Film Industry launches unique new recruitment program through AFTRS for military veterans

Image of Warwick Young, OAM courtesy of Carolyn Grant AVV!SO PUBLIC RELATIONS 

A world-first program to recruit, train and mentor defence veterans into Australia’s burgeoning film and television industry is being launched as a joint initiative of the highly regarded Veterans Film Festival (VFF) and Australia’s pre-eminent industry institution the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

The Screen Warriors training program was announced this week by VFF Executive Chairman Warwick Young OAM and AFTRS CEO Dr Nell Greenwood, launching a call out for applicants from across the defence force spectrum interested in pathways to a film industry career.

Young said there were immediate opportunities in a range of areas in the sector where trained defence personnel skills would be highly valued and he said the screen industry was keen to recruit and train suitable candidates to fulfil a pipeline of skills demand.

“It may not be apparent that a creative industry like film and television is an obvious destination for a post services career, however our collaboration has identified several vocations in the sector with an exceptional match for veteran qualifications. There is both an immediate and a long-term need for qualified people in the film industry in roles such as production and unit management, locations scouting and event transport and logistics – roles that are in high demand but with a short supply of skilled workers” he said.

Greenwood said the sustained and expanding activity in the film production sector over recent years had aligned to make this new program, which has been in development for a couple of years, very timely to address shortages and the long-term sustainability of Australia’s reputation as a sought-after destination for productions offering a range of highly skilled personnel.

Alaric McAusland, Executive Director of the Australian Director’s Guild said, “Kudos to the VFF and AFTRS for creating the Screen Warrior program – it truly is a landmark concept; a win-win cross-training initiative which has such incredible potential to deeply benefit both the Veterans community and the screen industry. We wish VFF every success with the launch and hope for strong program uptake, paving the way for long term engagement.”

Screen Warriors will delivery skills training, practical experience and professional placement and mentoring through the program with a goal to recruit up to 15 veterans in the first intake who are already departed from defence or currently transitioning to new career opportunities.

“The high-level training and experience delivered to personnel in Army, Navy and Airforce programs equips prospective candidates with precisely the skills required in the many logistical aspects of production such as effective communications, working independently and in teams, punctuality, motivation, efficiency, leadership and adaptability – all highly desirable attributes we know are honed in military service,” Young says.

Young’s own pathway from Army Officer and active service in Iraq and in specialist crisis response roles in Australia, was in tandem with his acting studies which led to Directing studies at AFTRS and a European Union Film Award upon graduation for his film Stuffed. He has subsequently won several international awards and worked on multiple films as well as his own productions, whilst heading up the VFF, now about to run its 7th Festival.

It is his experiences and own personal passion that ignited the Screen Warriors concept which was embraced by former and current AFTRS leaders.

The Australian film industry is among one of the world’s most thriving. In 2019 it was the 11th largest by revenue generated and has flourished during COVID under tightly managed protocols and attracting high profile productions.

Greenwood points out there is a nationwide spread of production activity in film and television always scouting for enhanced local talent, offering stable career prospects in many parts of the country.

“This is a career sector with a certain future and robust pipeline of work and skills development,” she said.

Young says beyond the obvious logistical roles and skills, he knows the more creative aspects of the industry could also attract powerful storytellers with experiences and ideas from their time in service and he hopes to see the program also nurture roles in directing and the creation of films that would flow to his esteemed festival.

Registrations are open now to current serving and ex-serving personnel interested in more information. Immediate roles are ready to be fulfilled for suitably qualified applicants.

VFF have already showcased the new program in Darwin and are presenting this week at the ADF Careers Transition Seminar in Darling Harbour.

The 7th annual Veterans Film Festival will be held for the first time in Sydney in November this year, including the Red Poppy Awards, a screening program, exhibitions and workshops and a National Tour to follow the festival.

This article was sourced from a media release sent by Carolyn Grant AVV!SO PUBLIC RELATIONS

Anew trailer from Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio” has just dropped

The new trailer, key art and stills from Disney’s live-action “Pinocchio,” premiering on Disney+ Day September 8, are available now. The film stars Tom Hanks, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Keegan-Michael Key, Lorraine Bracco, with Cynthia Erivo and Luke Evans. Academy Award® winner Robert Zemeckis directs this live action retelling of the beloved tale of a wooden puppet who embarks on a thrilling adventure to become a real boy. Tom Hanks stars as Geppetto, the wood carver who builds and treats Pinocchio (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) as if he were his own son. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Jiminy Cricket, who serves as Pinocchio’s guide as well as his “conscience”; Academy Award® nominee Cynthia Erivo is the Blue Fairy; Keegan-Michael Key is “Honest” John; Academy Award® nominee Lorraine Bracco is Sofia the Seagull, a new character, and Luke Evans is The Coachman. Also in the cast are Kyanne Lamaya as Fabiana and Jaquita Ta’Le as her marionette Sabina, Giuseppe Battiston as Stromboli and Lewin Lloyd as Lampwick.In addition to beloved songs from the original animated classic, including “When You Wish Upon a Star” performed by Cynthia Erivo, the film features new original songs composed by Academy Award® nominees Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard (“The Polar Express”). The soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available on Sept. 8 and is available for Pre-Save/Pre-Add screenplay for “Pinocchio” is by Robert Zemeckis & Chris Weitz. Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Robert Zemeckis and Derek Hogue are the film’s producers, with Jack Rapke, Jacqueline Levine, Jeremy Johns and Paul Weitz the film’s executive producers.

