Student films head to the big screen

Notre Dame film students at the Second Annual Showcase at Dendy Cinemas

7 December 2015

The iconic Sydney cinema venue, the Dendy Newtown, was the venue for the screening of a showcase of 13 of the best films by students from The University of Notre Dame Australia earlier this month.

Now in its second year, the showcase saw students celebrate their work, a mix of short documentaries and drama projects with family, friends, cast and crew in a one of the most vibrant creative hubs in Sydney.

Harrison Evans' short comedy Duel took out the Audience Favourite Award on the night. Graduating student Sarah Westhoff had the fantastic achievement of having both her final year major projects screen; the short documentary Geoff and her short drama Blame which received strong praise on the night.

"For many students this was their first experience of a having their film screened in public and on the big screen," Marco Ianniello, Notre Dame Communications & Media Course Coordinator, said.

"Sharing your films with a wider audience in a cinema setting is what all filmmakers still aspire to. The showcase is a place for students not only to celebrate their work in the cinema, but to inspire them to keep following their filmmaking passion and perhaps one day see their films screen at cinemas and film festivals around the world."

Final-year journalism and film student Anya Treurnicht worked with Harrison on Duel. Predominately involved in post-production of the film, Anya now plans to look at editing/post production as a career.

"I enjoyed the practical elements of film and it was great to work with Harrison, we had the same vision for it and with the guidance and direction of the Media Lab staff it all came together beautifully," Anya said. "When you see it on the big screen, even when you know it back to front, it feels like it's the first time you have watched it, the audience feedback takes it too another level."

Matthew Bell was the cinematographer on the drama Blame, directed by Sarah Westhoff. "It was a great experience to finally get to see the film we spend so long producing it front of 100 people in a cinema," he said.

It was the first time the third year Bachelor of Communications and Media student had seen his work on the big screen. Matthew will be continuing at Notre Dame in 2016 as an Honours students. He said he had specifically chosen to study at Notre Dame because of its small class sizes.

"Students have a more intimate relationship with the tutors, they have a lot more time to spend with us, enhancing the quality of learning," he said. Matt is currently putting together a pitch for a documentary series he is producing and directing.

Phillipa Smith, a final year Communications and Media student, did the sound design on the fantasy film The Rocket Man. "It was the first time I have done sound design and it is very rewarding to be so integral to the film because you record anything that's heard and without sound there is no movie," Phillipa said.

"And the showcase is exciting, it's a taste of your ultimate goal that many people see your film on the big screen. It's very inspirational to see what film making can be and where it can take you." Phillipa aims to work in the production department for an advertising house at the completed of her studies.

For more information on the Showcase please go here, and to view a selection of the films please click the following links:

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;