After Film School: The Writer/Director’s Pathway AN EVENING WITH IVAN SEN, 7PM THURSDAY 4 DECEMBER The pathway to becoming a writer and director after film school is a difficult journey. Alumnus Ivan Sen has successfully walked this road having written and directed critically acclaimed features such as Mystery Road, Toomelah and Beneath Clouds. During the course of this evening, and while screening examples of his work, Ivan will discuss how from his perspective, the aspiring writer/ director can forge a career after graduating from film school. From the early 1990s, Ivan Sen studied filmmaking at Griffith University, Brisbane and the Australian Film, Television and Radio school.
Sen’s second feature-length film, Dreamland, screened at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Throughout the late 1990s Sen worked on numerous award winning short films, before making his feature film debut with Beneath Clouds in 2002.
In 2011 his feature Toomelah, won the Grand Prix at the Vladivostok International Film Festival and screened in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes International Film Festival.Sen was awarded the prestigious Byron Kennedy Award at the 2012 AACTA Awards.
Beneath Clouds, won him global acclaim, screening at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and winning the Premiere First Movie, and Best New Actress Awards in Competition at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival as well as the 2002 Best Director Award at the Australian Film Institute Awards. In 2005 his Documentary Yellow Fella, about Indigenous actor Tommy Lewis, screened in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes International Film Festival.
Most recently Sen’s latest feature length film Mystery Road, premiered as Opening Night Film at the Sydney Film Festival 2013. The International Premiere was a Special Screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was nominated for 6 AACTA Awards including Best Film, and won six awards at the Film Critics Association of Australia.
REEL DEAL EXHIBITION While the 10 year celebration for the Griffith Film School has a strong focus on showcasing the best work of staff and students from the past 10 years, there is also a need to share work from staff and students that is not necessarily screen based, where the final output is not on screen. It is also important for our games design degree to have their own space, where the audience is invited to
actively come and play these exciting games. There is also installation work on display throughout the film school for the duration of the screening and exhibition. Finally, we are showcasing some of our broader learning, teaching and research environments. All this can be found in dedicated spaces especially set up for this 10 year celebration exhibition.
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF GRIFFITH FILM SCHOOL SCREENINGS 27TH OF NOVEMBER TILL THE 12TH OF DECEMBER
REEL DEAL SCHEDULE
FOREWORD “I try to make the best meal I can out of the actual ingredients the hunters have brought back.” Walter Murch, 2004 We know here at the Griffith Film School (GFS) that every cut is a form of judgement, whether it takes place on the page when we write a screenplay, draw a storyboard for an animation, or design a concept for a game. We also make judgements on set or in the editing room. A cut reveals what matters and what does not. It delineates the essential from the nonessential. To examine the cuts that a filmmaker makes is to uncover an approach to cinema. One person who knows this all too well is Roger Crittenden, who has kindly accepted to be the overall curator of the screening and exhibition programs of this 10th Anniversary Celebration. Indeed, Roger Crittenden started as an editor, and is now recognised as one of the world’s top three teachers in film education,
recently receiving the Inaugural Teacher Award 2014 in Los Angeles last month. A similar approach to ‘editing’, so nicely formulated and compared to ‘cooking’ by his friend Walter Murch, informed the curatorial choices to both the exhibition and the screenings held here at the film school. Roger Crittenden was never attempting a dramaturgical or an assembly approach. Rather his aim was to ensure the visitor to both the exhibition and the screenings would have a sound idea of the vibrant, artistic practice and research that has happened on a daily basis over the last 10 years at GFS — Australia’s largest film school, and one of only four members of the International Association of Film and Television Schools, CILECT.
Unfortunately, for personal reasons, Roger Crittenden could not make the trip from London to Brisbane today, but he left the following message for us: “I am very sorry that I cannot be with you today in Brisbane. It has given me great pleasure to review the history and achievements of Griffith and to contribute to celebrating the first ten years of the Griffith Film School. I am certain that the school will continue to make a major contribution to moving the cultural centre of gravity of Australia to Queensland and I will be raising a glass to that future at the equivalent time here in England. My sincere best wishes”. Let’s indeed toast to 10 Years of magnificent work from staff and students here at the Griffith Film School!
Professor Herman Van Eyken Head of School Griffith Film School
TEN YEARS YOUNG When I visited The Griffith Film School two years ago for the Symposium on Creative Post-production, I immediately felt at home. It wasn’t just the charm of the old South Brisbane Library Building; it wasn’t just that Herman van Eyken is an old friend; it wasn’t just the warm welcome of the staff and students — there was something else less tangible and it is only looking back now that I realise what it was. The place and the people evoked strong echoes of the vitality and vibrancy of my own Film School in the first ten years. In reviewing a significant sample of the work produced at Griffith since its inception I have seen and heard that vitality shining and singing through again and again. However it is the qualities beyond that vitality which single out the best of the work and give considerable cause for optimism for the future. I am particularly struck by three aspects which are themselves connected: freshness, honesty and cultural specificity. Let me take the evidence of those qualities one by one: by freshness I mean there is nothing second-hand or imitative of conventional forms in the best work. This demonstrates a confidence amongst the young filmmakers which has not been broken or reined in by narrow teaching or bad example; by honesty I mean using film to tell stories of a kind and in a form that neither cheats the audience nor exploits the human condition duplicitously; by cultural specificity I mean that the films are not based on tired genres from other places and times but confronting issues that either in the past or currently exist in
each discipline rubbing shoulders with each other is both stimulating and eyeopening. This is why I have suggested that at least one programme combines work from all areas.
