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Lifeblood - Directed by Nicholas Tory



  • Nicholas Tory Producer, Director

  • Nicholas Tory, Jonathan Nix, Aunty Dot Martin, Phil Sullivan Writer

  • Nardi Simpson Key Cast


  • Project Type: Animation, Short

  • Genres: Environmental, Aboriginal Culture, Historical, Australian, Magic Realism, Mythology, Political

  • Runtime: 19 minutes 15 seconds

  • Completion Date: January 26, 2021

  • Production Budget: 380,000 AUD

  • Country of Origin: Australia

  • Country of Filming: Australia

  • Language: English

  • Aspect Ratio: 30:9

  • Film Color: Color

  • First-time Filmmaker: Yes


Bourke is a place that exists on the edge of civilisation, and at the edge of Australia’s collective memory. When you visit this part of Australia, and really see it, it will speak to you. In a modern context, Bourke represents one of those places that sees ‘Boom and Bust’ on an almost seasonal basis. An abandoned place. Littered with memories and old stories. But when you look closely, you see that life is everywhere. Impossibly beautiful. Life hibernates. Life adapts.

The people of Bourke Shire are more resilient than the rest of us. After the Europeans arrived, Aboriginal people in Bourke were taken away, and others were brought here, to live in the missions. Today there are more than 20 tribes and clans represented in the region, so identity is a problem for a lot of Aboriginal people. Is this my place? Or is this your place? Have a think about what that must feel like.

Lifeblood is a film about the intersection of place, history, and our identity. Who are we as Australians? We are disconnected from our true cultural identity. We don’t understand our environment, and therefore we don’t know how to protect the delicate equilibriums that have existed for millions of years on our planet.

Bourke people are more closely connected with the way our planet is changing. People suffer when the river is low. Businesses go bankrupt because of the drought. People change their livelihoods accordingly. We ignore the truth, and an entire culture that flourished for hundreds of thousands of years slowly dies. Why do we ignore these truths? Where are we rushing to? Stop and look. Stay a while, and you will see.


Director Biography

Nicholas Tory Nick has spent the past 20 years working with artistic production teams on a wide range of world class projects. Over the past 10 years, Nick's art practice, and his cultural work and public art production business, Ample Projects, has developed with a key focus on creating work that combines traditional artistic methods with new and old technology, to create relatable cultural work and public artwork.

Nick’s work is a response to living in our world - seeking to explore themes around the experiences of living in urban environments, and a desire to be closer to nature, the fragility and complexity of all life on our planet, human mythologies, and the roles that technology plays in our lives and in our world.

Through collaboration, Nick’s work utilizes light, spatial and object design, electronic engineering, interactive design, sound, projection, animation, film making and traditional techniques like drawing and painting. Nicholas hopes to produce though-provoking work that makes our experience of the world better. Director Statement Lifeblood is an animated film about White apathy in Australia - from a cultural perspective, as well as the way we ‘see’ and treat our environment in this country. Lifeblood is also an art film - The film takes place in Bourke New South Wales, a 'forgotten' place, but an undeniably beautiful place, to watch Lifeblood is to experience the beauty and complexity of this place, to really see the district, and understand it’s history, and the delicate equilibriums at play within every aspect of life in this part of the world.

I wanted to create an Australian Animated film that explores the ideas around the intersection of place, history, and our identity. Who are we as White Australians? We are disconnected from our true cultural identity. We don’t understand our environment, and therefore we don’t know how to protect the delicate equilibriums that have existed for millions of years on our planet. Lifeblood is a story told from a white Australian perspective, but was written by Aboriginal and White Australians. We ignore the truth, and an entire culture that flourished for hundreds of thousands of years slowly dies. Why do we ignore these truths? Where are we rushing to? Stop and look. Stay a while, and you will see.


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Screening and Awards

  • St Kilda International Film Festival Melbourne Australia May 20, 2021 World Nominated Best Animation

  • St Kilda International Film Festival Melbourne Australia May 20, 2021 World Nominated Best Original Score

  • St Kilda International Film Festival Melbourne Australia May 20, 2021 World Nominated Best Sound Design & Production

  • Revelation Perth International Film Festival Perth Australia July 7, 2021 Western Australia

  • Indy Shorts Indianapolis United States July 10, 2021 World - International

  • Fantasia International Film Festival Montreal Canada August 5, 2021 Canada

  • Sydney International Film Festival Sydney Australia November 3, 2021 New South Wales Finalist: Dendy Awards - Best Animation (Yoram Gross Award)

  • Sydney International Film Festival Sydney Australia November 3, 2021 New South Wales Finalist Dendy Awards - Best Director

  • Show Me Shorts Auckland New Zealand October 2, 2021 New Zealand

  • Catalina Long Beach & Catalina Island United States September 17, 2021 California

