Short Film




Hike is a 4-minute 3D animated short film produced by Monkeystack with emerging director, Alexander Rodeghiero-Smith (he/them).
Selected as one of the finalists across Australia and New Zealand for the second year of Epic Games’ South Australian Film Corporation-supported Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge, Monkeystack were set the task to create a short film entirely in Unreal Engine within a tight timeframe of 8 weeks.

The story focuses on the relationship between a mother and child, gently exploring the emotional turmoil of grief, memory and growth in the wake of a tragedy. It follows a young teenager honouring the memory of their mother while connecting with nature, ultimately discovering catharsis and resolution. Hike offers a unique moment to escape daily distractions and focus on what really matters – our relationships.

Every area within the design and production process was carefully considered to reflect the nature of the story, from the colour pallet contrasting between warm tones and bright scenes as the story flips between the past and present, to the lingering scenic shots to immerse the viewer in the stillness of a moment.
We brought South Australian composer Christopher Larkin onto the project, who produced a beautiful score that encapsulated the feeling and emotions from the story and animation.

As a studio, we strive to support and provide opportunities to a diverse range of emerging talent. The Unreal Engine Short Film Challenge presented the opportunity to work with Alexander, producing Hike as their directorial debut in line with their focus to create story-rich works that explore unique ideas.



Director & Writer: Alex Rodeghiero-Smith
Director & Producer: Justin Wight
Art Director: Troy Bellchambers & Christopher Green
Lead Animator: Christopher Spencer
Animators: Cara Byrne & Lachlan Marshall
Lead 3D Artists: Jamie Pillarinos & Christopher Hopgood
3D Artists: Henry Bruce & Anna Bailes
Additional Technical Art: William Grimes Composer: Christopher Larkin
Sound Designer: Carlos Manrique Clavijo
Marketing Executive: Fi Kievenaar
Studio Executive: Rhys Sandery