Shortstacks film festival 2019

Celebrating filmmakers!

Shortstacks is the State Library of NSW’s inaugural short film prize.

Established and emerging filmmakers were invited to create a short film referencing one or more items selected from Library’s collection. The judges considered all genres, produced on any device.

Our judges selected the most engaging, imaginative and innovative entries to be screened at the Shortstacks Short Film Festival on 12 June 2019.

The winner was announced on the night by Australian film industry royalty and Shortstacks Judge Margaret Pomeranz.

The winner


By Jayce White

The search for a rogue boomerang takes a grim turn.

Reference: Assen Timbery, Aboriginal boomerang maker, La Perouse, 1959, photograph by Don McPhedron



By Nick Harriott, Nick Spellicy and Ryan Stubbs

When you live in the city, you become numb to the strange sounds that filter through your window at night. In Domestic, a young couple is put to the test when they hear something that might prove difficult to ignore.

Reference: Domesticity 1959 by Herbert Badham

Shortlisted films


All You Who Have Not Loved Her

By Stef Smith

Reciting the poetry of Dorothea Mackellar, a young woman walks through the Australian bushland at dusk, where we uncover a distressing underbelly of inaction and ambivalence.  

Reference: Dorothea Mackellar’s Core Of My Heart poem

Core of My Heart

By Sharon Willdin

A child's view of the changing landscape within Australia utilising the context of Dorothea Mackellar's famous poem.

Reference: Dorothea Mackellar’s Core Of My Heart poem


Domesticity 2019

By Nathan Lewis and Matthew Cresswell

Violet brings twelve of Herbert Badhams Sydney based paintings to life in this 21st century adaptation of the images, noting what remains the same and highlighting what has changed in the city over the eighty odd years since his earliest work.

Reference: Domesticity 1959 by Herbert Badham


By Jarod Green

Everyday the news is the same. The problems of the world are right in front of us, but will we take the time to open our eyes and decide to make a difference.

Reference: Domesticity 1959 by Herbert Badham

The Cost of Not Following Your Heart

By Tim Brothers

An exploration into what it means to be a human being in 2019... Are we defined by social media or the other way round? Are we like lemmings to our devices or is there a better way to connect with others?

Reference: Dorothea Mackellar’s Core of My Heart poem

The judges

Margaret Pomeranz AM co-presented The Movie Show on SBS and At the Movies on the ABC for twenty eight years.  She is currently presenting movies on Foxtel as well as co-presenting Screen with Graeme Blundell on Foxtel Arts.  She is past President of the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia, of Watch on Censorship and was a member of the Advertising Standards Board.  She is currently a member of the Board of the Australia Film Institute.

Michael Caulfield is a writer, filmmaker, musician, composer and theatre director. His work includes the Peabody Award–winning documentary The Great Wall of Iron and the Emmy Award–winning Submarines: Sharks of Steel. Mr Caulfield wrote, produced and directed the eight-hour, Logie Award-winning television series Australians at War. 


Jason Di Rosso is RN’s film and TV critic and reviewer across a range of RN shows. He was previously the host of the weekly film show The Final Cut. Before becoming RN’s chief film specialist, Jason spent six years as associate producer and reviewer on RN’s Movietime.

Nick Ward is a teenage filmmaker and musician based in Sydney. Winner of Trop Jr 2017 and Finalist in Tropfest 2018 for Boys Don't Cry which went on to win Best Cinematography. Currently directing music videos for self-released music and working as part of a teenage creative film collective – JUSTN. Nick's work is focussed on starting conversations about male identity, mental health and growing up in the modern age.