Scholarships create opportunities for emerging filmmakers

Emerging filmmaker Matthew Foo (L) is one of three students who have received scholarships at Griffith Film School

An Oscar-winning film producer and a pair of Griffith University film alumni are the driving force behind scholarships for the next generation of screen talent.

Aspiring wildlife cinematographer Alfred Beales will get the opportunity to hone his craft alongside the country’s top camera crews after winning the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) John Bean ACS Memorial Scholarship.

International film student Matthew Foo has received the Lord David Puttnam Scholarship for Producers, which will allow him to learn from the best and take advantage of international industry opportunities.

Both filmmakers will now embark on a Master of Screen Production at Griffith Film School (GFS), partially funded by the scholarships.

Meanwhile the Kieran Ricketts Scholarship in Film and Screen Media, awarded to a promising first-year undergraduate student, has been bestowed upon Adelaide Lapere.

A fitting tribute

The ABC John Bean ACS 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.

Alfred Beales

The scholarship is offered through a partnership between the ABC and GFS to enhance the local industry and help the next generation of cinematographers find new and exciting ways of telling stories through film.

It includes an intensive six-week internship with the ABC and is designed to support the ongoing study of a talented postgraduate cinematography student.

Recipient Alfred Beales said the scholarship would help further develop his technical skills and establish a network of industry mentors.

“This not only funds half of my Masters, but I get a chance to intern with a camera crew on ABC News, which is fantastic,” he said.

“It’s great that the ABC is keen to nurture the next generation of filmmakers and I know that John would come to GFS and mentor students, so it’s a great way to honour that legacy.”

Alfred BealesAlfred wants to make wildlife documentaries after he graduates, and said the Masters degree was a way to build experience and a network of industry contacts.

“Going to film school is more than just technical skills, a lot of your success is down to the connections you make,” he said.

“At GFS, we’re lucky to have lecturers who are plugged into the industry and can help us get a headstart.”

Oscar-winner nurtures the next generation of filmmakers

Matthew Foo

Malaysian filmmaker Matthew Foo received the Lord David Puttnam Scholarship for Producers.

Oscar-winning producer Lord David Puttnam CBE has a long-standing relationship with GFS. He regularly visits the school to deliver lectures and masterclasses on everything from movies and money, the use of sound and music and the evolving role of the author and producer.

Matthew said the scholarship would enable him to undertake further study, and pursue his dream of revolutionising film funding.

“As part of the Masters degree, I’m looking at how we can fund filmmakers using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and developing a multi-camera sitcom,” he said.

“Studying at GFS means you have so many resources at your disposal — from the camera gear to the soundstages and new virtual film technology.”

Matthew said he would like to emulate the career of producers like Lord Puttnam.

“I think producers have the opportunity to oversee all of the different departments on a film — from pre- production to the shoot, post-production and marketing.”

Continuing a legacy of socially conscious storytelling

Adelaide Lapere

Adelaide Lapere received the Kieran Ricketts Scholarship in Film and Screen Media, which honours the late GFS alumnus who carved out a career at the ABC as a Producer on projects including Q&A, Hungry Beast and ABC News 24.

Adelaide, who originally hails from Rockhampton, said the scholarship would allow her the freedom to focus on her studies while embracing industry opportunities.

“It’s so exciting and a bit overwhelming. I immediately called Mum and Dad back in Rocky to let them know and my whole family was over the moon,” she said.

“This scholarship offers financial support the whole way through my degree, which will allow me to prioritize my university work and gives me the chance to put my hand up for opportunities and create a good portfolio.”

As part of the scholarship, Adelaide will intern for a month with the ABC, which will help her fulfil her dream of becoming a documentary filmmaker.Adelaide Lapere

“I want to be able to do the best work I can and continue Kieran’s legacy. He had a passion for giving a voice to the voiceless, which is a big driver for me too,” she said.

“I have a lot of ideas about kind of the Australian stories I want to tell — the stories of regional communities or marginalized communities that don’t get told so much.”

The scholarships have been made possible by generous donors who want to impact the lives of emerging creatives. Find out more about making a difference here.