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Sydney Film Festival Program Packed With AFTRS Alumni Works

'Descent' | Dir. Nays Baghai (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018)

In a history-making turn, the 67th edition of Sydney Film Festival will take place virtually, with a focus on local talent. The program, which will be available to stream on-demand from 10-21 June, is comprised of 33 films, with AFTRS alumni works making up more than half of 23 Australian feature documentaries and short films.

Six feature documentaries by alumni will contend for the Documentary Australia Foundation Best Australian Documentary Award, five of those being world premieres. Competing for the $10,000 cash prize are: Descent by writer/director/cinematographer/editor Nays Baghai (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2016) and producer/cinematographer Eero Heinonen (Master of Arts Screen, 2018; Advanced Diploma in Producing: Story, Audience, Finance, 2016), cinematographer Ehran Edwards (Master of Arts Screen, 2019) and associate producer Geordie Brown (current Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production student); Our Law by writer/director Cornel Ozies (Graduate Diploma in Cinematography, 2011); Women of Steel by director/producer Robynne Murphy (Certificate in Directing, 1973); Murray’s The Skin of Others, with cinematography by Allan Collins (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Cinematography, 1996); and Ile Bare’s The Leadership, produced by Greer Simpkin (Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Creative Industries), 2010) and edited by Lindi Harrison (Specialist Extension Certificate Editing, 1993). Morgana, edited by Julie-Ann De Ruvo (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Editing, 2001) continues its festival run with this newest selection.

Still from ‘Descent’ | Dir. Nays Baghai

Four films by alumni will be screening in the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films strand. The program features the world premiere of Mukbang, the directorial debut of actress Eliza Scanlen (Little Women, Babyteeth) made with a team of 2017 Bachelor of Arts (Screen) graduates including China White, Lucca Barone-Peters through their production house Fat Salmon productions.

Still from ‘Our Law’ | Dir. Cornel Ozies

Ayaan directed by Alies Sluiter (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Screen Composition, 2005) and associate produced by AFTRS alumna and documentary lecture Alejandra Canales (Master of Arts Honours: Film, Television and Digital Media Documentary, 2005) will also premiere along with Her Own Music, which features cinematography by Carina Burke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017). Off the back of its St Kilda Film Festival selections, I Want to Make a Film About Women will also screen in the session.

Featuring in the Screenability program – a platform for screen practitioners with disability – is the world premiere of Groundhog Night, directed by inclusive filmmaking advocate, and multi-award-winner Genevieve Clay-Smith (Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2014; Masters of Screen Arts, 2013) and written by/starring 2019 Talent Camp participant, Emily Dash. And, making it’s Australian debut alongside it is Diving In, co-directed by 2019 Talent Camp participant Nina Oyama and with a second appearance in the program by Carina Bourke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017) as cinematographer.

Streaming online, sessions will feature bonus exclusive material including filmmaker introductions, Q+A sessions and live panels. Browse the full program, and get your tickets here.

Still from ‘Groundhog Night’ | Dir. Genevieve Clay-Smith

ALUMNI FILMS AT SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION AWARD FOR BEST AUSTRALIAN DOCUMENTARY

Descent (world premiere)
Director/producer/screenwriter/cinematographer/editor: Nays Baghai (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2016)
Producer/cinematographer: Eero Heinonen (Master of Arts Screen, 2018; Advanced Diploma in Producing: Story, Audience, Finance, 2016)
Cinematography: Ehran Edwards (Master of Arts Screen, 2019)
Associate Producer: Geordie Brown (Current Bachelor of Arts Screen student)

The Leadership (world premiere)
Director: Ili Baré
Producer: Greer Simpkin (Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Creative Industries), 2010)
Editor: Lindi Harrison (Specialist Extension Certificate Editing, 1993)

Morgana
Director: Isabel Peppard, Josie Hess
Editor: Julie-Ann De Ruvo (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Editing, 2001)

Our Law (world premiere)
Director/screenwriter: Cornel Ozies (Graduate Diploma in Cinematography, 2011)

The Skin of Others (world premiere)
Director: Tom Murray
Cinematographer: Allan Collins (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Cinematography, 1996)

Women of Steel (world premiere)
Director/producer: Robynne Murphy (Certificate in Directing, 1973)
Editor: Rowena Crowe (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media in Documentary, 2005)

DENDY AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILM

Ayaan (world premiere)
Director/writer: Alies Sluiter (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Screen Composition, 2005)
Associate producer: Alejandra Canales (Master of Arts Honours: Film, Television and Digital Media Documentary, 2005;)
Editor: Tania Nehme (AFTRS Certificate, 1990)

Her Own Music (world premiere)
Director: Olivia Alksoski
Cinematographer: Carina Burke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017)

I Want to Make a Film About Women
Director/producer/editor: Karen Pearlman (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Editing, 2000)
Music: Caitlin Yeo (Graduate Diploma in Screen Composition, 2002)
Production design: Valentina Iastrebova (Diploma in Screen Design, 2016)

Mukbang (world premiere)
Director: Eliza Scanlen
Producer: China White (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)
Cinematographer: Lucca Barone-Peters (Bachelor of Arts Screen Production, 2017)
Editor: Trent Mitchell (Graduate Certificate in Editing Drama, 2013)

SCREENABILITY

Groundhog Night (world premiere)
Director/actor: Genevieve Clay-Smith (Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2014; Masters of Screen Arts, 2013)
Screenwriter/actor: Emily Dash (Talent Camp NSW, 2019)

Diving In
Director/screenwriter: Adam Bowes, Nina Oyama (Talent Camp NSW, 2019)
Cinematographer: Carina Burke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017)