Student Success: The Gnomologists in Byron Bay!

Congrats to second-year Media student Tristan Winter, whose film The Gnomologists has been selected for screening at the Byron Bay International Film Festival!

Tristan sent through this synopsis:

The locals of Gnomesville, Western Australia share the history and the conflicts they’ve faced with the ever-growing population of Gnomes.

Shot over 2 days, and edited over 7 months, I really wanted to create awareness of Gnomesville because there was a giant flood that went through there this year and washed away a lot of the Gnomes in the main section. So hopefully this film will inspire people to go to Gnomesville with a Gnome in hand and help the Gnomes rebuild what they’ve lost. #prayforgnomesville

The Gnomologists was produced as part of the Documentary as Action studio in 2017.

Screen Australia Funding Success

 

This has been a huge week for RMIT graduates, adjuncts, and Program Advisory Committee (PAC) members, with a bunch taking a cut in some $17 million of Screen Oz funding across online, feature film, and documentary.

The Unlisted

Writer Mithila Gupta and director Corrie Chen — both Media grads — will be working on the greenlit teen series The Unlisted; adjunct professor Robert Connolly will adapt The Dry for the big screen; PAC member Lucy Maclaren and her team will follow up the huge success of Inside the Firestorm with Aftermath: Beyond the Firestorm; and current PhD student and frequent studio guest Helen Gaynor has executive produced the short animation Bright Lights: The Perils of the Pokies.

Congratulations to all!

RMIT Media student work showcased at St Kilda Film Festival

Graduate, staff and student work is featured in this year’s St Kilda Film Festival, which highlights the top 100 short films in Australia.

Michael
Student Michael Firus has a film selected in the St Kilda Film Festival.

The festival is now an Academy Awards qualifying event, with award-winning films from the festival eligible for consideration in the Short Film Awards and Documentary Short sections of the Oscars.

RMIT is a proud sponsor of the annual festival, providing the Under The Radar Best Youth Film award.

A number of RMIT graduates, a staff member and a current student have had films accepted in 2017.

Films by Bachelor of Communication (Media) graduates showing at this year’s festival include Happy (Stacey Kwijas), Tinseltown (Corrie Chen), Fim Creswick (Emma Haarburger, who also produced two music videos), and Reading the Wind (Adam Ricco).

Current student Michael Firus created his SKFF entry in his first year as part of the “Go out into the world and do great things” studio run by lecturer and filmmaker Kim Munro.

Firus describes his film A Prickly Affair as a short character-driven documentary focusing on the themes of environment, the vitality of age and Melbourne’s thriving artisanal culture.

He said the most valuable parts of studying at RMIT are the contacts and practical opportunities available to students.

“For example, last year, in my first year of university, I received an internship opportunity through RMIT for the advertising company CHE Proximity in South Yarra,” he said.

“It was there where I met many media professionals who offered advice on my practice.”

Firus wants to use his degree to acquire a position in video advertising with a view to transitioning to a motion picture or commercial documentary director.

Program Manager Rachel Wilson said it was important to acknowledge how unusual and special it is that a film made during a students first year is accepted into such a major festival.

“We are all extremely impressed with Michael’s motivation and dedication to exploring the many opportunities in the field,” she said.

Staff member Ashley Perry, a lecturer in the Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) and a graduate of the Bachelor of Communication – Media directed Police Officer TAKAGI which was also selected for the festival.

The St Kilda Film Festival runs from May 18 to 27, 2017 at the Palais Theatre and the St Kilda Town Hall.

 

On an HBO series set at RMIT – The Leftovers

 

Winter at Westbeth

All our best wishes and congratulations to Rohan Spong, whose latest documentary feature, Winter at Westbeth, has its local premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival tomorrow.

The film charts a year in the life of one of New York’s most eclectic and vibrant artists’ residences and had its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in June.

In-between film projects, Rohan has taught in to or coordinated a number of courses in the Media Program over the past few years. Most recently these have included a studio on ‘Music Video Production’ and also the Cinema Studies course ‘True Lies: Documentary Studies’.

rohan

‘The Audition’

James Thompson, a former graduate of the program, filmmaker and a current sessional teacher in our media production and cinema studies was recently in the U.S at the Palm Springs ShortsFest (June 2016), one of the largest showcases of short films in North America which screens over 325 short films that are selected from 3,000 submissions from 50 countries.

A short film, ‘The Audition‘, which James wrote and directed, opened a special ‘G-Day USA‘ mini-festival of Australian films.

James recently led a 2nd/3rd year Media studio, ‘Finding the Ear: developing short film drama‘ and has continued his teaching into the context courses ‘Histories of Film Theory‘ and ‘Popular Cinema‘.

Media students partner with Foxtel

A group of RMIT students and recent graduates worked hard to record the Foxtel broadcast of the 2016 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Awards at the Sofitel on May 6.

