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Nominees present outstanding student films for BUFTA 2019

A documentary about the struggles of a dairy farmer and a thriller shot on the desolate Abrolhos Islands are among the entries in Australia's top competition for high school filmmakers.

The 2019 Bond University Film and Television Awards -- BUFTA – accepts short films in six categories, with the major prize being a full scholarship to study film and television at the Gold Coast university.

The Director of Film, Screen and Creative Media at Bond, Associate Professor Michael Sergi, lauded the quality of this year’s entries.

“The biggest difference this year is there were a quite a number of films that were of high calibre,” Dr Sergi said.

“This year, they are all pretty even across the board, making it a very challenging year for our judges.”

Sallie Jones: An Australian Farmer by Victoria’s Henry Johnston tells the true story of a dairy farmer who, after the death of her father, honours his legacy by turning his farm into a thriving business.

In the drama category, Terra Nullius by Western Australia’s Ebony Cunningham showcases the unique scenery of her home state.

Set in the Abrolhos Islands, it depicts a young woman’s escape from her captor, a fisherman.

Both films make extensive use of drone cinematography which is a feature of several entries this year.

“There's a lot of drone work and murder or attempted murder this year,” Dr Sergi said, citing Jemima Patch-Taylor’s film Matilda and Austin Macfarlane’s film Mates, which both take different approaches to murder.

He said most of the films had been shot with relatively inexpensive DSLR cameras.

“It goes to show that for students, DSLR works well as the films will predominantly be watched online.”

BUFTA was first held in 1996 and previous winners include The Bureau of Magical Things actor Elizabeth Cullen and Matthew Thorne, who has forged an international career in film including working alongside Ridley Scott on Alien: Covenant.

BUFTA winners will be announced at a gala awards event at Bond University on November 23.

TV personality James Mathison will return for the fourth consecutive year as host of the 2019 BUFTA Gala Awards, with this year’s mid-show entertainment presented by talented singer-songwriter and Bond University Alumna, Stephanie Dass.

The public are encouraged to support the young filmmakers, view the films, and vote for the Red Bull People’s Choice Award by visiting the BUFTA Facebook page or the BUFTA website.

The awards ceremony will also be broadcast live on the BUFTA website, and Bond University’s Facebook Live and Instagram pages on Saturday, November 23 at 7pm (AEST).

Please click here to view all short films by the below nominees.

A full list of nominees for the 2019 BUFTA Awards is below:


Alfie by Shreya Arora (QLD)

Hide and Seek by Taleisha Lee (QLD)

Mark & Fish by Emma Russell (VIC)



Australia High by Oliver John (VIC)

Girls Just Wanna Have Sun by Madhumitha Iyer (VIC)

I Need Space by Catherine Shepherd (WA)



Mi Chiamo Maria, Mi Chiamo Carina by Carina Serong (QLD)

Sallie Jones: An Australian Farmer by Henry Johnston (VIC)

To Be a Volunteer by Bethany Alexs (VIC)



Mates by Austin Macfarlane (QLD)

Terra Nullius by Ebony Cunningham (WA)

Ultimatum by Curtis Charlton (QLD)



Corruption by Helen Mullan (QLD)

The Call of the Wild by Jemima Patch-Taylor (QLD)

Voir Le Voir by Suzanna Steele (NSW)


Music Video:

AViVA -BLACKOUT by Ben Ginbey (WA)

Matilda by Jemima Patch-Taylor (QLD)

White Knuckles by Austin Macfarlane (QLD)


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