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New Industry Discount and Expanded Online Offering in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

AFTRS CEO Dr Nell Greenwood

During this very challenging time for the sector, AFTRS has put together a range of initiatives to support the wider screen and broadcast industries across Australia including an expanded online offering, with a substantial range of free content, a new @ AFTRS talk series with international luminaries and discounted short courses.

“If there is any upside to a period when we are all home-bound and physically distancing from each other, it is that our need for great stories – screen stories, audio stories, podcasts, radios – to transport, inform, challenge and inspire us has never been more evident. AFTRS is here to support our sector and its brilliant screen and broadcast storytellers through this period. We’re working on a flexible range of affordable online upskilling courses and a new free program of inspiring, engaging content that reminds us all of the power of what we do,” said AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood.

From next week, AFTRS is launching a series of free, live-streamed talks focussed on creativity and great storytelling to give industry some Covid-free headspace to hear industry colleagues and luminaries talk about current projects, careers, and inspirations.

Building on the highly popular TV Talks monthly events, Talks @ AFTRS event will live stream every Tuesday from April 21 at 1.00pm. The guests and content will be drawn from across the screen and broadcast sectors. The first Talks @ AFTRS will feature two Australian directors talking with AFTRS Head of Directing Rowan Woods about directing top-flight Australian and international TV – Daina Reid (The Handmaids Tale, Romper Stomper, Sunshine) and Emma Freeman (Stateless, Glitch, Secret City). Producer, director, writer, showrunner Tony Ayres (Stateless, Glitch, Barracuda) and writer, director and producer (and former lawyer) Shelia Jayadev (Ali’s Wedding) are the guests for the second Talks @ AFTRS on April 28 at 1.00pm, with moderator AFTRS Lecturer, Producing and Production Robbie Miles. More details here.

AFTRS Indigenous is holding fortnightly Masterclasses with AFTRS Indigenous, a series of one-hour talks beginning 16 April at 12.00 noon for emerging and current Indigenous students and practitioners to join online. The first session is with screenwriter, director and AFTRS alumnus Beck Cole (Here I am, Black Comedy, Grace Beside Me, Little J Big Cuz, The Warriors, Redfern Now and the multi-award-winning TV drama Wentworth). Beck will speak on tips and tricks of the industry and the session will include a Q&A for participants. All participants must have installed Zoom on their phone or computer. The class is limited to 100 people. Register here.

AFTRS will reboot its Emerging, Gifted and X (EGX) program as an online event. EGX supports emerging talent from diverse backgrounds – including those from non-Anglo-Celtic cultural backgrounds, people with a disability, diverse gender and sexual orientation, and those with geographic and other socio-economic disadvantages, both internal and external to the school.

Moving forward, Emerging, Gifted and X (EGX) will present one half-hour fortnightly conversation at 12 noon, from Thursday 23 April, using Instagram Live. Hosts will be AFTRS staff Gary Paramanathan, Pearl Tan and Alejandra Canales.

AFTRS has moved many of its short courses online over recent weeks and is offering a further 20% discount off the Industry price to industry practitioners on all its short courses (excluding Industry Certificates) between April and June. Some of the short courses scheduled for April to June online delivery include Budgeting Fundamentals, Production Accounting Fundamentals, Writing a TV Series, Podcasting Fundamentals, Mobile Content Creation and The Director’s Journey with LA-based director Elissa Down. The new professional development seminar series Short, Sharp and Immediately Useful is also being delivered online so anyone from around the country can benefit. Upcoming sessions include Developing IP and doing it Right, Creating Healthy Workplaces and Managing Creative teams.

In addition to its existing offer, AFTRS is set to launch a new range of affordable online courses, ranging from free, ‘lite’ to premium, designed to allow people as much choice and flexibility as possible in their learning. Like existing AFTRS courses, they will be developed to meet identified industry skill gaps and needs and delivered by top industry practitioners. Participants will walk away with skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied, and return to update and renew as needed. First cab off the rank will be a free offering: AFTRS is digging deep into its rich video archive of masterclasses and events and presenting new material, a range of stand-alone talks, masterclasses and interviews, all available on AFTRS expanded YouTube channel.

“Our archive is a treasure chest of knowledge and insights and presented by some of Australia’s most interesting, successful and inspiring screen practitioners. We are working swiftly to make that material available online. Amidst the challenges and stresses of this period, we want to support our industry with some opportunities to use this enforced pause to re-engage with their craft, to upskill, and perhaps recharge their creativity,” Nell says.


Masterclasses with AFTRS Indigenous
Thursday April 16 @ 12 noon (and every second Thursday following at 12 noon)
First event features Beck Cole

Talks @ AFTRS
Tuesday April 21 (and every Tuesday following at 1.00 pm)
First event features AFTRS Head of Directing Rowan Woods with directors Daina Reid and Emma Freeman

Emerging, Gifted and X (EGX) via Instagram Live
Thursday April 23 @ 12 noon (and every second Thursday following at 12 noon)
To find out more head to Short Courses or call 1300 223 877.