Panasonic has announced the winners of its inaugural LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge. The creativity and storytelling expertise of Australian filmmakers was celebrated at an exclusive screening and award ceremony at Sydney’s iconic Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.

Panasonic Australia managing director, Paul Reid said, “We were amazed by the talent the entrants demonstrated. These films are dramatic, thought-provoking and heartfelt – impressive when you know they were tasked to go from concept to screen in just three days.”

The overall winner of the Challenge is the film Big Chef, Little Chefcreated by Kerrod Cooper, with Aiman Malikand Caimaniacscrowned on the night as the recipient of the ‘People’s Choice’ Award for their film Making Magic.

With a prize pool of over $25,000, the challenge attracted entries from around the country. In June, entrants were required to create a 30 to 60 second video to demonstrate what made them the perfect candidate for the competition.

Ten successful applicants were then loaned the Panasonic LUMIX S5IIX and supporting equipment to create a short film between three and six minutes long within just 72 hours. Creators had to integrate the theme ‘Broken’ and object ‘Egg’ into their film.

The ten finalists and their guests attended the gala evening, where the overall winner was selected by a panel of expert judges – Liam Brennan, Carolyn Constantine and John Harvey – who evaluated each film using strict criteria – creativity and originality, cinematography, and the smooth and unique integration of the theme. The ‘People’s Choice’ Award was decided by the votes of those in attendance on the night.

Inaugural winner

Kerrod Cooper, the inaugural winner for Big Chef, Little Chef, received a prize package including over $14,000 RRP in LUMIX imaging products and equipment from sponsors CR Kennedy Imaging, SmallRig and Atomos, plus $5,000 cash.

In Big Chef, Little Chef, a charismatic children’s show presenter whisks young viewers into a culinary adventure filled with laughter and learning. Behind the cheerful facade, he grapples with a simmering internal struggle as the hustle of the kitchen mirrors the intensity of his emotional past.

The judges praised the film’s strong concept, complete story and sublime cinematography with great editing and use of lighting to convey tone and emotion.

Big Chef, Little Chef was created by Kerrod Cooper (Director, Editor, Sound Design) and team K/D Ratio – David Shannon (Director of Photography), Dylan Esguerra (Sound Recordist), Kevin Rickert (Art Department Lead), Danny Kim (lead actor and co-writer) and Jemma Ha (Production Assistant).

People’s Choice winner

The People’s Choice Award was presented to Aiman Malik and Caimaniacs, for their film titled Making Magic. The film received a prize package of over $5,000 RRP in LUMIX imaging products plus equipment from sponsors SmallRig and Atomos.

Making Magic proves true magic isn’t about spells and potions, but about the special moments shared with loved ones. The film is a reminder that sometimes, the most enchanting adventures happen in our own backyard.

“Panasonic remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering Australian filmmakers of all experience levels and abilities. Part of that commitment is giving opportunities that challenge and grow the entire industry. While the LUMIX 72-hour filmmaking challenge created a competitive platform for cinematography, it also delivered an opportunity for ten outstanding filmmakers to explore and showcase their passion for the medium,” Reid added.

“We are grateful to the judges for the time they took to carefully consider all entries, and we hope that the recognition of the award encourages and spurs the winners and finalists on to even greater success and look forward to seeing what next year brings.”