Young filmmakers tackle tough topic in award-winning smartphone film

December 11, 2023 BY

The boys' winning film, Bullet Proof Kids, was inspired by a shared love of history. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A PAIR of 12-year-old boys from the Bellarine Peninsula have won awards at an international film festival for a short war-themed film they made using a smartphone.

Tom Morfitt-White and Charlie Wason were awarded Best Cinematography at the SmartFone Flick Fest for their film Bullet Proof Kids. Tom was also awarded Best Actor for his performance.

The competition is one of the world’s biggest smartphone film festivals and received 468 submissions spanning 60 countries in the under 16 years age category.

Submissions had to be shot entirely on a smartphone or tablet and be no longer than 10 minutes in length.

Bullet Proof Kids was selected from 30 finalists.

Tom Morfitt-White. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


“It was great. I wasn’t expecting to win,” Tom said.

Inspired by a shared love of history and Charlie’s fascination with war, the film was shot progressively over a five-week period at various locations around the Bellarine.

In the film, Tom plays a young homeless boy who is conscripted into the military.

“It’s about two boys who go to war. They both have very different opinions. One wants to go to war, and one doesn’t,” Tom said.

“The film is filmed with battle scenes and at the end they run into each other.”

When the boys meet and look each other in the eye, Tom’s character screams, using his voice for the first time in the film.

Presenting a strong statement against war, the boys then “put their guns down and walk away”.

Charlie Wason. PHOTO: SUPPLIED


Tom said before filming, he and Charlie decided what they each wanted to bring to the film.

“We wanted emotion. Charlie wanted action and we both brought the two together.”

Bullet Proof Kids required some creative editing, of which Tom did the majority, to convey the perspectives of both soldiers.

Cleverly, he even managed to include period-appropriate sound effects created using artificial intelligence.

“There was a lot of work,” he said.

“I love the editing side of things. You get to be really creative.”

After the success of their debut film, Tom said he and Charlie had plans to continue making productions together when Charlie returns from travelling overseas later this month.