Sarah Petrie-Alutt (Media), Ben Grant (Advertising), and Mollie Cowell (Honours).
Sarah Petrie-Allbutt (Media), Ben Grant (Advertising), and Mollie Cowell (Honours).

For the first time ever the ADG Awards have received a television broadcast, possible through the dedication and creative skill of a team of RMIT students and recent graduates, who worked as production crew for the broadcast and production assistants for the event itself.

The students were responsible for the entire broadcast and informal vox pops with attendees.

The broadcast was produced and directed by Mark Poole, who teaches into the Media program, co-produced by recent graduate Maree Prokos and edited by graduate Bella Walker.

The evening was compered by comedian Nazeem Hussain, and presenters included industry leaders such as Jenni Tosi from Film Victoria, directors Fred Schepisi and ADG President Samantha Lang, former President Ray Argall and actors Lisa McCune and Catherine McClements.

Winners included well known directors Nash Edgerton, Emma Freeman, Daina Reid, Jennifer Peedom and Rachel Perkins. Looking for Grace director Sue Brooks and John Hughes, RMIT Adjunct Professor, were presented with a lifetime membership award.

Kingston Anderson CEO of the ADG said he was very excited that they are able to secure a broadcast of the 2016 Awards for the first time.

“It is very important to profile the talented directors that Australia has across all genres and the broadcast gives people the opportunity to see the depth of talent we have,” Anderson said.

Mark Poole, the Chapter Head of the ADG in Victoria and member of the media teaching team said he was incredibly impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the crew that filmed the Awards throughout the night.

“This was not only a fantastic opportunity for students to rub shoulders with the industry, to get real-world experience but also, to get meaningful industry credits for their CVs,” Poole said.

“RMIT staff Paul Ritchard, David Stanley and Windsor Fick ensured we had the right gear for the job,” Poole said.

The crew were co-producer Maree Prokos, editor Bella Walker, camera/sound and production Mollie Cowell, Ben Grant, Sarah Petrie-Allbutt, Angus Strachan and Jordan Williams.

Media and Communication Honours student Mollie Cowell said being given the responsibility to produce a broadcast was test of whether students have the skills to go out into industry and the experience showed that they did.

“We worked well as a team and performed under pressure and this was a great affirmation of not only what we learnt, but what we can do with our skills,” Cowell said.

Lisa French, Deputy Dean (Media) said the School of Media and Communication has an ongoing working relationship with the ADG’s and this is just one of the many outcomes of a productive industry engaged partnerships.

“The President of the ADG, filmmaker Samatha Lang, included in her speech reference to the need to improve the participation of women in film and television industries.”

“I was delighted to look to the back of the auditorium and see the two key cameras were being operated by women (Sarah Petrie-Allbutt and Mollie Cowell) and that RMIT had visible gender equality with a 50% gender balance on this crew,” French said.

“RMIT is equipping them for the industry but this is a very good example of how we are creating industry experience in that industry, and flagging that women have an equal place in it.”

The ADG awards will be broadcast on Foxtel’s Aurora channel on Sunday 29 May at 8pm.

Story: Wendy Little

Back row: Maree Prokos (Media graduate), Sarah Petrie:Allbutt (Media), Mollie Cowell (Honours), Ben Grant (Advertising), Imraan Khan (Media student), Angus Strachan (Media student) Front row: Jordan Williams (Media student), VE student Maria Romas, and Simone Lau (Media student)
L-R: Maree Prokos (Media), Jordan Williams (Media), Sarah Petrie-Allbutt (Media), VE student Maria Romas, Mollie Cowell (Honours), Simone Lau (Media), Ben Grant (Advertising), Imraan Shah (Media), Angus Strachan (Media).

[This story featured on RMIT News]

‘The Conductor’

[Image: Amy Hanley]

Tune in to BComm Media student Amy Hanley’s piece, ‘THE CONDUCTOR’, first broadcast tonight (and also available as a podcast anytime) on ABC Radio National’s Soundproof . It’s a wild sonic ride produced this semester for an assignment in her Media 2 studio, ‘Radio’s new Wave’ (picked up by ABC during the studios Week 7 critical feedback session which included external industry guests). Soundproof is a top-shelf show in radio-feature and audio arts land.

From the ABC RN site:

The Conductor is an experiential representation of the physiological experience of gambling.

What really goes on between player and poker machine? Well many things.

Not only are poker machines themselves generating electricity but so does the person playing them. The electro-dermal activity of the person playing, other wise known as the changes in a person’s skin conductance levels, can be used to indicate how arousing poker machine play can be, particularly for problem gamblers.

MINA (Mobile Innovation Network Australasia)

Media Program staff member, Dr Seth Keen, has been busy coordinating and co-curating this year’s MINA screening held on November 19th and 20th at RMIT University and Federation Square as part of the MINA Symposium being hosted by RMIT’s School of Media and Communication this year.. Seth has developed an association with MINA over the last three years and has used his research and teaching to contribute to discourse on mobile filmmaking.

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