Budding filmmakers from around Australia have been recognised at the ninth annual Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTAs).
Twenty-one high-school finalists, selected from over 150 hopefuls, held their breath as the winners’ names were announced – all hoping for their ‘big break’.
Cameron Edser from Concordia College in South Australia took top honours with his short-film ‘The Bushman of Bunyip Billabong’, winning himself a full tuition scholarship to study at one of Australia’s leading Film and Television Centres at Bond University (valued at $68,000), plus the latest Sony VIO laptop.
This was the fourth year Mr Edser entered BUFTA and having won the animation category on the last two occasions but narrowly missing out on the scholarship, he had his eyes set on the big prize this year.
“I’ve always wanted to study film and television, and I knew Bond was where I wanted to go,” Mr Edser said.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won. It’s quite overwhelming – it’s a big step for me to move from Adelaide to the Gold Coast, but I can’t wait.
“This scholarship will allow me to follow my dreams of working as an animator. I plan to first broaden my education in film and TV before specialising in animation techniques,” he said.
Mr Edser said it took him a good part of this year to create his winning entry.
“I started it back in March and I spent at least one month just on the animation. I’m really proud of it- I think it’s the best work I’ve done yet,” he said.
Mr Edser will commence his Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University in January, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of Wallace and Gromit creator and claymation extraordinaire Nick Park.
While they may have missed out on the grand prize this year, ten other students from around the country still had good reason to celebrate, having been presented with digital cameras and memory sticks for winning specialist awards in the hotly contested short-film competition.
Students from Queensland and South Australia dominated the 6 category awards for Best Animation, Drama, Documentary, Experimental, Comedy and ‘Other’, while Tasmanian and New South Wales students were also recognised in the ‘craft’ awards for sound and cinematography. The other craft awards for editing and production design both went to Queensland students.
St Peter’s Lutheran College of Brisbane was awarded the ‘Avid Australia School Award’ in recognition of the consistently high quality of their students’ submissions, taking away a complete editing software suite valued at $1,200.
BUFTA Manager and judging panel member Alex Fischer said this year’s standard was the best yet.
“This year was definitely the most difficult to judge. Not only were the submissions technically impressive, but they were all so different from each other - the creativity was outstanding.
“In previous years, there always seemed to be trends. For instance, last year there were a lot of ‘reality television’ type submissions. That changed this year – the works were more individual to each filmmaker,” Mr Fischer said.
Over 200 people attended last Friday’s official awards night, with the ceremony also streaming live on the internet.