Film students scoop industry prize

September 19, 2013

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Two Murdoch students have impressed local film critics, with their efforts recognised at the recent WA Screen Awards.

Wayne Davies with Australian actor Jack Thompson at the 2013 WA Screen Awards

Father of two Wayne Davies, who is currently studying a Bachelor of Screen Production, was awarded Best Performance by an Actor for his work in short film Heaven.

Mr Davies first met the film’s director, Maziar Lahooti, at a Perth Actors Collective (PAC) script lab. The pair have since worked on five films together.

“In Heaven, I play a heroin dealer who finds himself held at gunpoint by an 80 year old man with a hidden agenda,” he said.

“It was one of the best scripts I’d ever been given. Now, we’re hoping to produce a feature length version to bring the story to a wider audience.”

Before coming to Murdoch University, Mr Davies worked as a musician, playing alongside iconic Australian acts Gangajang, Mental As Anything and Mondo Rock.

“I studied at a theatre college, but didn’t have the confidence to act, so I kept playing gigs to pay the bills,” he said.

After honing his acting skills in student films, Mr Davies was thrilled to be nominated for his first WASA in 2009. In addition to this year’s victory, he also won the Best Actor award in 2011.

In recent years, Mr Davies has juggled work, study and his passion for acting while raising his two young sons.

“I came to Murdoch through OnTrack, a 14-week pre-university program for people who don’t meet the criteria for standard university entry,” he said.

“As a single dad, it’s been pretty tough, but now I’ve made great contacts, am supporting local industry and am really looking forward to making a career out of this.”

As part of his studies, Mr Davies will play an acting role and serve as location manager for the Murdoch University-produced film, Pinch.

He is also working on a screenplay of his own, drawing on his own life experiences.

Fellow film student Tim Whittingsall also enjoyed success at this year’s WASA awards, taking the prize for Best Editing in a Short Form production. The film, Eleven Thirty, was scripted by screenwriting student Meredith Lindsay and was screened at the 2013 St Kilda Film Festival.

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