Griffith Film School grads selected for Hollywood Screamfest

Graduates from Griffith Film School have dominated a competition to find the state’s most promising young horror auteurs.

Three teams of GFS grads have won entry into Los Angeles’ famed Screamfest movie festival – beating out nearly 100 entries from around the state.

Supporting localfilmmakers

As part of the Screen Queensland SCREAM! Queensland competition, the filmmakers will develop and produce 8-10 minute horror films, each with a budget of up to $40,000.

The completed films will premiere in October at Screamfest, the largest and longest running horror film festival in the United States.

The filmmakers will workshop their concepts next month with local horror gurus Shane Krause and Shayne Armstrong (Bait, Acolytes).

Griffith grads sweep competition

Acting Head of Griffith Film School Professor Trish FitzSimons said it was gratifying to see GFS graduates sweep the pool of entries.

“It is a huge honour for our graduates to win entry into Screamfest, one of the most prestigious genre film festivals in the world,” she said.

“Festivals like this allow our young filmmakers to present their work to an influential audience and get a foothold in the overseas industry.

“The fact that all three winning teams featured GFS graduates speaks volumes about the quality of our faculty and courses.

“It is also evidence of the strong connections between Griffith Film School, organisations like Screen Queensland and the international film industry.”

Creating industry partnerships

Screen Queensland CEO Tracey Vieira said her organisation hoped to develop an annual partnership with Screamfest, which has uncovered box-office smashes like Paranormal Activity and is supported by leading directors including Sam Raimi, Eli Roth and John Carpenter.

SCREAM! Queenslandis part of Q Originals, a Screen Queensland initiative to create opportunities for the state’s creative talent to develop standout stories for the screen.

An incredible opportunity

Griffith Film School graduate Isabel Stanfield willco-direct and co-produceHobby Shop, with fellow GFS grads Ryan Greaves and Stephanie Liquorish.

“It’s so exciting – this is an incredible initiative,” she said.

“It’s great to see so many GFS graduates along for the ride.

“We have all gone out and got a few years experience under our belt, and are all delighted to have a budget to show what Queensland filmmakers can do.”

Isabel is looking forward to bringing the finished film to Screamfest.

“It will be amazing, and probably slightly terrifying, to go and see all of the other films – I’ll be watching through my fingers! ” she said.

Wide appeal

InSlaughter at Lonesome Rock, a police woman investigating two abandoned cars on an isolated country road is drawn into a horrifying encounter. The film will be directed by GFS alumnus Lucas Thyer, and written and co-produced by fellow GFS grads Simon Jeffares and Caitlin Johnston.

Lucas said the genre had wide appeal.

“Horror films attract a huge audience of diehard fans,” he said.

“People want to feel something when they see a movie – you get the adrenaline rush and fear from the safety of your cinema seat.”

Showcasing skills

The talented filmmaker has worked steadily since graduating from GFS – working on a series of comedies for SBS, short films and documentaries.

“It is great to see so many GFS graduates involved in this competition – all of us at different points in our careers,” he said.

“I think we’re all grateful for an opportunity to showcase our skills in front of people who are part of the next step up in the film industry.”

The final winning concept was Post Mortem Mary, written and directed by GFS graduate Joshua Long.