Ballarat whiz kid Jack L Stacey shortlisted in national competition

A BALLARAT teenage music prodigy has been recognised at national level for his creation of a dramatic score for a short film provided by the world’s largest short film festival Tropfest.

Jack Stacey, 15, is one of six entrants shortlisted to win Tropfest’s inaugural Tropscore Junior competition, open to entrants 15 years or younger.

Jack composed a score for the three-minute clip provided to him and is now in the running to win a large cash prize and a performance of his work at Tropfest in Sydney.

Autistic and considered a musical savant – someone who demonstrates abilities far above what is considered normal – Jack used a multi-layered composition of piano, strings, horns and electric guitar to produce his dramatic score.

He did it in just two days.

His mother Julie Stacey said she was proud of her son.

“He did it all on his own,” she said. “He didn’t have a teacher, he just did it on his own without any help from anyone.”

Jack began playing the piano at the age of two and is classically trained.

Yesterday he was modest about his achievement but acknowledged he now had a good chance of winning a major musical competition judged by respected members of the film industry.

“I’m very excited, but there’s still some tough competition out there,” he said.

Jack will find out if he has won the competition on February 5.

The winning artist or band has the chance to perform their score live on stage at Movie Extra Tropfest, which will be held at The Domain in Sydney.

The prize includes $5000 cash.