Six of the best

THERE’LL be no rotten tomato reviews when ECU’s film graduates premiere six short dramas at the upcoming WA Screen Academy Gala: Unchartered Territory.

They’re about to enter into the real world of the overcrowded film industry, but WA Screen Academy Director Cathy Henkel says this year’s students are “the most ambitious” and have produced bold works of the highest quality yet.

She says about 9000 graduates flood the screen sector each year, so it’s often a challenge for young filmmakers to stand out.

“It’s essential early career graduates put out a unique, strong voice because they need to cut through a very crowded industry,” she says.

She’s helped students prepare for this by encouraging them to draw on their own voices and individual world views.

Out of 36 pitched ideas, six short films were brought to screen life, including the uni’s first ever space movie, a bank heist comedy and an Afghani war story with a female protagonist.

The space film, Spiral, is the brain child of Steven Kerr and tells the story of a young woman in an Australian outpost following World War 3, as she attempts to save a Soviet cosmonaut stuck in space.

“Steven lived through the 1980s when the world was on the brink of war and remembers the fear of that,” says Ms Henkel.

“He became fascinated with what might happen if a cosmonaut was stuck up in space in that time.”

She says the uni was hesitant to approve a space film; “We were thinking of how they’d have to build a space ship and the special effects involved, but we decided to take a gamble.”

The WA Screen Academy Gala is on Thursday September 27 at Luna Cinema, Leederville.

by MOLLY SCHMIDT

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