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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

AFTRS and The Studio Announce Winners of Inaugural Graduate Incubator Program

AFTRS and The Studio Ltd have announced the winners of the inaugural AFTRS Graduate Incubator Program.

The AFTRS Graduate Incubator Program is a partnership between AFTRS and The Studio to hothouse innovative screen and broadcast ideas from recent AFTRS graduates. AFTRS 2018 graduates were invited to apply for one of two three-month Incubator Labs that will support the development of a screen and broadcast idea or creative project.

The graduates and their projects selected for these first labs are Master of Arts Screen graduates, Lauren Clair and David Tran whose company Big Splat will produce Fudge, a 3D animated 10X10 minute series utilising the game engine, Unreal Engine to render the show; and Master of Arts Screen graduate, Hattie Archibald who will develop her 3 X 12 minute web series Gut Feeling into a half-hour format for subscription video on demand (SVOD). 

The Incubator Lab for the two projects consists of:

  • A three-month residency at The Studio with full access to their community of start-up’s
  • $5000 seed funding during the incubator lab
  • Dedicated mentorship from AFTRS staff
  • Access to AFTRS resources
  • The opportunity to present their work in progress at an AFTRS ReFrame event 

A ‘highly commended’ prize was also awarded by the judging panel to Advanced Diploma in Radio Essentials graduate, Zac Schroedl, for Sportoise, a podcast series exploring the bizarre moments that have changed the rules, culture and politics of modern sports.

Zac’s prize will be AUD$2500 seed funding, a desk at The Studio for one day per week for 6 months, dedicated mentorship from AFTRS staff and access to AFTRS resources.

The selection panel was AFTRS Acting CEO, Dr Georgie McClean, The Studio Ltd CEO, Chantal Abouchar; AFTRS Director of Finance & Technology, Shomal Parekh, AFTRS Director of Marketing, Kirsten Downie, and AFTRS Acting Director of Curriculum and Registrar, David Balfour.

The Studio is Australia’s first media technologies incubator and is an anchor tenant in the Sydney Startup Hub, in Sydney’s CBD. Its purpose is to support and foster technology startups and scaleups across the media, entertainment, design, games, sound/music, communications and creative industries. The Studio is industry agnostic and also supports the development of companies using advanced new digital media tools and technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality, Surround Sound and Wearable Computing, to transform industries such as Health and Education. 

AFTRS Acting CEO, Dr Georgie McClean, said: “The AFTRS Graduate Incubator Program helps great talent fresh out of our Bachelor and Masters programs to hit the ground running with exciting new creative businesses and ideas. This year, our successful pitches represented a great mix of female-led animation, a dynamic podcast and new pathway for creative IP from webisode series into longer-form for SVOD.  We are thrilled to be partnering with The Studio, a hub for creative tech and media business start-ups and we know our graduates will make the most of the opportunity of such a dynamic environment.”

CEO and Founder of The Studio, Chantal Abouchar, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the AFTRS alumni to The Studio and excited to see how their businesses and ideas evolve. The Studio provides a collaborative environment and is a creative catalyst to test ideas and find product market fit.

“The Studio is designed to make companies successful by creating the right conditions and most importantly a community from which we can meaningfully support talent and aspirations and connect this with expertise to make companies succeed.

“This combination of productivity and creativity plays an important role in generating new jobs, business growth and innovation on a global scale.”

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