The NSW border town of Albury could be the nursery for Hollywood’s next Quentin Tarantino with local product Nicholas Clifford taking out the prestigious short film festival Tropfest Australia.
The Melbourne director’s short film We’ve All Been There was chosen by a star-studded panel including Avatar’s Sam Worthington, Underbelly’s Gyton Grantley and Albury’s own Richard Roxburgh as best film.
The former Albury High School student, 30, told The Border Mail that the win, against 15 other finalists and more than 700 entrants, was up there as the highlight of his career so far.
“Easily one of the best,” Clifford said.
“It’s pretty great to have it screened in Sydney in front of that many people and those judges.”
The six minute and 40 second film explores the idea of shared kindness through goodwill and pay-it-forward style ethics.
It also landed actress Laura Wheelright the best actress gong.
Clifford was a Tropfest finalist last year and has directed two other films in the festival, in 2009 and 2011.
In 2009, he established Truce Films in Melbourne, with his AHS school mate Charlie Sarroff.
But a career in Hollywood is the dream.
“That’s the plan,” Clifford said.
“Just to keep getting better and better and the US is where it’s all happening.”
Clifford isn’t the only success in his family.
He is one of six children, who all have established distinguished careers.
The eldest, Lynda lives in London with her husband and is a costume designer, Cherie is the centre manager at Centro Wodonga, Alex is an engineer in San Francisco and twins Anthony and Mark are Albury police officers.
Clifford said a year spent travelling in Canada after year 12 defined what he wanted to do.
“That’s when I started writing,” he said.
“... I think once I found something to focus my energy on ... now it’s become my whole life.”