Meet The Rising Star Behind The June 2022 Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Sadia Nabila

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Sadia Nabila is a Bangladeshi Australian actress and model who has been in the modeling industry for over nine years. So far, she has done three full-featured films and a number of short films as well as TV commercials.

Her first film was a Bollywood film named Pareshaan Parinda (2018). Her latest film, which was recently released worldwide, was “Mission Extreme – part 1,” which is a sequel to one of Bangladesh’s highest-grossing films “Dhaka Attack (2017). Her next film, which is scheduled to be released within six months, is “Mission Extreme – part 2.”

She has been recently nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in Bangladesh called “Meril – Prothom Alo Award” in the “Best Actress” category. She has always believed in breaking the glass ceiling, trying to go one step closer every day. She wants to be a voice for all those women out there who are scared to follow their hearts; she also wants to be a voice for the South Asian women living in other countries; she wants them to know that you can still dream big and work towards your dream even though you are far away from your birthplace.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Sadia to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your career?

My journey in the creative field started at a very young age. I still remember my very first stage performance at the age of 5. I was enrolled at both the dance and music academies back then, and I also had private lessons at home. Cultural activities have always been part of my life, and I genuinely loved every bit of it.

My parents have been my biggest supporters, so I would never have achieved all my things without them. They took me to all the local and national competitions, and I always had lots of shows going on at once. My father worked in defense, he made sure I was disciplined, and both mom and dad pushed me to get good marks in school and taught me time management skills, which were valuable when it came to all the competitions and other activities. I was attracted to the television industry from a very young age, and I used to tell my mom I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. My first modelling shoot was in year 10, I worked on some music video projects after that. When I was in uni (University of Canberra), I did multiple fashion shows, shoots, and other activities while teaching dance in a Bollywood dance school.

In 2017 I randomly took part in a beauty pageant, and I was crowned 1st runner up. Soon after that, I got an offer for a Bollywood film, “Pareshaan Parinda” – which was released in 2018. I worked in Bangladesh media, and I did several TVCs and short films. I am constantly traveling between Australia and Bangladesh, working in the industry.

In 2019, I got an offer to work in the Bangladeshi film “Mission Extreme” alongside Arifin Shuvoo; this film is the sequel to one of Bangladesh’s highest-grossing films, “Dhaka Attack” (2017). We shot the movie from 2019 through to 2020. “Mission Extreme” was released worldwide in December 2021. My next film, “Blackwar – Mission Extreme 2,” is scheduled to be released in six months. I have been recently nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in Bangladesh called “Meril – Prothom Alo Award” in the “Best Actress” category. Soon, I will be flying overseas for this event. As I said, I am constantly traveling back and forth (laughs).

What do you like most about acting?

Acting is magical to me. I love how I can use my creativity to turn into so many different people, connect to the audience and make it real. Acting requires me to use my imagination to bring the character out in a way that the audience can relate to; this power itself is incredible, and this feeling is so freeing and exciting. I think this is what I like most about acting.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting?

I feel like, at times, I am too hard on myself, and I let myself fall into the trap of seeking perfection. Even when I nail a scene, I tell myself I can do it better. I know some might think it’s a good thing, but it can sometimes be bad as well.

What are your strong points as an actor?

I think my strong points are that I am very hard working, give everything I have and don’t give up until I feel I have gotten the scene right. I have done shoots 24 hours straight without sleeping and left the set with a smile because I am always completely invested in my projects, and I give 100% in everything I do.

What have you learned from the directors you have worked with throughout your career?

I am a learner; I am always trying to learn something new from everyone. So over the years, I have always tried to gather as much knowledge as possible from my directors and improve my skills. The way they envision and expect you to bring a character to life, the mutual understanding itself is the key to making any project successful. If you don’t understand your director well, you can not execute their vision of your character, which will reflect on the screen. So before any project, I always have longer brainstorming sessions with my directors to prepare myself mentally. They have honestly helped me a lot to expand my knowledge.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

I think it varies from person to person. There are so many talented people out there. Only some people get the opportunity to come into the spotlight, and some don’t. So it’s a hustle and a bit of luck. However, once you are in the spotlight, you have to keep on hustling even more to hold onto your position because everyone will have high expectations, and you do not want to lose your position.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

I feel like it’s a process. A script requires an actor to become someone else, and you can’t make it happen overnight. There’s a lot of preparation involved. We need to read our scenes repeatedly so that they can sink in, and only then can we act naturally because we actually become the character itself. It takes a lot of brainstorming and can be time-consuming.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

With both modelling and acting, I actually have a very tight schedule. Other than that, I have a business in Canberra. Growing up, I always felt for the people with needs. So my company, “Innovative Support Solutions,” provides services to people with vulnerabilities and disabilities to empower them to reach their full potential as active community members. Plus, I love kids. So every now and then, whenever I get a chance, I try to spend time with the special needs children.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

In my latest film, I played a character I could relate to so much to myself. It was about a hard-working woman who loves her work so much but is pressured by her fiance to quit her job and get married and settle down, which is a shame. So in one of the scenes, she broke off her engagement and had a meltdown, thinking that things are so unfair for women in some societies. I saw many people cry in the theatre during that particular scene. Many people have written on social media about my character. They can also relate so much that I have gotten hundreds of messages after the movie’s release, and everyone praised my acting. Some said they wanted to be like me one day, and that made me so happy and emotional at the same time. I guess that’s the most memorable experience of my career so far.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

I find people fascinating. As I said, I like to learn from everyone. So it’s interesting how every person I meet is different from the other. I never really had an idol, I am just constantly learning and growing, and every single person I have met in my journey has taught me something and left some impact on my life.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Not sure (laughs); I would love that to be played by someone who completely understands my journey and can portray it accurately. Not just focus on my achievements but all the obstacles I had to go through to get to where I am now. The whole team will have to have a pretty long brainstorming meeting with me at the beginning stages (laughs).

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I believe in hard work and destiny, and I know I will always be in show business. I have always listened to my heart and followed my dreams. Life is too short to be unhappy doing things we don’t want to do. I never tried or wanted to live my life how others wanted or expected. I am living my best life because this is what I chose for myself. I want to keep working hard the same way because I always believed our future depends on what we do in the present.

Nicole Pastor, An Actor On The Rise!

Nicole Pastor is set to star in four new Australian features in the coming months. Playing Stephanie in Matthew Holmes’s new feature “The Cost”, “Noelle” in Heath Davis’s feature “Christmess”, Bronte in Jennifer van Gessel’s feature “Fable” (working title) and finally playing Paula in Matt Norman’s debut feature “Shackle,” alongside Steve Le Marquand, Pippa Grandison, Jason Gann, Myles Pollard, and Steve Bastoni.

