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Most Popular Short Films of Australia

Australia, which is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and varied cultures, has significantly influenced the film industry. We have seen many amazing Australian Short Films that have won praise from all around the world, from the early days of silent film to the current period of blockbusters. The rich history of Australian Cinema will be examined, along with the creative processes of well-known Australian producers and filmmakers. Here is a carefully chosen selection of the Top 50 Australian Short Films that have had a lasting impact on the world of films. This collection highlights the breadth and depth of Australian motion pictures by bringing together beloved classics, critically acclaimed films, and works of cultural significance.


History of Australian Cinema

Australian Cinema has a history as colorful and varied as the nation itself. The roots of this Australian cinematic traditioncan be traced back to the late 19th century when the Lumière Brothers' cinematograph was showcased in Melbourne in 1896. These early screenings fascinated film enthusiasts, laying the foundation for a burgeoning film industry. The world's first Feature-length FilmThe Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), directed by Charles Tait, and is often considered the birth of Australian Films. It narrated the exploits of the notorious bushranger Ned Kelly and captured the imagination of viewers.

Throughout the 20th century, Australian Cinematography continued to evolve, producing renowned filmmakers and celebrated works. During the silent era, directors like Raymond Longford and Louise Lovely made significant contributions to the industry of films. However, it was the "New Wave" of the 1970s that truly marked a renaissance in Australian filmmaking. The era was characterized by a wave of talented directors and producers who brought a fresh perspective to the silver screen.

The film industry of Australia gained recognition on the international stage, with films like Picnic at Hanging Rock(1975), Mad Max , and Gallipoli (1981). These movies of Australia, along with the rise of actors like Mel Gibson and directors like Peter Weir, brought global attention to Australian cinema.


Prominent Directors and Producers

Australian Motion Pictures has been fortunate to nurture several exceptionally talented directors and producers, who have helped shape the global film industry and contributed to its success. Here are some notable figures who have left an indelible mark on Australian filmmaking:

Peter Weir: With a career spanning several decades, Peter Weir is celebrated for directing films like Dead Poets Society (1989)Witness (1985), and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).

George Miller: Known for the groundbreaking Mad Max franchise, George Miller has also directed films like Happy Feet (2006) and Babe: Pig in the City (1998).


Baz LuhrmannBaz Luhrmann is renowned for his visually stunning and innovative style in films such as Moulin Rouge! (2001) and The Great Gatsby (2013).

Gillian Armstrong: A pioneering female director, Armstrong is known for films like My Brilliant Career (1979) and Little Women (1994).


Award-Winning Australian Films

Australian Movies has been recognized and celebrated globally, with numerous international films receiving accolades and awards at prestigious film festivals and award ceremonies. Some of the most notable Award Winning Films of Australia include:

The Piano (1993): Directed by Jane Campion, this visually stunning and emotionally charged film received three Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Holly Hunter.

Shine (1996): Directed by Scott Hicks, this biographical drama earned Geoffrey Rush an Academy Award for his portrayal of the talented but troubled pianist David Helfgott.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994): A delightful and bold film that won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design and garnered worldwide attention for its portrayal of drag queens traveling through the Australian Outback.

Strictly Ballroom (1992)Baz Luhrmann's dazzling and exuberant debut film received critical acclaim and established him as a creative force to be reckoned with.

Animal Kingdom(2011): This gripping crime drama directed by David Michôd received the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

"The Babadook" (2014): Jennifer Kent's psychological horror film earned critical acclaim and became a cult classic.

"Rabbit-Proof Fence" (2002): Phillip Noyce's powerful drama, based on a true story, received critical acclaim and highlighted a dark chapter in Australia's history.


50 Most Watched Australian Short Films in The History of Australian Cinema  


Harvie Krumpet (2003) - Directed by Adam Elliot, this stop-motion animation short follows the tumultuous life of an ordinary man who faces extraordinary challenges with resilience and humor, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello(2005) - Directed by Anthony Lucas, this steampunk-inspired animation explores a dark world where a disgraced airship navigator uncovers unsettling mysteries.

Spider (2007) - Directed by Nash Edgerton, this thriller takes a darkly comic turn as a seemingly innocuous home invasion spirals into chaos.

The Lost Thing(2010) - A visually stunning adaptation of Shaun Tan's book, this animated short, directed by Andrew Ruhemann and Shaun Tan, explores the discovery of a peculiar creature.

Lucky(2005) - Directed by Nash Edgerton, this suspenseful short revolves around an ordinary day with extraordinary consequences for its protagonist.

Everything Will Be OK(2006) - A thought-provoking exploration of mental health and family, directed by Don Hertzfeldt, combining traditional and digital animation.

The Saviour(2005) - Directed by Peter Templeman, this dark comedy follows a hapless young man as he tries to dispose of a body.

Wasp(2003) - A raw and intense exploration of a single mother's life choices, directed by Andrea Arnold, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short.

Bust (1999) - Directed by Sean Kruck, this gritty urban drama follows the lives of young men immersed in a world of crime and violence.

The Big House (2000) - A poignant drama directed by Rachel Ward, offering a glimpse into the lives of children living in an institution.

The Cat Piano(2009) - Directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson, this beautifully animated short unveils a noir-inspired world where a detective investigates the disappearance of musicians.

Inside (2007) - Directed by Trevor Sands, this psychological thriller delves into a woman's obsession with an intriguing, locked room in her apartment.

Carmen's Place (2003) - Directed by Dean Francis, this heartfelt drama follows a teenager as she confronts the complexities of family and identity.

