Raw Nerve 2013 Cast and Crew Screening a Great Success!

Congratulations to the Raw Nerve Filmmakers of 2013! Kino_Cinema

The Cast & Crew Screening was held on Sunday 9th March at the Kino Cinema in Melbourne with lots of Industry VIP’s in attendance.

All of the films were well received and the occasion presented lots of laughs and a good time had by all, including at the networking drinks that followed.

Thanks again to the filmmakers, Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Kino Cinema.

If you would like a chance to see your film at next year’s screening, there’s still time to enter Raw Nerve 2014!

Entries close on Monday 17th March.


Did you take pictures at the Screening on 9th March? If so, we’d love to post them here. Please email info@openchannel.org.au


Indian Film Festival Melbourne – Western Union Short Film Competition


Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 2.37.12 PM



The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s Western Union Short Film Competition is now open for entries.

Films of any genre are welcome, in any medium, as long as you keep it under 10 minutes.

The theme this year is ‘ Hope’ and prizes are super – one filmmaker from India wins a trip to Melbourne for IFFM 2014; and one filmmaker from Australia wins a trip to Mumbai.

Entries close 15 March.



The first round of Raw Nerve Films to receive a broadcast outcome through ABC2 will screen at 9.20pm on Friday, 4th April.

This screening date coincides with Open Channel’s announcement of the 2014 Victorian Raw Nerve Finalists, who we are pleased to announce will also have their completed films broadcast on ABC2 in early 2015.


The 2013 Victorian finalists were:

SMALL – Summer DeRoche (Director) & Christian White (Writer)
DINNER FOR THREE – Tegan Higginbotham (Writer), Dylan Watson (Writer), Joel Kohn (Writer / Director) & Tom Davies (Producer)
LUNCH DATE – Ian Hillman (Writer / Producer) & David Willing (Writer / Director)


Applications Close: 5.00pm, Monday 17 March 2014
Finalist Announcement Date: Friday 4th April 2014 (via OpenLine)
Production Commences: Mid June 2014
Guidelines and more information: click here

Open Channel Trains Emerging Filmmakers Out Of Victoria’s Production Centre, Docklands Studios Melbourne

Docklands Studio -article-420x0Six months into its new home at Docklands Studios Melbourne, screen resource organisation OPEN CHANNEL is investing in creative and technical skills development for the State’s film, television and digital media industries.

Stage one of Open Channel’s new $350,000 facility comprising training room and edit facilities was funded through the Australian Government, and launched last August. Open Channel also receives organisational support from Screen Australia and Film Victoria to run an annual program of filmmaker initiatives including production funding, pitching competitions and conferences for its members.

Executive Director Marc Gracie notes that the 40-year old organisation is constantly evolving to meet the needs of industry, saying “40 years ago the ethos of Open Channel was about access to production equipment which was out of the reach of most people. Today, the tools to make content are in the hands of everyone, but what is needed are the skills to make the most of those tools. Some people will be looking to make better content for the web, others will be looking to develop those skills into a professional career. For those seeking a career we also offer industry-led training by leading practitioners, and also offer our production initiatives to help people take that next important step”.

Being based at the Docklands Studios Melbourne, Open Channel is able to place training in the heart of industry. Says Gracie, “We ran two successful conferences in 2013 in childrens entertainment and reality television, attracting over 500 attendees. We produced series for ABC2 and NITV. We have been actively placing graduates on productions, such as INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (mini series which will air on Channel Seven in 2014), House Husbands Season (which will air on Channel Nine in 2014), and Tony Ayres new feature film Cut Snake. The next major production shooting out of the studios will be fantasy film The Moon and the Sun. The film starring Pierce Brosnan, Fan Bing Bing and Bill Nighy is based on a novel from Vonda McIntyre and tells a story of King Louis XIV of France capturing a mermaid to steal its life force.

Open Channel’s 2014 training program includes full qualifications in documentary, drama or webseries filmmaking, intensive feature film and television series script development, and a range of short courses for people who want specific filmmaking skills such as camera, sound or editing. Qualification courses receive support from the Australian and Victorian Government, and are Austudy eligible.

The digital revolution has meant that unlike any time in history, the barriers to developing, making and distributing screen content across a variety of platforms have never been easier, and Open Channel is committed to building Victoria’s bold and innovative screen industries into the future.

Enrolments rolling in for 2014 scriptshop!

Enrol now! (Enrolment closing soon)

Third round applications are currently open for the 2014 scriptshop intake at Open Channel.

Now in its fourth year, scriptshop has developed 37 film and television projects, and a number of projects have already filmed, or are in development with established Production Companies.

2013 graduate, Anne O’Hoy talks here about her experiences of the course.

“My relationship with Open Channel grew out of my experiences with their Raw Nerve program. My submission ‘In Fantasy’ was one of three selected to be produced as a short film with the help of Open Channel. I wrote and directed it.

I was encouraged by the support Open Channel gave me to sign up for scriptshop.

I went into the course with a specific idea for a TV show based on the ‘In Fantasy’ short film, but throughout the year this idea blossomed into something even more beautiful.

A really important benefit of being at Open Channel was that it enabled me to focus on a single piece of work, rather than other courses which have quite a broad focus.

Writing scripts and making films is fun but I had always struggled with pitching and the business side of things. I can truly say that the course not only gave me the skills to hone my idea but, critically, to identify which industry leaders to approach to turn it into a reality, and to present a kickass pitch!”

