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Guildford student takes out BUFTA with film dedicated to late grandmother

November 28, 2017

Budding filmmaker Harry Weston, who dedicated his war drama, ‘Dulce et decorum est, pro patia mori,’ to his late grandmother has been named Best Overall Filmmaker at the Bond University Film and Television Awards (BUFTA) on the Gold Coast over the weekend.

Harry, from Guildford Grammar School in Western Australia, took out three awards on the night (Saturday, November 25) – Overall Scholarship Winner, Best Achievement in Directing and Best Achievement in Sound Design – and enjoyed star treatment when he walked the red carpet at the Gala Awards Ceremony, which was hosted by television presenter, producer, radio host and media personality, James Mathison.  

As the recipient of the Best Overall BUFTA Filmmaker, Harry was awarded a full scholarship to study a Bachelor of Film and Television at Bond University, a course which will help to further develop his filmmaking talents, and put him in excellent stead for a career in the film and television industry.

BUFTA is the largest competition of its kind in Australia for high school students, and Harry was one of 18 nominees, selected from over 250 entrants, who had their films showcased at the 22nd annual ceremony.

Harry, 17, of Bassendean in WA said he was humbled by the accolade.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling to receive this prestigious award, and I’m honoured to be named best filmmaker among such an impressive standard of nominations, and for a film that is very special to me,” he said.

“I dedicated my film to my grandma, partially as a tribute, because she played such a significant role in my life; but also because she was the muse behind my film.

“The title of Harry’s short film, ‘Dulce et decorum est, pro patia mori’ is taken from the Roman poet Horace, and means, ‘it is sweet and honourable, to die for one’s country’.

“Stories of her uncles being gassed, fighting, and living in the trenches, in the First and Second World Wars served as the main inspiration for my film, and were the reason I had always wanted to create a war film,” he said.

"She never glorified war, so I wanted to do the same in my film, and really adhere to the stories I was told.  

“It’s humbling to think that industry professionals have viewed my film, and I encourage other young filmmakers to enter BUFTA, because it is one of the best catalysts to be recognised and engage with like-minded filmmakers.

“It’s amazing to think I will now be able to further develop my creative skills, and filmmaking career whilst studying Film and Television through Bond University’s Faculty of Society and Design."

Other BUFTA winners included Anglican Church Grammar School’s Lachlan Macfarlane, who took out Best Achievement in Drama, and the Jury Prize, which includes a 25 per cent scholarship, for his drama titled ‘Solitaria.’

Tamborine Mountain State High’s Grace Criss, was awarded City of Gold Coast’s Best Gold Coast Filmmaker Award, with her high school, Tamborine Mountain State High School, also receiving the Best School Award.

Rory Dalitz from All Saints’ College in Western Australia took out the category for Best Achievement in Animation as well as the Dean’s Choice Award for his film titled 'The Hole Family'.  Rory also won the Best Achievement in Animation award at the 2016 BUFTA Ceremony.

Bond University Director of Film and Television, Associate Professor Michael Sergi said, Harry was a standout among many talented filmmakers, and a worthy recipient of the Best Overall Filmmaker Award.

“With over 250 entries from across Australia, BUFTA 2017 has been one of the biggest events in the awards’ history, and narrowing these entries down to just 19 was an extremely difficult task," he said.

"For Harry to receive the top prize, and be awarded Best Achievement in Directing and Best Achievement in Sound Design, demonstrates how talented he is.

"Harry has a promising future, and I look forward to welcoming him to Bond next year, and helping him pursue his passion, and further his filmmaking career.”

Dr Sergi said BUFTA was Australia's most significant short film competition for senior high school students in Year 11 and 12, and encouraged students to begin working now on their films for next year.

"BUFTA provides young filmmakers with a major platform to showcase their work to the nation, and next year we will welcome yet another crop of young filmmakers with fresh ideas and stories for the big screen,” he said.

"The success of previous winners, including Eric So who has been involved in Hollywood films including Captain America, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Great Gatsby, is testament to the calibre of filmmakers discovered through BUFTA.

"With so many talented 'up-and-comers', it's an exciting time for the Australian film and television industry, and Bond looks forward to continuing to help shape the filmmakers of tomorrow."

For further information on BUFTA, visit www.bufta.com.au and LIKE Bond University Film & Television (BUFTA) on Facebook.

Full list of BUFTA winners

Category Awards:

Best Achievement in Animation: Rory Dalitz, The Hole Family, All Saints' College, WA

Best Achievement in Comedy: Uday Alexander, Constable Rebound, Darwin High School, NT

Best Achievement in Documentary: Finn Robinsen, The Kombumerri People: Life goes on, Miami State High School, QLD            

Best Achievement in Drama: Lachlan Macfarlane, Solitaria, Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD  

Best Achievement in Experimental: Nicholas Brack, SHATTER GLASS SITY: or Reality and Dreamland:Coterminous, St Andrew’s Catholic College, QLD

Best Achievement in Music Video: Dannielle Growse, Brussel Sprout, Huntingtower, VIC

Craft Awards:

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Oliver Marsden, Clean, Cairns State High School, QLD

Best Achievement in Directing: Harry Weston, Dulce et decorum est, pro patia mori, Guildford Grammar School, WA

Best Achievement in Editing: Jakob Wells, Scootering, Mandurah Catholic College, WA

Best Achievement in Screenwriting: Lily Drummond, Hollowlake, Westminster School, SA

Best Achievement in Sound Design: Harry Weston, Dulce et decorum est, pro patia mori, Guildford Grammar School, WA

City of Gold Coast Filmmaker: Grace Criss, No Time - I Am Not Lefthanded, Tamborine Mountain State High School, QLD

Best School Award:Tamborine Mountain State High School, QLD

Videopro People's Choice Award: Danielle Growse, Brussel Sprout, Huntingtower, VIC

Dean's Award: Rory Dalitz, The Hole Family, All Saints' College, WA

Jury Prize: Lachlan Macfarlane, Solitaria, Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD

Major Prize:

Best Overall Filmmaker: Harry Weston, Dulce et decorum est, pro patia mori, Guildford Grammar School, WA