How do you start a film festival? How do you make it flourish? Festival Director Cerise Howard gives us the 101.


GUEST: Cerise Howard, Festival Director.

From the winding, medieval cobble stone streets and ancient castles of Bratislava and Prague to the thriving modern metropolis of our very own Melbourne, writer, critic, broadcaster and festival director Cerise Howard brings the world of Czech and Slovak cinema to our shores with the Czech and SlovakFilm Festival of Australia. 

The festival starts next month and in celebration of this, Cerise will be chatting to FOMM host Philippa Hawker and giving away the secrets on how to start, market and run your very own film fest.

She will of course also be discussing the festival itself, which is an imaginative combination of Czech and Slovak films, exhibitions and workshops, and with a program of new features, classics and cult hits. This year's festival has a literary theme, and will include a selection of the greatest film adaptations of Czech and Slovak literature. 

Bio: Cerise Howard is a co-founder and theArtistic Director of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia and a committee member of both the Melbourne Trans and Gender Diverse Film Festival and the Melbourne Cinémathèque. A film critic on 3RRR's Plato's Cave,she has often written for Senses of Cinema and other notable film journals, for The Age and The BigIssue and for a variety of film festival publications locally and abroad. She has participated in FIPRESCI juries and discussion panels at festivals from the Czech Republic to Switzerland and Ukraine and been a juror at the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival in Prague and the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival in Melbourne. Favourite brushes with genius have included a guided tour of Jan Švankmajer's studios by the man himself, interviewing Guy Maddin for radio and hosting a Q&A with Todd Haynes in Prague. 

DOOR PRIZE: We will be giving away a three-ticket pass to the festival on the night!

The Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia begins in Melbourne on September 14. Details on the website below:

Host: Philippa Hawker.

ACMI & AFTRS Present Friday on My Mind: Melbourne


  • FREE
  • 6:00PM START
  • Tickets are only available on the day at the ACMI box office to be collected in person. First in best dressed.
  • Get Directions to ACMI 


September 2


You Can't Laugh at That!

JULY 29 - 5:30PM

GUEST: ABE FORSYTHE – Writer/Director of new Aussie comedy feature Down Under

Comedy Or Tragedy – It’s a Riot Either Way 

Abe Forsythe is an Aussie writer/director who has just released his black comedy feature DownUnder (2016) which recently had its world premiere at the 2016 Sydney FilmFestival to rave reviews, and also received official selection to the currently running Melbourne International Film Festival. Down Under is a provocative black comedy set during the aftermath of the 2005 Cronulla riots, which dares to explore the funny side of a very ugly situation.

“The most heart-warming comedy about stupidity and racism you will see this year.” – Andrew Denton

“A must-see comedy.” – Sydney Morning Herald

Abe sits down with Friday On My Mind host Giles Hardie to discuss the tricky and often controversial task of finding comedy in tragedy. They have long been the two masks of drama – comedy and tragedy – but it is a mistake to see them as opposite. They are instead the two sides to a story teller’s trick coin, the kissing cousins separated by a heartbeat, the kinky bedfellows of cinema. Abe will chat about his new film, analyse the awful things we laugh at, and possibly to have a chuckle at the missteps he’s made in his career as a filmmaker.

Abe Forsythe: As a director Abe Forsythe won the Tropfest Tropicana Award at the age of sixteen for his film Guided By The Light Of The Lord. In 2003 he wrote,directed and starred in the feature comedyNed, which was released theatrically in Australia by Icon Entertainment. His short film Being Carl Williams won second place and Best Comedy at Tropfest 2009. In 2010 he won Tropfest with his short filmShock. It also won Best Comedy. Along with writing and directing Abe also has experience as an actor. In 2004 he won the Best Actor Australian Film Institute Award for the acclaimed mini series Marking Time. He recently featured as John Cornell in Howzat: Kerry Packer’s War.

His television directing credits include season 2 of Laid for ABC TV and Shaun Micallef’s Mr & Mrs Murder for Ten/Freemantle. He also wrote and directed segments of ABC TV’s The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide To Knife Fighting. Abe also directs commercials via Good oil Films.

Host: Giles Hardie


  • FREE
  • 5:30PM START
  • First in best dressed
  • AFTRS Theatre 1, Building 130, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, 2021


Friday on My Mind is a series of FREE talks* curated and hosted by AFTRS where cinephiles, industry, students and film-lovers alike can soak up some creative mind fuel - supplied by some of the best and brightest in the screen arts and broadcast industries.

Running since 2008 at AFTRS Sydney, with a Melbourne edition, held at ACMI, introduced in 2012 Friday on My Mind generally runs from early March to the end of October each year.

  • All past sessions can be reviewed in the 'Previous Guests' tab, at the bottom of this page.
  • Edited transcripts of many Friday on My Mind sessions are available in the School's self-published journal LUMINA and here on the AFTRS website to review.

Go to the LUMINA section of this site to search the article list for published Friday on My Mind interviews



*Attendees of Friday on My Mind must be aged 16 and up. Generally material shown and discussed is 15+ and if on the occasion R rated content is shown warnings will be given in advance.


Got a question about Friday on My Mind? Send an email to
Sign up to receive AFTRS' event news

Photo: The Noonday Witch, the opening night film of The Czech and Slovak Film Festival. Its a debut work that has been compared in style and intensity to the Australian feature The Babadook
Last updated August 12, 2016

Share this
Facebook Twitter Google Email