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Queensland student scoops pool at Bond University film and television awards

Young Caboolture talent Charlie Falconer has been named ‘Best Overall Filmmaker’ at the prestigious Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) for her documentary, Manu, and comedy, Cue Overreaction, which also won ‘Best Achievement in Directing’.

The Grace Lutheran College student was awarded a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University on the Gold Coast, after taking home the top accolade at the 23rd annual BUFTA Gala Award Ceremony on the weekend (Saturday, 24 November).  

The University received almost 200 entries for BUFTA this year, with just 16 students selected as nominees in the competition, which is one of the largest of its kind for high school students in Australia.   

The Gala Award Ceremony - hosted by popular Australian film, television and radio personality James Mathison - reached full capacity this year, with nominees, their families and industry leaders coming together to recognise and celebrate some of the country’s most talented student filmmakers.

Charlie said she was shocked and delighted to be awarded the Best Overall Filmmaker award.

“I did not expect this. It’s the most amazing thing to happen to me in my life so far,” she said.  

“Filmmaking has always been my passion and it always will be.

“I really want to become a cinematographer. I’ve heard it’s a boy club and I’m keen to change that.

“What I love about filmmaking is how you can express whatever you’re feeling and make it into a film that a lot of people can relate to and enjoy - that’s what really inspires me.”

Charlie’s comedy, Cue Overreaction, took on the gangster genre, while in sharp contrast her documentary ‘Manu’ tackled alcoholism and addiction.

“With Manu, I really wanted to share my Uncle’s story in the hope that it would help others, but then on the flipside, with Cue Overreaction, I wanted to create something that would make people laugh and that they could enjoy,” she said.

“I’m really excited for the future and what is to come, especially if I get to see the other incredible nominees here tonight when I arrive on campus at Bond.”

Adding to the level of talent at this year’s competition was Brisbane-based Queensland Academy of Creative Industries student, Anna Kabut, who received the ‘Jury Prize’ of a part-scholarship to Bond University, as well as a ‘Craft Award for Best Achievement in Screenwriting’ for her comedy, Inheritance.

Byron D’Arcy from All Saints Anglican School was awarded City of Gold Coast’sBest Gold Coast Filmmaker Award’, as well as ‘Best Achievement in Music Video’ for his entry, Throw the Dog a Bone.

‘The Dean’s Choice’ was awarded to Jamisyn Chapman from Mary MacKillop College in Brisbane for her music video, Not Worth Hiding, with the talented student also taking out ‘Best Achievement in Experimental’ for her film, ‘Image en Mouvement’.

Hillcrest Christian College on the Gold Coast was named ‘Best School’ on the night, with student, Michaela Sutherland, receiving ‘Best Achievement in Documentary’ for her film, Born and Bred, and Nathan Donly winning the ‘Craft Award for Best Achievement in Sound’ for his drama, Paradox.

Ruby McIntosh of St Rita’s College in Clayfield won the Videopro People’s Choice Award for her Experimental short film, Anamnesis and walked away with a $1,250 gift card to spend at Videopro. 

Bond University Director of Film and Television, Associate Professor Michael Sergi, said Charlie’s win was hard-fought and well-deserved.

“BUFTA is an invaluable opportunity for young filmmakers from right around Australia, and each year it is an extremely daunting task for the judges to select only a handful of nominees from hundreds of high-quality entries.

“To be selected as a nominee is a fantastic achievement in itself and it was incredible to see all the nominees and their families come together to support and celebrate each other’s achievements.

“The Best Overall Filmmaker award recognises a young filmmaker who has demonstrated passion, ingenuity, creativity, and artistic ability in all areas of filmmaking.

“For Charlie to be nominated in two such different genres as comedy and documentary - and then also take home 'Best Achievement in Directing' - shows she is enormously talented and has the makings of a stand-out filmmaker.

"We look forward to Charlie joining us next year when she commences her Bachelor of Film and Television degree, and have no doubt she has the talent and drive needed to pursue a successful career in the film and television industry.”

Dr Sergi said it wasn’t too early for year 11 and 12 high school students throughout Australia to make a start on their BUFTA entries for next year.

“Each year we continue to see an increase in the quality of entries and encourage young filmmakers to get started on their films now,” he said.

Bond University Executive Dean of the Faculty of Society & Design, Professor Derek Carson, said he was incredibly proud of the university’s current film and TV students who had worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure BUFTA was an industry-quality event.

“Every aspect of the gala event - from the research and scriptwriting, pre-production, staging and broadcast, through to the promotion and livestream which was watched by a global audience – was carried out by Bond’s first-year students,” Professor Carson said.

“Here at Bond we pride ourselves on providing authentic learning experiences and we go that extra mile to ensure that when our students graduate, they are as well prepared for the industries they aspire to work in as they possibly can be.

“BUFTA is a wonderful example of this and I’d like to thank each and every student and staff member for an incredible performance.”

Below is a full list of winners for the 2018 BUFTA Awards: 

MAJOR PRIZE - BEST OVERALL FILMMAKER: Charlie Falconer, Grace Lutheran College (QLD) – Cue Overreaction & Manu

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ANIMATION: Natalie Yeung, Huntingtower School (VIC) – Kaleidoscope

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Austin Macfarlane, Anglican Church Grammar School (QLD) – The Sock Dimension  

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DOCUMENTARY: Michaela Sutherland, Hillcrest Christian College (QLD) – Born and Bred

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Jock Plastow, Glenunga International High School (SA) – Yellow 

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EXPERIMENTAL: Jamisyn Chapman, Mary MacKillop College (QLD) – Image en Mouvement

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC VIDEO: Byron D’Arcy, All Saints Anglican School (QLD) – Throw The Dog a Bone

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING: Charlie Falconer, Grace Lutheran College (QLD) – Cue Overreaction

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SCREENWRITING: Anna Kubat, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries (QLD) – Inheritance

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jock Plastow, Glenunga International High School (SA) – Yellow

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING: Oakley Hands, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School (WA) – Run Free

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND: Nathan Donly, Hillcrest Christian College (QLD) – Paradox

CITY OF GOLD COAST FILMMAKER: Byron D’Arcy, All Saints Anglican School (QLD) – Throw The Dog a Bone

BEST SCHOOL AWARD: Hillcrest Christian College (QLD)

VIDEOPRO PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Ruby McIntosh, St Rita’s College (QLD) – Anamnesis

DEAN’S CHOICE AWARD: Jamisyn Chapman, Mary MacKillop College (QLD) – Not Worth Hiding

JURY PRIZE: Anna Kubat, Queensland Academy of Creative Industries (QLD) – Inheritance

For more information on BUFTA, visit or check out the event’s Facebook page.

View all our previous winners

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