Griffith Film School (GFS) alumnus Henry Boffin has been selected for a mentoring program run by Hollywood power players Ron Howard and Brian Grazer – the legendary creative team behind hits like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind.

The team of creatives selected for Impact Australia are meeting online via Zoom

Henry is one of fourteen emerging creators chosen to join Impact Australia, and will be mentored by acclaimed film and television writer Shaun Grant (True History of the Kelly Gang, Snowtown, Jasper Jones and Berlin Syndrome).

Program pivots online

The inaugural eight-week accelerator program is designed to cultivate writing talent from across Australia and is the first international offshoot of the original program in the US, Imagine Impact.

The program is being held online due to COVID-19 restrictions, with twice-weekly Zoom mentoring sessions, and access to a series of industry panels, webinars and Q&As. It will culminate in a pitching event later this year, where the creatives will present their projects to studios, streaming services and production companies.

Hollywood calling

GFS alumnus Henry Boffin

Henry said the Impact Australia program would allow him to pursue his passion for filmmaking with the support of the world’s best creatives.

“I’m still in shock – we had our first meeting last week and Ron and Brian were on the call, which was quite surreal,” he said.

“It’s fantastic to have the backing of people at the top of the industry, and it’s very humbling that they see the value in what you’re doing.

“This program will help develop unique, fresh voices and allows us to tell Australian stories on a much bigger scale.”

He will develop a sci-fi thriller feature film, Before the Dying Light, which he describes as a cross between Ex Machina and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

A hands-on foundation in filmmaking

Henry left his small hometown in England to study film at Griffith University. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production (Honours) in 2013, he has developed several award-winning short films and created, wrote and directed a 6-part comedy series, Metro Sexual, for Channel Nine.

He said his time at Griffith Film School had prepared him for a career in the industry.

“I’m so grateful for my time at Griffith. GFS is one of the most hands-on, practical film schools in the country and it gives students such a solid foundation for life in the industry,” he said.

“It gave me the tools I needed to tackle bigger projects and keep progressing to the next level.”

Film alumni make their mark in the industry

Head of Griffith Film School Professor Herman Van Eyken said Henry’s success was testament to the calibre of talent nurtured at Griffith.

“We are very proud of Henry. To be one of a very small handful of creatives chosen for this program is a tremendous achievement,” he said.

Professor Herman Van Eyken

“Henry was a very promising student – his graduate film screened at festivals around the world and got a great reception – a sign of great things to come.

“We provide world-class facilities, renowned lecturers and the opportunity to collaborate with industry, ensuring that our graduates are job-ready.

“It is wonderful to see so many of alumni making their mark in the industry in Australia and internationally.”