Award-winning Aussie short film The Palace gets theatrical distribution

An award-winning Australian short film is to see a theatrical release by screening ahead of a local feature film.

The Palace, written and directed by Anthony Maras, is about the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The 15-minute short will screen before feature film Wish You Were Here in Palace Cinemas from Wednesday 25 April.

The deal was struck between the boutique theatre chain and the film’s distributor, Hopscotch Films.

Maras would not give details on remuneration but told Encore he welcomed the deal as a way for the film to reach new, untapped theatrical audiences – beyond the festival circuit. He told Encore: “It’s another string in my bow to get future work up.”

Maras said: “Short filmmakers always face an uphill struggle. The problem with making a short film is, after getting into a few festivals it’s a struggle to decide where to play it. Other festivals ask you to do it and you have to be careful with your premieres. You want your film to be out there and be seen. But everyone wants exclusivity.”

“I’m speaking with the top short film distributors and there are quite lucrative sales that can be made through TV, VOD, iTunes and airlines. Never theatrical. If a short filmmaker chose to do it themselves its too hard, it takes too long. If you give your 40 percent to a short film distributor you’re far ahead because they know who’s buying what in what territory.”

Cinemas rarely screen short films ahead of features in regular theatrical programming. However, in the current media climate Maras said cinemas need to re-examine their programming to stay relevant, to give an experience the audience can’t get at home.

The Palace has already won Best Short and Best Short Screenplay at the recent AACTA Awards, the Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival, Best Short Film at Sydney Film Festival, Best Australian Short at both the Melbourne International Film Festival and Flickerfest.

Wish You Were Here is the debut feature for filmmaker Kieran Darcy-Smith, starring Joel Edgerton and Teresa Palmer. The film was selected to open The Sundance Film Festival this year


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