Short film nabs top prize for Murdoch student

March 12, 2013

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The Honourable Peter Garrett AM MP and award winner Zak Norris.

Murdoch Screen Production student Zak Norris took out the top prize in a national short film competition with his short film Balloons.

The competition was held to celebrate 15 years for of Australia’s leading online youth mental health service

Young people were challenged to create a 30-60 second video for the website that shows what young people can do to keep themselves mentally fit and healthy.

Mr Norris, who submitted his video just three days after the competition opened, said the opportunity was just too important to turn down.

“Making sure young people know that there are organisations out there that are ready to help you in times of need is very important,” Mr Norris said.

“I really wanted to produce an accessible film with a positive vibe to it.”

Mr Norris's film Balloons is based on the idea of a girl who finds a way to overcome issues like lack of sleep and relationship problems through a healthy mental regime.

His lecturer John McMullan said the University was very proud of his achievements.

“His film shows natural artistic talent and a mature understanding of symbolism,” Mr McMullan said.

“We look forward to seeing him further develop as a film-maker as he continues our Screen Production course.”

Mr Norris has big dreams of a career in film based in the United States one day, and in the meantime is trying to gain as much experience as possible in all aspects of filmmaking.

As part of his prize, Mr Norris and other finalists will continue to work with on developing new content for the website over the coming year.

Media contact: Pepita Smyth
Tel: (08) 9360 1289  |  Mobile: 0417 171 551  |  Email:
Categories: Domestic students, General, Murdoch achievements, School of Arts, Teaching and Learning
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