'Psychoanalysis', written and directed by AFTRS grad James Raue.

AFTRS is getting into the feature game, with two micro-budget features set to be directed by Masters of Screen Arts directing students.

Kyle Hedrick’s Into The Waves is a drama about two brothers who hitch-hike across Tasmania to get to their mother’s funeral, while Tom Wilson’s The Greenhouse is described as "a queer magic realist drama that documents the tale of Beth Tweedy-Bell, who has discovered a tunnel into the past."

Both features are crowd funding via the Australian Cultural Fund.   

For Rowan Woods, director of The Boys and AFTRS' Head of Directing, it's about going beyond the short-as-calling-card.

"From web-series to TV pilots, micro features, VR and interactive storytelling, aimed at production companies, networks, film distributors and the internet fan base," said Woods, AFTRS is looking for "screen stories that make a difference."

Masters Course Leader Nell Greenwood called the development “a really exciting step forwards that allows our Masters students to test both their entrepreneurial skill and their craft in making engaging long form stories."

"Our recent post-graduate screenwriting students have had real success in the market with long form projects developed in the MA, and now we are offering our other disciplines the same opportunity to test and realise their ideas across features, television drama, web series and interactive projects.”

Those successes include screenwriting graduate James Raue, profiled by IF last year.

Raue directed the feature Psychoanalysis from a script he wrote while at AFTRS, and has since screened the film at the New York Independent Film Festival and the Silver Spring International Film Festival. 

Another screenwriting grad, Becca Johnstone, won the inaugural Australian Writers Guild 'What Happens Next’ prize for Bayou, the drama pilot she developed while at AFTRS. The script was optioned by Muse Entertainment along with Cornerstone Pictures, and is currently being packaged with Gersh for the US market. 

AFTRS also announced today that ACMI CEO Katrina Sedgwick would join Julianne Schultz (chair), Darren Dale (Deputy Chair), Professor Robyn Ewing, Kate Dundas, David Balfour (staff representative) and Conlan Mackenzie (student representative) on the AFTRS Council.

Sedgwick was Head of Arts for ABC Television and ABC Arts online from 2012 to 2014, and the founding Director and CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival and its Investment Fund.

“Katrina has an impressive record in the arts, including screen," said Schultz. "She’s highly regarded as an innovator and as an intelligent and creative strategist and I am greatly looking forward to her input into the AFTRS Council."

Sedgwick replaces producer Andrew Mason, the outgoing Chair of the Finance Audit and Risk Management Committee, who departs after six years.