Joondanna teenager beats Academy Award-winner to win Port Shorts Film Festival prize

Joondanna teenager Radheya Jegatheva.
Joondanna teenager Radheya Jegatheva.

A JOONDANNA teenager has won best overall film and a $5000 prize at Port Shorts Film Festival up against an Academy Award winner.

Radheya Jegatheva’s animated short film Journey is about an astronaut who finds himself lost and alone in space until he finds a companion – and they embark on an epic journey to find home.

Journey is based on a story he wrote in 2014, and aside from directing the film, he was also the screenwriter, animator and editor.

He also composed and played the entire soundtrack to the film.

The 17-year-old Perth Modern student said he was unable to make it to the awards ceremony in Queensland because of Year 12 exams but was “overwhelmed” to be the winner.

“I didn’t really believe it at first, we received a call from Stephen Curry and the organisers and I was very surprised by this,” he said.

“I could hardly speak and didn’t know what to say.

“It’s such an incredible honour to win.”

The film was up against Pearl, by 2015 Academy Award-winning Walt Disney director Patrick Osborne.

Judge and Wolf Creek executive producer Matt Hearn said the score complemented the visuals and transformed the audience as well as judges.

“He applied some clever techniques over multiple layers to create a really beautiful short film and to be honest we initially found it hard to believe such an incredible production was created by a 17-year-old in his bedroom,” he said.