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AFTRS Student and Alumni Films on Show at Sydney Film Festival

Still from ‘We Are Still Here’ | Dir. Beck Cole, Dena Curtis, Danielle MacLean, Tracey Rigney, Miki Magasiva, Tim Worrall, Chantelle Burgoyne, Renae Maihi

Sydney Film Festival is returning to Sydney theatres for its 69th edition, with a hefty slate of over 200 local and international films. Hand-picked to feature among them are two AFTRS student films and 24 titles featuring the work of AFTRS alumni, of which 15 are world premieres and seven are Australian debuts.

Straight off the back of its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival in the La Cinef competition (go behind the scenes on Instagram), Ruby Challenger’s 2021 Master of Arts Screen capstone film, MumLife— a pop musical exploring post-natal anxiety—will return to Sydney for its hometown debut. Meanwhile, Jayden Rathsam Hüa’s 2020 Master of Arts Screen capstone Sushi Noh will make an appearance as part of SFF’s horror strand, Freak Me Out after scaring audiences at festivals the world over.

Two features showcasing the work of AFTRS alumni are screening in Official Competition, vying for the $60,000 Sydney Film Prize. En route from its world premiere at Tribeca, Del Kathryn Barton’s Blaze, co-written by AFTRS alum Huna Amweero—and featuring several alumni in key roles—will make its Australian debut, while Goran Stolevski’s You Won’t Be Alone, featuring the work of alumni, production designer Bethany Ryan and sound editor Lachlan Harris, will have its world premiere.

Among the nine documentaries competing for the 2022 Documentary Australia Award are three titles featuring alumni credits. Penelope McDonald’s study of Warlpiri woman Audrey Napanangkamade in collaboration with AFTRS alum, producer Rachel Clements, cinematographer Justine Kerrigan and editor Jane St Vincent Welch—will premiere. Meanwhile, Maya Newell’s The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone—another title arriving via Tribeca—will have its Australian premiere, showcasing the work of producer Lisa Sherrard, cinematographer Vincent Lamberti and re-recording mixer/sound designer Lachlan Harris. Harris’ work also features in Jessica Barclay Lawton’s The Sweetness, another title screening in the documentary program.

You can also catch the work of many of our graduates among the ten contenders for the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, which celebrates its 53rd year in 2022. They include 2019 BA grad Claudia Bailey’s Right Here, made with fellow alumni, editor Vanessa Bray and standby props/costume assistant Sidonie Pitot; Ghosted (world premiere), produced by Nicole Thorn; The Moths Will Eat Them Up, lensed by Julian Panetta; and Stonefish (world premiere) executive produced by Derek Allan and edited by Rishi Shukla. Among the four short film prizes, is the newly announced AFTRS Craft Award, which provides a $7,000 cash prize for demonstrated excellence by a craft practitioner.

“At last week’s launch of this year’s @Sydney Film Festival, Director @Nashen Moodley announced the exciting new AFTRS Craft Award. As the @Australian Film Television and Radio School approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023, it’s a great honour to be working with SFF to offer a prize that celebrates the enduring power of cinematic craft. The AFTRS Craft Award and $7000 cash prize recognises the artistry of a filmmaker from any area of production – including pre and post – and the collaborative spirit and excellence of Australian screen storytelling. I can’t wait to meet the inaugural recipient at Closing Night,” said AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood.