Gone (2006) - A suspenseful exploration of a man's traumatic past, directed by Scott Patterson, which takes a chilling turn as he becomes convinced he's being followed.

The Projectionist (2007) - A visually stunning and emotionally charged tale, directed by Michael Bates, about an aging cinema projectionist who finds solace in a mysterious visitor.

Little Echo Lost (2005) - Directed by Peter Templeman, this thought-provoking drama revolves around a child's disappearance and the impact on a small community.

The Western Front (2006) - Directed by Scott Patterson, this powerful film follows a soldier returning from war and the unexpected turn of events that await him.

The Love Song of Iskra Prufrock (2002) - Directed by Lucy Gaffy, this whimsical and enchanting tale explores a librarian's secret life as a poet.

I Love Sarah Jane (2008) - Directed by Spencer Susser, this coming-of-age zombie film offers a fresh and emotional take on love and survival.

I Can't Get Started (1985) - Directed by Rodney Fisher, this charming and whimsical short tells the story of a man who can't seem to get his life started until he meets a mysterious woman.

Stubble (2001) - Directed by Matthew Saville, this heartfelt drama explores the connection between a father and his estranged son as they embark on a road trip.

Roy Hollsdotter Live (2003) - Directed by Matthew Saville, this humorous and irreverent film follows the life of a fictional musician in a mockumentary style.

Drowning (2009) - Directed by Craig Boreham, this gripping drama revolves around a young man dealing with the traumatic events of his past.

My Rabbits (1999) - Directed by David Blumenstein, this quirky and whimsical animation tells the story of a young boy and his beloved rabbits.

Strange Planet (1999) - Directed by Emma Calveley, this humorous and charming short offers a glimpse into the lives of eccentric characters living on a remote island.

The Beast (2012) - Directed by Corrie Jones, this compelling short follows a troubled young man who forms an unusual bond with a mysterious creature.

A Bit Rich (2008) - Directed by Luke Doolan, this dark comedy explores the lengths to which people will go for financial gain.

Will O' the Wisp (2005) - Directed by Philip Watts, this visually stunning animation tells a story of love and loss in a magical and ethereal world.

Swing (2002) - Directed by Sean Kruck, this gritty and suspenseful short revolves around a chance encounter between two strangers on a late-night train.

The Last Confession (2008) - A thought-provoking exploration of the power of confession, directed by David Willing.

Marrying the Sea (2014) - Directed by Laura Clelland, this beautifully shot short film tells the story of a young woman who connects with the ocean in a mystical way.

Debutante (2006) - A heartfelt coming-of-age tale, directed by Shelley Kennedy, that follows a young girl as she prepares for her debutante ball.

Family Values (2008) - Directed by Greg Williams, this thought-provoking short explores the complexities of family relationships in a uniquely dystopian world.

In Safe Hands (2005) - A touching and emotional story about a couple navigating the challenges of parenthood, directed by Mairi Cameron.

Max and the Furious Fly (2002) - A humorous and visually inventive animation, directed by David Blumenstein, that follows the antics of an unconventional superhero.

The Fall Guy (1985) - Directed by Lachlan Anderson, this darkly comic short film explores the life of a stuntman who finds himself in a series of increasingly absurd accidents.

Rock-A-Bye Baby (1988) - A poignant exploration of a couple's struggle with infertility, directed by Suzanne Hawley.

Love This Time (2012) - Directed by Craig Boreham, this emotional drama follows the reunion of two former lovers, revealing the complexity of their relationship.

Honk If You're Horny (2009) - Directed by Joe Lister, this darkly humorous film takes a closer look at the absurdity of human desires and obsession.

Femmes (2012) - Directed by Gemma Lee, this stylish and evocative short offers a glimpse into the lives of four women at different stages of their lives.

Mikey (1992) - A chilling psychological drama, directed by Michael Carson, that explores the mind of a young boy with a disturbing secret.

The Kiss (1999) - Directed by Ashlee Page, this poignant drama follows a young woman's encounter with a stranger that leads to a moment of profound connection.

Offshore (2009) - Directed by Diane Leeming, this strikingly shot short film offers a glimpse into the lives of workers on an offshore oil rig.

The Painted Lady (1992) - Directed by Lynne Hegarty, this heartwarming story explores the connection between an elderly woman and a young boy.

Nostradamus Peepshow (1995) - A quirky and imaginative animation directed by John Williams, offering a unique take on the predictions of Nostradamus.

Spoilt (2009) - Directed by Tom Houston, this darkly humorous film tells the story of a man who becomes increasingly frustrated with the behavior of his spoiled dog.

The Acceptance of Life (1991) - Directed by Dave Jones, this visually inventive animation offers a surreal exploration of life and death.

A Suburban Love Story (2006) - A quirky and comical exploration of love and domesticity, directed by Stepka Wulff.

Oysters (2011) - Directed by Brian Cohen, this delightful and humorous short film follows the adventures of a curious boy and his quest to find the perfect oyster.

Pentimento (2004) - Directed by Jack Feldstein, this visually inventive animation offers a poetic exploration of memory and the passage of time.


Australian short films have consistently pushed the boundaries of storytelling, visual aesthetics, and emotional depth. These Top 50 Most Successful Australian Short Films are a testament to the creativity and talent of Australian Short Filmmakers, showcasing their ability to convey complex narratives, profound emotions, and thought-provoking themes within the constraints of limited runtime. From animation to drama, comedy to suspense, these Most Popular Short Films of Australia have left a lasting impact on both local and international audiences, underscoring the significance of the short film format in the world of cinema. Each of these films, in its own unique way, offers a glimpse into the diverse and multifaceted world of Australian visual storytelling.




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