Television presenter and media personality James Mathison will host this year's Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA), the biggest in the awards’ 21-year history.
Judges of the film competition for Australian high school students have shortlisted 30 films over six categories - animation, comedy, documentary, drama, experimental and music video - with the winners to be announced at the BUFTA Gala Award Ceremony at Bond University on the Gold Coast on November 26.
Bond University is urging film fanatics from across the country to cast their vote for their favourite entry on the BUFTA website (www.BUFTA.com.au) ahead of the ceremony where Australia's best young film maker will be named.
It has been a hugely competitive year with 277 submissions from 79 schools across Australia, up by 85 submissions from 2015, cementing BUFTA as the largest high school short film competition in the country.
The winner of Best Overall Filmmaker will receive a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University, while the winner of each category will receive a scholarship to study one subject in Bond's Film and Television program.
Entrants are also eligible for the coveted People's Choice Award, which includes a $1,250 gift voucher from Videopro to further their filmmaking careers.
Bond University Director of Film and Television Dr Michael Sergi said BUFTA was an important initiative that celebrated the talents of Australia's young filmmakers.
"For more than two decades, BUFTA has been a launch pad for young filmmakers to make their mark on the industry," he said.
"The awards were created to motivate, challenge and inspire high school students, giving them the opportunity to explore their passion and showcase their work.
"The record number of entries received this year is testament to BUFTA's nationwide reputation as the leading short film competition for high school students."
Dr Sergi, who has been a BUFTA judge since 2009, said this year's entries were of an extremely high standard.
"As judges, we have been humbled by the calibre of films and the overwhelming number of submissions received in 2016," he said.
"The judging panel, consisting of myself, Kasie Moore of Screen Queensland, Laura Clelland of Essential Crew and Andrew Condor of the Australian Cinematographers Society Queensland Branch, commend the opportunity BUFTA provides for the next generation of young filmmakers.
"We urge the community to support the students by watching and voting for their films online and watching the Gala Award Ceremony, which will be broadcast live at www.bufta.com.au.
“The entire event which is akin to a Hollywood awards ceremony – is organised and deployed by current Bond Film and Television student, who work as crew on all facets of the live production, including producing, directing, graphics, design, floor management, post-production, lighting, writing, talent management and social media."
A special prize of two Miller AiR Tripods, valued at over $2500, will also be awarded to the Best School on the night.
"We would like to recognise the important role high school media teachers play in supporting the students through the BUFTA process and thank them for their inspirational work in nurturing the talents of these budding young filmmakers." Dr Sergi said.
For more information about the BUFTA Gala Award Ceremony or to vote for your favourite film, visit www.bufta.com.au.
Below is the full list of nominees:
BEST ANIMATION: Rory Dalitz, 'Gourmet Grief, All Saints College QLD; Radheya Jegatheva, 'Journey', Perth Modern School WA; Barak Chen, 'iCentury', Huntingtower School, VIC
BEST COMEDY: Oliver Marsden, 'The Adventures of Mr Muscular & Sidekick Boy', Cairns State High School QLD; Willem Kingma, 'NOT QUITE RIGHT', Kardinia International College VIC; Lee Sugars, 'Behind The Sandwich', Toowoomba Grammar School QLD
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Jonno Kelly, 'An Australian Farmer's Story', Scotch College VIC; Kate Burke, 'Retard', Upper Coomera State College QLD; Eliza Perkins, 'Cycle', Presbyterian Ladies College, WA
BEST DRAMA: Tully Hemsley, 'Pressure', Darwin High School NT; Sally Zhang, 'Destination', Benowa State High School, QLD; Ben Head, 'QUIET', Kardinia International College, VIC
BEST EXPERIMENTAL: Bailey Gillam, 'Leech', Guildford Grammar School, WA; Molly Evans, 'Synthesis', St Peter's Lutheran College, QLD; Henry Friend, 'Synthesis', St Peter's Lutheran College, QLD
BEST MUSIC VIDEO: Grace Criss, 'We'll Light The Way - Lyonn', Tambourine Mountain State High School QLD; Ryan Duncan, 'Knockers', Music Industry College QLD; Willem Kingma, 'Suicide - Tiny Giants', Kardinia International College, VIC