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AFTRS launches Screen Warriors, a World-First Training Program for Defence Force Veterans

Warwick Young OAM

AFTRS has launched the Screen Warriors program, the first of its kind program aimed at recruiting, training and mentoring defence force veterans in Australia’s film and television industry.

A joint partnership between AFTRS and the Veterans Film Festival (VFF), The Screen Warriors training program has called for applicants from across the defence force who are interested in a career in the film industry.

Warwick Young OAM, VFF executive chairman said: “It may not be apparent that a creative industry like film and television is an obvious destination for a post-services career, however, our collaboration has identified several vocations in the sector with an exceptional match for veteran qualifications.”

Screen Warriors will provide veterans with skills training, mentoring and practical experience throughout the program, with the goal to recruit 15 veterans from its first intake.

Alaric McAusland, Executive Director of the Australian Director’s Guild said, “Kudos to the VFF and AFTRS for creating the Screen Warrior program – it truly is a landmark concept; a win-win cross-training initiative which has such incredible potential to deeply benefit both the Veterans community and the screen industry. We wish VFF every success with the launch and hope for strong program uptake, paving the way for long-term engagement.”

In 2019, the Australian film industry placed as the 11th largest in the world ranked by revenue, and despite challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has flourished due to high-profile productions.

AFTRS CEO Dr Nell Greenwood has said that there is a current influx of demand for local talent, providing stable career opportunities in a burgeoning industry.

The 7th annual Veterans Film Festival will be held in Sydney for the first time this November, including a screening program, exhibitions and the Red Poppy Awards.

Registrations for Screen Warriors are open to current and ex-defence force personnel. Register here.