'Tomorrow' best film at festival

A scene from Tomorrow, starring Laura Davies.
A scene from Tomorrow, starring Laura Davies.

A FILM that was conceived and shot on the Coffs Coast has won three major awards at one of Australia’s top festivals.

The man behind the 15-minute short ‘Tomorrow’, Simon Portus, was at home on the lounge in Valla on Sunday night when his ode to adolescent angst scooped the pool at the St Kilda Film Festival.

It won the best film, best director and best actor gongs.

“To get both the best film and best director awards is quite a coup; I am over the moon,” Mr Portus said.

“My producer was at the awards and I was very excited to get the texts and phone calls from him.”

Filmed on location in Dorrigo, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour, ‘Tomorrow’ tells the story of the interaction between a young girl hitchhiking from her home in a small country town and the businesswoman who picks her up.

For her portrayal of that teenager, Laura Davies picked up the best actor award at Sunday night’s award presentation in Melbourne.

It is not the first time the film that was shot in 2008 and premiered at last year’s Berlin Film Festival has attracted critical acclaim.

At this year’s Flickerfest in Sydney, Mr Portus won the best screenwriter and best director awards.

“Tomorrow’s success at the St Kilda Film Festival is particularly satisfying because it gets more than 500 entries and then showcases what it considers are Australia’s top 100 films,” he said.

Mr Portus said his film had been sold to ABC-TV and has a distributor in Italy.

The best film and best director awards brought with them $11,500 in cash which will now allow Mr Portus to continue developing his first feature film.

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