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AFTRS Presents ‘8 From 8’ and Announces Charlie’s Grant and The Incubator Lab

Photo: Joseph Mayers

Screen industry innovation and the value of creativity were at the forefront at the second AFTRS 8 From 8 event held earlier this week in Sydney.

Screen storytellers from each of Australia’s 8 States and Territories gave their unique perspectives on the genesis and development of Australian stories in a digital age.

In his keynote address to the event, AFTRS Chair Russel Howcroft said: “Creativity is a key part of many of the skills people will need in the future. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes.

“As we face a rapidly changing world, with new technology, new platforms, new forms of content, more access to data than ever before, and new generations entering the workforce, I believe that creativity and storytelling will be the critical skills that not only help us to adapt, they will also help us to feel more connected, more together, and more human than ever before.”

Mr Howcroft also announced three initiatives to create opportunities for AFTRS alumni.

The Incubator Lab is a partnership with The Studio, the creative and media tech incubator started by AFTRS graduate, Chantal Abouchar. AFTRS 2018 graduates are invited to apply for one of two x three-month incubator labs that will support the development of a screen and broadcast idea or creative project. The proposal has to be bold, focused, feasible and contribute something more broadly to industry.

The Incubator Lab consists of a three-month residency at The Studio, with full access to their community of start-up’s, $5000 in seed funding during the incubator lab as well as dedicated mentorship from AFTRS staff and access to AFTRS resources.

In another incredible opportunity for an emerging screen creative, Mr Howcroft also announced Charlie’s Grant, an AFTRS and Los Angeles-based Australians in Film (Aif) initiative. Charlie’s Grant will help one AFTRS alumni to get their project off the ground in Los Angeles. The successful applicant will be flown to Charlie’s Desk in LA, hot-desk space at the AiF offices at Raleigh Studios, and stay at the Ramada Plaza, West Hollywoodwhilst having access to the American Film Market, in November. Applications are open. Apply here.

The third initiative is the establishment of a Co-working Space, which will provide alumni access to a co-working space on-site at AFTRS.

Mr Howcroft also introduced the 8 From 8 speakers – storytellers, working in different forms, from Australia’s eight states and territories, who each spoke for eight minutes.

They were:

Niki Aken (ACT), a writer for television, working across drama and comedy. Niki co-wrote The Hunting for SBS / Closer Productions, which premiered at Series Mania in 2019.

Kate Croser (SA), Head of Production and Development at KOJO and an award-winning producer whose previous work includes Wayne Blair’s rom com feature Top End Wedding (2019 Sundance Film Festival).

Philip Denson (NT) is a screenwriter living in remote Northern Territory and he produced the animated online series Mining Boom garnering over 6 million views online and winning Best Animation at the LA Film Awards.

Martine Delaney (TAS) Occasionally known as the Sex-Change Soccer Star Cyber-Tranny Granny, in recent years Martine’s been an LGBTI advocate/lobbyist and a stand-up comic. She has also written her first feature film which is in development.

Lee May (QLD) is a game designer at Defiant Development, where he serves as a writer and editor on the critically-acclaimed Hand of Fate series. Prior to joining the studio, he spent nine years as a critic and journalist on Brisbane’s 4ZZZ, co-hosting Australia’s longest-running gaming radio program.

Natasha Pincus (VIC) worked as a research scientist and practiced corporate law before hanging up her lab coat and suit to focus on her screenwriting and directing career.

S. Shakthidharan (NSW) is a western Sydney storyteller with Sri Lankan heritage and Tamil ancestry. He’s a writer, director and producer of theatre and film, and composer of original music as one half of the band Kurinji.

WA’s representative, Kelrick Martin, was unfortunately not able to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.

You can watch the 8 From 8 presentations here:

Part 1
Part 2

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