“The Cost” is a psychological revenge drama by writer, director, and producer Matthew Holmes. Co-written by Gregory Moss. The ensemble cast includes Jordan Fraser-Trumble, Damon Hunter, Kevin Dee, Clayton Watson, Cait Spiker, and Nicole Pastor. The Cost is being produced by Blake Northfield of Bronte Pictures in association with Holmes’ own Two Tone Pictures and Russell Cunningham of RLC Motion Pictures, who previously produced Holmes’ 2016 feature ‘The Legend of Ben Hall’. The Cost is currently in post-production.

“Fable” (working title) is an upcoming horror film written and directed by Jennifer van Gessel (Water Horse, Beast No More) that explores perceptions of lesbian relationships. Currently in development. Nicole will play the lead character Bronte who is a successful travel blogger.

Nicole is also set to lead Matt Norman’s (Salute, The Writer, I’ll stand with you) debut feature “Shackle,” playing the role of Paula. Set in the 1950s, Shackle tells the story of Ronny, played by Steve Le Marquand, who is sentenced to life in a mental asylum for killing his mother as a young child. On his death bed, Ronny’s father admits to the crime, sending Ronny to live out his days with his Grandfather on an outback property. But, nothing is as it seems! Shackle is written, directed, and produced by Norman and stars Steve Le Marquand, Pippa Grandison, Myles Pollard, Jason Gann, Steve Bastoni, and Nicole Pastor. Filming is to start at the end of 2022 / the start of 2023.

Nicole Pastor can be seen in “Box” by Alex Proyas on Vidiverse now and in “Ruby’s Choice” alongside Jane Seymour and Jacqueline McKenzie in cinemas now.

Disney+ Teams Up With The Matildas To Showcase Australian Sporting Spirit

The Walt Disney Company and Football Australia today announced a new Australian-commissioned Disney+ Original which will tell the story of the Australian women’s national football team, the Commonwealth Bank Matildas, as they prepare for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ on home soil alongside co-host New Zealand.

The six-part docu-series – yet to have its title revealed – will go behind-the-scenes of the popular Australian national sporting team, the Matildas, and track the rise of women’s sport through incredible and immersive storytelling. It will chronicle the highs and lows as well as extraordinary teamwork, trust and spirit – as the squad looks to create history and leave an unrivalled legacy for the sport in Australia and abroad.

Off the field, the series will highlight how the Matildas are pioneering change, as well as covering their experiences during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. The series will also explore the influence of head coach Tony Gustavsson, and the special connection the Matildas have with their fans. Overall, it will capture how the Matildas are able to unite Australians in the lead up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.

Production of the series is underway, led by Executive Producers, Steve Bibb (Inside the Sydney Opera House, Shipwreck Hunters Australia) and Christopher G. Cowen (Decades Series, College Football 150, State of Play) with Katie Bender Wynn (The Will To Fly) as Director. Fremantle and Boardwalk Pictures will lend services on this global production.

The series will launch on Disney+ locally in 2023 and be available on Disney+ globally at a later date.

The Walt Disney Company will reveal its 2022/23 scripted and unscripted Disney+ Australian commissions in the coming weeks, adding to the Matildas series.

Kylie Watson-Wheeler, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand said, “The Matildas are gamechangers for women’s sport in Australia and around the world. This Australian narrative details the impressive skill, determination, commitment, and stamina it takes in the lead up to the World Cup in 2023. The series transcends football and celebrates the true Australian spirit of the Matildas.”

James Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Football Australia said, “The Commonwealth Bank Matildas represent Australia on the world stage as global ambassadors and are an inspiration to many, both young and old. This docu-series is an incredible opportunity to share their story not just locally, but globally, and at a time of rapid evolution in women’s football, we are proud to be working with the world’s best story-telling company to bring the Matildas spirit to life.

“In partnering with The Walt Disney Company, Football Australia has chosen a partner that focuses on stories with inspirational and aspirational themes. Together, we hope that this docu-series will inspire the next generation of footballers, girls and boys, around the world, and our players are excited by that challenge.”

Director, Katie Bender Wynn said, “The Matildas have broken through massive barriers for women in sport, yet their story has never properly been told. I’m thrilled that Disney+ is shining a light on this inspiring group of women whose stories are worthy of the biggest platform. On its surface, this is a classic tale about a team of women preparing for the greatest tournament of their lives; but at its core, it’s an intimate portrait of a sisterhood that transcends the game.”

Executive Producer, Steve Bibb said, “As a documentary maker and an inquisitive football fan, it’s a privilege to be given the opportunity to tell the Matildas’ story in this special moment in time. The behind- the-scenes access allows us to bring this story to the world as we chart the journey of these inspiring women writing the next chapter in their story on the road to the 2023 World Cup.”

Executive Producer, Christopher G. Cowen said, “Disney+ and Football Australia have given us the opportunity to tell the inspiring story of the Matildas to the millions of young female and male football players around the globe, and that is a responsibility that our entire team takes on with great zeal.”

Actor Spotlight: One On One With Jonathon James Williams

Jonathon James Williams is an Australian-born filmmaker finding ways to make his dreams a reality in Los Angeles. Back in Australia, Jonathon started out as a carpenter and construction worker making a living working tunnel construction and carpentry. During those long hours, he found himself daydreaming of sunshine and living the Hollywood dream. Following a near-death workplace accident, he decided to follow his lifelong dream and step into the California sun. He traded in his construction hat for a plane ticket, and never looked back.

Once Jonathon arrived in Los Angeles in 2013 he enrolled at the world-famous Stella Adler Academy of Theater in Hollywood. He cut his teeth there during his full-time studies and then began to produce and direct high-concept short films. He was also a former Masterclass Film director student of Academy Award-nominated actor James Franco. From there, he was able to jump into this industry and has been blessed with various opportunities to showcase his talents. Currently, he has spent the last two years producing, directing, and acting in “I Want To Thank The Academy”. This movie is in the spirit of Crocodile Dundee, but on the streets of Hollywood, where they deep dive into the actor’s world through the lens of an outback Australian farmer.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Jonathon to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

What do you like most about acting?

The chance to embody another character. To be in a story that can bring joy, happiness, sadness, or education.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Keeping the faith and trusting your vision. There is limited support or celebration prior to delivering a great movie. Until that moment arrives, it is solitude and isolation. At times, I am the only one working on the project and which does lead me to find ways to keep the motivation going.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to viewers what they want?

It can be a mix. All the movies I have ever directed reflect original storylines, but cinema does have a great history of norms, that sometimes have to be nodded to.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Keep dreaming and keep the faith.

