WA Screen Academy graduates win major grants

Two teams headed by WA Screen Academy graduates have achieved huge success by winning $30,000 Link Grants for short films. The Link Initiative is a highly competitive grant scheme designed as a developmental opportunity for newer West Australian filmmakers, with a focus on production teams – especially Producer, Writer, Director teams. 

ScreenWest and FTI announced funding for 3 drama/animation projects in 2007/2008. The two drama projects were awarded to WA Screen Academy graduates, Damian Spiccia (Co-Writer/Director) for Deep End and Paul Komadina (Writer/Director) and Georgina Isles (Producer) for Little Boxes.

Damien Spiccia has had his darkly comic, mischievous short films screened in festivals as near as Adelaide and as far as Toronto. Since graduating from the WA Screen Academy with a Master of Professional Communications in 2005, Damien has been awarded the Best Screenplay at the WA Screen Awards for his musical short A Trick Of The Moonlight and has made another short film Anabel. Deep End is Damien’s first government funded film.

Damien said, ‘the Screen Academy equipped me with a sense of professionalism that I couldn’t have found at any other Film and TV institution in WA. Working closely with the actors and production crew at WAAPA to complete projects of a high standard gave me the confidence to articulate my creative flourishes while retaining a firm sense of control. I also made a number of contacts with whom I’ll continue to work with throughout my career.’

Damien’s talented crew consists of some of ECU’s finest graduates. Deep End is co-written by Damien and Robbie Studsor of Mt Lawley and produced by Mala Sujan of Fremantle.  Mala said she had met Damien while she was Production Coordinator at the Screen Academy and recognized his talent and strong, original voice as a filmmaker. 

Since Paul Komadina graduated from the Screen Academy, he directed Dancing At Lughnasa (a play by Brian Friel) at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, completed a director’s attachment on AFI winning Lockie Leonard under James Bogle, and has written, directed and produced Director’s Cut, an independently financed feature film which is currently in post production.

Paul feels the Screen Academy gave him the confidence to take on big projects by giving him experience in helming a film which had a large crew and multiple departments for the first time.

After Graduating from ECU’s Film and Video Major in 2004, Georgina Isles secured a job as Production Assistant on Great Western Entertainment’s innovative Streetsmartz. She completed 3 series of the show in this position and was promoted to Production Co-ordinator for the 2007 series of Wormwood. Georgina is due to return to Great Western Entertainment in 2008 to continue her work as Production Co-ordinator on the children’s series Stormworld.

John Rapsey, Director of the WA Screen Academy, was thrilled by the success of the graduates. ‘I’ve taught Damien, Georgie and Paul for a number of years, both in screenwriting and production. They are outstanding in their talent, discipline and determination. The Screen Academy set out to develop creative teams who would become the next generation of professionals in WA. Given the incredible boom in local production and a major injection of funds by the State Government they are perfectly placed.’

Apply now for 2008 intake:

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