Film graduates take festival by storm

Griffith Film School graduates are set to take the inaugural Noosa International Film Festival by storm with a series of acclaimed short films.

From a coming of age story set in 1970s regional Australia to the magic of silent film and a detective tale told through the eyes of a child, each of the films has a unique focus and distinctive style.

The films were part of the students’ graduating project and originally screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in May this year.

The young filmmakers now have the opportunity to show their work closer to home, at Australia’s newest film festival.

Head of Griffith Film School Professor Herman van Eyken said the festival was a fantastic forum for young filmmakers.

“It is incredibly exciting to have three of our recent graduates selected for the festival. I congratulate them all,” he said.

“Festivals like NIFF provide an ideal opportunity for the next generation of filmmakers to make industry connections and build a wider audience for their work.”

Griffith Film School builds industry partnerships

Noosa International Film Festival director Peter Chenoweth said the festival had built up a strong relationship with Griffith Film School.

“A film festival starts with the filmmakers, so it has been extremely important to us to establish a collaborative relationship with Griffith Film School — it is not only right on our doorstep, it is also the largest film school in the country.”


Cameron March directed The Neon King, a film that explores an explosive night between two best mates in 1970s regional Australia.

The film took 10 months to make, with shooting taking place on location in Brisbane and Kingaroy.

“It was a massive undertaking,” he said.

“Your graduate film is really the piece de resistance after three years of study, so it really becomes your life.

“It was definitely challenging, but we had a fantastic cast and crew — everyone was so switched on and willing to go above and beyond what was expected.”

Cameron is attending the festival and is looking forward to the first screening of his film in Queensland.

“It is great to bring it home and watch it with a local audience,” he said.

“It is always great to hear the laughs and gasps — you can really feel it when an audience is engaging with the film, it is very reassuring!”

Silent screen magic

Carey Ryan directed Empathy is the Devil — a silent film that pays homage to the Golden Era of Hollywood with a series of exquisite dance and fantasy sequences.

The film is part of her doctoral project at Griffith Film School, and has taken her the better part of a decade to get up on the screen.

“It has been a long hard road, but now that it is finished and playing to audiences, it’s all been worth it,” she said.

“I am so excited that it was selected for NIFF — I can’t wait to bring all my family and friends to see it.”

Carey’s passion for classic films was ignited by her mother.

“My Mum loved movies and she would introduce us to all the old films on TV on a Saturday afternoon — I fell in love with Charlie Chaplin, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,” she said.

“I think it is really important to keep a part of that cinema tradition alive.”

Detective tale with a twist

Maeve McKenna is wowing international audiences with her short film, The Secret Findings of Ethel P.Clearwater.

The 15-minute family film has been selected for a host of international film festivals in Cannes, San Diego, Chicago and Boston.

“The film is getting great exposure, which is really what these festivals are all about,” she said.

McKenna is currently getting production experience under her belt in Brisbane, and has her sights set on the world of documentary filmmaking.

“I think when you are starting out you have to create your own opportunities, the jobs don’t come to you.”

Noosa International Film Festival runs from 3 — 6 November.