The New Normal International Film Festival 2020 has arisen in response to the unprecedented times we currently find ourselves in. At a time of vast social isolation, the festival aims to keep the spirit of cinema alive, fostering a sense of community and celebration in filmmakers and lovers the world round.
Through a live stream of short films and engagement with the filmmaking community the festival will explore the concept of the ‘New Normal’, aiming to discuss what is considered as ‘normal’ both in the past and present, whilst looking to a possible shared future.
The festival emerged from the Media studio ‘The Festival Experience’, which has been closely monitoring and responding to how film festivals are changing modalities to cope with lockdown. The festival is sponsored by RMIT, The Capitol Theatre, RMITV, Finger Food People, SYN Radio, and Fix ‘N’ Chips.
Eleven undergraduate students from the Bachelor of Communication (Media) program have now commenced work on their remote internships with the short film streaming platform Atlasshorts. The remote internships initiative was established by the Media program and Atlasshorts to help those students whose original work attachments were affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Media students and Atlasshorts team hard at work-from-home
The students will spend 30 hours each working with Atlasshorts to secure metadata for their catalogues, as the platform has been taken up by a number of new institutions now delivering media courses online due to the lockdown. The students will also be learning about film distribution, streaming services, and e-meeting those institutions who have subscribed to the platform to discover how it’s being used.
B.Comm(Media) Industry Talks is a webinar series for students in RMIT’s Bachelor of Communication (Media) program. This talk was recorded live on Friday 22 May 2020.
DIRECTING AND STORYTELLING FOR DRAMA AND DOCUMENTARY with JIM LOUNSBURY
For this B.C(M) Industry Talk we talk the role of the director. A perennial figure on set since cinema’s earliest moments, the director’s role is a fluid and exciting one. What does a director do? How has this role changed over time? And what skills does a director need? We discuss this and much more, including what a jobbing director gets up to in quarantine, with our special guest in this talk.
JIM LOUNSBURY is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked with fellow artists, online communities, and some of the world’s biggest brands to explore new ways to engage with people through story. From feature documentaries The Meaning of Vanlife (Stan) and The Aussie Who Baffled the World (National Geographic) to his feature film Love is Now (Universal), Jim is passionate about stories that explore nomadism and adventure, tackling big themes through the prism of personal stories.
The “Room With A View Media” studio was hard-hit by COVID-19, given they had planned to produce the long-running 3RRR show of the same name as part of their studies into radio production and programming. Once 3RRR suspended in-studio activity, the studio was left in the lurch.
However, some quick thinking and hard work by studio leader Heather Jarvis and the students involved has led to the Conversations in Isolation podcast, now available on all podcasting platforms.
The podcast features in with lawyers, musicians, fellow students and more on how they’re keeping busy and spending their time during lockdown.
B.Comm(Media) Industry Talks is a webinar series for students in RMIT’s Bachelor of Communication (Media) program. This talk was recorded live on Tuesday 12 May 2020.
FILM, TV, CONCEPTS AND CONTENT with EVERY CLOUD PRODUCTIONS
For this talk, we’re joined by MIKE JONES, the Head of Content and Development for Every Cloud Productions. Founded in 2009, Every Cloud is the production company behind Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (and the recent Miss Fisher film) and Newton’s Law. Every Cloud was formed by Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger, who produced/created SeaChange, East of Everything, and The Gods of Wheat Street, among much more.
Our guest Mike Jones is a development producer, story editor, and writer with a depth of experience across scripted narrative genres and platforms. His body of work has received numerous awards including AACTA, Emmy, AWG, SPA, & ADG accolades. He has previously worked with companies including the ABC, WarnerBros, Jungle, Princess Pictures and, with SweetPotatoFilms, collaborated on major international TV series including mystery drama The Gloaming and celebrated supernatural series The Kettering Incident. For Every Cloud, Mike story-produced the AACTA-winning youth drama series Deadlock, and for the ABC steered script development of much-loved comic-drama series F*cking Adelaide and the Emmy award nominated Wrong Kind of Black. Mike is also a published horror novelist and co-creator of multiple immersive VR projects.
B.Comm(Media) Industry Talks is a webinar series for students in RMIT’s Bachelor of Communication (Media) program. This talk was recorded live on Tuesday 28 April 2020.
FILM DISTRIBUTION & STREAMING MEDIA with ATLASSHORTS
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, online media, streaming, and the digital media landscape are more important than they’ve ever been. How is this global phenomenon affecting the creative industries? What will the landscape look like once the immediate threat has passed? What opportunities are creators given here?
In addition to these questions, we talk about what film distribution is, and how it’s evolved with digital technology. What roles/careers are available here? How might students use their degrees to pick up skills that are useful in creative industries?
Our guest is KARIM FORD SARHAN — actor, film director, and managing director and founder of Australian streaming platform Atlasshorts.
A number of Bachelor of Communication (Media) student works are now streaming on Atlasshorts (formerly Exile Shorts). This is the result of 18 months of collaboration between Media and the Atlasshorts team. Six student works have been licensed, and many more recent Media studio productions and archival works are being considered for publication.
RMIT now shares the platform with esteemed Australian and international institutions including AFTRS, Ringling College of Art + Design, the British Film Institute, USC Cinematic Arts, and the National Film Board of Canada. The Media and Cinema teams are also making use of the platform in the classroom, as it streams quality short works from recent and historic filmmakers.
See below a quick announcement/update from program manager Dan Binns:
The gist of the above is that we are currently working to shift the remainder of Semester 1 to online delivery. Thank you so much for your patience with all of us, and we really can’t wait to see you all back on campus as soon as possible! Meanwhile, check Canvas and your emails regularly, attend scheduled online sessions, and keep up with your assessments as best you’re able — and reach out to us if you need any help.
Media program lecturers Seth Keen and Paul Ritchard, with Research Assistant Cormac Mills Ritchard, have had great recent success with the collaborative ethnographic documentary work Wild Honey.
The documentary Wild Honey: Caring for bees in a divided land was picked up in 2019 by Ronin Films for worldwide cinema and DVD release. Recent 2020 screening successes include Timor Television GMNTV, the Film Expo at the 2020 North American Asian Studies Conference, Boston, and Royal Geographical Society, London conference film screening.
Credits include (University of Melbourne) Anthropologist – Geographer, Lisa Palmer Camera, Audio and Director, (RMIT staff) Seth Keen Creative Producer, Cormac Mills Ritchard Editor, and Paul Ritchard Consultant Editor.
Still from documentary Wild Honey.
This project has led to another ARC Discovery documentary, Customary Approaches to Healing in Timor-Leste, which has started 2020 post-production.
See the trailer for Wild Honey on Vimeo. Well done team!
The short documentary film NOW DEPARTING PLATFORM 1 — directed by B.Comm (Media) student Lucy Edwards, and produced by Edwards, Tess Macallan and Eamon Willis — will screen as part of the 6th Annual REEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL at the Lido Cinema on Saturday March 14th at 12.00PM and 4.PM.
The film was created as part of the REAL TO REEL Media Studio (led by Rohan Spong) in 2019. It celebrates a sense of community within a local railway station and shines a light on retiring station master Jim Jaworski of Auburn Train Station.
The film had previously taken out the top prize at the RUSU (RMIT Student Union) Film Festival.