After about 4,795 hours of waiting, the Interhall Arts Committee (IAC) has released the much anticipated results of the 40 Hours of Film competition. Wamburun Hall took first place, pushing the young hall from ninth to seventh place in the prestigious interhall arts competition.

The ANU Interhall Arts Committee, made up of elected volunteers from the residential halls and colleges, runs the annual 40 Hours of Film competition. Each hall or college creates a short film in 40 hours based upon a prompt.

The competition’s results have been a long-time coming, with the delays stemming from the new judging system implemented in February this year. IAC amended the by-laws to shift from having the films judged by a panel of all hall presidents, to three impartial judges. This addressed prior concerns of hall presidents voting strategically.

At the time of this amendment, some representatives raised the concern that the competition is difficult to run, and that adding these judges could be an additional challenge. The Committee determined that the significant benefit of a fairer system was sufficient to justify the challenges, and the amendment passed overwhelmingly.

In March, the week before the event, the Committee had one judge confirmed, with two nearly confirmed; however, the judges were unable to attend the event. This is consistent with previous years where the presidential panel watched and judged the films prior to the screenings at which the results were released.

On 25March the prompts were released, and the competition commenced, with residents given the location of “a playground,” the prop of “a sock,” and the phrase “you clearly haven’t done this before.” The results were not released at the screenings which occurred simultaneously at Coombs and Copland.

In the months following, there was pressure on the committee to release the results, including with some inflammatory anonymous posts on ANU Confessions. Members of the committee apologised profusely, and highlighted that the most significant benefit of the competition was “working together … and having a blast with people you probably haven’t worked with before,” with a final result of “great friendships and a film that each college can be proud of.” The delays, they explained, were a result of complications with receiving judgements from the external judges.

In early May, the committee had anticipated to release the results imminently; however, a week later there were personal circumstances for many of the judges which necessitated a delay. After this, 40 hours fell off from the IAC meeting minutes, with a substantive update appearing in August that the results were again imminent. There was brief discussion about a reversion to the original system, but it was maintained that “it’s better to have judges with professional film knowledge than presidents of the hall.”

Two weeks after that meeting, and seven before the results were released, IAC published an apologetic statement on Facebook and said that the delay was a result of “communication with judges be[ing] very slow and difficult, including new judges needing to be found multiple times.” At the time of publication, IAC has not released committee meeting minutes since the Facebook post.

One IAC representative from a Hall told Woroni they were “Really happy that we finally have a conclusion to what has been the most chaotic event on the IAC calendar” and that they “…can’t wait to see everyone’s films next year!”

On the 14 October, the results appeared on the ANU Interhall Arts Committee Facebook page, with Fenner taking Bronze, Burton and Garran taking Silver, and Wamburun Hall winning gold. The post was received with overwhelming positivity and celebration of the work of the participants in the competition.

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