25 May 2021

Screenings, masterclasses, career expo to launch a new generation of bold SA screen creatives

July 25-30, 2021

AFF Youth is the newest and youngest arm of the acclaimed Adelaide Film Festival. Supported by the Department for Education, the Department for Innovation and Skills and SA Power Networks, AFF Youth has been developed especially for South Australian school students.


Over a packed six-day program, AFF Youth will map and foster creative industries’ career pathways and inspire students with screenings of the very best local and international screen content for young people, including films and VR works, Industry Sessions where students will hear directly from Australian creative industry leaders and a one-day Creative Industries Expo.


In the tradition of all great film festivals, AFF Youth kicks off with a must-see Opening Film, the Australian premiere of The Club of Ugly Children, a bold, hopepunk satire about fascism – when adults are too scared to dismantle the status quo, rabble-rousing children really are the future.


The screening program, held at Palace Nova Eastend, includes 60 films, comprising feature films, short films and documentaries from around the globe including Canada, Rwanda, Argentina, German, Afghanistan, Australia and more, ranging across subjects such as neurodiversity, war, basketball, acting, gender diversity, First Nations experiences, colonialism and class.


Guest filmmakers attending and presenting their films at the Festival include the two young stars of the acclaimed Australian film H is for Happiness, Daisy Axon and Wesley Patten, the director of the Adelaide Film Festival Investment Fund film When Pomegranates Howl, Granaz Moussavi, and two of the stars of the factual television series Are You Tougher Than Your Ancestors, Ezekiel and Nathan, as well as the series creator Vanna Morosini and series director Brad Gustafson.


A highlight of the program is the opportunity to view ground-breaking VR projects including the world premiere of Thin Ice, presented by the Adelaide Film Festival in partnership with Illuminate.  Over a century on, environmental scientist Tim Jarvis AM and award-winning SA studio Monkeystack and have recreated Shackleton’s epic, tragic feat of endurance in an arresting immersive virtual reality experience.  Tim will be a guest of the Festival alongside a number of the producers and technical team behind this VR masterpiece.


The program will also screen short films made by SA students as part of the inaugural Statewide Schools Filmmaking Competition, with a gala awards ceremony on Sunday July 25. An experienced panel of South Australian screen professionals will judge the films, with audiences able to watch the entries online and vote for the audience favourite.   Four prizes will be awarded:

  • Best South Australian Primary School Film (Cash Prize: $500)
  • Best South Australian Middle School Film (Cash Prize $500)
  • University of South Australia and Rising Sun Pictures Best High School Film (Cash Prize: $1000)
  • SA Power Networks People’s Choice Award (Cash prize: $1,000) for the audience favourite film created by South Australian students (available to high, middle or primary school).


AFF Youth’s Creative Careers Pathway includes Industry Sessions and a one-day careers expo.

SA creatives are part of the expanding global content industry – making games, VR, TV & films including working on international franchises – and they are generously sharing their knowledge and experiences.  The AFF Youth Creative Industries Pathway has been designed to help students map their post high school career pathway into this exciting and rewarding industry.


Industry Sessions will have leading screen industry creatives give their insights into the screen sector and the skills, techniques and experiences required. Sessions will cover cinematography, writing (for various genres/formats including shorts and games), games production, sound, special effects, virtual reality and becoming a TV critic.  More details here: https://adelaidefilmfestival.org


The Creative Industry Expo will take place on Wednesday July 28 from 10am to 7pm.

Stone and Chalk, Lot Fourteen, Cnr. North Terrace and Frome Road

Cost: Free with a ticket to a screening, workshop or VR, otherwise $10.

School students will be able to talk to the tertiary and training sector about course offerings and production companies about what skills, qualities and experiences they want from their future collaborators and employees.


Participants are:


  • Flinders University Film and Television
  • 57 Films
  • Academy Interactive Entertainment (AIE)
  • Australian, Film, TV and Radio School
  • Beyond Content
  • Closer Productions
  • Media Makeup Academy International
  • Mighty Kingdom
  • Music SA
  • Pro AV Solutions SA
  • Rising Sun Pictures
  • SA Casting
  • SA Power Networks
  • University of Adelaide
  • University of South Australia



AFF CEO & Creative Director, Mat Kesting, said: “Storytelling has been the backbone of culture since civilisation began and stories on screens, big and small, are a powerful mirror in which we understand ourselves today. Screen literacy is therefore essential to engaging with the contemporary world and the international demand for content continues to grow, generating increasing career opportunities for the next generation. AFF Youth is a window into the dream factory, and we encourage you to embrace this exciting new offering. Thank you to our partners, donors, volunteers, board and staff who have made AFF Youth possible – see affyouth.org.


AFF Youth Patron is South Australia’s internationally successful actress and filmmaker Tilda Cobham-Hervey.  Tilda says: “Film festivals are one of the great wonders of the world; where you can immerse yourself in films but also meet people who love the art of screen storytelling. Growing up in Adelaide gave me many opportunities to immerse myself in the arts, while also developing my skills as both an actor and filmmaker before going on to live and work internationally. I’m proud to support the AFF Youth program and encourage everyone to come along and enjoy this fabulous opportunity!”


The Hon. David Pisoni, MP, Minister for Innovation and Skills, said: “South Australia has entered a golden age of film production with the screen sector now an integral and growing part of South Australia’s economy. I congratulate the Adelaide Film Festival on the AFF Youth Program. Young South Australians can aspire to rewarding careers in screen – right here, right now in our own state, and if you are looking for a career in the screen industry, I encourage you to attend industry events like the Creative Industries Expo to find your path into the screen industry,” Minister Pisoni said.


John Gardner, MP, Minister for Education, said: “I’m looking forward to the Adelaide Film Festival Youth program, which is set to inspire our next generation of film-makers. Whether their focus is on the creative or the technical, this is a spectacular opportunity for young people to immerse themselves in the world of filmmaking. International demand for screen content is at an all-time high in South Australia, and the sector is only expected to grow, so it is a great time for students to explore potential pathways in the industry.”