icon icon

Tsu Shan Chambers and Samuel Herriman are AFTRS and AiF’s 2021 Charlie's Grant Recipients

Samuel Herriman, Tsu Shan Chambers

AFTRS alumni Samuel Herriman (Master of Arts Screen, 2019) and Tsu Shan Chambers (Graduate Certificate Screen: Creative Producing, 2018) have been selected to participate in the 2021 Charlie’s Grant program, set to commence their virtual residencies in April.

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.

Tsu Shan and Samuel are the first of four Charlie’s grantees to be selected from alumni applications for the three-month AiF virtual residency. 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, project 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.

Sydney born and Darwin raised, Asian-Australian, Tsu Shan, is a multi award-winner for film, business and community service. An optometrist turned actor/writer/producer, she is passionate about bringing awareness to issues that matter through telling provoking stories. She was selected as one of Screen Producers Australia’s ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2018. Tsu Shan holds multiple post-graduate qualifications, including a Graduate Certificate in Creative Producing at AFTRS and a master in public health.

Still from ‘Unsound’ | Dir. Ian Watson, prod. Tsu Shan Chambers

Tsu Shan is the co-creator and producer of romance drama feature Unsound, about deaf culture and pride. It was nominated for Best Indie Film at the AACTA Awards. It also won Best Australian Feature Film at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Best Fiction Feature at the ATOM Awards. Internationally, it was selected in competition for the UNICEF Award at the 32nd festival for Children and Youth in Vienna and the UNESCO-Gandhi Medal at the International Film Festival of India, among others. Tsu Shan’s latest screenplay for romance drama feature Blind Love was a semi-finalist in the WeScreenplay Diverse Voices competition and quarter-finalist for ScreenCraft’s Film Fund. She continues to develop her slate across TV, features and online formats to create unique and bold stories with underlying social impact thematics.

“This virtual residency will give my projects and team the right development and support at a time when multi-cultural Australian, female and differently-abled voices and stories need to be told and are especially appealing to the marketplace.”

- Tsu Shan Chambers

A Perth born and based emerging screenwriter, Samuel is interested in telling compelling human stories filtered through a comic, uniquely Australian lens. Samuel cut his teeth at the University of Western Australia where he graduated with first-class honours and has recently completed the Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. During his time at AFTRS, Samuel wrote two short films which are currently on the festival circuit and focused his research on collaborations as a screenwriter in alternative storytelling cinema. He is currently developing film and television projects and in his spare time, Samuel enjoys shredding bassoon, drinking craft beer and geeking out over musical theatre.

Still from ‘The End, The Beginning’ | Dir. Archie Chew, writer Samuel Herriman | Photo by Mark Chew

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Australians in Film through this virtual residency. Although the pandemic has restricted international travel, it is so important to continue to have a global perspective. As an emerging practitioner, establishing networks in the US industry is an exciting prospect and I'm keen to develop my projects with the support of the Charlie's Grant.”

- Samuel Herriman

Applications for the remaining two positions open on 18 May and close on 18 June. Find out more about the program and how to apply here.