Australian Superhero Parody 'The Justice Lease' Wins Viewster VOD Festival
The Justice Lease, an Australian comedy featuring very domesticated versions of Superman, Batman, Aquaman and The Hulk, has won the inaugural Viewster Online Film Festival and the $70,000 top prize from the Swiss-based VOD service.
An online series produced by Australian production company Severe Comedy, Justice Lease reimagines the famous superheroes as roommates sharing a house in Australia, where instead of supervillains, they face endless bickering and petty battles over rent and housework.
The winning episode, Man of Steel, features Paul Michael Ayre, who co-wrote Justice Lease with director Jeremy Brull, as a domestic Superman, jealous of all the fame and attention lavished on his roommate, Batman (played by Andrew Steel). You can watch the episode here.
The 48-minute episode won over users of Viewster, an ad-supported free-to-use streaming service for film and TV titles, as well as the three-person jury of Fandor CEO Ted Hope, Finnish director Timo Vuorensola and German actress Nora Tschirner.
"The episode Man of Steel was very well constructed and extremely funny," said the jury in a statement, adding they would really like to know what's going on in the director's head.
"After a year of struggling to get this series out to the masses, the idea that we just won an international contest with it -- and 70 thousand dollars (ten times our original budget) -- has caused the two of us to go into a mild case of shock," said Brull. "We were just in the midst of finding funding for a second season, and this could not come at a better time. It's just brilliant. We can make more!"
Second prize in the Viewster festival -- and $20,000 in cash -- went to the short Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Canadian director Stephen Dunn, a coming-of-age comedy looking at a young woman's ideas of ugliness and beauty. The short has already picked up the Student Visionary Award at Tribeca last year and the Grand Jury Prize at the Toronto Student Film Showcase in 2012. Dunn said he was "incredibly grateful" for the prize and would be putting the winnings toward the financing of his first feature, Closet Monster, which he plans to shoot this summer.
Third prize, with a $10,000 bursary, went to 48 Minutes, a feature from a collective of Dutch directors. The film follows a very unconventional therapist who tells her patients they have only 48 minutes to tell their life story before they die. 48 Minutes was completely crowdfunded via Dutch funding site Cinecrowd.
All the winners and all 84 entries to the Viewster festival, can be seen on Viewster's website.