What was an early experience where you learned that films had power?

As a kid, I grew up in a troubled home with an alcoholic mom in a suburb that borders the world-famous Broadmeadows in Victoria, Australia. But, every Tuesday my dad would rent 5 movies for $5 from Blockbusters and we would have them for a week. I used to watch movies all day, and it became my escape and set me froth on my future path. Movies help, they foster dreams and help people when they are down. They inspire, motivate, and can change hearts and minds. They educate people on the wonders of this world along with the cruelty of it. Since my childhood, I focus on creating a storyline that can help others. Just like past movies have helped me.

Can you tell us more about your latest film?

I just can’t think of too many Australian movies that were made in the United States. There was the Dundee’s, but apart from that, there’s been none. Until now. That’s what makes “I Want To Thank The Academy” so special. It will blow away the audience. A movie like this has never been done and this story has never been told and I’m more than happy to say it is going to be one of the greatest independent movies made. In the movie, Richard Wilken is an Australian cattle farmer who moves to Hollywood to chase his childhood dreams of becoming an actor. Richard takes the audience on an outrageous and audacious journey through Hollywood and life, as he moonlights with an unusual job and grinds away in an attempt to achieve his unlikely dream of being an actor. “I Want To Thank The Academy” is littered with a powerful ensemble of known actors: Rick Peters, Justine Wachsberger, Bruce Katzman, Cami Storm, Katarzyna Wolejnio, Noel Gibson, Steve Krahel, Tarek Tohmne, Jeff Alan Lee, Carolyn Crotty, Samantha Mahurin, Jonathon Williams, Jason Trevits and other notable names. We have a great collection of well-known actors that have done substantial international work. We have over twenty nationalities representing our cast and crew and several immigrants cast in this film. It is a movie that represents Australia in strong and fun light, showcasing the Aussie Spirit. Viewers will relate to the feeling of pride found in pursuing dreams in life and can watch it all unfold on the Hollywood stage. It truly is an extraordinary effort and the bar has been set high to deliver a multimillion-dollar movie on a fraction of that budget through hard work and hustle.

What inspired the story? How did it come about?

The original concept of the central character came from a misadventure on set. I was hired by a big time film director who has worked with the likes of Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Sir Anthony Hopkins and so on. I was cast as this Australian character in a supporting role and I was told to be super Australian and come to set prepared. At the time, I got no camera time, a few scenes and I believe the schedule got so backed up, I was forgotten. But it planted the seed for Richard Wilkin’s going forward. I then mustered together all of my wild and unusual experiences I have had in Los Angeles and in the acting world, then coiled them into the script and movie. Therefore, the movie is loosely based on real events. After that, it has been nonstop hustle; hard work; thousands of crazy hours of blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this movie.

What makes this story unique and why should people watch it?

This movie is one of a kind and centers on a story that has never been told. It is the only Australian movie since Crocodile Dundee to be filmed in the great United States.

What was the production process like?

Fun and daring, but before filming, we spent over a year on the script and then worked in some of the most iconic locations in Los Angeles, Hollywood Sign, Hollywood Blvd, Rodeo Dr, Santa Monica Pier and many more. It has been a blast and a film that shows the awesome and vibrant life of Los Angeles, and the acing world, but through the eyes of an Australian farmer. So, we had a wild and fun ride.

What was the most challenging part of bringing the project to light?

Did anything funny or exceptional happen on set? We had multiple scenes in some of the most iconic locations that are full of tourists and spectators, the main character Richard is dressed as if he is from the early 1900s so he sticks out like a sore thumb, so it is super funny for the average viewer watching us film.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Directing and acting in my upcoming film, “I Want To Thank The Academy” I have mastered being patient in the process. By developing this skill, I have been able to spend time creating a movie that ultimately showcases the Australian culture right here in Hollywood. It takes time to artistically contrast the spirit of Australia along with the Los Angeles backdrop, but with dedicated work, it has successfully been done. By patiently believing in my vision, I have had the opportunity to create a movie that is in the vein of Crocodile Dundee. We have filmed at some of the most iconic locations in the world; Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood Sign, Rodeo Drive, and the Santa Monica Pier. It has been an incredibly amazing experience and it will live in cinema history. “I Want To Thank The Academy” is littered with a powerful ensemble of known actors: Rick Peters, Justine Wachsberger, Bruce Katzman, Cami Storm, Katarzyna Wolejnio, Noel Gibson, Steve Krahel, Tarek Tohmne, Jeff Alan Lee, Carolyn Crotty, Samantha Mahurin, Jonathon Williams, Jason Trevits and other notable names. This movie is audacious and amazing and it is from a whole collective of people from all walks of life that have brought this movie together. We represent almost every culture in the world with this incredible and diverse cast and crew and we feel that this movie does also represent the heart of Los Angeles and more so, the dare to dream which is in every single heart.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

Other artists and creatives. People who have overcome challenges. Los Angeles is filled with immigrants coming to America to chase a dream. I have had profound experience getting to know the struggles of others as they have come here to live a better life. It has humbled me and I am grateful. They are all unique and different in they own way. Los Angles is such a melting pot of culture and so many people of different walks of life. We can always learn from anyone.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

When I first moved to Los Angeles, director, and actor, Carlos Bernard always took the time to explain directing, storytelling, and life operating on big movie sets. But the greatest nugget I got from him was “you know what looks good on the monitor, and shoot for that”. It just simplified the process of having a very clear target to focus on when you have so many other components around you that can be daunting at times.

What advice would you give to a newbie director who wants to make it in the industry?

Dream, hustle, create, and do not give up.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

A young Harrison Ford, we both started off as carpenters.

What are your future plans?

I’m currently in the festival phase and distribution of “I Want To Thank The Academy” which is going to be huge. I just got booked to direct a pilot titled “Home”, and then I’m tacking a movie on the Alien phenomena.

Is there is anything else or interesting you can tell us.

This upcoming film is a testimony to anyone out there with a dream. I grew up in the Los Angeles equivalent of South Central LA in the 1990s. The probability of a kid like me growing into the person I am today was slim. My entire childhood was something out of a Lifetime movie, and yet, I made it to Hollywood. What is interesting is how film saved me. It gave me the opportunity to triumph over my past. What is also interesting, is that anyone has the chance to make it. Often, the harder the struggle to get here, the more you have to express in your art.

