Zali’s first encounter with Bond University’s Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) was in her first semester at Bond in 2012, where she ‘helped out’ behind the scenes.
She has continued to be involved in every BUFTA since then, including this year, where she is mentoring Bond’s current crop of Film & TV students who are deep in preparation for the Gala Awards night on 26 November.
The short-film competition, aimed at providing a platform for young talent to showcase their work, is the only one of its kind in the country for Year 11 and 12 students. Now in its 21st year, BUFTA draws hundreds of entries annually and has been a launch pad for young filmmakers and television professionals.
Since graduating from Bond in 2014, Zali has worked in two jobs at Sky Racing, operating the camera and replay system, and on the newly-launched Channel 7 Gold Coast news team as a news editor.
“Working on BUFTA, you literally get thrown in and go from zero to a hundred,” Zali said.
“You learn and you work really fast, but you’re surrounded by a great support network,” she said.
“What I learnt from my time working on BUFTA was the importance of teamwork and how much you value working with a really strong team.
“It also helped me to develop a great work ethic, which I’ve carried through to my work with Sky Racing and Channel 7.
“When I was at Bond and working on BUFTA I was able to touch and learn how to use every single piece of equipment on set, which simply isn’t the case once you’re in the workforce.”
“The advice I’ve given students working on BUFTA is to make the very most of this amazing experience, get involved, try everything and ask loads of questions.
“BUFTA gave me my very first taste of what it would be like to work in TV; I loved it and knew that a career in television was for me – and I continue to love working in the industry to this day.”
Director of Bond University Film and Television, Associate Professor Michael Sergi, said BUFTA had a huge impact on the lives of secondary school students whose films go through to the final rounds and could really kickstart their careers at a young age.
“Likewise, it has a tremendous impact on Bond’s Film and Television students who help pull the show together,” he said.
BUFTA will be broadcast live online at www.bufta.com.au, with Bond students working as crew on all facets of the live production, including producing, directing, graphics, design, floor management, post-production, lighting, writing, talent management and social media.
“It’s a serious undertaking and extraordinary to go from never having done television beforehand to putting on a massive broadcast event like BUFTA just ten weeks later” Dr Sergi said.
“Regardless of whether our students are primarily interested in film or TV, BUFTA provides the ultimate hands-on experience for everyone concerned, and has provided a launch pad for countless successful careers in film and television production, here in Australia and all over the world.”