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The Prize

Australia, 1960 (MIFF 1961, Programme 1)

Director: Tim Burstall

A fantasy about a small boy and the loss of a prized possession. A little boy wins a kid at the hoop-la stall of a country show. The goat is stolen by two other boys when he is taking it home and most of the film is of his adventures searching for it. He at first has the help of a friendly rabbiter, but finally recovers the kid only after a chase in barrels down the rapids of a river.

The Prize was shown at the 1960 Venice Film Festival (Children's Festival) where it received a Bronze Medallion. The essentially visual narrative, the atmospheric photography and the charming background music, all help to make an enjoyable Australian short story film. Despite the limitations imposed by a "shoe string" budget and the occasional lapses into stilted scenes, the director's love of children and of the sunny Eltham bushland is present in every shot.

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