National Talent Camp brings two participants from each state and territory to take part in a week long intensive, focusing on individual development through one to one mentoring and feedback sessions, as well as group masterclasses. At the end of the National Talent Camp, participants are invited to submit their script/documentary outline for production, with three short productions awarded funding of $24,000 each.
Alana Hicks (NSW)
Production funding awarded
Co-founder of The Kvetch Set Sketch Collective and co-creator of online web series The Kvetch Set. Alana’s work has been featured in The National Play Festival, Sydney Festival, Sydney Writers Festival and more. Alana is of Papua New Guinean/Australian heritage, with a strong desire to see culturally diverse stories on Australian screens.
Belinda Raposo (QLD)
Belinda has a passion for storytelling, with a love of queer history and stories of identity, migration and the urban landscape. She has written for Archer Magazine, and other publications as a freelance writer, and released CO_The Creative Couples Project with Cecile Knight in 2015. In 2017 she was selected for ACT Writers Centre Hardcopy professional development and AFTRS Talent Camp (Queensland). She is presently developing a screenplay and will be part of AFTRS National Talent Camp in 2018.
Chloe Black (TAS)
I’ve been writing and doing stand-up comedy for over 17 years. I’ve been a lifelong die-hard fan of movies and films. I’ve performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Adelaide Fringe and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. I’m also a broadcaster on Edge Radio in Hobart as the co-host of Film Central and my own show It’s Always Midnight Somewhere, which I like to think of as a phantasmagorical mix tape of film-scores and punk rock, every Sunday night. I also like to collect and sell vinyl records online.
Courtney Collins (NT)
For the past three years I have been living in Ngukurr, Southeast Arnhem Land, researching and writing a TV/web series called Shady Ladies. In 2017, in collaboration with Ngukurr Art Centre, Ngukurr Language Centre and key community elders, I set-up Ngukurr Story Project. The project supports local people to tell the stories they want to tell, in the language they want to tell it in, such as Lil Bois by Grant Thompson. Lil Bois will be the first short film in his traditional and endangered language of Ngandi.
Dinah Lewis Boucher (QLD)
My great grandfather was a Tulafale; a Samoan orator or talking chief, a story teller and sharer of cultural traditions in our village and family. I like to think I continue his storytelling legacy. I’m a dreamer. A Mum. A journalist. A writer. A Polynesian woman. A filmmaker. Can a story change the world? Through touching hearts, stirring the soul or encouraging curiosity to think about an issue differently, I’ve always believed yes.
Grace Feng Fang Juan (VIC)
Production funding awarded
I am a writer and photographer based in Melbourne, producing works in Chinese and English languages through different mediums. I write for Australia Plus, the ABC, Peril Magazine and hold a master’s degree in Creative Media (Film & Television production). I currently work as the Audience and Content Expert – Chinese at International Strategy, ABC.
Isabel Olympia Turner (WA)
I was born to an Anglo-Australian mother and an East Timorese father who lives in the Gibson Desert of central Australia. I spent my early childhood on the lands and grew up to be included in extended Ngaanyatjarra family. I have a deep love for expressing the inner unique workings of individuals. I have a deep passion for expression through film, art and music, gained from a my cross-cultural experiences, knowing the limitations of language.
Kane Jacobs (SA)
The plan was simple … risk everything! Take the leap and gamble on myself, to prove I can turn an unscrupulous past to an uncertain future in an unpredictable industry. Technically, I pride myself on having a versatile skillset. Most recently working in Art Department, also as camera assistant for an ACS accredited DP, and an editor learning from professionals with over 35 years of experience. While also running my own freelance business, completing music videos and various other projects.
Llewellyn Michael Bates (VIC)
Production funding awarded
Llewellyn Michael Bates is a Melbourne-based freelance screenwriter and creative producer who is AACTA-AFI nominated. His short Nathan Loves Ricky Martin is multi-award-winning in both Australia and internationally and was the winner of the prestigious Script Pipeline First Look Project. His recent feature film script Shanghai Go was successful in the Screen Australia China Arclight Co-Pro Development Initiative and he has worked in a writer placement at Princess Pictures.
Michael Gupta (NSW)
Michael is an Australian/Indian filmmaker and graduated from The University of Western Sydney Nepean school in acting and AFTRS screenwriting in 2015. In 2015 Michael was selected to participate in Screen NSW/Metro Screen’s First Breaks Film Lab. Through this hothouse, Michael wrote and directed the short film The Lake, which received official selections around the globe and premiered at Oscar and BAFTA qualifying Encounters Short Film Festival in the UK, returning home for its Australian premiere at the St Kilda Film Festival 2017. In 2018 Michael has been shortlisted for the Sydney Film Festival Lexus Fellowship, and will undertake the emerging producer placement with Create NSW.