The list of alumni titles making their world premieres continues, with festival opener We Are Still Here, a multi-genre First Nations collaboration including the work of directors Beck Cole and Dena Curtis, cinematographer Eric Murray Lui, editor Roland Gallois (AFTRS’ Head of Editing), production designer Natalie Beak (AFTRS Production Design Lecturer), River Heart (AFTRS Student Engagement Manager); Evicted! A Modern Romance, directed and written by Rowan Devereux, and made with a crew of mostly AFTRS graduates; The Longest Weekend, directed/produced by Molly Haddon, written/produced by Jorrden Daley, edited by Sarah Panzetta and scored by Caleb Jacobs; 6 Festivals, produced by Shannon Wilson-McClinton, written by Lou Sanz and lensed by Hugh Miller; Nude Tuesday directed by Armagan Ballantyne and made with several fellow alumni.  Mystery Road: Origin, written by Timothy Lee and Stephen McGregor, executive produced by Andrew Gregory and Ivan Sen and produced by Greer Simpkin; True Colours, directed by Stephen McGregor and Erica Glynn, produced by Greer Simpkin and Penny Smallacombe and made with several fellow alumni.

Making debuts on home soil will be Craig Boreham’s highly anticipated sophomore feature Lonesome, made with fellow alum, producer and cinematographer Dean Francis; SXSW hit horror satire Sissy, produced by Lisa Shaunessy, lensed by Steve Arnold and featuring the work of production designer Michael Price and storyboard artist Blake Fraser; and George-Alex Nagle’s Mate, made with several AFTRS alumni.

Screenability, the festival’s platform for screen creatives with disability, returns with the world premieres of three Australian short films selected as part of the Screenability Filmmakers Fund for Screen NSW: Inspire Me, Voice Activated and All Silent Dogs. All three titles feature plenty of alumni names in the credits.

In addition to the red-carpet openings and the stack of notable titles to catch, this year’s edition promises a sizeable offering of in-depth discussions, special guests and events throughout its run from Wednesday 8 June to Sunday 19 June, including Craft in Focus, a panel discussion moderated by AFTRS CEO Nell Greenwood, featuring representatives from several guilds that will celebrate Australian storytelling.

Browse the program and get tickets here.

 

AFTRS STUDENT AND ALUMNI WORKS AT SFF 2022

AFTRS STUDENT FILMS

MumLife
Story by: Ruby Challenger (Master of Arts Screen: Directing, 2021) and Claudia Shepherd (Master of Arts Screen: Producing, 2021)
Director: Ruby Challenger
Producer: Claudia Shepherd
Co-producer: Anwyn Watkins
Writer: Gerard Dewhurst (Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting, 2021)
Original songs, lyrics and score: Sophia Christopher (Master of Arts Screen: Music, 2021)
Cinematographer: Benjamin Bellette (Master of Arts Screen: Cinematography, 2021)
Production designer: Emily Jansz (Master of Arts Screen: Production Design, 2021)
Choreographer: Sally Dashwood
Editor: Brendan Cain
Costume designer: Johanna Glassborow
Sound designer: John Hresc
Dialogue editor: Andrew Dean (Master of Arts Screen: Sound, 2021)

