AFTRS Student Films Feature on Virgin Australia

Aug 15 2016


Virgin Australia’s In-Flight Entertainment system now features a ‘Best of the Fest’ program that offers guests a selection of award-winning AFTRS student films that have featured at prestigious film festivals around the world, such as Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Short Film Festival and Palm Springs International Short Fest.

The film selection will be curated on a quarterly basis with the first program to feature an eclectic mix of stories, ranging from political satire to taxidermy. 

Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer, Mark Hassell, said: “Australia’s up-and-coming filmmakers are winning plaudits around the world, and we are excited about the opportunity to showcase their talent on board our aircraft.

“The Virgin brand was born in entertainment, so it is only fitting that we work with the best filmmakers in the country to keep our guests entertained on board.” 

AFTRS CEO, Neil Peplow, said: “We’re really excited about our partnership with Virgin Australia,this is a fantastic avenue to showcase Australia’s emerging filmmakers to new audiences. Virgin Australia is a strong advocate for the arts which makes the airline a perfect fit for the school.” 

‘Best of the Fest’ films include:

  • The Kangaroo Guy (Joel Loxton, Master of Screen Arts 2014) – winner of the Jury Award (International Student Category) at the Montreal World Film Festival, and screened at Flickerfest International Short Film Festival in Sydney and the Australian Short Film Today at the AsiaSociety, New York. 

  • All God's Creatures (Brendon McDonall, Graduate Diploma in Directing 2012) – winner of the Best Short Film (Nicholas Baudin Prize) at Recontres Internationales du Cinéma des Antipodes in Saint-Tropez last year and winner of the IRIS International Prize 2014. All God's Creatures also screened in Official Selection at Palm Springs International Shortfest 2014, in Official Selection at Nashville International Film Festival 2014 and in Official selection Flickerfest International Film Festival.

  • Stuffed (Warwick Young, Master of Screen Arts 2013) - awarded Best Foreign Film at the Beverly Hills Film Festival 2016, the Audience Award (New Talent Showcase) at Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival in Germany and Best Student Film UK Film Festival 2014. Stuffed also screened in Official Section at Sydney Film Festival 2014, Official Selection at Flickerfest International Short Film Festival 2015, Official Selection Cleveland International Film Festival (US) and Official Selection Valladolid Film Festival, Spain.

  • Embrace (George-Alex Nagle, Graduate Diploma in Directing 2013) – screened at Sydney Film Festival, Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival in Germany, and the UK Film Festival in London. 

  • Foal (Vanessa Gazy, Master of Screen Arts 2014) – nominated for three awards at the 2016 St. Kilda Film Festival including Best Achievement in Editing, the Craft Award and Best Young Actor (Lola Bennett). The film screened at Poitiers Film Festival (France), Newport Beach Film Festival US), World Fest-Houston International Film + Video Festival and in Official Selection at Flickerfest International Short Film Festival 2015. 

Stars of the films include the up and comer Ed Oxenbould, who delighted audiences in the box office smash hit Paper Planes. 

The school is committed to giving a voice to a new generation of Australian storytellers by providing the highest quality education, training and research. 


Photo by Luke Dampney-Williams
Last update: August 15


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.