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Australia's best young filmmakers to be highlighted at Bond University Film & Television Awards

Austin Macfarlane took out the top prize at last year's Bond University Film & Television Awards.

The best and brightest of Australia’s high school filmmakers have been named as nominees for the 25th annual Bond University Film & Television Awards (BUFTA).

Twenty-one aspiring young filmmakers will vie for the ultimate prize of a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond, while the winner of the Jury Prize will receive a 25 per cent scholarship.

Best Achievement Awards will also be handed out in animation, art film, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental and music video categories at a special online ceremony on November 28. Entertainment will be provided by Gold Coast-based singer-songwriter, actress, producer and director Cole Phoenix.

This year’s nominees again span a wide range of creative endeavours and artistic expression.

In the experimental category, Gulosus is described as an alluring-yet-disturbing view of gluttony in contemporary culture.

Comedy Leap Year is a mockumentary that follows a 55-year-old year eight student attending high school. Born on leap day in 1964, Jarrod believes he is still 13, as he has only experienced 13 “real” birthdays.

Changing Tides, entered in the documentary section, explores the culture of female surfers in Lennox Head, while Over Skies is a 2D animated film celebrating the appreciation of beauty in nature and freedom.

Bond University Director of Film, Screen and Creative Media, Associate Professor Michael Sergi, said he was thrilled with the quality of entries for this year’s awards.

“It’s outstanding. Every year we’re delighted to see the talent of young filmmakers that are coming through the Australian high school system.”

Dr Sergi said the COVID-19 pandemic had not only affected the BUFTA ceremony, which for the first time would this year be held as a public online event, but also the nature of the submitted films.

“There was quite a number of films that dealt with issues of isolation, which considering COVID-19 is not at all surprising. I think young filmmakers were trying to artistically grapple with the experiences of lockdown.

“Having BUFTA there to make a film for, and to submit for, actually provided something really positive in their lives. While COVID-19 was clamping down on life, BUFTA gave them an opportunity to take a positive angle on life. It was really beneficial for quite a few young filmmakers.”

He was also pleased to see an increase in the overall standard of filmmaking.

“Young people are becoming more technically-savvy, and there was also a massive increase in drone shots, which did not always add to some films in a positive way.”

Originally started in 1996, BUFTA is a short film competition which attracts and showcases aspiring young filmmakers from secondary schools across Australia. 

Past BUFTA winners have gone on to have films selected for the prestigious New York Shorts International Film Festival, as well as working on such Hollywood blockbusters as Avengers: Endgame (2019), The Bureau of Magical Things (2018), Beauty & the Beast (2017), Dr Strange (2016), and The Great Gatsby (2013).  

Members of the public are encouraged to watch the films here and cast their vote for the Red Bull People’s Choice Award.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast live on the BUFTA website, and Bond University’s Facebook page and Instagram accounts from 3.30pm, Saturday November 28. 

To learn more about BUFTA, visit the BUFTA website or LIKE us on Facebook!
Learn more about Bond
University's Bachelor of Film & Television 

Watch the 2020 BUFTA Live Broadcast!

A full list of nominees for the 2020 BUFTA Awards is below.

Over Skies by Chase Adams (VIC)
The Amazon Artists by Eunsoo (Sunny) Kwon (QLD)
The Unwanted Gift by Aaron Zhang (VIC)

Art Film:
Paper Planes 1, 680 km by Hannah Duncan (QLD)
Round To It by Grace Mincherton (WA)
Ymir by Lucy Wiese (WA)

Daytime Soap by Chloe Smith (VIC)
Funhouse! With Ditzy the Clown and Friends by Mia Erskine (WA)
Leap Year by Kaja Clayton (VIC)

Changing Tides by Mia Schirmer (NSW)
Where’s the catch? by Nicko Grimm (VIC)
Y12 Film by Leon Cardaci (WA)

Above All Else by Max Swan (QLD)
Equivalence by Luis Arnet (QLD)
Learners by Thaine Wood (QLD)

Gulosus by Lilian Harris (NSW)
La Cucaracha by James Roobottom (QLD)
Refraction by Grace Newlands (QLD)

Music Video:
Easy by Brylea Bartsch (QLD)
Is it a Video? by Nathan Camilleri (VIC)
Rain by Anna Thompson (VIC)

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