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QuitFlicks Short Film Competition

Quit Victoria, Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Thorne Harbour Health proudly present QuitFlicks, a short film competition celebrating filmmaking talent and smokefree messaging in LGBTIQ communities.


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.

Congratulations to all of our four finalists who took on the challenge of creating messages about smoking that resonate with the LGBTIQA+ community, and excelled!

Rolled and Stressless Sam will air before every screening throughout MQFF 2020, 12 - 23 March. 

Check out the winners and finalists below.




Teddy Darling, Victoria

Teddy Darling

"I was inspired to apply for a QuitFlicks grant after attending MQFF 2019 and seeing the Keep the Vibe Alive shorts. I knew I wanted to tell a story that centralised a trans narrative and didn't patronise or blame people for using cigarettes or make them feel unattractive or even more guilty. Based on my own experiences with mental illness, trauma and coping, I wanted to tell a story which revolved around self-reliance, around trusting yourself, and around self-compassion. The connection to community is important, but one of the things that excites me the most is that it comes after my main character has found the answer for themselves. Being supported in your autonomy and agency is the key to making lasting change, and for me is also a central part of self-expression, identity, and queerness. I'm also excited by the chance to work with an animator! That's an unbelievable opportunity and I feel so lucky to have been supported in this way."

Millie Hayes, ACT

Millie Hayes

"The stat that smoking rates are more than double for LGBTIQA+ people is hard to hear because I want us to thrive. We've all got our coping mechanisms to deal with stress, but the unhealthy ones are so hard to change. If someone is in the frame of mind to quit smoking, I want to make an empathetic and playful film that shows them they're not alone. Maybe it'll land, maybe it won't, but hopefully it adds to their sense of support and encouragement from their rainbow community."

Hugh Murray, Victoria

Hugh Murray

"It's been great seeing one of my ideas come to fruition. I'm always looking for the next adventure in film and I cherish the opportunity to receive funding over an issue I feel so strongly for. Smoking is addictive and I feel perceptions of quitting can be narrow. My short film hopes to generate discussion over the variety of ways to quit, using characters that are entertaining and likeable."

Rosie Pavlovic, Victoria

Rosie Pavlovic

"QuitFlicks is such a fun initiative to address a pretty universal issue in the LGBTIQ community. I think our queer community has a wicked sense of humour and I'm excited to create a film which tackles a serious issue in a camp way."


Budding filmmakers from across Australia were given the opportunity to submit their concept addressing the THEME Cope and Connect without the Smokes’.  Entries closed 8AM EST Monday 21 October 2019. An expert judging panel selected and awarded four filmmakers $6K each to develop their pitch into a campaign pack, including a short film, interview and photo pack.

What's next?

The four awarded filmmakers will have 2 months to produce their short film and complementary assets. Films and assets are due 8AM EST Friday 20 December 2019.

The People’s Choice and Runner Up

The films go up for public voting on the QuitFlicks site.  The top-voted film wins $6K and a runner-up wins $3K. Both films will air before each screening throughout the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) 2020! Voting is open to the public 9 January - 2 February 2020.


Cope and Connect without the Smokes

This year, we’re asking filmmakers to show how to ‘cope and connect without the smokes’. 

Smoking rates in the LGBTIQ community are more than double the national average. Quit Victoria's qualitative research with community members showed there are several key reasons for this difference; smoking within the LGBTIQ community is used to cope with social anxiety and smokes are a way to connect with others socially, as well as managing stress in people’s lives.

We want filmmakers to turn these reasons on their head by developing a campaign pack including a short film and complementary assets challenging that the LGBTIQ community needs cigarettes to cope and connect and demonstrating alternative ways of coping and connecting while promoting the benefits of quitting for physical, mental and financial health.

Filmmakers can create their own original concept or take inspiration from existing iconic scenes in popular culture (film, television, music videos).  

To learn more about smoking in the LGBTIQ community, visit Helping people in LGBTIQ+ communities to quit.


Grant winners will create a final campaign pack of assets:

  1. A short film, 60 seconds in length including a 5-second feature of the official QuitFlicks Title Card after the closing credits.
  2. One 2 – 3-minute video interview with an LGBTIQ community member who has quit smoking, in accordance with guidelines to be provided by Quit Victoria.
  3. A full pack of photographic stills in accordance with style specifications provided by Quit Victoria.

The film, interview and photographs must be suitable for a general audience. Quit Victoria and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival will own all broadcast rights to the films, interview and photographs. Entrants will retain all moral rights and creative credit.  See our full terms and conditions.


Deadline for films and assets – 8AM EST Friday 20 December 2019
Public voting – 9 January 2020 - 5PM EST 2 February 2020
Winner and Runner-up announced – Thursday 13 February 2020.


The judging panel comprising representatives from Quit Victoria, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Thorne Harbour Health and creative studio Catch the Bird, chose four finalists from the concept entries based on criteria including innovation, creativity, relevance and diversity.


“The competition offered me the chance to be more creative as well as the challenge to put my creative side out there. I'd always wanted to be more creative, but it's so hard to sit down and start! The competition gave me the schedule, the subject matter, the platform and the funding. All I needed to bring were my ideas and follow-through. For an amateur, it was exciting that my script didn't have to be in the perfect professional format and that they were just looking for good stories. I was thrilled when I heard I was shortlisted, then immediately terrified at the unfamiliar prospect of finding actors, a videographer, costumes, shooting locations and equipment. But I chipped away at it and filming day was a lot of fun. I got a lot of creative confidence from the process, and that encouraged me to leave my office job and apply for an interstate advertising course, where I created new ideas every day. To anyone thinking of submitting an idea who has zero experience, give it a go anyway, you'll learn a lot just from applying.” - Millie Hayes, The Third Wheel
"Participating in the competition last year was incredibly rewarding. I’ll never forget the exciting and nerve-racking experience of seeing my work shown to huge, sold-out cinemas. As someone who’s just starting out, this competition gave me a huge amount of exposure and opened up opportunities to get involved with the Melbourne queer film community. Opportunities for queer filmmakers can feel few and far between, so I’d encourage everyone to get involved with QuickFlicks for a chance to have their voice heard and their filmmaking skills showcased!" - Sam McGowan, Fume

To watch all of the fabulous short films produced as a result of QuitFlicks, click here.



QuitFlicks is an Australian short film competition run by Quit Victoria in partnership with the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Thorne Harbour Health. Now in its second year, the competition is designed to highlight the disproportionately high smoking rates within the LGBTIQ community and engage community members in improving the wellbeing of the community by promoting the smokefree message.


Melbourne Queer Film Festival

Melbourne Queer Film Festival is Australia’s oldest and largest LGBTIQ film festival and celebration of the moving image. For more information, visit: 


Thorne Harbour Health

Thorne Harbour Health is a community controlled organisation, governed by our members, and working for our sex, sexuality and gender diverse communities.



Quit Victoria is a partnership between VicHealth, the State Government of Victoria and Cancer Council Victoria. For more information, visit: 



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