Students from a Mittagong-based filmmaking program have been awarded at an international short film festival.
The filmmakers group at the Lifeforce Centre for Learning wrote, produced and directed ‘The Whycroft Legacy’, a black and white short film that is part mystery, part comedy.
The film won in the ‘Best Director’ category, and though the project was a collaborative effort, facilitator Vinnie McManus said the efforts of one student in particular were a stand-out.
“Harrison Hillman-Byrne was really a driving force in the group, lots of other students often bounce ideas off him,” Mr McManus said.
“He watches films a lot and is very intelligent, very sharp and has a very dry sense of humour,” he said.
Harrison said making movies had always been an interest of his and he especially enjoyed working with others to create the film.
“It’s fun being with young people who share similar passions to my own. When I heard we had won an award for Best Director to be honest it was a bit surprising, but then I felt very proud of myself and all the other members of the team,” Harrison said.
“I enjoyed putting in some of the directing of our film. I gave some pointers and assisted with some effects and tried to encourage the cast and crew to sound believable as we are still learning some acting skills as we go along,” he said.
Lifeforce Centre for Learning is an initiative from Anala disability services and support, which aims to nurture young creatives with disabilities.
Run in coordination with the NDIS, Mr McManus said the filmmaking program had become increasingly popular as there were limited programs of it’s kind available.
“I run different courses for differing capabilities and faciliate from the first idea to the last cut. I help them develop their script and provide the equipment needed to film and edit the movies,” Mr McManus said.
The award has given Harrison the opportunity to participate in upcoming directing workshops in Sydney.
“Working with Lifeforce has allowed me to experience the art of filmmaking. If it wasn’t for Vinnie, our movie would never have been made or entered in this competition,” Harrison said.
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