Nilendra Fonseka (NSW)
I have worked in Corporate Finance for 5+ years, pursuing writing and acting in my spare time. In 2016, during a one year Acting Studio in Melbourne I realised that being in front of (or around) the camera was where I needed to be. My directorial short film debut Navigate premiered at the Made In The West film festival last year. In 2018 my focus has been on honing my producing and story development skills. I was fortunate to take part in the Produce Perfect workshop this year, and am looking forward to bringing a story I hold dear to my heart to life during this year’s National Talent Camp.
Rob Braslin (TAS)
Rob Braslin has performed at the The Comedy Store in Sydney and at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival for Deadly Funny, the Indigenous comedy competition at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where he was awarded the runner up spot. In the 2017 48 hour horror challenge he received a honorable mention for the short horror film B-Side he wrote, directed and starred in. Rob was also chosen to be a part of the Shock Treatment Initiative to write and direct his first fully funded short horror film Vale Light.
Samuel Nuggin-Paynter (NT)
I am an Aboriginal man from Alice Springs who is just starting out in a career in film and television, writing and storytelling is my passion so to be able to make a career out of my art will be a dream come true.
Shevaun Rutherford (SA)
I’m nineteen and have a list of short works that have been published and won competitions that can be found on my twitter @shevrutherford. I’m in my second year at university in a course specialized towards prose, but have been trying to undertake as many screen topics as possible (I even went to the 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival for one of them!), as I’ve always dreamt of screenwriting, knowing that many of my ideas require visual mediums to be told properly. I am very excited and honoured to be a part of this opportunity.
Steven Arriagada (VIC)
Steven Arriagada is an award-winning writer and director. His last drama project Nathan Loves Ricky Martin was nominated for an AFI/AACTA Award. Besides Steven’s recent freelance writing work for Arclight Films and his Film Victoria industry placement with Princess Pictures, Steven’s experience spans over live television broadcasts, directing high end TVC’s including the Hugh Jackman Broadway to Oz campaign and agency video work for some of Australia’s largest brands and musical acts. Steven’s personal journey has been one wrought with hardship and tragedy, however, he has used his experiences to create edgy and confronting scripted drama in order to generate unforgettable social value.
Vincent Carter (WA)
My Name is Vincent Carter I am 21 and from Broome, Western Australia. I am currently studying a part time Diploma in Camera at AFTRS. Since I’ve become very interested in the media industry things have really opened my eyes to how many stories out there that need to be told, and I want to learn how I can get these stories on paper and on to the screen.
Zayaan Jappie (ACT)
Zayaan Jappie is of mixed heritage, born in South Africa, she grew up in Australia and has also lived in Mexico and the USA. She worked in LA, assisting Oscar-nominated Australian film director and editor Luke Doolan. Her first short film Rima screened at the Arab Film Festival Australia 2010, Dubai International Film Festival 2010 amongst others. Her second short film Eve, developed under the guidance of Daniella Ortega was funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign. Zayaan has also worked in federal government policy and recently started freelance writing, her most recent articles published in VICE Noisey Mexico and OKAYAFRICA.
2018 Program Facilitators
Engagement Manager, AFTRS
Prior to joining AFTRS, Christina was the CEO at Metro Screen, which provided production and networking support for emerging screen practitioners. Christina has also held the positions of FBi 94.5fm General Manager during the radio station’s establishment years and as the Deputy GM at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, the national association representing over 300 community radio and television stations.
Engagement Coordinator, AFTRS
Gary Paramanathan works at the intersection of arts, culture and community. Currently working at AFTRS in engagment, he has previously worked at Fairfield City Council in Arts and Cultural Development, Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Screen Culture and collaborated with a number of arts and cultural organisations. Gary is passionate about migrant and diaspora storytelling.
Brita is a Dramaturg, Directing Coach and Story Consultant working with actors, directors, writers, producers, editors and cinematographers. Brita has contributed to the development of more than 120 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects. Brita is a guest teacher at AFTRS and is an advisory board member and Story Advisor at Story Camp Aotearoa, a five-day residential screenwriting retreat for feature film screenwriters in New Zealand.
Kath Shelper is the producer of many celebrated films most noticeably Samson & Delilah, which won the director Warwick Thornton the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Kath currently produces the ABC sketch comedy series, Black Comedy, which has had two series screen in 2014 and 2016, winning an AACTA Award and nominated twice for a Logie. Her last feature film Ruben Guthrie opened the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.