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BA Student Claudia Bailey Named Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year at BBIFF

Claudia Bailey and Molly Moloney, lead actor of ‘Appetite’ | Photo by Max Brown

Third-year Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production student Claudia Bailey has won the Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year Award following a screening of her warmly received short film Appetite, at Byron Bay International Film Festival.

Bailey directed, wrote and co-produced the film with fellow BA students: producer Mariella S. Solano, production designer/editor Vanessa Bray and cinematographer Julian Pertout.

"Winning the Young Australia of the Year Award at Byron Film Festival is a great honour. I spent the week up in Byron Bay and was warmly welcomed by all the festival staff immediately. It felt like a community and such a beautiful glimpse into what the Australian Film Industry can be like. I felt humbled to be in the running for the award with nine other beautiful and evocative shorts from other emerging filmmakers. But most importantly, winning this award reinforced that everyone has experienced these moments of shame and insecurity and awkwardness. It created a sense of validity in what I wanted to say, which is: every emotion is valid and deserves to be felt."

- Claudia Bailey, director ‘Appetite’

Still from ‘Appetite’ | Dir. Claudia Bailey | Photo by Serena Siow

The film is the follow up to her debut short, Cherry, which premiered at Revelation Film Festival last year. Appetite follows a twenty-something woman feeling shame the day after a one-night stand.

“I'm very aware that ‘Appetite’ is a small story; small in the length, of what happens and in its place in the world. But I also know there will be people who will get it, get what it feels like to be embarrassed on your own behalf, to have cringe-attacks of things you’ve said or that time the person you slept with forgot your name. This film is for those people. Not to give you an answer but to just exist and remind you that your feeling of shame is valid and felt by many. Shame can be extremely isolating and confronting and frustrating but I hope 'Appetite' can be some kind of companion to the feeling, not to fix it but to just make sure that you know you aren't alone.”

- Claudia Bailey

After its premiere screening at AFTRS in April, Backyard Opera called Appetite “a prime example of humble but ambitious home-grown talent exploring raw human emotion in a beautifully honest way.”

Not yet graduated from the BA and with two films and the Young Australian Filmmaker Award to her name, Claudia Bailey, a standout among local emerging talent is certainly one to watch.