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Bond University and Bronte Pictures partnership guarantees jobs for film grads

July 26, 2019
Bronte Pictures CEO Blake Northfield with Bond University film and TV students George Welsby, Dayna Williams and Nancy Cao

Bronte Pictures CEO Blake Northfield with Bond University film and TV students George Welsby, Dayna Williams and Nancy Cao

Student filmmakers will get the chance to work with Muriel’s Wedding director P.J. Hogan under a new partnership between Bond University and Bronte Pictures.

The deal gives Bond students a direct pathway into the film industry, with Bronte Pictures providing guaranteed internships that will result in paid employment for a minimum of three graduates per year.

The first feature film covered by the agreement is Streamline, starring Levi Miller who also appeared in Red Dog: True Blue, and Pan. Filming will start in September.

The next project, The Calligrapher, will be directed by Australian film royalty P.J. Hogan.

Head of Directing in the Department of Film, Screen and Creative Media at Bond University, Darren Paul Fisher, said the deal had its genesis at the 2018 Gold Coast Film Festival.

“It is incredibly rare to have a company like Bronte Pictures that is both prolific in the usually feast-and-famine world that is feature films, and strongly committed to helping the next generation of screen talent establish themselves,” said Mr Fisher.

“It represents a tremendous opportunity for our students to get that absolutely critical first job in the industry.

Bronte Pictures CEO Blake Northfield said he believed the partnership was unique in Australia.

“It is a direct pathway for Bond students into the industry, which traditionally is incredibly hard to break into,” he said.

“We want to break down the barrier and if you are studying film at Bond, you are guaranteed at least a shot to work on a film set. I don’t think any university in Australia can offer that.”

The partnership will create several internships alongside Bond University’s curriculum, with selected students guaranteed paid employment on productions.

“The ideal situation would be that I employ a film crew in three years’ time and a portion of the crew are Bond alumni and the director of photography is a woman -- that would be an ideal situation,” Mr Northfield said.

 “We want to get as many females from Bond into the camera department.

“We’ll give any of the students their first chance, but it is up to them if they get a second based on how well they do. It is the fairest way.”

Mr Northfield said the chance to work with P.J. Hogan on his next project would be a dream come true for any young filmmaker.

“For students who get to work on The Calligrapher, they are jumping on the biggest director in the country’s project,” Mr Northfield said.

“That is an unbelievable opportunity, we expect the students to adapt to their environment. You have to take initiative and constantly adapt.

“We much prefer internships to job interviews. People are very uncomfortable in job interviews, but if you put them on set you can see them either sink or swim in that environment and they'll know if the industry is for them or not."