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Hollywood and tomorrow's stars shine at BUFTAs

Aspiring young film makers from across the country converged on the Gold Coast on Saturday night as Bond University celebrated the winners of the 18th annual BUFTAs (Bond University Film and Television Awards).

This unique short film competition attracts Year 11 and 12 student entrants from across Australia and has grown to become one of the most popular forums for showcasing young talent in the southern hemisphere.

This year, over 220 entries were received and the BUFTA Best Overall Filmmaker Scholarship went to Benjamin Griggs from Guildford Grammar School in Western Australia.

Benjamin was awarded a full tuition scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University.  In addition to the BUFTA Best Overall Filmmaker Scholarship, Benjamin’s short film, ‘A day in the Life of a Librarian’ also won him ‘Best Comedy’, ‘Best Screenwriting’ and the ‘People’s Choice’ BUFTA Awards.

Benjamin said of winning the awards, “I feel honoured and very humbled, I wasn’t expecting to win an award, let alone four awards”.

Bond University Director of Film and Television Dr Michael Sergi said this year's entries were a sneak preview of the Australian Film and Television’s Industry's future stars.

"It delights me to see so many talented young people from all over Australia. All of the finalist films were original and creative, it's incredible when you realise these filmmakers are just 16 and 17 years old," Dr Sergi said.

The red carpet award gala event was hosted by Oscar winning Australian 'Clayographer', Adam Elliot, who has received more than one hundred awards for his stop-motion animation films.

The creator of five films, including the Oscar winning Harvie Krumpet, Mr Elliot is known for his use of traditional 'in-camera' techniques, meaning every set, prop and character is a real miniature handcrafted object.

Mr Elliot said it was an honour to be in the company of such budding film makers who clearly have a bright future ahead of them.

"The Australian Film and Television industry is tough, but thankfully we have some amazing up and coming talent, some of which I believe were sitting in the room on Saturday night," he said.

Adding to the Oscars glamour of the evening were pre-recorded award presentations from a number of Australian and international film making legends, taped on set in Hollywood, including George Miller (Director of Happy Feet and Mad Max 1, 2 and 3), Jason Ballantine (Editor of Wolf Creek and Co-Editor of The Great Gatsby) and David Webb Peoples (Screenwriter of Blade Runner, Twelve Monkeys and Unforgiven).

The winners of the six main short film categories were:

Best Animation - Lachlan Pendragon, Stretton State College, QLD for 'Bad Guy'.
Best Comedy - Benjamin Griggs, Guildford Grammar School, WA for 'A Day in the Life of a Librarian'.
Best Drama - Olivia Altavilla, Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg, VIC for 'Pieces'.
Best Experimental - Alex Berry, Guildford Grammar School, WA for 'Surviving Ophelia'.
Best Documentary - Katie Cookson, Huntingtower School, VIC for 'Synaesthesia - the hidden sense'
Best Music Video - James Carroll, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, for 'Monstre'.

Craft Award winners included:

Best Editing - Luka Vertessy, Canberra Grammar School, ACT for 'The Interview'.
Best Screenwriting - Benjamin Griggs, Guildford Grammar School, WA for 'A Day in the Life of a Librarian'.
Best Sound - Marshall Stay, Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD for '[Zooprax]'.
Best Directing - James Carroll, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, for 'Goodnight Baby'.
Best Cinematography - Marshall Stay, Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD for '[Zooprax]'.

Other Award winners included:

Best Gold Coast Filmmaker - Jett Williams, Hillcrest Christian College, QLD for 'Please Don't Invent Time Travel'.
Jury Prize - Keelee Hadland, St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, WA for 'Les Couleurs'.
Dean's Choice - Katie Cookson, Huntingtower School, VIC for 'Synaesthesia - the hidden sense'
Best School - St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, WA.
People's Choice - Benjamin Griggs, Guildford Grammar School, WA for 'A Day in the Life of a Librarian'.

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