In summary

  • Swinburne graduates are creating extraordinary film and television content that is being recognised around the world
  •  Despite the impact of COVID-19, recent achievements include film festival screenings, funding grants, an exhibition and a film production in Greece

In a time where the entertainment industry is suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Swinburne graduates are producing screen content around the world that is being recognised and praised. 

Dr Vincent Giarrusso is a lecturer in Film and Television at Swinburne and says that entertainment is ‘one of the toughest industries on Earth’. 

‘Not only do our film and television graduates have to fight for scant jobs in the industry, they have to apply for diminishing opportunities for funding in the film and television sector,’ he says. 

Despite the challenging environment, Swinburne graduates of the Bachelor of Film and Television have recorded a number of successes in recent months, including winning prizes and working on impressive projects. 

Success on the festival circuit 

One 2010 graduate who has achieved great success is writer and director Jason Raftopoulos, who has secured international funding and will begin production on his new feature film, Voices in Deep, in Greece.  

The film tells the story of a tragedy at sea, which connects the lives of an Australian humanitarian and two orphaned refugees as they fight for survival in the Greek capital Athens.

Many Swinburne graduates have premiered films and won prizes at film festivals this year, including San Francisco’s Frameline film festival, Byron Bay Underground Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, Flickerfest, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and St Kilda Festival. 

In May, Ez Eldin Deng, a South Sudanese film and music video director, producer and writer who graduated in 2013 opened his 40-day exhibition ‘A Journey Back in Memory’ at Sunshine Art Spaces Gallery in Victoria. Presented during Refugee Week, the images explore the tension that exists for traditional belief systems that exist within Western culture.  

Getting a foot in the door

Beginning projects and ‘getting a foot in the door’ can be the most challenging part of the industry according to Dr Giarrusso.

2012 graduate, Jay Morrissey of Hot Dad Productions, has overcome this and received funding from Screen Australia for a new seven-part comedy web series. The Emu War, inspired by the almost unbelievable true story of when Australia declared war on the emu population in 1932. Once completed, it will be available on YouTube. 

Graduate from the 2019 cohort, AP Pobjoy has been selected for one of two Victorian Screen Development Internships, which aim to overcome traditional barriers to entering the industry and fast-track career progression by giving interns exposure to various parts of the film process from Film Victoria, the ABC and Fremantle or Princess Pictures.

‘I am thrilled to be a part of an internship that will not only excel my goals of being inside the development space but will also support my identity too. I can't wait to start and help get the stories that matter to me out there and learn from some of the best,’ AP says.

Two 2017 Swinburne graduates are also behind the scenes of Network 10’s third season of the hit comedy ‘How to Stay Married’: Costume Supervisor Joshua Galbraith and Costume Buyer Clayton Waddell.

Despite the pandemic and the difficulties many are facing, ‘Swinburne Film and Television graduates are finding their way and punching above their weight in the screen industries,’ Dr Giarrusso says. ‘Pandemic? What pandemic?’  

Related articles

    • Film and television

    Round the Twist’s fans grew up – and their love for the show grew with them

    A stage musical adaptation is just the newest addition to the cottage industry which is Round The Twist nostalgia. Analysis for The Conversation Djoymi Baker, RMIT University and Jessica Balanzategui, Joanna McIntyre and Liam Burke Swinburne University of Technology.

    Friday 10 September 2021
    • Film and television
    • Technology
    • Health

    Musicians are urging us to vaccinate: the federal government should learn from these moving, hopeful ads

    Any advertisement asking us to get vaccinated must answer one crucial question: what might I gain by being vaccinated? Analysis for The Conversation by Andrea Fenton, Swinburne University of Technology. 

    Wednesday 08 September 2021
    • Design
    • Student News
    • Film and television
    • Technology
    • University

    The 7 Swinburne exhibits at ACMI in August

    ACMI and Swinburne present thought-provoking digital experiences as part of the next gen_now program from 7–13 August in the Swinburne Studio and Gandel Digital Future Lab.

    Monday 02 August 2021
    • Film and television

    Swinburne researchers shaping the future of Aussie kids TV

    A new four-year research collaboration between Swinburne and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) will help shape the next generation of hit Australian kids’ TV shows.

    Monday 30 August 2021
    • Student News
    • Film and television
    • Technology
    • University

    Animated films bring Indigenous students’ experiences to life at ACMI

    As part of Swinburne’s next gen_now exhibit with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Indigenous students share their culture and experiences of living in Melbourne through animated films.  

    Tuesday 03 August 2021