Bulli film makers off to Hollywood

nick and jess IMG_0221

Nick Bolton and Jess Milne

BULLI couple Nick Bolton and Jess Milne are on their way to Hollywood after winning the inaugural Short + Sweet Illawarra film competition on Sunday.

Their short film The Road to Vagator won Best Film, Best Illawarra film, Judges choice and Peoples choice, in the top 20 Finalist categories. The Bulli husband and wife also cleaned up in the Wildcards (best of the rest) with their short film The Narrabundah Boy.

Winning Short + Sweet Illawarra means that The Road to Vagator automatically qualifies for Short+Sweet Hollywood 2019 running in Los Angeles in September and October this year

The Road to Vagator was made by Nick and Jess on honeymoon in January 2018 and has been screened at over 20 film festivals around the world winning Best Film in Mumbai, and the Coal Coast Film Festival in Thirroul in March 2019

“Our honeymoon took us firstly to England to see Nick’s Dad, via a stopover in Hong Kong,” Jess said.

“We then flew to India via a stopover in Dubai, for our honeymoon in Mumbai, Goa and Kerala. We were excited by the challenge of just the two of us making most of the film in five countries.

“Travelling light means we couldn’t take much equipment, so we filmed on just one DLSR, a GoPro and mobile phones. Our editor James Vass worked wonders in the edit, sound and grade to make it not only festival worthy but capable of winning festivals.”

The film synopsis describes the film: “A man is issued a series of challenges, by an unknown person, and left with no option but to carry them out, taking him from London to Sydney, via Dubai, Mumbai, Goa, Kerala and Hong Kong.”

Nick, who wrote the film, said it is a difficult film to describe as there is a big twist halfway through that reveals what the man is doing.

“It’s a very personal film, a very autobiographical film, and one that resonates with all audiences. Tissues are required by most people,” he said.

Jess, a cinematographer who directed the film, said short film festivals are important to provide a platform for local filmmakers, help build a community, and enhance the arts culture in Wollongong.

“We are very grateful to Festival Director Luke Berman and his team, for all their hard work in providing this platform for us. The standard of the local Illawarra films was very high.”

The films will be shown at the sister events in Short +Sweet Illawarra starting this Friday.



About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


One thought on “Bulli film makers off to Hollywood

  1. They are not wrong about needing a box of tissues… Watched it and loved it. Well done.


    Posted by Nigel | September 18, 2019, 12:59 pm

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