or a novice working up to your debut creation, we welcome your participation all the same! With a plethora of microliterature to choose from, we can’t wait to see which pieces will be treated to an adaptation.


The entry is free, cash prizes are on offer, the fun is limitless – and you have the chance to see your film played at a special festival screening. Demonstrate your passion and creativity by throwing your hat in the ring and bringing one of our authors’ pieces to life!

To stay up-to-date with Microflix film news and Spineless Wonders’ other events, be sure to sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

This blog was written by guest blogger Ellyse Moir.

Ellyse is an avid reader and writer studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong.

Drawing The Line (Winner: People’s Choice for Film)

The Line

Tab takes care to notice every line she draws, each shape precise and important. But when Jared leaves one out of his artwork, her self-perception begins to unravel.

Winner: People’s Choice for Film

Text by Anna Forsyth

Audio narrated by Anna Forsyth

Adapted Into: The Line

  • Animated – Isabelle Duffy, Lindsey Sampang, Bronte Smith, Eleanor Wen, Yuge Yang
  • Sound – Yat Fung Lam

Hope is an inanimate object (Joint Winners: Best Sound)


We stare, transfixed, at the world’s beauty behind a screen, constantly clicking ‘comment, ‘like’ and ‘share’. What would it say, about being ignored but for photography clout, always having to get on with the day?

Joint Winner: Best Sound

Text by Seetha Nambia Dodd

Narrated by Seetha Nambia Dodd

Adapted Into: Screentime

  • Animation – Augustine Musso, William Rout, Xinyan Wang, Zi Jin
  • Sound – Emma Higgins
  • Special Thanks – Simon Von Wolkenstein, Deborah Szapiro

Scarred Landscape (Diversity Award)

Landscape by Brenda Saunders

The red dirt of the outback spreads as far as the eye can see, holding secret beauties and teeming with life. Hidden beneath is another world, one not quite so beautiful.

Winner: Diversity Award for the production team

Text by Brenda Saunders

Audio narrated by Maddy Lambert, an emerging Wiradjuri writer

Adapted Into: Landscape

  • Animation – Colden Shiu, Holly Fletcher, Jinyu Lu, Hansel Ajuyah, Geoffrey Murphy
  • Sound Design – Marco Bucci

With the Moths on Ash Island (Winner: Best Adaptation)

Harriet Scott and the months

Harriet Scott’s life work with the moths, silent and slow and precise, has left her with a lot of time to think. In the quiet she learns something about herself she hadn’t realised before.

Winner: Best Adaptation

Text by Kathryn Fry

Audio narrated by Kathryn Fry

Adapted Into: Harriet Scott and the Moths

  • Animation – Alex Banks, Jasmine Tran, Sophia Bal, York Li
  • Sound Design – Rosemary Mcclelland, Mark Sahin

Chatswood Ghost Story (Joint Winners: Best Sound)

Chatswood Ghost Story

Joint Winners: Best Sound

Chatswood’s underground library, with its fluorescent lights and endless aisles, becomes Amy’s sleep-deprived nightmare. What happens when study stress manifests itself in creepy ways?

Text by Marie Dustmann

Audio narrated by Marie Dustmann

Adapted Into: Chatswood Ghost story

  • Filming – Abass Rashidi, Thanavong Panya, Vi An Nguyen, Jiawei Zhou
  • Sound Design – Alexander Hindmarsh, Steven Forster
  • Cast – Aurelia Winzberg

Spare Room (People’s Choice for Writing), Acrylic Eye (Production Runner’s Prize)

Acrylic Eye

A woman in a red dress and a small girl with dark hair smile out at him from the shore. But everything is not as it seems.

Spare Room (People’s Choice for Writing), Acrylic Eye (Production Runner’s Prize)

Text by Angela Smith

Audio narrated by Angela Smith

Adapted Into: Acrylic Eye

  • Produced, Written and Directed – Alex Harrison, Jacinta Taylor
  • Cinematographer – Daniel Meldrum
  • Editor/MUA – Lucy Champion
  • Sound – Chloe McTaggart
  • Production Design – Madeline and Olivia Leonard
  • Cast – Will Bergman, Heidi Armstrong, Ben Clerc, Charlotte Hoffman, Indianna Swain