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SAE and AACTA partner to uncover outstanding future filmmakers through documentary initiative

SAE Creative Media Institute have partnered with the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) to launch ‘Uncovered’ - a unique documentary filmmaking initiative for SAE film students, which will nurture and inspire the next generation of outstanding Australian documentary filmmakers.

‘Uncovered’ ties in with SAE’s existing film course learning, and provides students with exposure, industry expectations and feedback from leading AACTA professionals. In addition, the initiative will give students the chance to advance their careers in the highly competitive screen industry.

The successful filmmakers of ‘Uncovered’ will receive expert mentoring from the panel of judges including Malinda Wink, Executive Director at Minderoo Pictures and Stephen Oliver, Manager of Documentaries for ABC. The recipients will also enjoy introductions to producers, distributors, and broadcasters to support them in the development of their documentary, a 12 month AACTA membership, and tickets to the 2023 AACTA Awards.

SAE General Manager, Dr Luke McMillan was honoured to be working closely with Australia’s most prestigious film and television membership body that supports and nurtures Australian screen, and provides opportunities for its students.

“A key element of the learning journey at SAE is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to be ‘industry-ready’ once they graduate,” Dr McMillan said. “We are delighted to partner with AACTA and offer our film students the chance to develop their documentary filmmaking skills and receive expert advice from some of the leading filmmakers in this country.”

Dr McMillan added the importance and relevance of the competition: “At SAE, we encourage students to make impactful content that creates meaningful discussion. ‘Uncovered’ provides the platform for students to draw on their own personal experiences, while exploring other valuable themes important to society.”

AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager, Ivan Vukusic was looking forward to collaborating with SAE on what is a major part of the Academy’s strategy.

“Supporting new and emerging filmmakers is a passion and priority for AACTA,” Ivan said. “We’re committed to working directly with the education sector and with the screen industry to achieve meaningful outcomes for emerging filmmakers. We’re really excited to be collaborating with SAE on an initiative that works very much hand in hand with their curriculum.

“With ongoing support and industry guidance, we anticipate that winning ‘Uncovered’ will be a significant career stepping stone for the successful filmmakers involved,” Ivan added.

Screen Australia’s recent Drama Report for 2021/22 revealed that drama production in Australia grew to $2.29 billion for the first time. Given the demand, the entire screen industry is only going to continue to grow, according to Ivan.

“The proliferation of new platforms has really expanded the pipeline, and emerging filmmakers are well placed to explore those opportunities,” Ivan explained.

“The need for talented technical craft practitioners is at an all-time high. This is due to the rapidly increasing volume of productions in Australia - both domestic and the ever growing number of international productions. That won’t come to an end any time soon, that’s for sure.”

SAE Creative Media Institute provides students with the experience, skills, equipment and connections to succeed in the industry. Find out more at


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