Director Spotlight: Find Out More About Julie Kalceff

FIRST DAY SEASON 2_Director Julie Kalceff_photo credit Matt Byrne

Julie Kalceff is an Emmy award-winning Australian writer, director, and producer best known for writing, directing, and co-producing the television series First Day. This ground-breaking story of a 12-year-old transgender girl starting high school was the first Australian series to star a transgender actor in the lead role. It sold to multiple territories worldwide including Hulu (US) and CBBC (UK). In 2021, the series won the International Emmy Award for Best Kids Live-Action Series. That same year, First Day won the Rose d’Or, and a GLAAD Media Award (Children and Youth) which honour media for their fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of the LGBTQIA+ community and the issues that affect their lives. The second season of First Day was released in March 2022 and is available on Hulu in the US and ABC iView in Australia. 

In 2020, Julie was part of a “powerhouse female directing team” that spearheaded the feature film anthology drama Here Out West.

Julie first gained international attention when she created, wrote, directed, and produced the global hit digital drama series Starting From Now. Attracting critical and popular acclaim, it is one of the most-watched web series in the world – amassing over 190 million views in 230 countries. The series was also sold to and played on broadcast television in Australia.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Julie to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

 Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started in the industry?

I started in the industry as a screenwriter. I used to read a lot as a child. My mum worked in the library at my primary school. Every day after school I’d go to the library and read while I waited for her to finish work. I got my love of books and stories from her and always wanted to be a writer. When I was nearing the end of high school I was encouraged by the teachers at my school and the adults in my life to find a “real” job. They saw writing as a hobby at best and not something that should be pursued as a career. It was considered wise to have “something to fall back on”. Lacking the confidence in myself as a writer and not having the courage to stand up to them, I did what they said and trained as a high school English teacher. It was only after I’d been teaching for 5 years that I realised I had to make a change or I’d regret it for the rest of my life. I resigned from my job and started teaching myself screenwriting. I was accepted into the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in 2001 and completed a two-year Masters of Film and Television (Scriptwriting). While there I had my first taste of directing when I co-directed a short film I’d written called ex.

FIRST DAY SEASON 2_Evie Macdonald, Jackson Evans, Director Julie Kalceff_photo credit Matt Byrne

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

For me, the most difficult part of the artistic process is sustaining self-belief. You have to be incredibly persistent in this industry in order to make inroads. I spent ten years post-film school struggling to find my place in the industry. It was another three before I had my first TV credit. Those first ten years were especially difficult. I had no idea if I would ever have a breakthrough in my career. The one thing I knew was that if I gave up, that breakthrough would never happen. 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to viewers what they want?

I don’t think these are an either/or proposition. I believe viewers want to watch screen content that is original. The breakthrough in my career that came ten years post-film school only came about because I decided to make a short-form online drama series called Starting From Now. At the time, people argued that drama wouldn’t work online, that only stand-alone comedic episodes that can be shared amongst friends stood any chance of attracting an audience. We made five seasons of Starting From Now over three years. I wrote and directed all thirty episodes, which quickly became my film school as a director. The series sold to SBS and has accumulated 190 million views to date. In short, there are a lot of viewers who want to watch content they haven’t seen before.

FIRST_DAY_S2_Elena Liu as Olivia and Evie Macdonald as Hannah_photo credit Matt Byrne

Where do you draw your inspiration for your stories?

When I graduated from the AFTRS I thought I had to write films and television series similar to those that already existed. I thought this was the only way to get something made, to land that first credit. The problem with that approach is you’re not writing from the heart. You’re trying to imitate, rather than create. A major turning point for me was when I realised I had to write the types of stories I wanted to see. I had to write from the heart and put myself on the page.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

You will find your place in the world. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

What was an early experience where you learned that screen content had power?

The audience response to Starting From Now took me by surprise. We received countless messages from viewers saying how much it meant to them to see a show about four women who happened to be lesbians but their sexuality wasn’t the focus of the series. The simple act of seeing complicated and complex characters who weren’t tortured by their sexuality or ostracised by society meant a great deal to our audience who had been historically underrepresented on screen.  You can’t underestimate the power of seeing yourself and people like you on screen. As long as these depictions are multi-dimensional characters who aren’t mined for cheap laughs or trauma, they can lead to a greater sense of self-worth, inclusion, and acceptance.

Screen content is incredibly powerful. It not only has the potential to do a great deal of good but it also has the potential to cause harm. As a filmmaker, I’m responsible for the work I put out into the world. I have to be mindful of the impact of my work and, as such, am very particular about the types of projects I choose to work on.

Can you tell us more about your latest film/television project?

My latest project is First Day (Season 2). First Day is a 4 x half-hour family television series about Hannah Bradford, a transgender girl in her second year of high school. It stars Evie Macdonald as Hannah and is produced by Kirsty Stark (Epic Films) and Kate Butler (Kojo). Kirsty produced the first season, as well as the stand-alone 20 minute episode on which the series was based. Both Seasons 1 and 2 of First Day are available on ABC iView in Australia and Hulu in the US (with more territories to follow).  

Has it won any awards or had any big achievements yet?

Season 1 of First Day won an International Emmy Award, a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming, the Rose d’Or for Best Children and Youth Series, a BANFF World Media Festival Rockie Award for Best Live-Action Series (Children 0-10), a Kidscreen Award for Best Live-Action Series, First Prize in the Live-Action Television Category at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and the ATOM Award for Best Children’s Television Program. It was nominated for two AACTA Awards – Best Children’s Program and Best Screenplay in Television, the SDIN (Screen Diversity Inclusion Network) Award and was a finalist in the Screen Producers Australia Awards.

It has sold to multiple territories around the world including the US, UK, Canada, France, Japan, Israel, Brazil, Taiwan, and South Africa.

FIRST DAY SEASON 2_Director Julie Kalceff, Elena Liu, Max Vasquez_photo credit Matt Byrne

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Find people you trust and work with them whenever possible.

What advice would you give to a newbie writer/director who wants to make it in the industry?

There isn’t just one pathway into the industry. Work hard, never stop learning, treat everyone equally, and, I know it’s difficult, but try not to compare yourself to others. If you keep doing those things, you might just find your own path.     

What are your future plans?

I’m currently in the development of a couple of longer-form TV series and a feature film. I’m also attached to co-direct a feature documentary that’s slated to shoot later this year. The majority of my work has been as a creator/writer/director and while I’d like to continue doing that, I’m also interested in directing more projects I haven’t created or written. I have US management and hope to work in both the US and Australia in the future.

Meet The Man Behind The March 2022 Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Rahel Romahn

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Rahel Romahn is a Western Sydney-based actor, known mainly for his roles in The Principal, Here Out West, Alex and Eve, Australian Gangster, and many more. He has appeared in several Film, Television, and Theatre productions in the last 15 years, with multiple awards, for his performance in the internationally acclaimed The Principal. He has worked on numerous films, and US TV shows in the past year, one of them being God’s Favorite Idiot, starring Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. He is also the lead character in the upcoming Australian film Streets of Colour.

