AFTRS is excited to announce AFTRS alumni Mohini Herse (Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016) and Naomi Fryer (Master of Arts Screen, 2019) as the second-round recipients of the 2021 Charlie’s Grant virtual residency program. Charlie’s Grant is a partnership between AFTRS and Australians in Film (AiF), offering AFTRS alumni access to mentoring and connections in the US film and TV industry to assist with project development.
As part of this year’s program, participants will begin with an introductory meeting with AiF Staff, where they will share their short and long-term goals, along with key industry targets, interests, projects and career plans. AiF will be available to participants throughout the residency for questions and will provide industry connections where applicable, along with general advice, recommendations relevant to specific projects, and career development.
Mohini and Naomi follow the first two participants for 2021, Samuel Herriman (Master of Arts Screen, 2019) and Tsu Shan Chambers (Graduate Certificate Screen: Creative Producing, 2018), who commenced their residencies in April.
Mohini is best known for directing both seasons of Australia’s first Instagram series The Out There, which had its second season released by L.A. based production company Adolescent Content in 2019 to an audience of over 90,000 followers. Mohini holds a Bachelor of Media and Production with a minor in Film Studies from UNSW, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Directing from AFTRS. She cut her teeth working in the art department on music videos and content for the award-winning Melbourne production company Oh Yeah Wow. She subsequently directed her first music video for Flamingo Jones which went on to win the inaugural Captured Music Video award in 2016. In addition to this, her narrative short films have screened at film festivals such as Flickerfest, Melbourne Underground Film Festival, For Film’s Sake and Short and Sweet.
Mohini is also passionate about social impact filmmaking, having completed a residency as a film consultant with Wilurara Creative and the Ngaanyatjarra shire in 2018. Mohini is currently in development for her web series HAIR which has been awarded the Generate Development fund from Screen Australia and was selected to participate in the 2019 Australian Writer’s Guild and AFTRS Talent Camp initiative. As well as this, her web series Appetite has recently been selected for the 2021 Screen Australia and SBS “Digital Originals” workshop. Mohini is a 2020 recipient of UNSW ’s SAM Alumni Residency as well as a member of the Museum of Applied Arts and Science Film Collective Residency program.
Naomi Fryer is a writer and director who was awarded Spectrum Films Award for Best Direction in an Australian short film at Flickerfest 2021 for her AFTRS Masters graduating film This River. Naomi was also nominated for a 2020 Australian Directors Guild Award and for Best Direction at WIFT V-Fest, where This River won Best Student Film. This River continues to play at numerous festivals in Australia and internationally. Naomi’s background is in acting, producing and teaching. Naomi has since written and directed short films Dr. Salt and Gone Out through Metro Screen and Be Famous, all of which played at festivals nationally and internationally.
At AFTRS, Naomi directed the short films Gemma and Laps and wrote, directed and produced This River. As a writer Naomi undertook the Professional Program of Screenwriting at the University of California, Los Angeles, winning the Joie de Vivre screenwriting award for her feature screenplay as well as placing in the top 15% of the Academy Nicholl’s. Naomi is currently in development for a feature film of This River and a feature documentary Alone. Naomi balances her filmmaking with her drama and film teaching roles as well as having two young children and aims to bring a kind, innovative and inclusive approach to her work.
The residencies will commence in July and August.