IT’S the first Asia-Pacific film festival of its kind with a dedicated team of past and current international students running the show. Jessica-Anne Lyons takes you behind the scenes.
If you’re contemplating moving countries to study or have just arrived and feeling anxious about meeting new people, one of the best ways – as the team behind APERTURE Festival discovered – is to volunteer.
One of the most notable features about the team behind APERTURE is that it is predominately made up of international students. To meet the team, click here!
Christina Ting, APERTURE’s Social Media Coordinator, says it was a great opportunity to make friends and gain experience working in a real industry environment.
“By far the best part about working behind APERTURE Festival is the people – we all have such a great working relationship and I am thankful for being able to work with such a great team,” she says.
I have learned so much from my team mates and I feel like learning from watching is just as useful as learning by doing.” – Christina Ting, APERTURE Social Media Coordinator
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Christina completed her Masters in Public Health at the University of Melbourne and now works full time as a Research Assistant at the Centre for International Health while volunteering for APERTURE.
“As an international student, moving to a new country has its challenges – you do not have your family around and friends can initially be in limited supply,” says Christina.
“I have learned so much from my team mates and I feel like learning from watching is just as useful as learning by doing.”
Natalie Kunz, one of the Public Relations & Marketing Coordinators for APERTURE, says that being a part of the team has given her the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience.
“The learning experience from APERTURE Festival has been invaluable and I really dove in head first,” she says.
Originally from Switzerland, Natalie lived in Singapore for 12 years before moving to Melbourne, where she is currently completing a Media and Communications degree at the University at Melbourne.
The best part is putting my passion for PR into use; not every student can say that they are actively using what they have been taught in the classroom and applying it in context.” – Natalie Kunz, APERTURE’s Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator
“Before this I hadn’t really had any professional experience in PR, but now that I’ve been doing it for a few months with APERTURE, I can definitely say that I have confidence in my abilities and I’m glad that I took a leap,” she says.
Natalie’s role at APERTURE has allowed her to apply what she’s learned in her course by sourcing sponsorships and media partnerships, writing media releases and notably leading the Pozible crowd-funding campaign that raised over $2500 for the festival.
“The best part is putting my passion for PR into use; not every student can say that they are actively using what they have been taught in the classroom and applying it in context.”
APERTURE hasn’t just helped a number of international students gain valuable industry experience; it has also worked to combat the underrepresentation of Asia Pacific cinema in film festivals.
“I wanted to create a platform to showcase these films and film-makers and contribute to mutual cultural understanding, as well as to also preserve these stories,” says director and founder of APERTURE, Dr. Erminia Colucci.
“With APERTURE, we want to bring people from different backgrounds together to help them to connect and understand each other more,” she says.
APERTURE Festival is the first film event of its kind to have an exclusive focus on Asia Pacific documentaries and aims to encourage a wider understanding of the region.
More than 30 films are set to show and other than the hand-selected Asia Pacific documentaries there will also be a range of experimental films, a photo exhibition, guest speakers from Japan and the Solomon Islands, Q&As with the filmmakers and a multimedia installation to see.
From November 21 – 23, you can support the APERTURE Festival by catching their screenings at the Carrillo Gantner Theatre in the Sidney Myer Asia Centre at the University of Melbourne (761 Swanston St, Parkville).
To get a better idea of what the film festival entails, watch Meld’s video coverage of the APERTURE Festival’s launch party.
The festival is suitable for all ages and documentary lovers. Entry into APERTURE is absolutely free though a gold coin donation is appreciated. Bookings can be made via their Eventbrite page.
For more information about either the APERTURE Festival team or the festival itself, head on over to their official website.