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Gala Awards Honour Young Film Maker

Melbourne school boy James Base has won a national film making competition, taking a giant leap towards securing his future in the industry.

James scooped top honours at the 11th annual Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTAs), winning a full tuition scholarship, valued at almost $75,000, to study at Bond’s prestigious Centre of Film, Television and Screen-Based Media.

The year 11 Wesley College student was flown to Bond University on the Gold Coast to attend a glitzy Oscar-themed awards night on Friday 7 December, where his comedy submission ‘Frequency’ dominated the award categories, winning five of the 14 available awards.

James’s prize pool included the Comedy Category award, craft awards for editing and script, the Dean’s Choice award, plus the coveted scholarship prize that will see him study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond after graduating from high school at the end of 2008.

James says his passion for music motivated him to make the film.

“My inspiration for the film was just trying to do something about music, as that is where my passion lies,” he said.

“I was interested in how the government is starting to play a role in the music industry by placing restrictions on things because of social trends.

“It’s like the government is blaming music for things that are happening in the world and I wanted to explore the impact that has on us,” James said.

Impressively, James’s winning entry was the first comedy for the budding film maker.

“Originally I wasn’t planning on making a comedy. I thought the concept might be more suited to a drama or doco-drama, but as I started working on it I began to see the comedy potential.

“I haven’t made any comedies before so this was all new to me, but I think it may have worked,” he said.

The scholarship is one way the budding film maker plans to turn his Hollywood dreams into reality.

“I’ve always wanted to make movies, so the fact that I now have a scholarship to study it, just kind of confirms my direction.

“I’m really into visual art, so cinematography and visual effects really interest me.

“I just plan to keep on making movies. It’s what I love to do,” he said.

After finishing high school, James plans to either defer his studies for a year to work on creating more films, or dive straight into his Film and Television degree at Bond University.

Director of Bond University’s Centre of Film and Television Simon Hunter was pleased with this year’s BUFTAs, labelling it “by far the best awards yet!”

“It was a very eclectic mix of entries this year. There was no common theme or style amongst them,” he said.

One standout feature of the finalists’ entries was the sophisticated use of sound, which Mr Hunter described as “above and beyond what has been seen in the past”.

He also sang the praises of James’s winning film, ‘Frequency’, saying it was “a sophisticated idea, executed in a fresh way.”

In a bonus for James, his short film, along with those of the other finalists and category winners, will also be broadcast to a national audience during the Bond University Film and Television Awards 2007 Special on the Aurora Community Channel; to be aired December 21 (8.30pm AEDT).

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