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Bond on the hunt for student Spielberg

Lights, cameras, all fees paid!

Applications for Bond University’s nationwide short-film competition are open and the hunt for the next student Spielberg is underway.

Aspiring filmmakers across years 11 and 12 are encouraged to enter the Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) for the chance to win a full-fee scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond.

Films up to ten minutes in length will be accepted across the categories of Animation, Art, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Experimental, Music, and for the first time ever – Sport.

Last year’s BUFTA winner, Ryan Thwaite from Palm Beach Currumbin State High School, took out the prestigious prize despite having no prior experience making movies.

“I’d never produced a video before, so I watched a heap of YouTube videos and tutorials explaining various aspects of filmmaking – like the science of storytelling,” says Mr Thwaite.

“My entry into BUFTA took months to complete, so it just kind of became a hobby. It was enjoyable to work on, especially during lockdowns.

“My advice to students looking to enter the competition is to put more effort into the planning and pre-production process. It will make life easier as you start to produce the video.”

Bond University Head of Directing, and Assistant Professor of Film, Screen, and Creative Media Darren Fisher says students should focus their efforts on telling a good story.

“If you have a story to tell and the desire to tell it, don’t worry if you feel you lack technical knowledge – often the winners are not those that have made films that are overly polished, but tell a great story well,” says Dr Fisher. 

“The Bond Bachelor of Film and Television is a unique, student-centred, industry-integrated program led by world class international tutors.

“It blurs the boundaries between classroom and industry, creating both immersive learning experiences and significant employment pathways to industry.

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

BUFTA finalists will be invited to attend the official Bond University Film and Television Gala Awards Night held at the university on the Gold Coast on Saturday 26 November. The event is produced by current film and television students with support from Bond’s dedicated team of academics and support staff. The event is broadcast live online.

Applications for BUFTA 2022 close on September 13, 2022. For competition requirements and further information, and to view past winning entries, visit

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