Scholarship fosters next generation of filmmakers

Griffith Film School student Siobhan Domingo will get the opportunity to hone her craft alongside the country’s top camera crews after winning the ABC John Bean ACS Memorial Scholarship.

The Brisbane-based filmmaker has just embarked on a Masters of Screen Production, which will be partially funded by the scholarship.

The $25,000 scholarship also includes an intensive 6-week internship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The John Bean Memorial Scholarship for Cinematography was established in memory of Griffith University alumnus and ABC cameraman John Bean, who died in a helicopter accident in 2011.

It is designed to support the ongoing study of a talented postgraduate student in the field of cinematography and encourage excellence in this specialist field.

Siobhan, who graduated from the Bachelor of Film and Screen Production last year, said she was overwhelmed to have won the scholarship.

“I was very surprised and I’m still trying to process it,” she said.

“I know a scholarship like this attracts a pool of very talented candidates, so it is a real honour.”

The scholarship will enable the young filmmaker to explore new ways of telling stories through film.

“Doing the Masters will help me find my voice and build my skills, and I’m fortunate that the scholarship also includes an internship at the ABC.

“I’ll have a variety of opportunities, whether it’s working alongside the TV news team, or one of the national TV shows.

“It’s an amazing chance to get my foot in the door in this industry.”

Siobhan said the scholarship would also help boost female representation in a male-dominated field.

“There is still a real lack of female camera operators, and the industry as a whole is still dominated by men,” she said.

“It is an issue, and I am happy to try and bring greater balance to the filmmaking industry.

“I want to try and break the stereotype of what a camera crew looks like.”

Griffith Film School Head of Cinematography Erika Addis said selecting a winner was not an easy task.

“The calibre of the applicants was high,” she said.

“Siobhan stood out because of her passion for cinematography, her excitement at the prospect of the ABC TV internship and her dream of winning an Oscar for documentary cinematography.

“She hopes to be able to upgrade her camera and lighting kit in the near future as part of her journey towards becoming more experienced and skilled.”

Ms Addis said the scholarship would help the budding filmmaker build a body of work that would help launch her professional career.

“Like so many artistic pursuits, cinematography demands total dedication and years of practice,” she said.

“Winning the scholarship means that Siobhan can focus all her energies on her studies and take up more shooting opportunities whilst completing her Masters in Cinematography.

Acting Head of Griffith Film School, Professor Trish FitzSimons, said the scholarship was a fitting tribute to John Bean.

“John dedicated considerable time over many years encouraging students to pursue excellence in cinematography. It is fitting that Siobhan will now have the opportunity to work closely alongside John’s colleagues to further her passion and professionalism behind the camera,” she said.

“John was a fine example of one of our alumni who forged a career in television, one of many industries that our graduates aspire to have success in.”

Thescholarship provides a meaningful partnership between the ABC and Griffith that enhances the local industry and helpsthe next generation of cinematographers find new and exciting ways of telling stories through film.

John Bean was one of the ABC’s most respected camera operators with two decades of experience with the national broadcaster.