Sushi Noh
Writer/director: Jayden Rathsam Hüa (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Producer: Jayden Rathsam Hüa, Philippa Silva
Cinematographer: Sam Steinle (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Production designer: Calum Wilson Austin (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Editor: Gus O’Brien Cavanough (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Original music: Scott Majidi (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Costume designer: Melinda Cluer
Sound supervisora: Sean Doyle (Master of Arts Screen, 2020), Sam Grimshaw (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Line Producer: Mimi Rosenbaum (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Associate Producer: Gita Raju
Sound recordist: Sean Doyle
Boom operator: Sam Grimshaw
First assistant camera: Nicola Kirkby
Second assistant camera: Christine Anderson (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018), Trudie Gultom (Diploma in Camera, 2017), Serena Siow (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Data wranglers: Christine Anderson, Trudie Gultom, Serena Siow
First assistant director: Peter Skinner (Master of Arts Screen, 2019; Graduate Diploma in Directing, 2013)
Second assistant director: Lena Albin
Script editor: Eddie Sharp
Continuity: Anthony George
Production manager: Alex Martin (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Production coordinator: Richard P Doyle
Gaffers: Kenny Pettigrew, Josh Wiggins
Grips: David Nichols, Lester Bishop
Best Person: Steph Watson, Gourav Ghandi
Grip Assistants: Kaan Cansiz, Jean-David Le Goullon (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Art Director: Eirena Sapounas (Master of Arts Screen, 2020; Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018)
Creature designer: Calum Wilson Austin
Standby props: Calum Wilson Austin, Eirena Sapounas
Art department assistants: Alexandra Muir (Master of Arts Screen, 2020; Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018), Emily Jansz (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017), Rubee King, Kira Smith, Rosie Wylie, Peter Del Core, Kat Kralijevski, Lucie Wang, Kait Polkinghorne, Liv Silva
Standby wardrobe: Lucie Wang
Makeup supervisor: Briana Garbutt
Makeup artists: Georgia Silva, Renee Mattis
WHS risk assessment: Roger Graham
COVID safety officer: Ella Zaman
Unit manager: Philippa Silva
Stills photographers: Isaac Silva, Samuel Carslake
Assistant editor: Freya Howard
Foley editors: Blair Slater, Luisa Hadley
Foley artist: Dan Johnston
Foley recordist: Duncan McAllister
Re-recording mixer: Sean Doyle, Sam Grimshaw
Titles and graphics: Alessia Alciator
Music recording and music mixer: Geir S Brillian
VFX: Alessia Alciator
Colourist: Yanni Kronenberg

FEATURES

Evicted! A Modern Romance (world premiere)
Writer/director: Rowan Devereux (Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2013)
Story/associate editor Ashley Pollard (Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016; Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2014)
Actor/executive producer/motion graphics.visual effects: Will Suen (Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016)
Director of photography: Benjamin Powell (Advanced Diploma in Cine Essentials, 2016)
Editor: Andrew Shanks (Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016)
Third AD: Forest Lin (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2021), Emily Mitchell, Natasja Pijpstra
Actor: Murray Clapham (Foundation Diploma, 2013)
Actor/aerial photographer: Warwick Young (Master of Screen Arts, 2013)
Assistant art directors: Chris Le Page
First AC: Ehran Edwards (Master of Arts Screen, 2019)
Second AC: Christine Anderson (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018)
Script supervisor: William Hadinata (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018)
Grip: Benjamin Ryan (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017; Foundation Diploma, 2013)
Gaffer Assistant: Rosie Robertson

The Longest Weekend (world premiere)
Director: Molly Haddon (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2017)
Producers: Molly Haddon, Jorrden Daley (Graduate Certificate Screen: Screenwriting, 2017; Foundation Diploma, 2014)
Writer: Jorrden Daley
Editor: Sarah Panzetta (Graduate Certificate Screen: Editing, 2017)
Composer: Caleb Jacobs (Advanced Diploma in MusicAdvanced Diploma in Music Scoring for the Screen, 2015)

Opening Night Film: We Are Still Here (world premiere)
Directors: Beck Cole (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Documentary, 2001), Dena Curtis(Graduate Diploma (Film & Television) Television Editing, 2002) (with directors Danielle MacLean, Tracey Rigney, Miki Magasiva, Tim Worrall, Chantelle Burgoyne, Renae Maihi)
Writer: Dena Curtis
DOP: Eric Murray Lui (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1999; TV Training Certificate, 1994)
Editor: Roland Gallois (AFTRS’ Head of Editing; Bachelor of Arts Editing, 1994)
Production designer: Natalie Beak (AFTRS Lecturer – Production Design; Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Production Design, 2006)
Art director: River Heart (AFTRS Student Engagement Manager)
Costume designer: Karla Urizar (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Design, 2000)

SOUNDS ON SCREEN

6 Festivals (world premiere)
Producer: Shannon Wilson-McClinton (Graduate Diploma in Screen Business, 2010; Graduate Certificate in Screen Business, 2009)
Screenwriter: Lou Sanz (Master of Arts (Film and Television) Scriptwriting, 2002)
Cinematographer: Hugh Miller (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 2002)

