It’s been a great start to the week with the news that the short documentary I cut ‘The Last Days of Peter Bergmann’ has won the Best Documentary Short Film Award at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), the largest film festival in the southern hemisphere. This is the second time the film has attained Oscar® eligibility through winning at an accredited international film festival.
The film’s director Ciaran Cassidy, said “We are honoured with the win in Melbourne and thrilled that it is connecting with an audience so far away from home. It’s a testament to the work of the team and everyone involved in making the film.”
The film which was produced by Morgan Bushe for Fastnet Films follows a man who arrived in Sligo in the summer of 2009. Over his final three days, he would go to great lengths to ensure no one would ever discover who he was or where he came from. The film which was funded as part of the Irish Film Boards Reality Bites Scheme has so far screened at over 25 festivals worldwide after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. It has gone on to win the Audience Award at Stranger than Fiction, the Grand Jury Prize at Nashville Film Festival and the IFTA for Best Short Film.
MIFF is the largest film festival in both Australia and the southern hemisphere, and is Australia’s largest showcase of new Australian cinema. As of 2013, the festival is accredited by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Australian Film Institute and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
The films director, Ciaran Cassidy, is currently in pre production on feature documentary Jihad Jane: Dangerously Seeking Marriage, a film about three ‘fundamentalist terrorists’ seeking love and marriage in a one bedroom apartment in a small town in Ireland. The film will be produced by Fastnet Films along with Silverosa Film in Sweden and Helsinki Film in Finland.