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And the ‘Woscar’ goes to…

The House Drama Competition is a perennial favourite of the first term at Wenona. This year, in lieu of live performances in the Big Gym, we’ve introduced the inaugural Wenona House Drama Short Film Festival.

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The theme of this year’s House Drama is Fairytales. Head of Drama, Ms Crittle allotted a different fairytale to each House. School are doing Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Hooke, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Messiter, Cinderella; Palmer, Hansel and Gretel; Ralston, Rapunzel; Allard, Jack and the Beanstalk; and Jackson and Hadley have combined together to do The Three Little Pigs.

As this is the first time we’ve held a Film Festival, Ms Crittle decided to enlist some help. The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) is Australia’s premier screen arts and broadcast school and the only Australian education institution to consistently make The Hollywood Reporter’s prestigious annual list of top film schools globally. Before the Houses got to work on their films, Ms Crittle arranged for expert practitioners from AFTRS to come to Wenona and run a couple of workshops. For our budding screenwriters and directors, it was an opportunity to absorb tips and techniques in scriptwriting and cinematic storytelling from some of the best in the business.

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Film is a visual medium. As always, ‘show, don’t tell’ is the golden rule of screenwriting. It’s about telling stories in pictures, creating visual backstories for your characters and engaging your audience from start to finish. Through the AFTRS workshops, students gained an understanding about the role and responsibilities of the director in bringing a film together, from pre-production to post-production. And they learnt about the craft of screenwriting, from building the foundations of character, story and structure, to tools and techniques to increasing dramatic tension and suspense, along with ideas for writing visually for the screen.

Along with screenwriting, casting, filming and editing, each House also had to consider locations, rehearsals, costumes and production times. They had to think about how to tell a compelling story and how to push the boundaries of cinematic storytelling in engaging ways.

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Throughout the term, we’ve seen students and teachers in strange outfits and make-up. There has been furtive filming all over the campus. And it’s not been easy – particularly when you have different year groups heading off to camp, once-in-a-lifetime floods, and the endless juggle of schoolwork, assignments, carnivals and competitions. Still, each House has had tremendous fun screenwriting, acting, filming and editing their short films, which sound like they are everything from bite-sized horrors to pockets of laughter.

The films will be livestreamed on the last day of term and the winners will be announced at Wenona’s very own version of the ‘Woscars’ – minus the red carpet of course – at an exciting Gala Ceremony in the Big Gym.

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Congratulations to all those involved in making the films. It’s a great achievement to complete a film – and we’ve heard on the grapevine that they all very ‘Woscar’ worthy! And a huge thank you to Ms Crittle and the Drama Department, as well as the Heads of Houses and other teachers who’ve dressed up or helped out or generally offered their support in the production of this event.

Who will win a coveted ‘Woscar’ award and take home the House Drama Cup? See you at the screenings!