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‘Rolled’ and ‘Stressless Sam’ voted top two films of QuitFlicks 2020

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The results of the QuitFlicks 2020 short film competition are in, with Australians voting Rolled by Rosie Pavlovic (winner) and Stressless Sam by Hugh Murray (runner-up) as their two favourite films of the competition.

Announced at last night’s Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) Program Launch, both films uniquely address the issue of smoking in LGBTIQA+ communities, who experience smoking rates more than double the national average.

Set in a gritty, quintessentially-Melbourne pub, Rolled by Rosie Pavlovic (East Brunswick, Victoria) follows a young lesbian couple on a date, who uncover a good reason to ditch the smokes when an attempt to evade the bitter gaze of an ex-girlfriend leads them to experience first-hand the statistically significant finding* that smokers’ areas of pubs have the highest concentration of ex-girlfriends.

In Hugh Murray’s (Docklands, Victoria) quirky film Stressless Sam, a non-binary sock-puppet named Sam tries to quit smoking with the help and support of their friends. The attempt to quit smoking proves difficult as the stressors of Sam’s life overwhelm them. With the help and support of friends, Sam manages to beat the cravings and finally quit.

Quit Victoria Director Dr Sarah White congratulated Rosie and Hugh on their success, and all the finalists and filmmakers for using their creativity for a positive cause.

“The filmmakers took on the challenge of creating messages about smoking that resonate with the community, and they excelled. They’ve shown that it’s entirely possible to entertain and engage audiences while relaying a critical health message for the LGBTIQA+ community,” Dr White said.

MQFF Chief Executive Officer Maxwell Gratton was excited to announce that the two winning films will be screened throughout the Melbourne Queer Film Festival March 12 – 23. “Rosie and Hugh’s films will be seen by more than 30,000 community members and festival patrons. It’s wonderful to be able to support budding local filmmakers to showcase their talent but it’s also gratifying to support a cause with such benefit to the community,” Maxwell Gratton said.

Thorne Harbour Health’s Chief Executive Officer Simon Ruth spoke to the significance of the QuitFlicks project and partnership. “This project has enabled a conversation about the normalisation of smoking in LGBTI communities and how we have the power to change that to improve our ongoing health and wellbeing,” Simon Ruth said.

The other two QuitFlicks finalists were Teddy Darling (Balwyn, Victoria) with One Breath at a Time, and Millie Hayes (O’Connor, ACT) with her creation, Quit Together.

Watch all film finalists now quit.org.au/quitflicksvoting.

(*Based on anecdotal evidence only. No actual scientific rigour applied.)

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