FilmCentral magazine recently caught up with Rahel to discuss his journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I am an avid fan of theatre, playwrights, cats, all animals, motorcycles, talking to myself in the mirror, films, and cinema, creating my own unique style of fashion, food, playing football (soccer), and Liverpool FC.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I was an oddball recluse who loved to mimic people and accents. I realised there was employment for my unconventional talents. I heard about a film course on the radio when I was 13, and that is where my journey into acting began. After that, I started doing screen acting workshops in a rundown old building for $30 a night, doing a new scene each week with a new partner. It was a very underground class, nestled deep in the mean streets of Sydney.

Photo Credit: Ali Nasseri

Which factors do you think contributed to your success as an actor?

Obsession. You have to be obsessed with the art form or career you are involved in, and only then can you achieve maximum success. If you are not thinking about it and improving your ability all day, every day, you better believe someone out there is, and their tenacity will subsequently be the reason they attain great heights and book the job that was destined for you.

Which do you consider to be the standout roles of your career to date?

The first major supporting lead role I played was Tarek Ahmed in The Principal for SBS. It was an important moment and role as it finally offered me the chance to truly put into action my ability in the craft of acting. My character was conflicted, confused, angry, sad, strong, vulnerable, scary, and gentle. It is not often someone of colour in Australia gets the opportunity to showcase such a complex character, and it has been my favourite released TV Series role thus far.

My first feature film leading role followed soon after, and I played Nick in Down Under. This dark comedy film was a fantastic role for me to showcase my comedic ability and timing. I was able to bask in the joy of a larger-than-life-failed thug who wants nothing more than to enact rage on others as he has not accepted himself. It was an excellent way to include a commedia dell’arte style character who was driven by physical urges.

My second feature film leading role was Tez in a film called Streets of Colour. This film was dear to my heart as it was a character who was fighting for the right to be able to see his son. He is a troubled young man, deeply in need of some encouragement and direction in his life to that he can ultimately change his life for the better. It was such a wonderful emotional journey, and I look forward to people seeing it.

A role I had great fun performing was Little Crazy in a show called Australian Gangster. I was given full freedom to improvise with this role and was able to tread the fine line between someone hilariously funny to psychotically scary—such a wonderful dichotomy.

The role people have not yet seen is my character in the soon-to-be-released Apple TV Series Shantaram. I cannot divulge too much at this point, but one word I can use to describe my character is a psychopath. I believe he will be a standout character due to his sheer vividness.

Photo Credit: Ali Nasseri

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

I am not sure if an actor can have weak points. I believe it is all about adding many techniques to your artistic palette, so to speak, and once you have a vast array of hues, you can polish and shade them with more detail, specificity, accuracy, and delivery. I will always go to acting class. I want to learn until my last days. That is the beauty of admitting you will never know everything, the excitement of discovery.

What has set me apart from most is my propensity for intensity and versatility. I can adapt to any genre, tone, speed, or atmosphere and do it while performing at optimum levels with absolute precision. I don’t need to sell it; the work will speak for itself.

What have you learned from the Directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

I have learned that the Director’s most important role is casting the right actor. That is 90% of the job complete. They pick the right person with the right feeling, musicality, physicality, energy, and demeanour. Once on set, it becomes about nuance, specificity, choices, guidance, and examination of the deeper meanings and subtext of a circumstance, atmosphere, or psychology. A Director helps guide the performer to achieve maximum potential as the Director has the vision ingrained in their psyche. Much like designing a piece of art, whether it be Edvard Munch’s The Scream to Norman Rockwell’s Homecoming Marine. Each frame is carefully crafted, with the actor being either the salient aspect or the object of subtle neutrality.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

The difficulty of the acting business is the sheer number of people involved in it – the ratio of available roles to the amount of out of work actors. You also have to perform at your absolute best every time you act, as first impressions matter. You want your first time being seen to be memorable and exciting, as this will propel you into an energetic forward trajectory. You also have to have the right team that knows you and your instrument, so they can best support and facilitate your journey.

Photo Credit: Ali Nasseri

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

This may differ for many actors, but I absolutely love bringing a script to life. It is where I can stamp my uniqueness, my instrument, my colour, and the qualities that make everyone an enigma. The biggest issue about bringing a script to life is feeling strongly about the way a scene is played out and being challenged to perform in a manner that does not feel justified or in agreeance with your own impulse and vision. The key to sorting out that issue is to articulate your points very distinctly, listen to the opposing views, and work out an artistic compromise. Or you could just shoot two different takes.

What do you do when you are not filming?

Mostly, I work on my acting, play football (soccer), watch lots of movies, TV shows, and theatre, and always try and learn a new skill. This year, I learned how to ride a horse, ride a motorcycle, and learn a few stunts. I also love to hang out with my close friends and discuss everything from career to activities and what to eat for lunch.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far? Or career highlights?

There are a few memorable events. It is being nominated for an AACTA and Logie award, being artistically supported by Larry Moss, being able to make my family proud and recently I was in a TV Series where my character who was meant to be killed off in episode 6, got written in until episode 12, as the Producers loved my performance. The most recent highlight was being named the 11th recipient of the prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship, presented by Australians in Film, which is the biggest honour an actor can receive in this country. The list of judges who had chosen me as the winner included Jacki Weaver, Chris Hemsworth, Alia Shawkat, Nina Gold, and Rachel Perkins. Heath Ledger is one of the most important actors of all time and to be associated with him and his family is something I will cherish for eternity.

Photo Credit: Ali Nasseri

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

This is a tough one. I find all people interesting. I like to watch and observe behaviour, voices, tones, emotions, and subtext. It can become mentally exhausting and unbearable at times, but human beings fascinate me. I often feel like an alien from outer space until I realise, I am also human. I would say, in the industry, I have been lucky to meet and work with Peter Andrikidis, Kriv Stenders, Steve Lightfoot, Bruce Marshall Romans, Charlie Hunnam, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Abe Forsythe, Kip Williams and Luke Pasqualino. Those are just a few of the top of my head names. I have been blessed to meet and work with so many more amazing industry pioneers.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Al Pacino. No need to even think about that one.

Photo Credit: Ali Nasseri

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I want to achieve the absolute greatest heights a person can achieve in an artistic career and then help others achieve the same. I know one person cannot put an end to all of the world’s problems, but if I can at least help one person, it’s something.

Is there anything else interesting you can tell us about you?

There is no language or accent that I cannot learn for a role. Try me.

Who is your representation at the moment?

I am currently represented by the agency Shanahan Management and managed by More/Medavoy based in the USA.

