Joel's filmmaking career off to a good start after Toyo International Film Festival recognition

17 December 2021

CQUniversity Digital Media student Joel Austen's dream of becoming a filmmaker have been given a significant boost after his short film' From Father to Son made it to the finals of the 2021 Toyo International Film Festival (TIFF) recently.

The 23-year-old Cairns student said it was just the second time he'd entered the film into a festival and that its recognition came down to his studies at CQU.

The TIFF is an annual film competition run by Toyo University' one of CQUniversity's student exchange partners. It aims to create a brand-new cross-cultural platform' where everyone's unique voices are heard loud and clear without any limits or restrictions.

Joel's film' which is inspired by The Godfather' was screened at Toyo University's Inoue Enryo Hall at the premier on 11 December 11 and live-streamed on YouTube.

"It felt surreal to have my film included as a finalist (in TIFF) considering the film I submitted to the Cairns

Understory Film Festival wasn't selected'" he said.

"From Father to Son was made as my final assessment for my visual storytelling class. For the final assessment' we were required to produce a short film using all the knowledge and skills we had learned in the class.

"Although it didn't win' I am still glad to have had my film selected to be a part of the festival. I see that as an achievement itself."

He said CQU's Bachelor of Digital Media gave him a solid grounding for his directorial debut.

"I want to be a filmmaker because I love storytelling' and filmmaking allows you to tell stories in unique and creative ways. I originally chose CQU's Bachelor of digital media intending to go into animation' as one of the minors for the course is animation' but because the requirement for completing the course was the completion of two minors' I chose screen production as my second. Which eventually led me into gaining an interest in filmmaking'" he said.

"I think the Bachelor of Digital Media course is excellent. You get exposure to so many disciplines of the digital media field like graphic design' game development' animation' web design' and filmmaking' allowing you to work out what you enjoy and what you don't. On the whole' I have thoroughly enjoyed doing the course over the past two years."

Joel said he plans on making more films and submitting them to film festivals in the future' in the hopes of securing employment in the film and television industry.

"People should study the bachelor of digital media at CQU because it's one of the only degrees that allow you to dip your toes into the various avenues of the digital media field. Also' the course is fun and enjoyable and the lecturers and tutors are knowledgeable and extremely helpful'" he said.

You can watch Joel's film' From Father to Son HERE (Warning: Contains language)