By VICTORIA STONE-MEADOWS
A FERNTREE Gully teenager has taken out the top prize in the short film competition at the Warburton Film Festival.
Former Mater Christi student Sierra Laird won the ‘Golden Shorts’ for best film at the film festival during the ‘Show Us Your Shorts’ competition.
Her stop-motion paper animation called ‘Help Wanted’ is set to a spoken poem of the same name by Canadian poet and writer Shane Koyczan.
The whole processes of making the film, which is about three and a half minutes long, took Ms Laird about six months.
While the film does have some funny moments and some more touching moments, Ms Laird said that her short film did not have a specific genre.
Ms Laird said the film was about discovering the beauty of humility through expression of grief, loss, happiness and love.
“It’s about beauty over the superficial,” she said.
She said the following quote from the poem really summed up the feeling of the film for her.
“The only reason they think they’re beautiful, is the same reason they think you’re not.”
Ms Laird has been producing stop-animation since she was about 10 years old and used to use Lego to make short stories. Ms Laird said she faced really tough competition during the contest.
“I was absolutely shocked I won,” she said.
“While there were no other animations, the other films were really good, and I was competing with students from the Victorian College of the Arts.”
Now 18 years old and studying arts at Deakin University, she wants to one day work in the film or radio industry.
She is looking at doing more animations, and said she definitely wanted to base them on more spoken-word poetry.
Ms Laird won $500 for her film, and is considering producing another film to enter the competition at Warburton Film Festival next year.
“I would like to do one based around the work of Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. Their work is just so inspiring,” she said