About the Program
Facilitated by filmmaker and journalist, Santilla Chingaipe, Behind the Screens is a capacity building program for filmmakers underrepresented in the industry. Presented in partnership with VicScreen, this program will support participants to develop their skills in an open, supportive and collaborative learning environment. The program is open to aspiring directors, producers, cinematographers, writers and every filmmaking discipline in between.
Now in its fourth year, Behind the Screens has expanded with support from VicScreen into a nine-month program offering participants the opportunity to excel and take risks, learn best practice approaches and gain confidence in being a successful and influential filmmaker.
Image by Shuttermain.
Presented by Footscray Community Arts and VicScreen.
The Emerging Filmmakers Fund is presented by the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF) in collaboration with Footscray Community Arts.
Meet the 2021-2022 Behind the Screen Participants
Alice Gilbert is a driven and versatile self-taught filmmaker. She has written, directed, produced, edited and acted/presented in a range of amateur short film and video projects. Alice has a particular experience creating comedy sketches, parody music videos and other comedic videos. She is also interested in building her skills in stop-motion animation. Alice identifies as Aboriginal and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is passionate about promoting and championing minority voices wherever possible.
Ames Choucair is a filmmaker and video artist born and currently based in Melbourne/Naarm. His academic studies in post-conflict transition and his love for the moving image inspired him to begin documenting stories in film. He has spent time in Lebanon and the Balkans, and is interested in the nuances that come with the expression of the human condition. He feels strongly about LGBTQ+ issues that affect minority groups in this country and abroad. His goal is to connect people through their shared experiences; as ordinary as they may be.
Feifei Liao was born and raised in Sichuan, China. She is the co-founder and managing director of the Not-for-Profit Organisation Story is Connection, focusing on amplifying the authentic voice of international students and building their capacity through theatre and film productions.
She founded the platform Feifei Curiosity to produce socially impactful productions and run programs to champion intercultural cohesion and foster community connections. She often draws inspiration from seemingly mundane daily life and people’s lived-experience. She is also a versatile contemporary dancer grounded in Butoh and trance practices. Her passion is to advocate for and support underrepresented multicultural communities through intersectional, strength-based, grassroots and creative approaches.
Jackie Dixon uses the medium of film and photography to capture emotion and connection in her work.
Living in Melbourne with Cambodian heritage, Jackie’s work is influenced heavily by ideas of identity and belonging.
Striving to reach an empathetic parallel with her subjects, Jackie aims to immerse audiences in stories of cultural heritage, multiculturalism and social cohesion.
Jenn Tran is an emerging experimental animator and artist from Naarm (Melbourne). She is a recent graduate of a BFA in Animation at The Victorian College of the Arts and considers her work the nexus between analogue animation and documentary film essays. She also takes huge pride to be in the lineage of Vietnamese-Australian writers and filmmakers that work today.
Jenn’s work has been featured in New York Times OpDocs, CALIPER Journal and Incinerator Gallery. Her graduate film called The Formation of a Cloud was also the recipient of the Orloff Family Charitable Trust Scholarship in 2020 for best animated screenplay.
Llewellyn Michael Bates
Llewellyn Michael Bates is an Australian ACCTA and AWG nominated screenwriter and producer, who is proud and unhindered by, his diagnosed disabilities of dyslexia and childhood PTSD, in the form of clinical depression and anxiety. Known for a multi-award-winning slate of successful films that advocate for disability and minority stories.
A serial collaborator who helps to facilitate opportunities for diverse creatives to express themselves in front and behind the camera. His stories weaving together his real-life experiences blending the tragically funny and disturbingly beautiful.
Natal Jimma is a journalist, radio presenter and the 2019 ABC Selwyn Speight scholarship winner. Recently, Natal completed a 12 months internship as a content maker/creator at ABC Radio Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.
Mr Jimma has four years experience in community radio and aspiring to find a role in the media as a television reporter. He specialises in news reporting, podcasts making, video making, creative writing including film production with strong interests in social media, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Rama Luksiarto is an Indonesian Canadian experience designer and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling and social issues who recently calls Naarm home. He directed and produced Crossing Bridges (2016), a reflective documentary about his journey to find acceptance as a queer Asian man and immigrant to Canada. Rama is thrilled to join the 2021-22 Behind The Screens program. He aspires to create a show that explores art-making as a radical pedagogy to self-understanding and critical reflection on mental health, culture, and identities for people from the marginalised community.
Senuri Chandrani is a multidisciplinary artist of Sri Lankan Sinhalese heritage based in Naarm. She is an actor, writer and poet interested in the power and healing of storytelling. She recently graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting). Senuri has portrayed titular roles such as Hester from Susan-Lori Park’s play Fucking A to Shakespeare’s iconic Lady Macbeth.
Senuri is the co-founder of SPICE collective, a network of young artists of colour that explore and unpack their experiences in so-called Australia through art, academic journals and daily practices.
This year she will be starring as Dolly in the Queer web series Low Frequency and is performing in the South Asian Centred Exhibition Enshrined in November. She can usually be found dancing ecstatically, soaking up sun in her garden or reminding herself to breathe.
Theresa Gunarso is a Chinese-Indonesian filmmaker, writer, and performer based in Melbourne, Australia. Born and raised in Indonesia, she moved in 2016 to study at the University of Melbourne. It is there she began writing short stories, poems, and plays for student publications and her church.
In 2020, her first screenplay was selected as a quarterfinalist in ScreenCraft Comedy Contest. Her first short film, Subject 9412, placed 2nd in Cinespace’s 123 Film Competition in 2021.
A proud Cinespace alumni, Theresa was part of their Urban Legends Anthology Project’s writers’ room and Package to Pitch program.
Tinaye Nyathi‘s pronouns are he and him. He likes making movies about his life, friends, family and random strangers he saw one time on the tram. Tinaye’s films are usually about whatever he’s thinking (too much) about at the time. Most of the stories he writes and make are about Afro-Black people and / or trans folks, because he thinks specificity is what makes a story ‘universal’, humanising and resonant. Tinaye make movies for the kid he used to be (and still is) and the man he’s becoming. Tinaye lives, studies and works across the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
Vimbai Viviene Nenzou
Vimbai Viviene Nenzou is a Zimbabwean-born actress, writer and producer based in Melbourne. A lifelong storyteller, Vimbai is passionate about telling culturally rich authentic stories pulled from her own unique background. Her storytelling abilities eventually led her to move to Melbourne Australia to study filmmaking and journalism at Deakin University. After university she pivoted to working in front of the camera as an actress with stints on Australian television shows such as Neighbours and Please Like Me and a slew of television and online commercials. Her recent mentorship through WIFT’s MentorHer program saw her complete her first feature film Mira, which was a Finalist in the Imagine Impact Screenwriting Accelerator 2021.