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Student films connect with the small screen

Friday, 16 September 2016


A runaway bride. A tragedy-struck surfer. A flamboyant bushranger. These are just some of the characters coming to TV screens across Australia when ECU film students showcase their end of year projects on Channel Nine.

Six short dramas will premiere at the WA Screen Academy gala screening Connections on Thursday, 22 September, hosted by 2010 WAAPA graduate Claire Lovering. They will also be broadcast on Channel Nine in October, with audiences given the chance to vote for their favourite film online.

For many of the students, it will be the nerve-wracking first time they show their films to an audience outside their friends and family. But it will come with an invaluable screen credit for their burgeoning CV.

A theme that connects

Produced in and around Perth on very limited budgets, the films nevertheless cover an ambitious rage of genres, including period drama, western, romance and thriller.

WA Screen Academy Director Dr Cathy Henkel said each year the students are assigned a broad concept to explore and this year’s theme of connections can be interpreted in many different ways.

“It can be the emotional connection between people, connection with nature or environment, a problem solving connection, a meeting of minds, or people and ideas connected in a metaphorical sense,” Dr Henkel said.

The six short dramas screening this year are:

  • Riptide – A talented young surfer’s world is ripped apart when tragedy strikes, threatening her relationship with friends, family and the ocean.
  • Average Joe – On a bridge, heartbroken and shattered, Joe encounters a runaway bride with attitude, and his life begins to take a series of unexpected turns.
  • Two Girls, One on Each Knee - Two sisters, locked in an oppressive world and facing certain death, glimpse a way out when an injured gentleman arrives at the door.
  • Not Like Us – A woman trapped in an abusive relationship struggles with the possibility she may have the same dangerous urges as her mother.
  • Wedding Season – A fly-in fly-out travel photographer has to deal with old family wounds when forced to decide between her career and her sister’s wedding.
  • Quartermaine – A flamboyant bushranger leads two unsuspecting convicts on a journey to reclaim a special ‘treasure’.

The films are the work of the 2016 WA Screen Academy class of producers, writers, directors, cinematographers, sound designers and editors.

Each film features Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) 3rd year acting students along with work from WAAPA music composers, costume design and sound students.

Channel Nine has been supporting the WA Screen Academy since 2013. Their sponsorship includes a televised broadcast package of six student films, sponsorship of 14 student awards, and an internship at the station for ‘Student of the Year’.

Dr Henkel said the value to ECU students of Nine Network nurturing their talent is immense.

“ECU is the only training institution in Australia where students can graduate with a broadcast credit on their CV,” she said.

Ray Wardrop, Managing Director of Channel Nine Perth said:

“We are very proud to continue our support of WA Screen Academy. Our sponsorship enables local West Australian screen practitioners to be trained and nurtured in a positive, collaborative environment and creates a sustainable source of industry professionals for the future.

“The quality of training and the standards of excellence at the Screen Academy are second to none and we look forward to the prospect of working with graduates in the future.”

If you’re interested in studying at the WA Screen Academy in the School of Arts and Humanities or Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts please visit the webpages.

Here you’ll find information about related courses, including videos and galleries about our facilities, our students and our lecturers.


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