Australian Society, including the impact of being part of South East Asia.
Similarly the benefits of encouraging students who wish to pursue careers in areas other than direction is obvious from the strong collaborations evidenced by the films. Not only writing, cinematography and editing but for example the crafts of design, sound and music contribute in varying degrees to the quality of the work on view.
It is so refreshing for someone from a country that still struggles to shake off its colonial past to see the work of young filmmakers who are not wearing the mask of their discredited history or the blinkers of generations of chauvinistic attitudes, but at the same time they clearly recognise that prejudice and conservatism still hold back the development of a fairer society.
In the next ten years at Griffith I hope the provision of post-graduate study can be developed and allowed to flourish as a bridge to industry and independent filmmaking. This will always be the best way to demonstrate the value of investment in practical film education, but it also makes for a healthy environment for all students who can see where their aspirations might lead them.
What particularly impresses me is that the vast majority of the films I have reviewed are not in that all-pervading category amongst young filmmakers: — the angst of adolescence or the pain of the individual struggling against the world that doesn’t understand them! Or if such is the subject it is treated with humour and a tongue in the cheek!
That sense of feeling at home that I experienced two years ago because of the vitality of the place and the people has to be protected, but from my own experience that is not achieved by assuming nothing needs to change. Unless there is an organic and dynamic ongoing questioning the institution will ossify. This ten year retrospective shows that the arteries haven’t yet hardened — long may that continue to be the case.
It is worth saying that the value of fiction, documentary, animation and games alongside each other cannot be overestimated. Whether or not the study of the different forms is integrated, the presence of students in
Roger Crittenden November, 2014
Thursday 27th November
Monday 1st December
Saturday 6th December
4pm Opening 5pm Welcome and Official Opening by Prof. Emeritus Marilyn McMeniman 6pm Prof. Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) opens the Screening of all the Award Winning Films and the Award Winning Game from 10 Years of GFS student work Animation: The Wedding (2011) by Simon Cottee Documentary: One Man’s Long March (2009) by Li Chen Game: Hyde (2012) (demo by Gordon Moyes, program convener) Fiction: Shortchanged (2012) by Sarah Petrasiunas
7pm Screening – Post-Graduate Students Evening (50 mins) AWAY (2013) by Herman Van Eyken Making of AWAY (2013) by Peter Hegedus and Margaret Mc Veigh Trailer – Korea-AU-China Coproduction (2014) by Peter Hegedus The Crazy Ones (2014) by Peter Hegedus The Vision (2014) by Peter Hegedus CONVICT (2014) – a scene from a script by Simon Taylor
7pm Screening – 2013 Cannes Showcase (120 min) Rain In Transit Princess Barbouillageville The Guardians Tale Reborn Cigarettes Shortchanged Backpackers 26 Bullets Dead
Friday 28th November 7pm Screening – 10 x 10 by Roger Crittenden (2:11:35) – The best 10 works from the students 2004-2014 Fiction - Shortchanged (2012) by Sarah Petrasiunas Fiction - Stray/Stay (2007) by Hill Siu Documentary - One Man’s Long March (2009) by Li Chen Documentary - 18Q – A Different Kind of Normal (2011) by Veronica Wain Animation - Ink Dance (2010) by Jimmy Ho Animation - The Wedding (2011) by Simon Cottee Animation - Warm Winter (2010) by Xin Li Animation - T-Bone (2009) by Gabriel Hallam, Ryan Nankervis, Jason Theodosis Games: Hyde (2012) Games: Mage Rage (2013)
Saturday 29th November 7pm Screening from RHD students Past Forward (2012) by Paul Davidson Beetle Feeders (2012) by Priscilla Cameron Too Close to the Sky (2010) by Dennis Quinn Donkey in Lahore (2008) by Faramarz K-Rahber
Sunday 30th November 7pm Screening of Stories From the Split (year) by Pat Laughren
Sunday 7th December
7pm Talk and Screening of TIME & TIDE (2013 and 2014)– by Trish FitzSimons 8pm Screening from work by GFS Staff The Stones Would Cry Out (2013) by Tony and Donna Hamilton Re*Surrect (2013) by Sue Swinburne Bloody Footy (2005) by Dean Chircop
7pm Screening – 2014 Cannes Showcase (120 min) Home The F Word Monument Jackrabbit One Step Ahead Ouroboros Sailboats The Skin Factory Die Violine Squats
Wednesday 3rd December
Monday 8th December
7pm Screening – 25 Years of Animation (101min)
6pm P rivate Conferral Ceremony – Honorary Doctorate of Prof Sun LiJun, Vice President Beijing Film Acadamy – by invitation Only (Griffith Film School Soundstage)
Tuesday 2nd December
Thursday 4th December 7pm Talk & Screening by Ivan Sen (with screening of clips from his work)
Friday 5th December 7pm Screening – 2010/2011/2012 Cannes Showcase Quiet: You’ll Wake Up the War Maxwell & Sierra Red Garden Picture of War Relentless Drag The Wedding Secrets 1848 Douglas Adams Eat Your Heart Out Instructions Inside Hummingbirds Fireworks of 1989
Tuesday 9th December 10am Pan Pacific Animation Summit at the Griffith Film School 1pm Screening: Legend of the Kung Fu Rabbit (2011) by Sun Lijun at The Australian Cinematheque at GoMA Tickets $12.50 Purchase at qtix.com.au
Wednesday 10th December 6pm Screening of All the Award Winning Graduation Work (Film, Animation and Games) 2014
Thursday 11th December 6pm A sia Pacific Screen Awards Ceremony at Brisbane Town Hall– by Invitation Only