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

You Won’t Be Alone (world premiere)
(dir. Goran Stolevski)
Production designer: Bethany Ryan (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2012)
Sound editor: Lachlan Harris (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2012)

Blaze (Australian premiere)
(dir. Del Kathryn Barton)
co/writer: Huna Amweero (Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting, 2012)
Production designer: Alex Holmes (Master of Arts (Film and Television) Production Design, 2003)
Sound designer/maybe composer/music: Sam Petty (Specialist Extension Certificate Sound, 1991; Specialist Extension Certificate Editing, 1990)
Art director: Mandi Bialek-Wester (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Design, 1998)
Property master: Diva Abrahamian (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2014)
Boom operator: Sue Kerr (Certificate, Film & Television Sound, 1982)
Second assistant camera: Orla Hughes (Diploma in Camera, 2017)
First assistant editor: Rishi Shukla (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Editing, 2005)
Script supervisor: Mikaeli Stanton (Bachelor of Arts (Screen), 2017)

DOCUMENTARY AUSTRALIA AWARD

The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (Australian premiere)
(dir. Maya Newell)
Producer: Lisa Sherrard (Diploma in Production Accounting, 2017)
Cinematographer: Vincent Lamberti (Graduate Diploma in Cinematography, 2012)
Re-recording mixer/sound designer: Lachlan Harris (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2012)

Audrey Napanangka (world premiere)
(Dir. Penelope McDonald)
Producer: Rachel Clements (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Producing, 2000)
Cinematographer: Justine Kerrigan (Bachelor of Arts (Film &Television) Cinematography, 1996)
Editor: Jane St Vincent Welch (Certificate Editing, 1998)

The Sweetness
(Dir. Jessica Barclay Lawton)
Sound designer and mixer: Lachlan Harris (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2012)

FIRST NATIONS

Mystery Road: Origin (world premiere)
Writers: Timothy Lee (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Screenwriting, 2006), Stephen McGregor (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 2001)
Executive producers: Andrew Gregory (Master of Arts (Film and Television) Producing, 2003), Ivan Sen (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 1997)
Producer: Greer Simpkin (Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Creative Industries), 2010)

True Colours (world premiere)
Directors: Stephen McGregor (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 2001), Erica Glynn (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 1998)
Producers: Greer Simpkin (Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (Creative Industries), 2010), Penny Smallacombe (Master of Arts (Film and Television) Documentary, 2003)
Cinematographer: Eric Murray Lui (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1999; TV Training Certificate, 1994)
Sound recordist: Gavin Marsh (Specialist Extension Course Certificate Sound, 1994)
Sound designer: Luke Mynott (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media in Sound, 2004)
‘a’ camera operator: Justine Kerrigan (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1996)
‘a’ first assistant camera/drone operator/movi operator: Leuke Marriot (Graduate Certificate in Camera Assistant, 2011)

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Lonesome (Australian premiere)
Director: Craig Boreham (Graduate Diploma: Directing (Fiction & Non Fiction), 2008)
Producer/cinematographer: Dean Francis (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Directing, 2005)
Editor: Danielle Boesenberg (Graduate Diploma: Editing, 2010)

Nude Tuesday (world premiere)
Director/associate producer: Armagan Ballantyne (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Directing, 1999)
Story by: Armagan Ballantyne
Executive producer: Paul Wiegard (Master of Screen Arts & Business, 2015)
Cinematographer/camera operator: Andrew Commis (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1998)
Editor: Nick Meyers (Specialist Extension Certificate Editing, 1991)
Assistant editor: James A. Thomas (Master of Arts Screen, 2019)

Seriously Red (Australian premiere)
(Dir. Gracie otto)
Onset VFX Supervisor: Bryn Morrow (Graduate Certificate in Cinematography Fundamentals, 2012)
Script editor: Lynne Vincent McCarthy (Master of Arts (Film & Television) Scriptwriting, 1999)
Unit assistant: Rohan Smith (Bachelor of Arts (Film & Television) Cinematography, 1991)

