Creative industry recognises student talent

Past and present students in the Creative Arts stream at Flinders University are enjoying a particularly fruitful period, claiming several major local and interstate awards for their performances on stage and in film.

In November, cinematographers Kirsty Stark [pictured] and Simone Mazengarb were recognised by two of Australia’s peak industry bodies for work they had completed during their Screen Studies coursework at the University.

Simone was recognised as the Best Australian Woman Cinematographer at the 15th annual World of Women Film Festival for her work as the Director of Photography for the film ‘Hair Today Gone Tomorrow’, a student film she shot before graduating from Flinders in 2007.

Meanwhile, Honours student Kirsty won the Gold Award for Student Cinematography at the Australian Cinematographers Society Awards (SA) for her work on the Flinders film ‘The Threat That Came From Beyond Tomorrow to Destroy Us All’.

She was also named as a 2008 Rising Star within the Creative Arts at the annual women@minterellison awards, receiving a $1,000 grant to help further her career.

“Being recognised by my peers in such a competitive industry was particularly exciting.  It was a real boost to receive both awards,” Kirsty said.

In addition, Drama Centre graduate Mark Fantasia was last month named as the winner of the 2008 Keith Michell Performing Arts Award, a joint initiative of the Helpmann Academy and the Southern Theatre and Arts Supporters (STARS), which provides a $2,000 grant to an emerging talent in the industry.

According to Kirsty, it is no coincidence that the work produced by Creative Arts students from Flinders is generating a higher volume of interest from industry bodies at present.

“Over the past five years or so, the new Bachelor of Creative Arts degree has really started to come into its own, with current students determined to excel in their chosen areas, past students continuing to come back and support the program, academics willing to go out on a limb for students and lots of money coming in from industry grants,” she said.

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