Robert Eggers’ The Northman Announced For SWIFF’22 Opening Night Gala

SWIFF’22 has announced The Northman, directed by acclaimed director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse) as the feature for the Opening Night Gala, marking the start of the Festival on Thursday 21st April. 

One of the most highly anticipated films of 2022, The Northman is a Viking revenge thriller that tells the tale of a young prince, Amleth, played by Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood), on a quest to avenge his father’s murder and save his mother from his traitorous uncle.

The film features a formidable cast including Oscar-nominated actors, Nicole Kidman (Destroyer – SWIFF’19), Ethan Hawke (The Truth – SWIFF ‘20), and Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), as well as Grammy-nominated musician, Björk (Dancer in the Dark, Best Actress Cannes 2002).

The Opening Night Gala will lead off a 16-day, 130-session strong music, and film line-up. Tickets are now on sale. The full SWIFF’22 program is to be announced on March 18th.

Australian International Documentary Conference Announces Awards, Nominees & Stanley Hawes Winner

Today, the Australian International Documentary Conference announces the nominees for the annual AIDC Awards, and is also proud to announce screen journalist David Tiley as the winner of the $5,000 Stanley Hawes Award for 2022. The 2022 AIDC Awards Ceremony will be held in-person, at ACMI, Melbourne on Wednesday 9 March.

Successfully launching in 2021, the AIDC Awards recognise the outstanding work of new Australian documentary and factual content across six different categories. Alongside the 2022 Stanley Hawes Award recipient, David Tiley, AIDC is excited to celebrate the talent and achievements of the nominees during AIDC 2022.

Natasha Gadd, CEO/Creative Director, AIDC, said, “After the extraordinary response to the inaugural AIDC Awards in 2021, it was clear that our industry is wholeheartedly embracing a new initiative that celebrates and acknowledges the craft and talent of Australian documentary and factual content. We are so excited to once again present the AIDC Awards to recognise excellence in our field across six categories. We congratulate the 21 nominees for their achievements and thank our generous partners, the Awards jurors and the pre-selection committee members who have contributed to this year’s AIDC 2022 Awards.”


The 2022 AIDC Awards Presentation will be held on Wednesday 9 March at ACMI, Melbourne.

The remarkable expertise and work of Australian practitioners will be recognised across six award categories: Best Documentary Feature, with a $5,000 cash prize presented by Film Finances; Best Documentary/Factual Series; Best Documentary/Factual Single; Best Audio Documentary, with a $3,000 cash prize presented by AFTRS; Best Short Form Documentary; and Best Interactive/Immersive Documentary.

A full list of award nominees is below.


This award is supported by completion guarantor Film Finances with a $5,000 cash prize. Dan Read, Film Finances CEO said, “AIDC has always been an important and exciting event for us. It’s an opportunity to connect, learn from and celebrate the incredible talent of the nonfiction industry. We are excited to further support documentary makers, and honoured to present the Best Feature Documentary category at the 2022 AIDC Awards.”

I’m Wanita
Matthew Walker, Carolina Sorensen, Clare Lewis, Tait Brady | PEOPLE PRODUCTIONS, 2020

My Name is Gulpilil
Molly Reynolds, Peter Djigirr, David Gulpilil, Rolf de Heer | VERTIGO PRODUCTIONS & ABCG
FILM, 2021

The Bowraville Murders
Allan Clarke, Stefan Moore, Dan Goldberg, Susan Lambert, Adam Kay | MINT PICTURES & JUMPING DOG PRODUCTIONS, 2021

Valerie Taylor: Playing With Sharks
Bettina Dalton, Sally Aitken | WILDBEAR ENTERTAINMENT, 2021


Laura’s Choice
Sam Lara, Cathy Henkel, Ryan Hodgson, Melissa Kelly | VIRGO PRODUCTIONS, 2021

Life in Colour with David Attenborough
Adam Geiger, Colette Beaudry, Sharmila Choudury | SEALIGHT PICTURES AND HUMBLE BEE FILMS, 2021

The School That Tried to End Racism
John Karabelas, Deb Spinocchia, Johnny Lowry | SCREENTIME AUSTRALIA, 2021

See What You Made Me Do
Tosca Looby, Karina Holden | NORTHERN PICTURES, 2021


Brazen Hussies
Catherine Dwyer, Andrea Foxworthy, Philippa Campey | FILM CAMP, 2020

Our African Roots
Santilla Chingaipe, Tony Jackson, David Collins | CHEMICAL MEDIA, 2021

Scott Baskett, Jared Nicholson, Naomi Just, Gene Geoffrey | RUN WILD PRODUCTIONS, 2021


This award is supported by AFTRS, with a $3,000 cash prize.

samsn’s STRONGER
Felicity Blake, 2021

Stuff The British Stole
Marc Fennell, Zoe Ferguson | ABC, 2021

Tender: Roia Atmar
Madison Griffiths, Beth Atkinson-Quinton | BROADWAVE, 2021


Capturing Change
Chris Phillips, Katy Roberts | MELT STUDIO, 2021

Freedom Swimmer
Olivia Martin-McGuire, Brooke Silcox, Ron Dyens | NO THING PRODUCTIONS & SACREBLEU PRODUCTIONS, 2021

Lost Contact
Amelia Paxman, Jaina Kalifa, 2021

Where Is My Darling?
Adam Finney, 2021


Eastern Market Murder
Emma Ramsay, Andy Yong | TRUE CRIME GAMES, 2021

Ravi and Emma
Kylie Boltin, Ella Rubeli | SBS, 2021

Ben Joseph Andrews, Emma Roberts | PERNICKETY SPLIT, 2022


The winner of this year’s Stanley Hawes Award is screen journalist, David Tiley.

An indefatigable champion of documentary and factual production, and one of our most passionate grassroots commentators on the screen business, David has long been a singular voice in the Australian media. Throughout his career, David has worked tirelessly in roles at Film Victoria, the Australian Film Commission, AFTRS, and ScreenHub – acting as editor since 2005 before becoming the Content Lead for Film in 2021. With this award, AIDC acknowledges his outstanding contribution to the Australian documentary and factual sector.

David Tiley said, “I am so happy with this I can’t uncurl my toes. And really delighted that the Stanley Hawes Award recognises that documentary is a broad passion and not just a bunch of shows. I am so honoured (and relieved) that wordsmiths are seen as part of the movement.”

The Stanley Hawes Award was established in 1997 to honour documentary producer and director Stanley Hawes, Producer-in-Chief of the Australian National Film Board and Commonwealth Film Unit from 1946-1969 – and recognises the significant support he gave independent filmmakers in the documentary sector. Since its inception, 23 recipients have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the documentary and factual sector in the tradition of Stanley Hawes. The recipient receives a $5,000 cash prize.

