One of the great things about JMC is that our staff are all very active in the industry that they are teaching - sometimes even globally.
A great example of this is our Brisbane Film + TV Head of Department, Mark Overett, who was recently invited to Malaysia to take part in the Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival.
We caught up with Mark to see what some of the highlights of this trip were, why he thinks these trips are important and what else he managed to cram in while he was visiting!
Tell us a bit about the work you were doing in Malaysia.
I guess my experience as a TV and feature film writer/producer means I can juggle a few opportunities at the same time (or at least look like I am not dropping any of the balls!)
So this trip entailed me conducting a two-day pitching workshop for documentary filmmakers from around the region (Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia) at the Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival. And at the end of the two days, I joined the judging panel to select the winning entry.
After this, JMC Academy’s Malaysian representative Alex Kiu and I met with agents and prospective students in Kuala Lumpur, Jahor and Singapore.
How did you get involved with the project?
I got involved with the Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival as a direct result of my last trip to Malaysia In February this year – and the creative film workshop I ran in KK.
One of the participants of the workshop was Jude Day who is also the Festival Director of the KKIFF. She subsequently approached me to conduct the pitching workshop.
What were some of the highlights of this trip?
Without doubt, the highlight of this trip was meeting such talented international filmmakers… really there were three or four concepts that were truly outstanding. The KKIFF was an amazing few days – and it was a great honour to present the award for best documentary pitch to Thai producer Ladawan Sondak and director Bun Kosalawat for “The Lady of the Hills”. This documentary is a true-crime film uncovering the killer of a Thai woman in the Yorkshire dales some 15 years ago. Their prize includes the opportunity to pitch the film in Leipzig, Germany (supported by the Goethe-Institut Malaysia) and with me – representing JMC, helping out as a consultant Executive Producer.
I think one of the other major highlights was the meeting and tour of the Iskandar Malaysia Studios (previously Pinewood Studios) in Jahor, conducted by CEO Australian Antony Tulloch. Who knows what opportunities for JMC might come out of that!!!
Oh… and did I mention the food? It’s amazing!
Why do you think projects like this are important?
JMC Academy continuing to venture into South East Asia is important on many counts:
It encourages international students to come study at our three Australian campuses – and as a result, enriching the cultural fabric of our cohort.
It helps ensure JMC Academy is being recognised and applauded on the international stage.
Through the networking opportunities such an exercise involves, it lays the foundations for JMC staff, students and alumni gaining international experience – whether that be future study, volunteering, internships or actual employment.
Have you got any more projects like this coming up that you can tell us about?
The exciting thing about working with JMC Academy is that there are always new opportunities for staff and students just around the corner. So for example, JMC Academy’s film team in Brisbane have just come off filming the Brisbane Multicultural Festival in Roma Street Parkland in front of 20,000 people… and next month, the Brisbane crew will be filming the Queensland Community Awards and Southern Cross Soloists – one of Australia’s most respected chamber orchestras at the Queensland Performing Arts Comp.
But the important thing to realise is that most projects in film and television have long development and financing phases… and with me now on board Lady of the Hills as Executive Producer, my involvement is likely to continue for the next two to three years. So the adventure continues…
This project is part of a wider JMC internationalisation strategy that offers opportunities for students and staff in several different countries. Alongside our study tours to the US and Japan, and our exchange program in the Netherlands, we’ve also run workshops in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Spain and India. We also recently judged an online media competition in Nepal. Having an overseas presence like this makes sure we’re connected to the global creative industries, which is really important for our lecturers and students alike.
To learn more about JMC study abroad options, click here.
To learn more about studying Film and Television Production at JMC, click here.