Nextwave Youth Film Awards 2023: Wrap Up

NYFA'23: An evening to remember

Presented by Southern Cross University, the Nextwave youth Film Awards, hosted during SWIFF’23, awarded and lauded young filmmakers who entered the Nextwave Short Film Comp for 2022. 

With filmmakers travelling from across Australia to see their films premiere on the big screen, it was an evening of memories made. Read the highlights and see the photo gallery below.

Awarding trophies and prizes, courtesy of SWIFF, Black Magic Design, Skullcandy Headphones, and RODE Microphones – the event began with live music from up and coming local band Juno in the CHEC Gathering Space before filmmakers, their supporters, and the audience headed into the cinema for the screening of 28 incredible short films – finalists from across Australia, hand selected from over 150 submissions into the competition. 

Hosted by MC and Nextwave Program Manager Saige Browne, guest speakers included SCU lecturer Uwe Turton, who spoke on chasing passion over external approval, NSW State Member Gurmesh Singh, speaking on the growing film industry in the region with the hotly anticipated Film Studio ste to open in Coffs Harbour, backed by Russell Crowe, and Australian actor Damon Herriman, a special guest of SWIFF this year, addressed young filmmakers on the importance of being resilient in the industry, sharing some inspirational personal stories. 

Nextwave Program Managers Saige Browne and Giordan Pakes 

Actor Damon Herriman speaking at NYFA.

The screening then began, the cinema filling with shock, delight, and hilarity, before the awards presentation, with Saige being joined by fellow Nextwave Program Manager Giordan Pakes to announce the winners of over 15 awards and prizes, all listed below. 

Thank  you to each and every young filmmaker who created a short film in 2022, and we sincerely hope you get creative again in 2023.

Nextwave 2022 Competition Winners

BEST SOUND · Markello Souvlis · Waves 

BEST EDITING · Jon Copson · The ATAR Experience 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY · Lana O’Brien · Mis-Taken

BEST DIRECTING · Ben Rosenberg · Green Room

BEST ACTOR · Ayla Cadzow-Smith · The Possession 

SWIFF COMMENDATION AWARD  · Jack Southgate · He Hulk

SWIFF COMMENDATION AWARD  · Tabitha Murdoch · In Our Minds 

BEST ANIMATED FILM  · Rywinne Logan · The Traveller’s Ship 

BEST FILM (10-14) · Arthur Francis & Danny Rumsby  · Submerged 

BEST FILM (15-17)  & BEST SCRIPT · Noah Bailey · The Existential Overwhelm of a Conversation Catalyst 

BEST FILM (18-25) · Roy Sisson · Bearzebub



SCHOOL SPIRIT AWARDS  · Trinity Christian School & Mansfield State High School

(Pictured: Death Works a Desk Job)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD · Aaron Bruggeman · Void

Finalists were also invited to SWIFF’s Industry Connect event, to meet more established filmmakers and creatives, as well as an Accelerator Workshop hosted Uwe Turton and Southern Cross University, in which filmmakers met, collaborated, created, and presented works, under Uwe’s direction. 

Nextwave Online Workshops- built from an in-person template crafted over 5 years – grew over the course of 2020, adapting from a planned micro-course in beginner filmmaking, into an over-3-hour, ten part online program delving into the fundamentals of short film. From finding inspiration, to finalising the edit and everything in between – including masterclasses from industry professionals on sound, camera operation, and shot composition. 

After understanding the basics, filmmakers aged 10-25 were tasked with creating a short film under 5 minutes. The theme for the 2022 competition was Green and Transformation. 


Nextwave in 2023

Filmmakers aged 10-25 are now invited to create a short film under 5 minutes – interpreting the theme ‘strength’ in whichever way they wish, whilst also including the item ‘torch’ somewhere in the film. 

The Nextwave Online program also returns in 2023, with online workshops that detail the full filmmaking process from idea to edit, and everything in between. 

Once again, thank you to each and every filmmaker who got their friends together, came up with an idea, got creative, and put themselves out there this past competition cycle, and we truly can’t wait to see what you come up with this year!

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