2022 AIDC Awards Presentation, ACMI, Melbourne, Wednesday 9 March
More information:


The Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) is Australia’s premier event for documentary and factual content servicing the screen and digital media industries, and has been held in Melbourne since 2016. A not-for-profit established in 1987, the organisation remains committed to the sustainability of nonfiction storytelling. Serving both the commercial and creative needs of the industry, AIDC organises a marketplace for documentary and factual product, showcases the work of Australian and international producers, and creates a forum to discuss content, craft, technology and future directions. AIDC’s goal is to connect creators, purveyors and viewers of nonfiction screen and digital media content in ways that promote business, inspire creativity and ignite social change.

Actor Spotlight: Find Out More About Angelo Montano

Acting came early for Angelo Montano, appearing at the age of four in the fondly acclaimed Australian series A Country Practice in 1981. For the next 40 years, he has built on his career as an actor, taking on roles in award-winning Aussie dramas like UnderbellyPacked to The RaftersBikie Wars, and Neighbours

Angelo has not been limited to playing characters on television, having also tackled big-budget international tent pole movies with Disney’s Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and fighting alongside Asia’s No. 1 Mega Star Jackie Chan First Strike

With a long list of productions, movies, and streaming series, currently underway locally, Angelo’s has recently scored a major movie role set to start filming on the Gold Coast this summer. His long list of credits has placed him in the envious position of being asked to audition for three other roles before the end of 2021, which includes a new children’s streaming series.

His olive complexion and good looks, born from Italian heritage, have benefited casting agents when looking for cultural diversity. Angelo slips into the part with ease, whether taking on drama or comedy. From performing on stage in theatre productions to television commercials, he learns and hones his craft and love for acting. 

For Angelo, his acting can benefit from his personal growth, using his life lessons and bringing that to the characters and roles he plays. He also knows that you have to keep working at it with anything you love and put the time in to broaden your education. So, he enjoys nothing more than attending a peer workshop, hoping to improve on his passion so he can put everything into each performance and gig.

After recently taking a forced break for two years to look after his seriously ill young Daughter, who needed full-time care, Angelo has returned to acting. 

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Angelo to discuss his journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself? 

Well, what can I say? I enjoy making people laugh and putting a smile on people’s faces; everyone has an amazing story to tell; I enjoy acting, or as I call it, my role play. I love impersonating characters and being funny, nothing better than seeing people happy. I also do many charity works for sick children and help those less fortunate. As I always say, there’s always someone worse off out there. So things are never as bad as it seems.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry? 

I was four years old, living in Sydney in 1981 when a friend from school’s father worked on A Country Practice – he needed a boy to play a hospital patient, so me being an out-there child, jumped at the chance. I was always the entertainer in my family and, as you could say centre of attention (laughs). I then went on a year later and played an autistic child on the show. My love of television was known as a child, sitting like a metre away from the television, learning, and copying every show I watched, even romper room. I always wanted to be famous. Because to me, it was something inside that said if people around you are smiling and laughing, you keep doing what you are doing. I had a loving family around me that always laughed and smiled even if times were tough. From then on, I did everything in the entertainment industry, from school lead roles in musicals and cameo television appearances to even being on young talent time as a junior performer. My mum and grandad were my rocks; they took me and sacrificed a lot for me at a young age to follow my dreams.

What do you like most about acting? 

I’ve probably answered that already – getting to play various roles and challenging myself, and being in the moment. As I got older, I learned to act differently; being younger, I was more worried about being seen on a film or television or showing off (laughs). But after years of experience, my goal was to really take on the person I’m playing and be him – focused on playing the best part I can with what I have at hand. You might have an idea of what the role is but so do others. I used to focus on getting the script right and making sure directors were happy. But I took a different approach and thought to myself, hey, be the guy, show them who you are, and always stay in character. As I call it – be the person I’m playing to be. The best thing I love about acting is seeing people say, wow, you were great; it gives me self-satisfaction and determination to do more because I’ve done right by the character and right by the public. Meeting so many wonderful people who share your enthusiasm and passion for the industry is satisfying. But mainly, it’s to tell stories through different people I have played and hope that I do the character justice and deliver an amazing performance.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer? 

Good question. They are totally different in a lot of ways. I’ve worked on many American and Australian productions, and it’s such a massive difference. I enjoy working on large films; sometimes, you feel like just a number or not famous as the main cast. Because of its large scale, it’s a lot more rushed and more pressure, a lot more crew watching your work which is a good thing though you feel like a celebrity at times (laughs). TV series is great because you get to meet many local talented people, make good friends, and network in the industry. I have done lots of various roles in short films as well. In my spare time, I helped many film students and did many projects to challenge myself for future productions. TV series is also good because you can be known for that character and remembered if you execute an outstanding or memorable performance.

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them? 

Well, I guess my weak points were focusing too much on the script in my earlier years, worrying about stuffing up the lines, and not focusing on the character I would play. As I grew older, I learned not to worry so much and take on that character and be that person without being in their shoes for real. I always try to use my life experiences and what I’ve learned to better or improve my skills to adapt to the character.

What are your strong points as an actor? 

Being believable and having people say, wow! I guess I naturally have that ability now without sounding egotistical. But it’s taken a lot of hard work and experience to get to where I am. Some are luckier in a sense, while others take time. But if you believe in yourself, you never give up, and I have done this my whole life. My strong points would be my dedication and training to be better to move with the times, the diversity of characters I can play from gangster to policeman to father to villain, and even drama. I love new challenges so I can break away from my stereotypical look.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career? 

Wow, tough question! Directors love filming and have chosen that path, and I love acting to make it come alive for them. Many directors are set in their ways, and they have an idea of what they want to achieve on set. Others have asked me for input to make scenes jump out, so I guess you could say I learned creativity from them, and in the end, we are the same. We all have a story to tell; they do it from behind the camera, we have to make their story and their dream come to fruition through our performance. In the end, it’s a mutual effort for all.

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business? 

It’s definitely a lot easier in a sense now with technology. We used to have composite cards and written resumes back in my day. Our agents did the best they could, having so many on the books, so you had to stand out. I remember getting in trouble for watching too much television (laughs). I had to explain to my parents that I was sitting there with a notebook taking down casting directors and directors’ names so I could write them a letter and send my composite cards to them and hopefully have a meeting or a chance to audition for upcoming films or shows. There’s also competing with so many talented people when the roles you thought were perfect for, cast someone totally different from what they wanted. I was lucky in so many ways as I always connected well with panel auditions and directors and casting directors. Nowadays, it’s pretty much a screen test, and I believe it’s like a lottery because nothing beats an actual performance on the spot like an improv or an audition face to face. I think we worry too much now; there are so many difficulties around us in this world with acting and film that we just have to do the best with what we have and do an amazing job to the best of our ability.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life? 

