How I got my film screened in Federation Square

Current JMC Academy Film & TV student, Mark Shaba has achieved some awesome things during his studies and shared with us his experience of seeing his short documentary on the big screen at Federation Square!

Mark’s Short Documentary 'The World Rests With The Youth' played at ACMI for six weeks as part of the 'Melbourne Highlights Program' throughout November and December 2017. It was then featured as part of 'Cultural Diversity Week' and screened in Federation Square. 

Seeing audience members actively watch and enjoy your work is very rewarding – it makes me want to create and share more content.

Tell us about your doco!

Our short documentary ‘The World Rests with the Youth’ (English Translation of Na Mladima Svijet Ostaje) explores the passion and vision of a local Croatian Folklore Group, ‘Mladi Hrvati’. A member of the group contacted me and briefly pitched the main idea of the project - I thought it was interesting and challenging so we developed an outline and treatment. As a young filmmaker, I’m very much open to embracing diverse learning opportunities that will accelerate my personal and professional growth. 

It taps into the timeless spirit of Croatian Folklore through reflecting upon its history and outlining the group’s desire to preserve it for future generations. I really enjoy learning about new cultures and I aspire to develop projects that uniquely explore intricate cultural, familial and personal bonds. I was therefore naturally drawn to the idea of portraying Croatian Folklore on screen. I’m also really intrigued by the creative and technical notions of timelessness in film – thanks to the Moving Image Research Collections Department at the University of South Carolina, I was allowed to incorporate historical footage of Croatian Folklore from the 1920s – it was so enticing as I love the idea of historical film living on in a different or new form.    

How did you get this opportunity?

A group member and I shared the process of contacting ACMI regarding screening our short documentary – it always begins with a casual chat over the phone and then continuing the discussion via email. We had to complete multimedia briefing forms and ensure our video appropriately complemented the technical requirements of the screens at ACMI. Once it was accepted, the multimedia coordinators and representatives at ACMI submitted our documentary into relevant programs and events at Federation Square. The process wasn’t too complex or tedious - we’re extremely happy that ACMI has embraced and promoted our documentary.  

How did it feel viewing your project on the large screen? 

I’m always a little nervous but it’s so exciting and invigorating! Seeing audience members actively watch and enjoy your work is very rewarding – it makes me want to create and share more content.     

How has JMC helped you so far in your journey through filmmaking? 

I was drawn to the practical design and nature of the course – I’ve been able to genuinely develop my craft through creating live multi-camera programs, short documentaries, short films, music videos and television commercials.  

They've been amazing in understanding and supporting my ambitions and interests – I really appreciate the fact that my lecturers are easily accessible and willing to openly share their personal and professional insights, experiences and resources. I’ve been able to access and receive networking opportunities, creative tutorials and workshops as well as mentoring programs. Plus, although this was an external project to my course,  I was still able to use JMC equipment and organise numerous meetings and tutorials with my lecturers to discuss its progress and completion.

What is your favourite thing about studying at JMC? 

The close relationships I’ve developed with staff and lecturers – from Jill in the library to Justin in the editing suite - I’ve been very fortunate to meet supportive people who’ve positively shaped my education and learning. I’m sure that I will keep in touch with several staff members and lecturers for many years to come.            

What advice would you give to current students?  

Focus on falling in love with the process of filmmaking, not the outcome – it will take care of itself.  

Whats next for you?

I produced a short documentary which focused upon the inspiring work of a local volunteer marine rescue group. I’m currently producing a short film – we’re nearing the end of production and I plan to release and submit it within film festivals early next year. I’m also planning to produce and direct a few graduate and external projects in the coming months.   

Check out Marks short doco below!

To learn more about studying Film + Television Production, click here.