  • Montreal International Animation Film Festival - ANIMAZE Montreal Canada August 27, 2021 Selection

  • Chicago International Children's Film Festival Chicago United States November 5, 2021 Selection

  • 2021 ATOM Awards Melbourne Australia December 16, 2021 Award Winner Best Animation

  • Uppsala Short Film Festival Uppsala Sweden October 25, 2021 Sweden Selection

  • Manchester Film Festival Manchester United Kingdom March 12, 2022 United Kingdom Selection

  • Flickerfest International Short Film Festival Sydney Australia January 21, 2022 Award Winner

  • Berlin Short Film Festival BERLIN Germany February 1, 2022 AWARD WINNER - Best Animated Film

  • Palm Springs Animation Festival Palm Springs United States April 30, 2022 Selection

  • Sonoma International Film Festival Sonoma United States March 23, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Film (Short)

  • Harlem International Film Festival Harlem United States May 5, 2022 Selection

  • Stockholm Independent Film Festival Stockholm Sweden May 14, 2022 Selected

  • Los Angeles Film Awards Los Angeles United States March 2, 2022 Award Winner - Best Director,

  • Los Angeles Film Awards Los Angeles United States March 2, 2022 Best First Time Director

  • OTB | Only The Best Film Awards Miami United States June 10, 2022 Selected

  • 10th Australian Production Design Guild Awards Sydney Australia November 7, 2021 Award Winner - STORM FX ANIMATION DESIGN AWARD

  • Global Shorts Los Angeles United States April 22, 2022 Award Winner - Award of Excellence

  • Global Shorts Los Angeles United States April 22, 2022 Award Winner - Best Editor,

  • INDIE SHORTS AWARDS NEW YORK New York United States May 3, 2022 Award Winner - Best Sound Design

  • RED MOVIE AWARDS Reims France May 7, 2023 France Award Winner - Best Animated Film

  • Phoenix Shorts Ontario Canada February 26, 2022 Award Winner - Best Editor

  • Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift Toronto Canada February 15, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Short Film, Award Winner - Best Male Director

  • International Cosmopolitan Film Festival of Tokyo Tokyo Japan February 11, 2022 Award Winner - Best Short Film

  • International Cosmopolitan Film Festival of Tokyo Tokyo Japan February 11, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Short

  • New Wave Short Film Festival Munich Germany January 3, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Film

  • Continuum: Independant Animation From Japan & Australia Sydney Australia February 18, 2022 Selection

  • Roma Short Film Festival Rome Italy January 4, 2022 Award Winner - Best Director

  • Hsin-Yi Chidren's Animation Awards Taipei Taiwan January 8, 2022 Award Winner - Honourable Mention - Best Animated Short Film

  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival New York United States January 10, 2022 Award Winner - Best Original Score

  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival New York United States January 10, 2022 Award Winner - Best Trailer

  • Tokyo Shorts Tokyo Japan December 30, 2021 Award Winner - Best Producer

  • Tokyo Shorts tokyo Japan December 30, 2021 Award Winner - Best Production Design

  • Tokyo Shorts Tokyo Japan December 30, 2021 Award Winner - Best Sound Design

  • Tokyo International Short Film Festival Tokyo Japan February 5, 2022 Award Winner - MESSAGE OF HOPE AWARD

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Poster

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Trailer

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Trailer

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Sound Design

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Director

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Writer

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best International Short Film

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Concept

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Animated Short Film

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Producer

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Art Direction

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Original Score

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best Editor

  • Aiyan Film Awards Chennai India December 18, 2021 Award Winner - Best 3D Design

  • Venice Shorts Venice Beach United States February 11, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Film

  • SENSUS Film Festival St Petersburg Russian Federation March 10, 2022 Award Winner - Best Sound Design

  • SENSUS Film Festival St Petersburg Russian Federation March 10, 2022 Award Winner - Best Animated Film,

  • SENSUS Film Festival St Petersburg Russian Federation March 10, 2022 Award Winner - Best Original Score

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Singapore Award Winner - Best Editor

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best Producer

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best Animated Short Film

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best Original Score

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best International Short Film

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best Trailer

  • Indo Singapore International Film Festival Singapore Singapore December 15, 2021 Award Winner - Best Poster

  • Chicago Indie Film Awards Chicago United States December 17, 2021 Award Winner - Best Animated Film

  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Houston United States April 20, 2022 GOLD REMI AWARD Computer Generated / CGI / Mixed Media / 3D,

  • WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival Houston United States April 20, 2022 SPECIAL JURY AWARD Animated (Classic Cel Animation)

  • Japan Media and Arts Festival Tokyo Japan September 16, 2022 Official Selection


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