Australian Film, Television and Radio School

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Australian Film Television and Radio School
AFTRS facade.jpg
AFTRS building
TypeScreen and broadcast school
Established1973; 49 years ago (1973)
Academic staff
Film, television and radio
UndergraduatesBachelor of Arts Screen: Production
PostgraduatesMaster of Arts Screen, Master of Arts Screen: Business and Leadership, Graduate Diploma in Radio
Location, ,
33°53′41″S 151°13′43″E / 33.8946°S 151.2285°E / -33.8946; 151.2285Coordinates: 33°53′41″S 151°13′43″E / 33.8946°S 151.2285°E / -33.8946; 151.2285
CampusThe Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park

The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) formerly Australian Film and Television School, is Australia's national screen arts and broadcast school. The school is a Commonwealth Government statutory authority.


Established in 1972 as the Australian Film and Television School, as part of the Commonwealth Government's strategy to promote the development of Australia's cultural activity, AFTRS was opened to students in 1973, with the first intake of 12 students including directors Gillian Armstrong, Phillip Noyce and Chris Noonan.[citation needed]

In 1973 Jerzy Toeplitz was appointed Foundation Director of the School and after six years in the role was awarded the Order of Australia and the AFI's Longford Lyell Award.[citation needed]

In 1975 Gough Whitlam helped to create funding agencies to support the film school.[citation needed]


For many years AFTRS was located in purpose-built premises at North Ryde, Sydney. In 2008 the school relocated to a purpose-built facility adjacent to Fox Studios, located inside the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, Sydney.

A film studio at AFTRS' Moore Park campus

AFTRS is the only screen and broadcast school in the world to cater for all of the specialisations under the one roof. The campus includes: a full-size 5.1 sound theatre (seats 126), state-of-the-art mix theatre, two large professional film and television studios, film studios, state-of-the-art sound recording studios, and a host of other facilities and equipment.[1]

Also located on campus is the Jerzy Toeplitz Library.[citation needed]

Courses and admission[edit]

Admission into AFTRS degree courses is competitive and based on merit selection. Places are limited. As of 2016 offerings include:[2]

  • Master of Arts Screen in 10 disciplines (full-time)
  • Master of Arts Screen: Business and Leadership (full-time)
  • Graduate Diploma in Radio (full-time or part-time)
  • Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production (full-time)


As a statutory body,[3] AFTRS is governed by the Australian Film, Television and Radio School Act 1973 with its Council responsible to the Minister for the Arts, representing the Federal Parliament. There are nine members of the Council:[4]

  • three members appointed from convocation by the Council;
  • one staff member elected by staff annually; and
  • one student member elected by students annually.

As of March 2022, Russel Howcroft is chair of the council,[4] while the CEO is Nell Greenwood.[5]

The school is a member of ARTS8: the Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence, a group of arts training organisations funded by the federal government.[6]

AFTRS International VR Award[edit]

Amanda Duthie, Adelaide Film Festival artistic Director and virtual reality champion, along with Google Creative Technologist Mathew Tizard and AFTRS Head of Documentary Rachel Landers, sat on the jury for the inaugural AFTRS International VR Award in 2017. Nothing Happens, by Michelle and Uri Kranot, won the award, while The Other Dakar by Selly Raby, based on Senegalese mythology, received a Special Mention.[7] The Unknown Patient, by Australian director Michael Beets won the award in 2018.[8]

Academy Award success[edit]

As of 2014 four AFTRS student films had been nominated for Academy Awards:[9]

  • 'Inja' (2000), directed by Steve Pasvolsky, produced by Joanne Weatherstone
  • 'Birthday Boy' (2003), directed by Sejong Park, produced by Andrew Gregory
  • 'The Saviour', directed by Peter Templeman, produced by Stuart Parkyn
  • 'Emily' Student Academy Award (2010), directed by Ben Mathews, produced by Simon Moore

Six AFTRS Alumni winners of Academy Awards® *Jane Campion: Best Original Screenplay,'The Piano' *Andrew Lesnie: Best Achievement in Cinematography,'The Lord of the Rings' *Dion Beebe: Best Achievement in Cinematography,'Memoirs of a Geisha' *Margaret Sixel: Best Film Editing, 'Mad Max: Fury Road' *David White: Best Sound Editing, 'Mad Max: Fury Road' *Peter Grace: Best Sound Mixing, 'Hacksaw Ridge' Five AFTRS alumni nominated for Academy Awards® *Dion Beebe: Best Achievement in Cinematography,'Chicago' *Jane Campion: Best Director, 'The Power of the Dog' *Chris Noonan: Best Director, 'Babe' *Pip Karmel Best Editing, 'Shine' *Tony McNamara: Best Original Screenplay, 'The Favourite'


The entire list of AFTRS graduates by year, from 1973 to now, can be viewed on the School's website.[10]


  1. ^ "Our Campus - Australian Film Television and Radio School". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  2. ^ "HOME - Australian Film Television and Radio School". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  3. ^ Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (15 September 2008). "Arts training bodies". Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Council". Australian Film Television and Radio School. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  5. ^ "CEO Office". Australian Film Television and Radio School. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  6. ^ "National training organisations in the performing arts". Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. Office for the Arts. Australian Government. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Inaugural AFTRS International VR Award Winner & Adl Film Fest VR Program Packages Announced". FilmInk. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Virtual Reality Award". Adelaide Film Festival. 8 June 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  9. ^ "AFTRS Alumni Success - Australian Film Television and Radio School". Archived from the original on 15 December 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Our Alumni - Australian Film Television and Radio School". Retrieved 23 December 2016.

External links[edit]