Scriptshop is Australia’s only year long script development course.

Open to writers, directors and producers with an idea for a feature film or TV series to be developed.

For more information, visit our Scriptshop page

Applications close soon, apply now to secure your place!

Open Channel Screens New Documentaries by Indigenous Filmmakers

Open Channel screens new documentaries

New Indigenous film-makers, trained with the support of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, gather to celebrate the completion of six new documentary films to screen nationally on National Indigenous Television (NITV).


The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust partnered with Open Channel and National Indigenous Television in a unique training production program that ran from July to October 2013, developing a new core group of Indigenous film-makers from language groups across Victoria. The grant supported the program to bring renowned film-makers to Melbourne, including Allan Collins ACS (Cinematographer on the award winning Beneath Clouds, by Ivan Sen) to share knowledge, skills and wisdom with the burgeoning film-makers. The program brought to life a diversity of stories and explored themes including Aboriginal justice, reconnecting with songlines, and language revival. The films provide an important cultural voice to Victorian Aboriginal communities and help to facilitate broad cultural understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Participating students achieved a nationally-recognised Certificate III in Media qualification, and a number are beginning to work on their next screen projects after completing the program. Open Channel’s Training Manager, Daniel Schultheis said “This is really a very significant initiative. Many Aboriginal stories we see in Australia have come from other states such as the Northern Territory and Queensland, where there is a bigger pool of filmmakers. A lot of Victorian stories have not been told yet.”

Open Channel Executive Director Marc Gracie commented, “Open Channel is proud to be a part of this important project which ensures that expanding opportunities in film and television to create Aboriginal screen stories are underpinned by strong production skills, talent development, and professional networks.”

Participant Kerri-Lee Harding, director of A Rare Gem: Coloured Stone said, “I am really so very proud of my fellow students support in production, plus the results of their amazing films.  Still pinching myself we managed to film Bunna with ben from Regurgitator, in full swing recording the 10th coloured stone album. None of this would have happened without Open Channel’s strong unwavering support and encouragement and positivity has kept me strong and incredibly focused. I think together we made a deadly variety of excellent Victorian short docos and be fab to soon see them all screen on NITV and gonna be deadly to see more of representation of our Melbourne / Victorian community members.”

More Open Channel News


Super Terrorise Me Anti-Bullying Project

Bully Planet

Open Channel & Moonee Valley Council present: Super Terrorise Me presents Bully Planet

Bully Planet Team

Bully Planet Team

The Australian Government’s Youth Development and Support Program, which is managed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, provided funding in 2012 in support of a production initiative between Open Channel and Moonee Valley Council to deliver a community based ANTI BULLYING project for Young People aged between 12 and 25. The project called Super Terrorise Me: The Web Series provided young people in Moonee Valley City Council with the opportunity to develop and produce an original anti-bullying web series with mentoring from established award-winning screen industry professional, Nick Moore. The production process helped the young group to develop skills in writing, directing, producing, cinematography, lighting, sound, set design, performance, music, editing and web compression.”


Open Channel delivers 3 day film training program at Al-Taqwa College

Open Channel teams up with Al-Taqwa College


The Open Channel mobile training unit visited Al-Taqwa College last year to run a 3 day intensive, involving 12 students who were selected for the course through winning a school-run short film competition. Teacher Michael Harding describes the experience:

“We worked closely with the trainers to design a three day film training program for our students. As the first point of contact, the Open Channel trainers introduced our staff to the possible formats of the course, and communicated the opportunities that would be provided to our students.

Open Channel coordinated the involvement of additional film professionals, who worked as a team to deliver practical filmmaking activities. The tight three-day schedule was necessitated by the ‘crowded’ secondary school curriculum, and they worked very hard to ensure that all projects were completed to a high level, despite the time limitations placed by the school on the project. Information and skills were effectively conveyed to students, and cross-age groups formed so as to maximise learning opportunities.

Open Channel willingly contributed time to an additional day of planning and training, allowing students to begin the course with the requisite knowledge and clear expectations.

It was very impressive to observe the ways in which Open Channel worked to develop the students’ initial videos – made without teacher support – into new and improved works of narrative cinema. By making the effort to understand the students’ films, the tutors were in a position to recommend improvements and suggest new ways of delivering the competition theme of The Importance of Prayer.

Al-Taqwa is a coeducational, Islamic school, and as a non-Muslim, Open Channel’s interpretation of this theme has been commended by the College community. Open Channel’s tutor confidence, sensitivity, and clear communication are testament to their skills as trainers and filmmakers. Students were highly engaged throughout the training program, and will keenly use their learnt skills to develop visual media into the future.”

Michael Harding
Art Domain Leader


Lavers Hill Filmmaking Workshop

Lavers Hill Filmmaking Workshop

Lavers Hill Youth gets into Filmmaking with Open Channel!

Over three days in September, 2013, we saw an enthusiastic group of youth from Lavers Hill and surrounds, participate in a 3 day film workshop with the Melbourne film training group Open Channel.

Lavers Hill Workshop

Mooroopna Filmmaking Workshop

Mooroopna Filmmaking Workshop

Mooroopna Youth gets into Filmmaking with Open Channel!

Over four days in August, 2013, we saw an enthusiastic group of Mooroopna Secondary College Year 10/11 students from VCAL participate in a 4 day film workshop with the Melbourne film training group Open Channel.

Mooroopna students

Mooroopna workshop

4 laptops now in action!