TAFE Students Hopeful for Success at Academy Awards


Local TAFE students are hoping for success at the 86th Academy Awards for their role in the Australian-Lao film “The Rocket” which was released to cinemas around the country last month.

The student’s hopes of world-wide recognition follow a decision by Screen Australia last week to enter the film for consideration in the Best Foreign Language film category at the famous Awards event.

The Lao language film follows the story of a Lao boy who leads his family, along with a couple of ragged misfits, across war-torn Laos to the dangerous Rocket Festival competition, where he builds a giant rocket to try and prove he’s not cursed.

Seven Diploma of Interpreting students from TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute’s (SWSi’s) Granville College played an important role in providing the voiceover work in the post-production of the film.

TAFE SWSi Languages Head Teacher Padmini Sampathkumar said the Academy Awards entry was a first for TAFE students.

“TAFE SWSi is very proud of the role our students have played in the making of “The Rocket”,” Ms Sampathkumar said.

“The decision by Screen Australia to enter the film for consideration at the Academy Awards is both an honour and a huge boost for south western Sydney’s Lao community located around the suburbs of Bonnyrigg and Fairfield.”

Ms Sampathkumar also paid tribute to Pauline Phoumindr, a TAFE SWSi Teacher of Interpreting in Lao and an assistant producer of “The Rocket”, for giving TAFE students this opportunity to work on the film.

The Rocket has already won a number of international film awards since it premiered this year, including Best First Feature and Amnesty International Film Prize at this year’s Berlinale as well as Best Narrative Feature, Best Actor and the Audience Award at the Tribeca Film Festival.