Walt Disney Company Announces Disney+ Australian event series “The Clearing”

The Walt Disney Company has today announced that principal photography has begun in Victoria on the Disney+ Australian event series “The Clearing”.

Produced by Wooden Horse, the series is based on J.P. Pomare’s novel In the Clearing and is inspired by the real-life Australian cult The Family and its founder Anne Hamilton-Byrne, one of the rare female cult leaders in history. In the eight-part psychological thriller, a woman is forced to confront the nightmares of her past to stop a secret cult intent on gathering children to fulfill its master plan.

Teresa Palmer (Discovery of Witches,), Miranda Otto (The Unusual Suspects, Homeland) and Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, Mare of Easttown) lead a stellar line-up of Australian talent including Hazem Shammas (Safe Harbour), Mark Coles-Smith (Mystery Road).They are joined by newly announced cast Kate Mulvany (The Twelve), Xavier Samuel (Elvis), Claudia Karvan (Bump), Anna Lise Phillips (Irreverent, Fires), Harry Greenwood (Wakefield, The Nightingale) Erroll Shand (The Luminaries), Doris Younane (Five Bedrooms), Miah Madden (Dive Club), Julia Savage (Blaze, Mr Inbetween), Gary Sweet, (Wentworth), Alicia Gardiner (Offspring, Deadloch), Matt Okine (The Other Guy)  and Jeremy Blewitt (The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart) alongside Lily La Torre (Run Rabbit Run), and Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi (Neighbours).

Directed by Jeffrey Walker (Young Rock, Lambs of God) and Gracie Otto (Seriously Red, Bump, Deadloch), the series is created and written by Elise McCredie (Stateless) and Matt Cameron (Jack Irish), with co-writer Osamah Sami (Ali’s Wedding).

“The Clearing” is produced by Wooden Horse’s Jude Troy (The Other Guy 1 & 2), with Wooden Horse’s Richard Finlayson and Egeria’s Elizabeth Bradley serving as executive producers alongside Jeffrey Walker, Jude Troy, Elise McCredie and Matt Cameron.

Check Out The Official Launch Of The 2nd Make It Australian Campaign TVC, “Serenity”

Today sees of the launch of another poignant Make It Australian campaign TVC, ‘Serenity,’ inspired by the classic 1997 Australian comedy The Castle.

‘Serenity’ is the second of four specially made TVCs we had commissioned to support our campaign, with others to be released in the coming months.

Check out the TVC below:

How you can support Make it Australian:

  • Head to Make It Australian and take action.
  • Email your newly elected MP and Senator to tell them about this issue.
  • Download and print out a postcard from the Make It Australian website and use these to take a photo, upload it to social media, and tag it with #MakeitAustralian.
  • Follow them on social media and share social media posts about the campaign with your networks.

Disney+ Shares New Trailer And Key Art For Upcoming “Andor” Series

Disney+ has just released an exciting new trailer and key art for “Andor,” an original, 12-episode series from Lucasfilm. The series, which takes place prior to the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” debuts exclusively on Disney+ on its new date, Wednesday, September 21, with a three-episode premiere.  The “Andor” series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.  Diego Luna returns as Cassian Andor and is joined by cast members Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller and Fiona Shaw. The executive producers are Kathleen Kennedy, Tony Gilroy, Sanne Wohlenberg, Diego Luna and Michelle Rejwan. Tony Gilroy is also the creator and showrunner.

Check out the trailer below:

The Trailer For The Banshees of Inisherin Has Just Dropped

Searchlight Pictures and Film4 present, in Association with TSG Entertainment, a Blueprint Pictures production, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, a Martin McDonagh film.  

Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland, THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN follows lifelong friends Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), who find themselves at an impasse when Colm unexpectedly puts an end to their friendship. A stunned Padraic, aided by his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and troubled young islander Dominic (Barry Keoghan), endeavours to repair the relationship, refusing to take no for an answer. But Padraic’s repeated efforts only strengthen his former friends resolve and when Colm delivers a desperate ultimatum, events swiftly escalate, with shocking consequences.

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN will have its World Premiere at the 79th Venice Film Festival. The film is also part of the Toronto Film Festival Official Selection 2022.

Check out the trailer below:

Indian Hindi-language Comedy-Drama Film Laal Singh Chaddha In Cinemas Now

Based on the Academy Award®-winning motion picture ‘Forrest Gump,’ comes Laal Singh Chaddha.

A life-affirming story chronicling the extraordinary life of an ordinary man, ‘Laal Singh Chaddha,’ is a retelling of the Academy Award®-winning motion picture ‘Forrest Gump,’ through the lens of India’s modern history and culture.

