Neil Walshe smartphone film Dawn Heist wins Best Short Drama at Smart

Lockdown can be daunting for a lot of families, but for the Walshes of Caringbah South it was a time to get creative.

During the lockdown of 2020, Audrey (4 years old) and Eleanor (2 years old) created a film with their dad, art director Neil Walshe, which recently won Best Short Drama at Smart, London's inaugural International Smartphone Film Festival.

Called Dawn Heist, the short film goes for 2.5 minutes and was shot in the Walshes' family home with just a mobile phone and Blue Tack for a tripod.

The film was made over three mornings and was put together as a Mother's Day present.

It shows the two toddlers getting up early to raid the kitchen.

Mr Walshe said: "We had a ball filming it, because for once I let my two girls do all the things in the kitchen that parents never let their kids do, and we just went with it."

It goes to show that some good can come from the hardships we're facing right now.

Neil Walshe

This included making breakfast, pouring champagne and climbing a ladder - all with (off screen) parental supervision, of course.

"The girls just winged it. A lot of what they did wasn't scripted," Mr Walshe said.

The film has been entered into various competitions and has had the girls walking down a red carpet in Sydney for a screening at SF3. The film has also been aired in San Diego, Hollywood and Hawaii.

Mr Walshe said the film resonated with the judges because it was "a really fun, compelling story that builds".

"It goes to show that some good can come from the hardships we're facing right now," he said.

Dawn Heist won Best Short Drama at Smart, London's inaugural International Smartphone Film Festival.

Dawn Heist won Best Short Drama at Smart, London's inaugural International Smartphone Film Festival.

The girls are proud of their newfound fame: "They would watch [the film] 50 times in a row if they could."

Will the Walshes be taking advantage of the current lockdown to make another award-winning mobile phone film?

"I want to, but it takes a while to think about it, and now this one's done well, I need to plan the next one even better," Mr Walshe said.

"It might be an idea for other people to get up to during lockdown."