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Young filmmaker directs future study to east coast

Indiana Allen
Indiana Allen from Perth's Iona Presentation College was awarded Best Overall Filmmaker at BUFTA 2022.

A Year 12 student from Western Australia has taken out the country’s top competition for high school filmmakers. 

Indiana Allen from Perth’s Iona Presentation College won the top prize at the 27th annual Bond University Film & Television Awards, or BUFTA, at a ceremony on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Miss Allen secured a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond with her short film, Scars.

The film is a dramatic portrayal of life after loss and the power of friendship.

Miss Allen won the ‘Art Film’ category and was awarded the best achievement in directing in addition to the major overall filmmaker award.

Miss Allen said she was shocked to hear her name called for the top gong. 

“It feels crazy to have been awarded this prize,” said Miss Allen.

“My film focuses on the importance of friendship and connections which can’t be broken. I’m so glad the judges enjoyed the film.” 

A total of 168 entries from across Australia were received for the 2022 competition, an increase of 18 per cent on the year prior.

Bond University Associate Professor of Film, Screen and Creative Media Michael Sergi said Miss Allen’s filmmaking ability was beyond her years.  

“The judging panel, comprised of industry representatives and academics, were really excited by Indiana’s film,” explained Mr Sergi.

“Not only did her film show a great level of maturity, but it also had a high level of complex filmmaking.

“What’s unique about BUFTA is that it’s a life-changing film festival. Year after year, the quality in entries keeps improving because students have something tangible – the scholarship – to aim for.” 

The Jury Prize, a 25 per cent scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond, was won by a Gold Coast student from Emmanuel College, Jamali van Heerden, for his surfing documentary – A Swell State of Mind. Emmanuel College was also awarded the BUFTA 2022 Award for Best School. 

Jamali Van Heerden, Emmanuel College.jpg
Jamali van Heerden from Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast was awarded the Jury Prize.

Bond University Faculty of Society & Design Executive Dean, Professor Derek Carson, was thrilled with both the BUFTA awards ceremony and the quality of films submitted.

“As always with BUFTA, I am truly impressed with the creativity, and craft these young filmmakers bring to the table; their films are impressive,” Professor Carson said.

“Bond University is proud to continue to support young Australian filmmakers through our national competition. I am delighted to congratulate Indiana on being awarded the scholarship and look forward to welcoming her to campus in January.”

Finalists attending the awards ceremony also received a special message of support from actor and producer, Daniel Radcliffe. 

Finalists received a special message from Daniel Radcliffe at the awards ceremony.

Beginning in 1996, BUFTA is a short film competition which attracts and showcases aspiring young filmmakers from secondary schools across Australia. The BUFTA awards ceremony is presented by Bond University Film & Television students.

Past BUFTA winners have gone on to have films selected for the prestigious New York Shorts International Film Festival, as well as worked on films including ELVIS (2022), The Batman (2022), Avengers: Endgame (2019), Beauty & the Beast (2017), Dr Strange (2016), and The Great Gatsby (2013).  

The BUFTA 2022 team celebrate an epic awards night.

Full list of 2022 BUFTA winners:

Best Achievement in Music Video: Laila Salloum
Huntingtower School (VIC) for Pineapple on Pizza. 

Best Achievement in Art Film: Indiana Allen
Iona Presentation College (WA) for Scars.

Best Achievement in Animation: Erik Piefke
Huntingtower School (VIC) for Coalescent.

Best Achievement in Comedy film: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College (QLD) for The Derritree Sisters.

Best Achievement in Documentary: Jamali van Heerden
Emmanuel College (QLD) for A Swell State of Mind.

Best Achievement in Drama film: Ruby McQuire
St Mary's Anglican Girls' School (WA) for The Stella Show.

Best Achievement in Experimental film: Chloe Greenhill
Highfields State Secondary College (QLD) for [Individuation].

Best Achievement in Sport film: Reeve Harper 
Guildford Grammar School (WA) for Beyond Moto.

Best Achievement in Directing: Indiana Allen
Iona Presentation College (WA) for Scars.

Best Achievement in Screenwriting: Kokoda Cadzow-Smith
Trinity College (QLD) for The Derritree Sisters.

Best Achievement in Editing: Flynn Walmsley
Centenary Heights State High School (QLD) for DREAM ON!

Best Achievement in Sound: Peri Turner
Marymount College (QLD) for Hikkomori.

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Finley Bishop
Kardinia International College (VIC) for Suffocate.

People’s Choice Award: Mitchell Glaser 
Emmanuel College (QLD) for The Passion Project.

Best School: Emmanuel College (QLD)

Best Gold Coast Filmmaker: Jamali van Heerden 
Emmanuel College (QLD) for A Swell State of Mind. 

Jury Prize: Jamali van Heerden 
Emmanuel College (QLD) for A Swell State of Mind.

Dean's Choice: Mason Hannam
Cairns State High School (QLD) for Demonic DayDream.

Best Overall Filmmaker: Indiana Allen 
Iona Presentation College (WA) for Scars.

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