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AFTRS Masters Graduates Follow Sydney Film Festival Success With International Festival Selections

Hattie Archibald on the set of ‘Gut Feeling’ with 1st AC Emma Elias | Image: David Collins Photography

Following the success of AFTRS Masters students at the recent Sydney Film Festival where student feature films came first and third in the Audience Awards, Master of Arts Screen: Directing student Hattie Archibald’s web series Gut Feeling has been selected for three significant festivals with a focus on web series.

Hattie completed Gut Feeling as her final MA project in 2018. The series has been selected for Toronto WebFest and has also been nominated for two awards: Primary Awards – Comedy, and Best Lead Performance for Bridie Connell. The series has also been selected for the Melbourne, Minnesota and Seoul WebFests and Stareable Fest in New York

The 3 x 12 minutes series was financed through AFTRS Master of Arts: Screen, HelloFuture.tv, Spectrum Films and the donations of individuals through two crowdfunding campaigns.

In the series, Bridie Connell plays Liv, a 28-year-old advertising creative, who is happy enough with her boyfriend Luke until one fateful evening when she is knocked unconscious at a surf club. When Liv wakes up, she can hear a voice coming from her gut who calls herself Uta and explains that she is Liv’s intuition. After getting over the initial excitement that Liv can now actually hear her, Uta tries to persuade Liv that Luke isn’t the right guy for her, but Liv doesn’t want to hear a word of it. Gut Feeling is a series about learning how – and when – to trust your gut.

Hattie Archibald on the set of ‘Gut Feeling’ | Image: David Collins Photography

Hattie Archibald has directed several short films including The Rehearsal (2017), Asymptotes (2015), The Brazilian (2013) as part of her Graduate Certificate in Directing at AFTRS, and Sac’rebleu (2011) which she filmed in Paris while on a university exchange. She has directed online comedy sketches including Sexist Cops: Sensitivity Training (2016) and Gandalf and Dumbledore meet for the first time (2013), as well as a range of documentary-style content for social media. Hattie has also studied and worked as an actor.

The series was produced by Emily Bull. Director of photography was Toby Petch, production designer was Mathilda Robba and Mark Douglas Williams was composer.

Sequin In A Blue Room, the first complete feature-length drama from AFTRS new MA Screen, was selected to screen at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. A queer coming-of-age tale, Sequin In A Blue Room, was an MA graduate project from 2018. The film was directed by Samuel Van Grinsven and produced by Sophie Hattch a graduate of AFTRS BA Screen. Their collaborators on the film include fellow AFTRS MA students, cinematographer Jay Grant; editor Tim Guthrie and composer Brent William.

Third place in the same award category was won by Suburban Wildlife, a feature by director Imogen McCluskey, writer/producer Béatrice Barbeau-Scurla and, in her second Festival selection, producer Sophie Hattch. Béatrice is a current student of the Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting course and Imogen McCluksey is also a graduate of AFTRS BA Screen.

David Balfour, AFTRS Head of Teaching and Learning, said: “AFTRS is incredibly proud that so many of the graduates of the new Masters program are already achieving such career success. That our graduates are breaking into the industry in significant ways at such early stages of their careers, indicates that the Master program is both identifying immensely talented people and also creating clear career paths.”

“Film festivals are immensely popular with audiences worldwide but also an important environment for filmmakers to be noticed by industry colleagues who look to festivals to identify emerging creative talent.”

The trailer for Gut Feeling has just been released and you can find out more about the series here.

Media enquiries:
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
Ph: 02 8333 9066 or 0419 221 493