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AFTRS Alumni Advisory Group Member Pariya Taherzadeh-Desovski, Scholarship recipient Sarah Chahine and AFTRS Council Chair Rachel Perkins

The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) has announced that the inaugural recipient of the AFTRS Alumni & Industry Scholarship is screenwriter Sarah Chahine.  

Sarah is a graduate of AFTRS’ Bachelor of Screen: Production (2021) and is currently enrolled in the Master of Screen Arts: Screenwriting program. The scholarship was awarded by Council Chair Rachel Perkins, a fellow screenwriter, scholarship recipient and alumna.  

The Alumni & Industry Scholarship Fund is an initiative by AFTRS and its Alumni Advisory Group to expand and enrich the School’s community and elevate innovating storytellers and diverse voices. Grown through generous donations from AFTRS alumni and the wider screen and broadcast industry, the Fund seeks to award an annual scholarship in the Master of Arts: Screen program.  

The inaugural Scholarship has been awarded to support and develop the career of a gifted storyteller. It recognises the creative excellence and potential that under-represented individuals can bring to stories on Australian screens, and beyond.  

Sarah migrated to Australia from Lebanon with her parents when she was 7. At the age of 16 she won a writing competition, was published in an anthology and was invited to read at the Melbourne Writers Festival, which gave her the confidence to follow her dream of becoming a writer. 

Sarah Chahine said:

“It never ceases to amaze me how much support there really is in the world when you open yourself up to the people and opportunities around you. My writing journey, since high school, has been championed by wonderful mentors and people who have helped me achieve things that my younger self only ever dreamed of, and to be the recipient of this incredible scholarship and be studying the MA in Screenwriting at the best film school in Australia is nothing short of a dream.”

Pariya Taherzadeh-Desovski, AFTRS Alumni Advisory Group member said:

“Announced in 2023, AFTRS’ 50th anniversary year, the Alumni and Industry Scholarship Fund emphasises AFTRS’ goal to focus its next 50 years on access, making sure the School, and in turn the greater industry, represents a wide range of diverse lived experiences for all Australians. Sarah Chahine is a talented recipient, showing great potential as a screenwriter.” 

Sarah adds:

I can’t thank AFTRS and all the contributors to this scholarship fund nearly enough, for being another major supporter in my writing journey, one which would be very difficult to pursue without this generous scholarship. I’m eternally grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to make the most of every moment.” 

The AFTRS Alumni & Industry Scholarship Fund is supported by AFTRS alumni and the wider screen and broadcast industry through tax deductible donations. The AFTRS alumni community has over 5000 practitioners, advocates, and supporters who are invested in the future of Australian stories. More details about donating can be found here.