You’re a funny guy

By Kirra Livingstone

ONE of Hollywood’s finest ever comedians has given his personal stamp of approval to the talents of Beerwah filmmaker Ryan Butler.
Butler won the Fun is Good Bill Murray Comedic Shorts Award at the 2023 Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF), in Minnesota on October 28 for his short film Bin Day.
Funny thing was, the hinterland local didn’t even know he was in the running.
Although Butler knew his film was being played at the film festival, he was unaware he was nominated for the prestigious award, which was being judged by Bill Murray himself, until the early hours of Sunday (October 29) morning.
“It was a bit of a surprise, I didn’t know I was nominated, if I were more diligent, I might have known, but I wasn’t aware, but I knew there was a showing of Bin Day at the festival,” he said.
“I was just scrolling through my emails and I was just reading the article about all the winners and I thought I haven’t heard anything so I won’t be in here.
“But then I saw a paragraph about me winning, I was taken aback but in a good way, and then I just kept reading it over and over and then went upstairs and woke my wife up.
“It was almost better than a morning coffee!”
Bin Day tells the story of a pacifist woman and her lazy husband who are forced to work together to rid their home of an unwanted, undead pest during the apocalypse.
With a budget of about $18,000 the nine-minute film cleverly dissects the absurd attempts to apply pacifist philosophy in a zombie apocalypse.
His more recent film – The Gorge – which starred Lincoln Lewis, was a more serious take on the extreme, with a dark and mysterious entity threatening five friends who hope to survive a night in the woods, filmed locally in Kenilworth.
While Butler is already driven to evolve his talents, the unexpected accolade has proven an extra motivation.
“Now I’m sort of buckling down, I’ve got a few scripts in the works and a few people have asked me to assist in whatever they are doing, as well as starting work on the feature film version of Bin Day,” he said.
“I’m also working on a pitch for SBS for The Gorge, which is my other short film, which that is for a series.
“But this award from Bill Murray sort of lit a fire under me to get Bin Day to a feature length and continue to write it.”
Ryan is now taking a break from creating short films for the rest of 2023, due to his wife expecting a baby in February 2024. He is keen to get back into it after their baby’s birth.
“Winning that award was pretty bloody cool,” he said.
“It’s been a great year and I won’t be slowing down in 2024 that’s for sure.”