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AFTRS Student and Alumni Films Win Prizes at WIFT V-FEST 2021

Still from ‘This River’ | Dir. Naomi Fryer

Two short films by AFTRS students and alumni have won prizes after screening as part of this year’s virtual edition of WIFT V-FEST, a festival designed to showcase the work of women in the film industry, in front of and behind the lens. This River, the capstone project of 2019 Master of Arts Screen graduate Naomi Fryer was awarded Best Student Film and Best Cinematographer, celebrating the work of Ehran Edwards (Master of Arts Screen, 2019), while Karen Pearlman (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Editing, 2000) has won Best Director for I Want To Make A Film About Women.

Written, directed and produced by Fryer and lensed by Edwards during their final year at AFTRS, This River was made with fellow AFTRS classmates, editor James A.Thomas (Master of Arts Screen, 2019), composer Jenna Pratt (Graduate Certificate Screen: Music, 2018), sound designer Lana Kristensen (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2014), first assistant cameraperson Carina Burke (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017), second assistant cameraperson Annie Benzie (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Cinematography, 1994) and art director Mitchell Jones (Diploma in Screen Design, 2017). Screening on-demand as a finalist at WIFT V-FEST, This River was also in contention in the Best Film and Best Director categories. This comes shortly after the film earned Fryer Best Direction in an Australian Short Film at Flickerfest as well as an Australian Directors’ Guild Award nomination for Best Direction in a Student Film.

Written, directed and edited by Pearlman, I Want To Make A Film About Women was made with fellow alumni, composer Caitlin Yeo (Graduate Diploma in Screen Composition, 2002) and production designer Valentina Iastrebova (Diploma in Screen Design, 2016). The film screened was also in contention for V-FEST’s Best Documentary and Best Editor categories. I Want To Make A Film About Women has become a festival favourite since landing on the circuit and has earned St Kilda Film Festival’s Best Documentary Award, Brisbane International Film Festival’s Creative Achievement Award, CinefestOZ’s Best Director award and an ADG nomination for Best Direction in a Documentary Subject.

Not A Wallflower, written/directed by Lianne Mackessy (Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting: Feature Film, 2016), edited and composed by Julian Neuhaus (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017) and featuring title animation by Nicola Macindoe (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018) also appeared at this year’s edition of V-FEST, screening in contention for the Best Diversity Award.

As WIFT V-FEST-winning short films, This River and I Want To Make A Film About Women will tour festivals across Australia in 2021, set to appear at Gold Coast Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Revelation Film Festival (Perth), and Vision Splendid (Winton).

See all the 2021 WIFT V-FEST finalists and winners here.


This River, dir. Naomi Fryer (Master of Arts Screen, 2019)

I Want to Make a Film About Women, dir. Karen Pearlman (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Editing, 2000)

This River, dir. Naomi Fryer (Master of Arts Screen, 2019), cine. (Master of Arts Screen, 2019)