AFTT Alumni Shortlisted for Lexus Short Film Grant

20 May 2016

Alumni shortlisted for Lexus short film grant

Film graduate Hazel Savolainen has recently had success in the festival circuit with her short film 'Fingerpainting' and has now been shortlisted for the Lexus short film grant!


We caught up with her to see how she has been getting on since graduating. 

Hey Hazel!

Tell us all about your time working the festival circuit with ‘Fingerpainting’ and being shortlisted for the Lexus short film grant!

The festival circuit for Finger Painting has been great fun. I've learned a lot about being thoughtful with which festivals to submit to. It doesn't seem to fit into many festivals because of it's sexual content and it's black comedy genre, but some festivals that were more daring really went for it and I was lucky enough to attend a couple of these. Attending festivals is great because you get to meet other filmmakers and learn their story and what they are about, and appreciate work you won't see in other places. It's great to be appreciated to and recognised as being a filmmaker. Going to festivals makes it seem more real. Also watching audiences react to your films is the most nourishing thing a filmmaker can do. Being shortlisted for the Lexus short film grant has been an amazing opportunity and an amazing journey. It forced me to get back in the writing chair and find new contacts to work with to put something new together to pitch. Also I got to skype one of the producers at the Weinstein Company in LA who loved Finger Painting, which I was so stoked about.

 How did your course help prepare you for the industry?

The course allowed me to make films I can show people. It also guided me through the process of how to make a film and where my priorities should lie to make something worthwhile. Having grown in an environment where I was encouraged to take risks and extend myself allowed me to discover who I am as an artist, and why I do what I want to do, or more importantly, what EXACTLY it is that I want to do specifically. 


What’s the most important thing you have learnt since entering the industry?

 Don't get distracted. Remember what you want.

What was your favourite thing about your course?

My favourite thing was growing with my peers and learning together. It really shaped me and taught me the value of relationships and how these affect your work. Making films is not just about you, it's about how you relate to people and how well you work with people will affect the end result as well.

What advice would you give to current students?

I would advise them to be open and to be willing to fail in an assessment to become a better filmmaker. Otherwise, what's the point?

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