A staggering third of the feature films longlisted for AACTA nominations in the Best Independent Film category are works by AFTRS students and alumni.
Of the 34 Australian feature films in consideration, 11 are alumni/student films. Among them are large-scale productions, a micro-budget feature debut and AFTRS’ first graduate feature production.
After a world premiere at Sydney Film Festival – where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, sold out both screenings and a received a standing ovation – Sequin in a Blue Room, the feature debut and graduate project of Samuel Van Grinsven (Master of Arts Screen, 2018) is one of the features in competition. Since premiering, the film has been on a whirlwind tour of the international festival circuit and is nominated for the Iris Prize.
Similarly, after a world premiere at Cinequest and a local debut at Sydney Film Festival, Imogen McCluskey’s (Bachelor of Arts Screen, 2017) impressive debut feature Suburban Wildlife is also a contender.
Audience favourite and box office hit, Top End Wedding, directed by Wayne Blair is on the list, along with Kriv Stenders’ Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, Kim Farrant’s thriller Angel of Mine, Rachel Ward’s comedy-drama Palm Beach and more.
Full list of AFTRS alumni films in competition:
Angel of Mine
Director: Kim Farrant (Master of Arts – Film & Television [Hons] Directing, 1999)
Cinematographer: Andrew Commis (Master of Arts – Film & Television Cinematography, 1998)
Production designer: Ruby Mathers (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2013)
Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan
Director: Kriv Stenders (Bachelor of Arts (Film and Television) Camera, 1988)
Producer: Michael Schwarz (Graduate Certificate: Screen Drama – Directing and Screenwriting, 2009)
Composer: Caitlin Yeo (Graduate Diploma in Screen Composition, 2002)
Producer: John Fink (Graduate Diploma Screenwriting, 2009)
Hearts and Bones
Cinematographer: Hugh Miller (Master of Arts – Film & Television Cinematography, 2002)
Assistant producer: Sleena Wilson (Graduate Certificate Screen: Creative Producing, 2018)
Cinematographer: Bonnie Elliott ACS (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Cinematography, 2006)
Editor Nick Meyers (Specialist Extension Certificate in Editing, 1991)
Production designer: Melinda Doring (Master of Arts: Film & Television Design, 1997)
Reflections in the Dust
Director: Luke Sullivan (Foundation Diploma, 2013; Graduate Certificate in Directing, 2014)
Producer: Giovanni De Santolo (Foundation Diploma 2013; Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2017)
Sequin in a Blue Room
Director, screenwriter: Samuel Van Grinsven (Master of Arts Screen, 2018)
Producers: Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017), Linus Gibson (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Cinematographer: Jay Grant
Editor: Tim Guthrie (Master of Arts Screen, 2018)
Composer: Brent Williams (Master of Arts Screen, 2016)
Costume designer: William Tran (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Cinematographer: Bonnie Elliot ACS (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Cinematography, 2006)
Director, Screenwriter, Producer: Imogen McCluskey (Bachelor of Arts Screen, 2017)
Screenwriter: Beatrice Barbeau-Scurla (Bachelor of Arts (Screen) 2017)
Producer: Sophie Hattch (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Cinematographer: Lucca Barone-Peters (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Top End Wedding
Director: Wayne Blair (AFTRS Andrew Myer Fellowship, 2007)
Screenwriter: Joshua Tyler (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Screenwriting, 2006)
Bonnie Elliott, ACS (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Cinematography, 2006)