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AFTRS alumni feature strongly in the Australian line up at the Toronto International Film Festival which kicks off this week.

Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country has been selected for competition following its world premiere at Venice Film Festival. While 1%, by directing graduate Stephen McCallum, and The Butterfly Tree, produced by Masters of Screen Business graduate Peter Drinkwater will both screen at TIFF in the Discovery program, which showcases the work of emerging directors.

In recent student film success, Brendon McDonall’s graduate film The Dam has been nominated for the Iris Prize. This is the second time Brendon has been nominated. In 2014 he won the prize for his film All God’s Creatures, taking away the £25,000 prize to make his next film, the BAFTA nominated Spoilers.

The Iris Prize is the largest prize for a gay and lesbian short film in the world. Now valued at £30,000, the prize enables the winner to make their next short film. It is awarded during a four-day festival held in Cardiff, Wales,  that presents a program of screenings including the 30 competing short films, several feature films and panel sessions with visiting filmmakers.

The Dam premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2016 and continues to be selected at festivals around the world, recently winning Best Short Student Narrative at the RiverRun International Film Festival in the US.

Vedrana Musić’s A Boy Called Su, another popular festival selection, won Best Coming of Age category at the recent HollyShorts Film Festival held annually in Los Angeles. Two other films were also selected for the festival –  Amber McBride’s At Midnight and Dane McCusker’s Angelfish. Angelfish premiered earlier this year at Aspen Shortsfest and has also just screened at the Academy qualifying Atlanta Film Festival.

Two student films have also been selected for this year’s Adelaide Film Festival, Happy by director Laura Dudgeon and Infidels by Luke Marsden.

In other alumni news, directing graduate Damien Powers’ feature Killing Ground is currently in national cinema release.

Photo: Still from The Dam