The film brings together Aamir Khan, star of the Academy Award®-nominated Lagaan, and Kareena Kapoor Khan to deliver audiences heart, humour and optimism.

With a childhood marked by a unique bond between Laal and his single mother, tempered with strong values, the story follows Laal’s journey of love, innocence and destiny as he triumphs over life’s many challenges.

As he wins the hearts of those he meets along the way, he reminds us that everyone, even the most unlikely of people, has a story.

The movie was shot in over 100 locations around India, and also stars Mona Singh as Laal Singh Chaddha’s beloved mother.

Featuring songs including ‘Kahaani’ and ‘Main Ki Karan?,’ ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ will be theatrically released in cinemas around the world on August 11.

‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ is produced by Viacom 18 Studios, Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, in cooperation with Paramount Pictures.

Check out the trailer below:

The Trailer & Teaser Poster For Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Has Just Dropped

The first trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves has just dropped, and it looks pretty interesting.

Here’s the synopsis of the movie:

A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honour Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.

Check out the trailer below:

Former Warner Bros Australia Executive, Shaun Murphy Launches Production Company Big Owl Pictures

Former Head of Television at Warner Bros Australia, Shaun Murphy, has just announced the launch of television and film production company Big Owl Pictures, backed by private equity group, Balance Vector. Murphy will serve as CEO and Executive Producer.

The new outfit will develop and produce all genres of unscripted content, as well as select scripted and film projects for domestic platforms and the international marketplace, bringing a new wave of content into the global arena.

Murphy brings an unrivalled mix of experience to the company, from his three-year tenure as Executive Producer at Shine Australia and six years as Head of Television at Warner Bros Australia where he was responsible for executing The Masked Singer, The Bachelor, First Dates, Who Do You Think You Are, Back In Time For Dinner, Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelorette, Little Big Shots, Dancing With The Stars and many more. He also executive produced Australia’s Next Top Model, Dying For Everest, the syndicated Coolfuel Roadtrip and produced the Emmy-nominated Crips & Bloods: Made In America.

Murphy said: “Whether it’s an intimate story or a giant global format, at Big Owl we’ll look at everything as a story that can be built into something magnificent. Our strategic partnership with Balance Vector, led by the phenomenal Steve Luczo, gives us access to a vast array of content ideas to explore across sport, property, communications, tech and talent.”

Balance Vector founder and former Chairman & CEO of Seagate Technology Steve Luczo said: “Shaun is a world-class content creator & leader, with his teams known for executing to the highest of quality. Having worked on content previously with Shaun and seeing him and his teams supercharge so many of the world’s great formats, we’re excited to see the team grow its slate and be part of the Big Owl adventure.”

“With Shaun’s leadership style and such a great depth of creative talent in Australia, we look forward to working with the best producers and link with the best global partners, to bring Big Owl to life.”

Big Owl Pictures will announce its executive team and new projects in the coming months. Balance Vector will take a stake in Big Owl and Luczo will act as Senior Advisor to the company.

Murphy said: “Steve and Balance Vector have a truly global outlook in all that they do. With Big Owl’s creative drive and BV’s expansive view of partnerships, we look forward to creating a powerhouse company together.”

What’s Love Got To Do With It? To Premiere In Toronto International Film Festival

Sajal-Aly—WHATS-LOVE-GOT-TO-DO-WITH-IT_-2-Feb-2023_Credit – Robert Viglasky©2022 STUDIOCANAL SAS. All Rights Reserved.


STUDIOCANAL and Working Title Films today confirm that cross-cultural British rom-com WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? will receive its World Premiere at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will screen as a Gala Presentation at the Roy Thomson Hall on Saturday, 10th September.


The film is produced by Nicky Kentish Barnes (ABOUT TIME, ABOUT A BOY), Jemima Khan (IMPEACHMENT: AMERICAN CRIME STORY, THE CLINTON AFFAIR, THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED, WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS) & her Instinct Productions, alongside Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award-winning and Mercury Prize nominated composer, Nitin Sawhney CBE has created the music for the film, with British-Pakistani record producer, DJ, songwriter, and musician Naughty Boy bringing his production and writing skills to the soundtrack, alongside three-time BRIT Award and Mercury Prize nominee, Joy CrookesKanika Kapoor and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will also feature on the soundtrack, with Rahat appearing in the film itself.

STUDIOCANAL is fully financing and will release in their own territories – the UK, France, Germany, Australia & New Zealand – and are selling the film worldwide.  

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT? is set to be released in Australian cinemas on February 2nd 2023.


How do you find lasting love in today’s world? For documentary-maker and dating app addict Zoe (Lily James), swiping right has only delivered an endless stream of Mr Wrongs, to her eccentric mother Cath’s (Emma Thompson) dismay. For Zoe’s childhood friend and neighbour Kaz (Shazad Latif), the answer is to follow his parents’ example and opt for an arranged (or “assisted”) marriage to a bright and beautiful bride from Pakistan. As Zoe films his hopeful journey from London to Lahore to marry a stranger, chosen by his parents, she begins to wonder if she might have something to learn from a profoundly different approach to finding love.