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Waverley College Opens Doors for Young Film Makers

By Nicola Smith on February 23, 2022 in News

WaveFest Masterclass with Waverley Old Boy Martin Dingle-Wall. Photo: Angus McPherson

Waverley College students are trying their hand at being filmmakers with the school’s new short film festival, WaveFest.
The festival, which has been spearheaded by the College’s Student Mentor Coordinator and PDHPE teacher, Belinda Buchan, seeks to mentor students in a range of filmmaking techniques and skills to aid in the creation of their festival entries.
“It’s a reinvigorated WaveFest – it’s never been done like this before. Through mentor masterclasses it’s more than just a competition. It’s a process to educate the boys,” Mrs Buchan explained.
The theme for the 2021 festival was “The Future is Yours” and students could create in any film genre from stop motion to documentary.
Mrs Buchan explained that the festival was in line with Waverley’s focus on providing a wide range of opportunities for their students outside the classroom.
“Creative and performing arts is huge in our school and we’re all about holistic education. The fact that the boys are really passionate about this and want to do it, on top of everything else, has been so amazing,” she said.
Year ten Waverley student James Iatrou said that the festival gave him and his brother the starting point for pursuing a film career more seriously.
“WaveFest was a great way for my brother, Constantine, and I to begin to share our film ideas with our family and friends. It was an eye-opener and a great creative experience that has provided us with a positive foundation to excel in this pathway,” Mr Iatrou told The Beast.
Students heard not only from industry experts but from previous Waverley students, who could explain the pathways from being a student to working in the film industry.
“We’ve been bringing in alumni who work in the industry already and we did fifteen different masterclasses to teach the boys about the process and doing sessions all together. The boys could have a go and then get feedback and try new things,” Mrs Buchan told The Beast.
The Masterclass hosts included Bondi Rescue Producer Ben Davies as well as actors Martin Dingle-Wall and Simon McLachlan.
Former Waverley student and producer Matthew Young led a masterclass in the early stages of production and told The Beast that the festival was a great incubator for young film making talent.
“Their fresh perspective and enthusiasm were very rewarding for me and I felt very optimistic for the future of the industry after seeing for myself how these students were tracking as storytellers and media practitioners in the making,” Mr Young explained.
While the festival originally was set to run over an evening in August 2021, with bands and food trucks adding to the event, COVID restrictions meant that the in-person element had to be cancelled. Instead, the films will be shown during Wellbeing time, with winners voted for during the early weeks of Term 1, 2022.
Despite the limitations imposed by COVID, Mrs Buchan said she feels that continuing to offer experiences like WaveFest is at the heart of providing students with a good education.
“Everyone has their passion, and they don’t know about it until they try it. If we can offer a broad range of experiences for students to try then they can find what they love. That seeps in across all their classes. If they’re happy and well-connected then you end up with a student who is really well-rounded and wants to do good in the world,” she explained.
You can view the 2021 WaveFest entries alongside other Waverley College creative projects at