Shorts take the world by storm

• Richard Pace in “Pacing the Pool”, directed by Radheya Jegatheva, produced by Jay Jay Jegathesan, and executively produced by Ashleigh Nicolau

RUSSIANS and Americans have been united in their appreciation of a short documentary filmed at Beatty Park, with Pacing the Pool impressing critics film festivals in both eastern and western hemispheres.

Part of the Revelation/City of Vincent film festival, Pacing the Pool tells the story of local swimmer Richard Pace.

When he was four he was diagnosed with polyostic fibrous dysplasia, a rare condition causing weak bones and uneven bone growth.

“I’m 64,” Mr Pace says in the film. “That’s nearly 30 years since I was supposed to be in a wheelchair. And that’s only, in my view, because I’m in the pool every day.”

After its initial screening at the Revelation Film Festival in Leederville in July, producers entered it in festivals worldwide.

Like the music of Billy Joel and The Beatles before him, Pacing the Pool’s director Radheya Jegatheva found his artwork has proved popular on all sides of historic national divides.

It was picked up for 11 festivals so far, from Szczecin in Poland to Los Angeles in the USA.

It’s now won best short documentary at the MLC Awards in Green Bay, Wisconsin in the USA, best doco in Paradise Film Festival in Budapest, Hungary, and an honourable mention at the International Short & Symbolic Art Film Festival in St Petersburg, Russia.

Russian Urals

There’s still time to catch Pacing the Pool at upcoming screenings in Perm Krai in the Russian Urals on October 15, Los Angeles on November 9, and at the state library of WA on August 21 (book by plugging “International Multicultural Film Festival” intro trybooking.com for that last one).

Meanwhile the Joondanna resident’s latest short Painting by Numbers has also gained acceptance into 115 festivals in 26 countries.

Premiering in January this year, Jegatheva spent eight months creating his own animations for the stunning visual effects of Painting by Numbers which see iconic artworks reimagined as critiques of modern society’s effect on the environment.

The filmmaker says he hopes it will encourage discussion about environmentalism, sustainability and climate change.

“Interweaving religious theology, environmentalism and art isn’t a natural fit but I believe audiences want to see something new and fresh,” Jegatheva said.

“I also thought using famous artwork would help people relate to the environmental issues more easily.”

Painting with Numbers was produced by Matt Hearn (Wolf Creek, Rogue), who teamed Jegatheva up with screen composer and sound designer Steeve Body (Dr Who, Walking With the Dinosaurs) who praised the young filmmaker’s ability to jump across disciplines.

“His work is timeless and stays with you long after you’ve watched it,” Body said.

Partway between the Urals and the state library,  Painting by Numbers will be screening at CinefestOZ in Margaret River on August 28.

by DAVID BELL

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