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Australian Film Television and Radio School


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The Applied Industry Research (AIR) unit of the Australian Film Television and Radio School develops applied research projects that explore technology for communication and art, the outcomes of which inform industry and impact the broader economy. By drawing on the connectedness between the arts, technology, innovation, and business, these projects engage audiences with a future-focused approach to entertainment, thus transforming ideas into commercial realities.

Our new five-year vision is built on outreach, talent development, and industry training - all underpinned by research and inclusion. The new vision will strengthen the School as the leading center for innovation for the screen, sound, and story-making globally and has been informed by the most comprehensive and current national industry skills survey ever undertaken. Our purpose is clear - to find and empower Australian talent to shape and share their stories with the world by delivering the most future-focused education, research, and training.

Outreach will help the School connect with a broad audience across Australia. This will be achieved through several channels, such as developing materials for teachers in classrooms to teach filmmaking skills within the context of Australian screen and broadcast culture and working with arts and cultural community-based organizations around the country to provide training. Partnerships will be a critical tool to help the School reach a broader and more diverse audience and ensure the success of new and inclusive initiatives around Australia.

We will offer the highest standard of industry-focused education and training in order to develop new talent. Our merit-selection processes will be adapted to ensure the most creative students from the most diverse range of backgrounds study at AFTRS. Once here, students will be supported through the education pathway and mentored into the industry through formal programs that work for both students and providers.

This includes reintroducing our high-level professional focused two year MA that will fast track into the industry. The MA Screen program will recruit six exceptional students a year into eleven discipline-specific cohorts. Our current BA will continue to evolve to ensure graduates are taught to leverage the latest technology and techniques, becoming creative entrepreneurs able to generate and engage audiences through all platforms and content genres. We are also looking to work with partners to support emerging talent through talent labs and mentoring schemes.

Our 2016 Industry Skills Survey has provided a wealth of information about the Australian screen and broadcast industry's training needs and identified training and development gaps that AFTRS will look to fill. Short courses and diplomas, both online and face-to-face, were identified as the industry's most suitable training methods.

The survey found that there are skills gaps in the following areas: business skills and entrepreneurship, new technologies, practical training in the creativity and craft of storytelling, and multi-skilled new entrants, and also found that marketing and social media will be critical to realizing future opportunities.

We will drive innovation in the screen and broadcast industry and practice-based education. Our industry research will focus on new technologies, business, and audience engagement, such as the recent VR Noir project, which demonstrated how virtual reality narratives could engage audiences in a radically different way to traditional film and television.

To ensure we reflect Australian society, diversity will be supported across all the School's activities. We have embarked on new research to uncover the best practice in diversity initiatives worldwide and apply the findings of this research in our activities and measure their impact against our strategic goals.

Our new Indigenous Unit will be further supported and expanded to nurture potential filmmakers and broadcasters through various pathways into the School. Our Scholarship program will also be expanded to allow as many individuals as possible to access the education, training, and employment opportunities the School has to offer.

The School's responsibility is to the Australian story. We need to open the school doors wide, increase our reach, and nurture and excite the next generation of talent that will ultimately impact the screen and broadcast industry – both culturally and commercially – here and around the world.



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