FREAK ME OUT

Sissy (Australian premiere)
Producer: Lisa Shaunessy (Graduate Diploma in Screen Business, 2011)
Cinematographer: Steve Arnold (Diploma Cinematography, 1978)
Production designer: Michael Price (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2012)
Storyboard artists: Blake Fraser (Graduate Diploma in Directing (Fiction & Non-Fiction), 2011)

SCREENABILITY

All Silent Dogs (world premiere)
(Dir. Natalia Stawyskyj)
Executive producer: Alex White (Graduate Certificate in Producing, 2011)
Editor: Danielle Boesenberg (Graduate Diploma: Editing, 2010)
Composer: Freya Berkhout (Graduate Diploma in Screen Music, 2013)
Boom operator: Sean Doyle (Master of Arts Screen, 2020)
Foley artist: Andrew Simmons (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2011)
First Assistant camera: Tahira Donahue-Bales (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2018), Emily Williams (Diploma in Camera, 2017)
Post-production coordinator: Jacob Inglis (Graduate Diploma in Producing & Screen Business, 2011)\
Gaffer assistant: Felix Maude (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2020)
Script Supervisor: Carla Hedley (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2020; Introduction to Film, 2015)

Inspire Me (world premiere)
(Dir. Sophie Saville)
Producer: Rowan Devereux (Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2013)
Screenwriter: Madeleine Stewart (Graduate Diploma: Production Design, 2010)
Cinematographer: Benjamin Powell (Advanced Diploma in Cine Essentials, 2016)
Editors: Ashley Pollard(Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016; Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting Fundamentals, 2014), Andrew Shanks (Graduate Certificate in Directing Fundamentals, 2016)

Voice Activated (world premiere)
(Dir. Steve Anthopoulos)
Producer: Liam Heyen (Graduate Diploma in Producing, 2014)
Cinematographer: Jack McAvoy (Graduate Diploma in Cinematography, 2012)
Production designer: Laura Murray (Graduate Diploma in Production Design, 2012)

SHORTS

Mate (Australian premiere)
Director/writer: George-Alex Nagle (Master of Screen Arts, 2014; Graduate Diploma in Directing, 2013)
Producer: Nick Bolton (MSA and Business 2014)
Executive producer: Jess Milne (Master of Screen Arts & Business, 2014)
Editor: Kelly Cameron (Master of Screen Arts, 2017; Graduate Diploma in Editing, 2012)
Composer: Jai Pyne (Graduate Certificate in Screen Music, 2012)
Sound recordist: Martin Demian (Graduate Diploma in Sound, 2012)
Second Unit DOP: Samuel Phibbs (Graduate Diploma in Cinematography, 2014)
Second AC: Danielle Payne (Diploma in Camera Fundamentals, 2016; Foundation Diploma, 2013)

Mark Targets (world premiere)
(dir. Jesse Vogelaar)
Editor: Florence Holmes (Graduate Diploma in Editing, 2013)

DENDY AWARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHORT FILMS

Ghosted (world premiere)
(Dir. Nathan Lacey, Nick Lacey)
Producer: Nicole Thorn (Graduate Certificate in Editing Drama, 2012)

Right Here (Australian premiere)
Director/producer/screenwriter: Claudia Bailey (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Editor: Vanessa Bray (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)
Standby props/costume assistant: Sidonie Pitot (Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production, 2019)

The Moths Will Eat Them Up
(dir. Luisa Martiri, Tanya Modini)
Cinematographer: Julian Panetta (Graduate Certificate Screen: Cinematography, 2018)

Stonefish (world premiere)
(Dir. Megan Smart)
Executive producer: Derek Allan (Graduate Diploma in Screen Business, 2014)
Editor: Rishi Shukla (Master of Arts: Film, Television and Digital Media Editing, 2005)