Cronulla filmmakers have won $10,000 for their short film in a national competition.
'Save.My.Soul', by Alexi Collins and Joshua Heaton, was one of two winners in the Optus Connect5 competition.
The standout five minute film encapsulated how lives change for the better when people reach out and connect with each other.
It is a moving silent film about a lonely man stranded on a deserted island who strikes up a relationship via messages in bottles.
The film was created with just one actor, one location and two filmmakers.
‘‘Working with my partner Joshua Heaton on this film was a fantastic experience,’’ Collins said.
‘‘It’s the first film where we’ve ever created content together - and it was a totally grassroots project.
‘‘I’m very grateful to Optus for this opportunity.
‘‘Filmmakers across Australia are some of the most talented creatives in the world and having Optus provide a platform that can help showcase this talent is a huge boost to the industry.’’
Save.My.Soul was selected from entries submitted from across Australia by a panel of Optus executives and industry experts including filmmaker, Genevieve Clay-Smith.
Clay-Smith said she was amazed at the quality of entries this year.
‘‘Both films stood out to me because of their genuine authenticity,’’ she said.
‘‘Though they approached the theme of ‘Connecting Lives’ in different ways, both films were highly memorable and connected with the audience on an emotional level.
‘‘Film is such a powerful way to connect people’s stories and the winners have proved that through their moving interpretations of ‘Connecting Lives’.
The filmmakers have also won a trip to Singapore to compete in the regional finals in November.
There they will vie come up against winners from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand, for the chance to win a further US$30,000 as the grand prize, or US$15,000 as the runner-up.