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Thursday, July 18, 2024

LUMIX Announces Winners of Australia-first 72-hour Filmmaking Challenge

Panasonic has announced the winners of its inaugural LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge at an exclusive screening and award ceremony at Sydney’s iconic Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.

Paul Reid, Managing Director, Panasonic Australia, said: “We were amazed by the talent the entrants demonstrated. These films are dramatic, thought-provoking and heartfelt – impressive when you know they were tasked to go from concept to screen in just three days.”

The overall winner of the Challenge is the film Big Chef, Little Chef created by Kerrod Cooper, with Aiman Malik and Caimaniacs crowned on the night as the recipient of the ‘People’s Choice’ Award for their film Making Magic.

With a prize pool of over AUD$25,000, the challenge attracted entries from every corner of the country. In June, entrants were required to create a 30-60 second video to demonstrate what made them the perfect candidate for the competition. Ten successful applicants were then loaned the recently launched Panasonic LUMIX S5IIX and supporting equipment to create a short film between 3-6 minutes long within just 72 hours. The brief was intriguing: creators had to integrate the theme ‘Broken’ and object ‘Egg’ into their film!

The ten finalists and their guests attended the gala evening, where the overall winner was selected by a panel of expert judges who evaluated each film using strict criteria – creativity and originality, cinematography, and the smooth and unique integration of the theme. The audience was also part of the action, with the ‘People’s Choice’ Award decided by the votes of those in attendance on the night.

Paul Reid added: “We were thrilled to finally meet the filmmakers and their crew in person and discover what went on behind the scenes to create these cinematic gems.”

Inaugural Winner: LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge.

Kerrod Cooper, the inaugural winner for Big Chef, Little Chef, received a prize package including over $14,000RRP in LUMIX imaging products and equipment from sponsors CR Kennedy Imaging, SmallRig and Atomos, plus $5000 cash.

Kerrod Cooper said: “The competition was an excellent opportunity and we jumped at it. We started with the premise: ‘what if The Bear was a kids’ show?’ and went from there. These types of projects are our bread and butter, and our team thrives on being creative and collaborative.”

“There is so much untapped filmmaking talent in Australia, and it was great to see so many of us get together in this way. My advice to other filmmakers is to continue making cool films, and eventually somebody important will take notice.”

In Big Chef, Little Chef, a charismatic children’s show presenter – in an empathetic performance by Danny Kim – whisks young viewers into a culinary adventure filled with laughter and learning. But behind the cheerful facade, he must grapple with a simmering internal struggle as the hustle of the kitchen mirrors the intensity of his emotional past.

The winner was selected by a judging panel of industry experts – Liam Brennan, Carolyn Constantine, and John Harvey. The judges praised the winning film’s strong concept, complete story and sublime cinematography with great editing and use of lighting to convey tone and emotion. The tonal shifts also impressed, with the two key characters delivering a moving and powerful performance, while the creators successfully integrated the theme and the object in a meaningful way.

Big Chef, Little Chef was created by Kerrod Cooper (Director, Editor, Sound Design) and team K/D Ratio – David Shannon (Director of Photography), Dylan Esguerra (Sound Recordist), Kevin Rickert (Art Department Lead), Danny Kim (lead actor and co-writer) and Jemma Ha (Production Assistant).

People’s Choice Winner

The People’s Choice Award was presented to Aiman Malik and Caimaniacs, for their film titled Making Magic. Selected by those in attendance at the award ceremony, the film received a prize package of over $5,000 RRP in LUMIX imaging products plus equipment from sponsors SmallRig and Atomos.

“We wanted to make a film that explored a parent and child relationship in a positive light. This is only our second project, and we are so pleased to be here among all these amazing filmmakers. It is such a dream of ours to win an award, and we never imagined we might be standing here so soon,” said Aiman Malik.

A spellbinding story, Making Magic proves true magic isn’t about spells and potions, but about the special moments we share with our loved ones. The film is a delightful reminder that sometimes, the most enchanting adventures happen in our own backyard.

Paul Reid added that the LUMIX team was thoroughly impressed by the high standard demonstrated by all ten finalists. “Panasonic remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering Australian filmmakers of all experience levels and abilities. Part of that commitment is giving opportunities that challenge and grow the entire industry. While the LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge created a competitive platform for cinematography, it also delivered an opportunity for ten outstanding filmmakers to explore and showcase their passion for the medium.”

“We are grateful to the judges for the time they took to carefully consider all entries, and we hope that the recognition of the award encourages and spurs the winners and finalists on to even greater success and look forward to seeing what next year brings!”

CR Kennedy Imaging provided all entrants with lighting equipment (Zhiyun Molus 100 Combo Lighting Kit and IFootage Anglerfish RGBW Light) to shoot their films and keep permanently for their future endeavours.

Panasonic donated all the funds from event ticket sales to the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), as well as matching this with a donation from the company.

To view the ten films, visit

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