Australia’s next generation of filmmakers have been recognised at the 14th Annual Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTAs).
The nation’s most significant short film competition for high school students attracted a record number of almost 100 entries nationally this year with finalists coming from all over Australia to attend the Gala Award Ceremony on November 26.
Director of Film and Television at Bond University Associate Professor Michael Sergi said, “As a University film school, we think it is very important we offer encouragement and acknowledge the efforts of these budding filmmakers while they’re at high school.
“The external recognition motivates them, gives them a goal to aim for and helps them to feel as though achieving their dreams is possible,” said Associate Professor Sergi.
Students were required to enter an original short-film in one of six categories: Animation; Drama; Documentary; Experimental; Comedy; and Music Video. They could also be nominated for a Craft Award recognising technical skills such as directing, cinematography, editing and sound.
Many of the Hollywood hopefuls had their sights set on the fiercely contested Best Overall Filmmaker Award, which comes with one of Australia’s richest prizes for secondary students – a full tuition scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University (valued at $86,520).
The 2010 winner of the coveted award was Joshua Beattie from the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, for his moving drama To Claire; From Sonny.
The film centres on a young man writing what appears to be a love letter to a girlfriend that has left him, with a twist that sees the audience later learn that the girlfriend died tragically and he feels responsible for her death.
Associate Professor Sergi said the panel of five judges (including three external judges from the industry) found deciding on an overall winner was incredibly difficult due to the high calibre of entries received.
“The judging panel felt Joshua’s film was of a remarkable technical standard and displayed a level of emotional maturity beyond his years. He also impressed us with the work he’d done on other entries, having composed an outstanding original musical score for another film.
“It was by far the most difficult category to judge, with three finalists in very close contention. Congratulations also go to Brandon Lee, also from the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries and Dickson College’s Josie Baynes who were very deserving Runners-Up,” he said.
Associate Professor Sergi congratulated all of the finalists, along with their media teachers, who he praised for their great work and support and for inspiring the students to pursue their ambitions.
“The winners of all the categories should be celebrated. These are young people with exceptional ability and talent who deserve acknowledgment and we hope in some way the BUFTAs were able to give them the recognition they deserve.
“The film industry celebrates young talent and if these students keep working diligently and are committed and passionate about continuing to educate themselves in the industry, they will go far,” said Associate Professor Sergi.
- BEST ANIMATION Ashley Faloon, Benowa State High School, Qld
- BEST COMEDY Tim Whybrow, Launceston College, Tas
- BEST DOCUMENTARY Ashley Davies, Huntingtower School, Vic
- BEST DRAMA Joshua Beattie, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Qld
- BEST EXPERIMENTAL Olivia Love, Ascham School, NSW
- BEST MUSIC VIDEO Natasha Murray, St Francis Xavier College, ACT
- BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Brandon Lee, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Qld
- BEST DIRECTING Josie Baynes, Dickson College, ACT
- BEST EDITING Josie Baynes, Dickson College, ACT
- BEST SCREENPLAY Stephanie McDonald, Methodist Ladies College, Vic
- BEST SOUND Josie Baynes, Dickson College, ACT
- ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD Tyrone Tamly-Rajah, Shenton College, WA
- GOLD COAST CITY COUNCIL FILMMAKER AWARD Josh Hourigan, Varsity College, Qld
- DEAN'S CHOICE AWARD Stephanie McDonald, Methodist Ladies College, Vic
- BEST SCHOOL AWARD Huntingtower School, Vic
- BEST OVERALL FILMMAKER Joshua Beattie, Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Qld