Lights, Camera, Action – SAE And Flickerfest Team Up, Offering Advice For Budding Filmmakers

Published in Movies + TV  
Alana Hicks Alana Hicks

Emerging directors, writers, film students and movie aficionados will have the opportunity to explore the ins and outs of creating and distributing short films with a Flickerfest masterclass to be held at the SAE Creative Media Institute’s Sydney Campus.


Presented by SAE, the masterclass aims to provide budding filmmakers with the knowledge and tools they need to break into the short film industry while also gaining valuable insight from industry experts. The event will feature guest speakers Alana Hicks – acclaimed writer, director, filmmaker and published poet whose short film ‘Chicken’ won Best Direction In An Australian Short Film at Flickerfest 2020; and Flickerfest Festival Director Bronwyn Kidd.

Both will be sharing their knowledge and personal experiences about film making, entering (and standing out) in the short film circuit and their involvement with the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival (Academy-qualifying and BAFTA recognised short film festival) which celebrated its 30th year in 2021.

With an impressive resume spanning multiple mediums, Alana’s projects include short films, documentaries, web sketch comedy and theatre. Alana shares some insight into the world of filmmaking.

“As an emerging director, I'm understanding more and more how important collaboration is in directing, and how in contrast, writing is lonely and contemplative. I love the stillness of writing alone, inventing worlds in your brain – it’s a bit like watching a play in your mind. Writing is vulnerable, at some point you have to let the work go.

“Directing is all about managing relationships, leaning on people with more expertise than you and trusting them. With directing you are making decisions and praying that they are the right ones. It can be a lot of responsibility, and it’s all about owning that authority.”



Alana believes making time for your passion is vital to success and offers this advice to anyone starting out in filmmaking.

“For any creative practitioner, time is our most valuable asset and we have to figure out a way to dedicate a fraction of our life to our practice. I've learned to be diligent about setting aside time to write and collaborate, and if you can give a small amount of space to this regularly, then over months the project will continue to grow and eventually, just might get done. What's more, you'll develop a tenacity and show the world you won't give up.”

“You must have the right people around you. People who you can collaborate with and make your work better; whilst keeping you inspired on your journey. Just be curious every day – your point of view is what makes your story special.” SAE’s comprehensive course offering – which includes film production, creative industries, audio and animation – is fit for budding filmmakers looking to surround themselves with likeminded individuals; and Alana believes short film (while daunting) is just a stepping stone on the way to a thriving filmmaking career.

“I avoided making a short film for a long time, because of the effort, cost, and the heartbreaking festival rejections. When the opportunity came up at Flickerfest, I knew I had to give it a go – and thinking back on it, I don't think I could have made one any earlier. Sometimes it's a good idea to wait until all of the elements, which means the right story, team, time and resources are there. Flickerfest opened a lot of doors for me, but a great deal of what happens is out of your control and is up to luck and timing.”

The SAE masterclass takes place at SAE Sydney 3 May. Learn more about SAE’s film offering here.

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