Doing the same character as the scriptwriter envisaged to create and make that person appear in real life. Also, making sure you do the character justice and be creative with it from many angles, I always like to give a different vision as well but mainly stick to the task at hand. It’s also the actors around you that make this magical if you have a talented bunch that gel together; this is where movie magic happens. I love to work with actors who have that natural ability to flow with each other, and this is where it comes to life.

What do you do when you’re not filming? 

Usually, apply for more roles and try to keep myself busy and keep training or networking with others. I love spending time with my beautiful wife Elsa, my little princess Valentina, and my immediate family and friends, who are all so supportive. Nothing is better than being at home after being on set for so long – it’s the precious times we spend with our family and friends that mean the most; after all, they have all supported my journey, and I can’t thank them enough.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far? 

There’s too many to mention. I’d say going to the Logies as an invited guest in 2011 for Underbelly on channel 9 – that was a dream come true. To be in the same room with so many Australian actors and actresses whom I’ve watched on television and being around them was so surreal at that time; I felt I had achieved so much personally. One highlight that has stayed with me was meeting Nicolas Cage while on the set of Knowing; he was an amazing man. I’ve probably forgotten the thousands I’ve met across the years, but they are all special to me as we are all in this field together.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far? 

I’ve become great friends with Ian McFadyen, the writer, and director of the comedy Company, Let the blood run free, and many more productions he has done over the years. I looked up to him as comedy was my life as a child. He is currently directing and writing for our new show called meet the Guido’s; it’s amazing to have such a great man with a wealth of knowledge to learn from and actually fulfill another of my life’s dreams to work with – a man I watched as a child on television.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? 

Hopefully, me, of course (laughs). Probably John Travolta or Christopher Walken; I get compared a lot to these two actors in my work, so that can be interesting. Otherwise, Al Pacino or anyone from the Sopranos.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

It’s a busy time ahead for me. I’ve been cast in some major productions coming up so far. So I have some major lead roles in some big upcoming productions – look out for me on the big screen next year. I’m spending as much time as I can with my family, enjoying my time, and seeing my gorgeous little girl Valentina grow day by day. Other than that, it’s reading scripts and working on my projects on hand and, of course, talking to you beautiful people at FilmCentral magazine.

Is there is anything else or interesting you can tell us.

I’ve had longevity in the industry, and I want to thank all the people who have believed in me and given me opportunities to fulfill my dreams and my love of acting. I spent a lot of time helping out sick children in hospitals collecting for charity’s; it’s very close to my heart, pardon the pun, as my daughter, Valentina, was diagnosed with a major heart condition from birth, and it’s been a wild journey, to say the least having her heart operation – it really shocked our family. I spent weeks walking around the hospital to help sick children to put a smile on their faces. I always said we were lucky because there is someone worse off out there than us at the moment; this gave me personal satisfaction more than anything I had achieved. It made me feel complete to give something back to those less fortunate or going through worse situations than us.  

Meet The Man Behind The November Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Andy Trieu

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Andy Trieu is a producer, host, and TikToker based in Sydney. Currently, he is the lead content creator and face for SW Health TikTok, generating over 8 million views with his daily COVID-19 TikTok updates. Andy is also a renowned voice in Australia’s Asian pop culture industry, working at SBS for 8 years as a founding host of SBS PopAsia’s TV, radio, podcast, and in-flight Qantas programs. He has interviewed the world’s biggest Asian pop celebrities, from K-pop group BTS to ‘Parasite’ Oscar winner Bong loon-ho.

SBS PopAsia reached 1.2 million social media followers and completed over 1000+ shows and was named one of the best home-grown TV shows of the decade by Street mag The Music’ in 2020. From the success of the program, Andy has worked on Triple J’s The Hack, ABC RN, The Drum, Eurovision, 2dayFM with Ash and Angus, Sunrise, Cleo Magazine, and SBS News. Andy played a lead acting role in Screen Australia and Screen NW-funded program Street Smart, on TEN, and Australia’s first Kung fu TV series Maximum Choppage, on ABC.

FilmCentral Magazine recently caught up with Andy to discuss his journey in the industry and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I’m mainly a presenter, and producer plus I also act and do some stunts here and there.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I competed in Martial Arts which led to jobs being on film and TV sets of all shapes and sizes. I eventually landed more full-time work on Channel Nine then Foxtel and SBS.

What do you do in the entertainment industry?

I’ve presented on TV, in-flight entertainment, podcast, radio, and online – jack of all trades, master at none? In a nutshell, I collaborate with many in the industry to create, hopefully, something great.

Tell us some of your achievements.

For channel Nine, I was a co-host on the kid’s TV show Kitchen Whiz and we filmed 475 episodes over 7 seasons, being the first ninja host on weekday Australian TV.

I was one of the founding hosts and content producers for Australia’s biggest Asian pop show SBS PopAsia for 8 years, interviewed stars from BTS to Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho.

I’ve contributed to great teams that performed martial arts and action on Wolverine, MARVEL’s Shang-chi, Hacksaw Ridge, Tomorrow When The War Began, and others.

Finally, I had the honour to be the series lead on TV shows Maximum Choppage on ABC and Channel TEN’s Street Smart.

Tell us about your Martial Arts experience and achievements.

I trained for many years in Kung fu and specialised in different performance swords. I was fortunate to compete on a national and international level earlier in my career and had some success with a handful of first places here and there.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

They are all really fun and challenging, I think the main difference would be the time frame and the pacing of production, I really enjoy both when I get the opportunity.

Do you prefer working in front of the camera or behind the camera?

I’m a born performer of some sort, so I really enjoy being in front. I have found it also fulfilling to work behind the camera with other creatives! I hope to continue to do both.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I think I’m good at coming up with random ideas! I’m always a yes man, that would be my weakness perhaps.

What has been your biggest lesson in the industry so far?

It’s important to create authentic work.

What are some of the difficulties of the entertainment business?

Convincing people to love your idea as much as you do.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

I love cooking and watching Netflix. I have been getting into games a tad too!

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

Hosting a major kpop event called KCON! Also working on the MARVEL Shang-chi project was an experience, met some lovely people that I still keep in touch with.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

BTS? Officially the biggest boy band in the world, it was an honour to be in the presence of these talented kpop idols.

If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?

Simu Liu?

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I would love to continue to create content that people like and are authentic to me.

If there is anything else or interesting you can tell us

Thank you to Yolandi for the interview, she’s an amazing person!