Parker received the coveted Critics Choice award for her film The Pitch, a story about two strangers who meet, but not for the first time.
After receiving more than 6000 overall votes in the online voting process, Cleaves walked away with the popular Viewers Choice award for his film Forever Young, after topping the most votes at 2276. His film portrays love as an eternal struggle, as a young man learns to find love again.
Accompanying the award for both winners is a cash prize pool valued at $2000.
Says Phyllisse Stanton, Aurora CEO: “The calibre of the winning films have been such high quality and truly thought provoking. We are excited to support Madeleine and Matthew in their journey as Australian filmmakers and showcase their talent to audiences nationally.
“Aurora also congratulates the top ten finalists, as well as all the entrants who submitted their creations. They have set the bar far beyond our expectations and we look forward to supporting them in their endeavours as upcoming filmmakers.
“This is the first short film festival for Aurora and we received an outstanding 135 entries from budding filmmakers from around the country who have shared their stories and creative passions. We look forward to starting the process again soon for 2013 Aurora Short Film Festival.”
Joining the winners for the countdown and screening of the top ten finalist films at the Dendy Opera Quays Cinema were the panel of judging experts including: Michael Bodey, media writer for The Australian; Brooke Hemphill, encore managing editor; Genevieve Clay-Smith, former Tropfest winner; Ross Howden, CEO of ScreenLaunch; and Corrie McDougall, Aurora programming and production manager.
The audience also included a full house of fellow filmmakers, members of the media industry and film and TV buffs.
Themed ‘Make Something 2012’, Aurora laid down the gauntlet for creatives to submit their own digital content for a chance to receive industry acknowledgement, television exposure and sponsorship opportunities to help launch their film careers.
As an independent broadcaster, Aurora is passionate about uncovering fresh Australian talent and the Aurora Short Film Festival is all about the spirit of having a go and providing all Australians with the unique opportunity to have their work broadcast on a national platform.
Australian audiences can tune in to watch the announcement of the winners and the screening of the top ten films to industry professionals on Aurora Channel this Sunday, 3rd June at 8pm.
Aurora Short Film Festival 2012 – Top ten finalists
Are You Serious?
Submitted by David Di Muro
Submitted by Andrew Pearce
Submitted by Afrim Memed
Submitted by Greg Teh
Submitted by Alex Rowe
Submitted by Matthew Cleaves
Submitted by Dan Balcaban
Love Is A Many Childish Thing
Submitted by Mikael Hattingh
Take It Off
Submitted by Katie Johnson
Submitted by Madeleine Parker