AFTRS unveils participants for National Talent Camp

Top row (from left) are Courtney Cavallaro, Pius Kung, Chika Ikogwe and Aarushi Chowdhury. Middle row (form left) Jayden Jansz, Jacob Jansz, Alice Yang, and Anna Loren. Bottom row (from left) are Miranda Aguilar, Brendan Wan, Ursula Woods, and Melanie Easton.

AFTRS has selected the 12 screen creatives to participate in this year’s National Talent Camp skills development program, following week-long workshops in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, NSW, and Tasmania.

Chika Ikogwe (NSW), Jacob and Jayden Jansz (NSW), Miranda Aguilar (NSW), Anna Loren (QLD), Courtney Cavallaro (QLD), Aarushi Chowdhury (VIC), Brendan Wan (VIC), Alice Yang (SA), Melanie Easton (SA), Pius Kung (TAS) and Ursula Woods (TAS) will now take part in a national workshop held at the AFTRS campus in Sydney this month.

The week-long intensive consists of writers’ room simulations, a notetaking/script supervision workshop, one-to-one industry mentorships, and feedback sessions, with the aim of providing development and opportunities for the participants to create new content and be employment ready.

Supporting the program are tutors Stephanie Westwood, Liam Heyen, and Alli Parker, while mentors for the camp include Rosie Lourde, Mithila Gupta, Benjamin Law, Michelle Law, Roanna Gonsalves, Corrie Chen, Neil Sharma, and Yingna Lu.

Netflix creative executive Nakul Legha is also on board as a guest speaker.

AFTRS director of First Nations and outreach Romaine Moreton described this year’s application process as “incredibly competitive”.

“Talent Camp is a vital opportunity for Australia’s premiere screen agencies to work together in support of diverse stories from our country’s emerging talent,” she said.

“We are proud to announce this year’s impressive cohort and support them through the culmination of the Talent Camp program.”

Alumni of the camp include Grace Feng and Nikki Tran, who have received Screen Australia funding to develop a 6 x 30-minute television version of their web series Girl Interpreted.

Additionally, three of the four 2021 SBS Digital Originals projects involve previous participants — Appetite (Mohini Herse, Neilesh Verma, and Grace Tan), Night Bloomers (Ra Chapman), and Latecomers (Nina Oyama and Alistair Baldwin).

The 2022 National Talent Camp will be held at AFTRS in Sydney from September 12-16.