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Big-screen break for BUFTA winner Benjamin

BUFTA Winner Benjamin Rosenberg on stage with his trophy.
BUFTA’s 2023 Best Overall Filmmaker, Benjamin Rosenberg.

A budding filmmaker from Toowoomba has taken out the top prize at Bond University’s 2023 Film & Television Awards (BUFTA), along with two short film categories.  

Benjamin Rosenberg from Toowoomba Grammar School won both the Comedy and Documentary categories and also walked away with the honour of being BUFTA’s 2023 Best Overall Filmmaker. 

This incredible feat means Benjamin receives a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University in 2024.

“This is what I have loved to do since I was a little kid playing make believe with my friends. That’s just transformed into film and so to be recognised like this is a humongous honour,” Benjamin said. 

Like many young filmmakers, Benjamin has dreams to one day be a director and  hopes that by securing a full scholarship to Bond and being named as BUFTA’s Best Overall Filmmaker, he’s on the right path.

“Writer, director is kind of everyone’s big dream and you’ve just got to try your hardest, which is what I have been doing so far and it’s been going well." 

Bond University’s Head of Film, Screen and Creative Media Dr Darren Paul Fisher was highly impressed with Benjamin’s films.

“Both are some of the best I have ever seen in each category,” he said. 

“Their imagination and technical ability are just off the charts.”

As one of the judges, Dr Fisher was required to watch more than 280 short films submitted this year and all made an impact in some way. 

“They genuinely made me laugh, cry and think about the world,” Dr Fisher said. 

 Since its inception in 1996, BUFTA has established a strong national reputation among aspiring high school film makers but this year, the competition expanded its reach globally, accepting international film submissions for the first time.  

Benjamin Rosenberg and his parents
Benjamin Rosenberg and his proud parents.

International entries were received from India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, to name a few.

It’s an exciting step in growing BUFTA’s reach and Dr Fisher believes it’s valuable for all involved. 

“Having BUFTA open to students globally gives us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the diversity of films from all parts of the world.

“It not only introduces young Australian audiences to a variety of filmmakers, but also a vast range of filmmaking techniques and distinct visual styles."

Full list of 2023 BUFTA winners:

Best Achievement in Art Film: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College, Gladstone, Queensland, Somniator

Best Achievement in Animation: Angelina An
Huntingtower School, Victoria, Memories of You

Best Achievement in Comedy: Benjamin Rosenberg
Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland, Golden Hour

Best Achievement in Documentary: Benjamin Rosenberg
Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland, Mitchell

Best Achievement in Drama: Juno Shean
John Curtin College of the Arts, Western Australia, The Ways We Cook

Best Achievement in Experimental: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College, Gladstone, Queensland, The Interconnections of Technological Subjection

Best Achievement in International: Alejandro Buitrago Celis
Liceo de Cervantes, Colombia, The Classroom 

Best Achievement in Music Video: Mark Zanosov
St Mark’s Anglican Community School (ACS), Western Australia, HighAway FlyAway

Best Achievement in Sports Film: Jan McGinley 
Westminster School, South Australia, Purpose

Best Achievement in Directing: Benjamin Rosenberg
Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland, Golden Hour

Best Achievement in Editing: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College, Gladstone, Queensland, Somniator

Best Achievement in Screenwriting: Conner Nicholls
Suncoast Christian College, Queensland, Welcome to Teen High

Best Achievement in Sound: Greta Lynch
Iona Presentation College, Western Australia, AInxiety

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Charl Petzer
Genesis Christian College, Queensland, Brothers in Arms

People’s Choice Award: Morgan Cross
International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), Malaysia, Demen

Best School: Huntingtower School, Victoria

Best Gold Coast Filmmaker: Benjamin Faulkner
Emmanuel College, Queensland, The Plight of Cecile Smilie

Jury Prize: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College, Gladstone, Queensland, The Interconnections of Technological Subjection & Somniator

Dean's Choice Award: Spencer Au
Huntingtower School, Victoria, Wings of Grief

Best Overall Filmmaker: Benjamin Rosenberg
Toowoomba Grammar School, Queensland, Golden Hour & Mitchell

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