What have a donkey and wigwam got in common?

The 2021 Winter International Film Festival of Antarctica

Once every Antarctic season, the greatest minds come together to produce some of the best actors, directors and editors known in human existence! Yes, you guessed right, it’s time for the 2021 Winter International Film Festival of Antarctic (WIFFA).

Let me break it down for you. Every year, research stations in Antarctica are given the opportunity to produce a film, to be judged by participating stations, with only 48-hours to shoot, edit and submit their films. Each station or individual can enter into one of two categories: ‘48-hour’ or 'open'. It is a prestigious and competitive event that brings the stations of Antarctica together to showcase a ‘lack of sun, a sense of creativity and weirdness’.

The competition has two cool twists: Firstly, there are five elements which have to be included in each film, only revealed to each station the day prior to filming. Five stations are chosen at random to select an element. This ensures that stations don’t get a head start and pre-make a film before the festival begins. It also keeps the eager expeditions on their toes, like a tiger waiting to pounce on its unexpecting prey! The second cool twist is each ’48-hour’ film is limited to only 5-minutes duration.

For the 2021 festival, the five elements were:

1) A sound - chosen by Amundson-Scott South pole station - A flushing toilet.

2) An object - chosen by Arctowski - A wigwam.

3) A famous quote - chosen by Martian-de-Vivies (Amsterdam Island) - "Please draw me a sheep."

4) A famous character - chosen by Macquarie Island - Donkey from Shrek.

5) An action - chosen by Alfred Faure Station (Crozet Island) - To taste red wine.

We had the marvellous idea of creating a film called ‘The Casey Heist’. In ‘The Casey Heist’, station internet was taken away from us by the Station Leader, leaving the expeditioners without access to their favourite memes, music videos and importantly, recipes! The lack of internet motivated the expeditioners to create a team of extraordinary men and women to get the internet back for good. What ensues is the best example of amateur filmmaking that the Casey crew could muster in 48 short hours! Votes will be counted from 31 August with the winner announced shortly after.

- Patty Burchett, 2021 Casey winter station mechanical supervisor & Film Festival Assistant Director/Producer