Friday, May 18, 2007

Award winning animator off to New York

Darwin Animator Elka Kerkhofs continues to ride a wave of success.
Kerkhofs’ animation, Filled With Water has been selected to screen at the two biggest international gay and lesbian film festivals; NewFest GLBT Film Festival in New York and the San Francisco International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Frameline 31

These invitations follow accolades her film received in Australia, where earlier this year she won the production award at the My Queer Career Competition in the Sydney Mardi Gras film festival. She was also recently highly commended for the prestigious Dendy Awards in Sydney. “I’ am ecstatic, beside myself that I’m going to New York and that ‘Filled With Water’ is doing so well” Elka said… “I can’t stop smiling. It’s a huge breakthrough to promote your film internationally, but on the other hand it means much more work.”

The hard work is paying off however as Elka is heading off to ‘NewFest’ in New York to see her film on the big screen and be amongst the hub of the festival through the Australia Film Commission’s travel grant scheme. “The AFC is all about promoting Australian films overseas, and trying to generate interest in the Australian film industry.” She says, “Newfest is seen as important. They don’t just fund you to go to any festival. I am very grateful for this opportunity to showcase the film and network with fellow filmmakers. It would not have been possible financially, for me to go without the aid of the AFC”.

Whilst Elka is in the States, signing deals is also on the agenda. “We are just signing a contract with Frame Line Distribution in San Francisco, which means ‘Filled With Water’ will be distributed in North America. We also had contact with M.T.V about screening the film in one of their programs.” Kerkhofs continues: “I don’t know exactly how all this interest in ‘Filled With Water’ will impact on my future artistic career, I’m just sure that I intend to keep on making films and telling stories, and all this interest will certainly help.”

Traveling with her film overseas is not just about promotion, its also about meeting other filmmakers and building platforms that allow her to start developing fully her next film.
Golden Woman, is a short film she is currently working on and seeking funding for with Darwin writer Mary Anne Butler. Kerkhofs plans to also utilize this trip to garner interest and support in that film.

‘Filled with Water’ is a five-minute film about finding love and losing love.
Elka said: “It’s had a lot of success at gay and lesbian festivals, but it’s not just for queer audiences. The film is essentially about finding fulfillment within yourself and I think that this message is universal and resonates with a wide audience; gay or straight”.

‘Filled With Water’ will screen during the Darwin Pride Festival at Darwin’s Deckchair cinema on the 5 of June as part of the ‘My Queer Career’ touring program. ‘My Queer Career’ is a unique opportunity for audiences to see a diversity of queer based stories told through the lens of some of the next generation of queer talent from Australia.

Watch Filled With Water on the big screen at ACMI between the 19 and 24 of June as part of the Melbourne international Animation Festival.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Award winner at Queer Screen

A Darwin Director has been named one of Australia's most promising filmmaker at the biggest queer film festival in the nation. Elka Kerkhofs, 35, won the production award at ‘My Queer Career’ competition, staged during the opening night of the Sydney Mardi Gras film festival on Thursday. Her animation 'Filled With Water' was one of ten films to screen at the Mardi Gras festival. “I’m very happy and excited about having won this award, because it will extend the life of my animation, and give the film further marketing opportunities” she said. 'Filled With Water' is a five-minute animation about love, heartbreak and finding fulfilment through loss. Kerkhofs said she believed her film won an award is because it carried an emotional message, and was technically proficient. . "I wanted to create a character that Lesbians could identify with," she said. “It’s hard to make an animated character that people can relate to." "I got a lot of emotional responses when people watched the film, so I feel I was successful in touching people with this character." ‘Filled With Water’ will travel around Australia as part of the queer screen touring program.

My attendance at Queer screen was funded by the NTFO.


Het Belang Van Limburg, Belgium, 15 February 2007
NT News, Darwin, Australia, 19 February 2007
BNEWS, Melbourne, Australia, 22 February 2007
Sydney Star Observer, Sydney, Australia, 23 February, 2007
Het Nieuwsblad, Belgium, 24 February, 2007
Pas Uit, street magazine, Belgium, 26 February, 2007