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  • International Community Gathers Together to Aid Victims of Australia Bushfires – Here’s How You Can Help

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    The devastating bushfires in Australia have now been raging for their fourth straight month, scorching millions of acres of land and already resulting in the deaths of over two dozen people and more than one billion animals. The international community has watched in horror as the fires show no signs of slowing down, rallying together to do what they can through donations and charities. It has been estimated that over a million people worldwide have supported the relief with no amount considered too small for the victims, firefighters and wildlife.

     

    The sheer magnitude of the devastation has been impossible to ignore, dominating the international news cycle and even the awards speeches of Hollywood’s Golden Globe Awards, held last Sunday.  Several award winners took the time from their speeches to share their sympathies for the victims of the bushfires and urged anyone who can to donate to charities and organizations supporting Australia and those affected by the fires.

    Other celebrities have taken to social media to do the same, using the massive goodwill and capital they’ve earned from successful careers in the entertainment industry to make large calls to action. Actors and performers like Nicole Kidman, Chris Hemsworth, Russell Crowe, Pink, Selena Gomez, Celeste Barber, Rebel Wilson, Naomi Watts, Kylie Minogue, Cate Blanchett, and Bindi Irwin have all implored their fans and followers to join them in supporting Australia in any way they can.

    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) students from both Australia and the international community have had the distinct luxury of shooting in one of the most beautiful and diverse environments in the world. It is no coincidence that the film industry has turned to the Gold Coast and Australia so often to shoot iconic films and television series—the charm and beauty of the island continent is effortlessly captured by the camera’s eye.

    Films and series like Game of Thrones, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, San Andreas, The Shallows, Kong: Skull Island, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and the 70s Australian film Walkabout—as well as countless student films by NYFA Australia students and alumni—have all taken advantage of Australia’s scenic backdrops. Seeing the continued destruction of both land and lives has been unspeakably heartbreaking, and NYFA Australia encourages those who can to support the victims of Australia’s fires in any way possible.

    In light of these devastating bushfires, the Gold Coast campus has been in contact with Foodbank Queensland to see how they can support those in need during this challenging period. Foodbank Queensland has requested much-needed toiletries and non-perishable items as donations for those affected. The NYFA Australia community has come together and collected donations at the Southport campus which will be sent down to Foodbank NSW Team on January 10th in support of the Bushfire Relief. The campus has received an overwhelming amount of support from staff and students who are keen to help out in any way they can which has been wonderful.

    Donations collected by NYFA Australia for the Bushfire Relief.

     

    Here’s How You Can Help

    For those willing and able to help, here are some of the organizations you can support to aid displaced people, wildlife populations, and Australia as a whole during this unprecedented emergency:

    The cinematographer of the Australian film Walkabout also NYFA Los Angeles’s Cinematography ChairAnthony Richmond shares this message and plea for support:

    Every dollar counts so any amount you are able to donate will help and Australians will surely appreciate it.

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    January 10, 2020 • Entertainment Australia, Outreach, Progressive & Social Causes • Views: 691

  • New York Film Academy Australia’s Unprecedented Partnership with Warner Bros. Movie World for Theme Park Hot Sets

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    Warner Bros. Movie World

    Visitors to Warner Bros. Movie World now have the chance to see filmmaking in action thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between the iconic Gold Coast theme park and New York Film Academy Australia.

    Through the collaboration, film production hot sets will be installed on the grounds of Warner Bros. Movie World for NYFA Australia students to sharpen their skills in the various elements of film craft using state-of-the-art, industry standard equipment under the guidance of NYFA Australia faculty and staff.

    Guests visiting the park will be able to watch the magic of movie making up close and in action, which falls in line with the movie-centric attractions of the popular vacation spot. Some guests may even be asked to participate in the hot sets, and serve as on-camera performers in the scenes filmed.

    Warner Bros. Movie World

    “In addition to offering our students the invaluable opportunity to participate on set,” says NYFA Australia Director, Tasha Cooper, “this unique partnership simultaneously offers guests to the park the premium, ‘movie magic’ experience they desire.”

    Warner Bros. Movie World is one of the most popular destinations in Queensland for both locals and visitors, and is based on the characters and properties of the Warner Bros. film studio, including the iconic roster of DC Comics superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The park is operated by Village Roadshow Studios (VRS), which has a long-standing relationship with NYFA Australia. Throughout their studies, NYFA Australia students also have the opportunity to shoot films on the VRS backlot, where NYFA Australia houses its own production workshop studios. The VRS backlot has been home to some of the biggest movies of the decade, including Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok, and San Andreas.

    Warner Bros. Movie World

    “Movie World and NYFA Australia share an affinity for the film industry on the Gold Coast and I am excited at the prospects of this unique partnership,” shares Michael Croaker, Head of Entertainment for Village Roadshow Theme Parks. “Excitingly, Movie World guests will have the opportunity to watch a real ‘hot set’ operating in the park with a few even getting the chance to get in on the action themselves.”

    The interactive hot sets can be found off the theme park’s Main Street, near Gotham City Hall. Various films and productions by the students will be shot there; recently, NYFA Australia alumni even had the opportunity to shoot a promo video for hit90.9’s Breakfast show. One lucky student was chosen based on their pitch to work with popular radio hosts Lise Carlaw, Sarah Wills, Dan Anstey, and Ben Hannant to create the promo. NYFA Australia students aren’t just getting exposure on the radio; the theme park hot sets were also recently featured in a story on 7NEWS Gold Coast.


    New York Film Academy Australia is thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. Movie Studios for this innovative approach to instructing students in the craft of filmmaking and preparing them for the bustling dynamics of professional, real world film sets.

    All programs and workshops are solely owned and operated by the New York Film Academy Australia and are not affiliated with Village Roadshow Studios.

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    November 27, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 707

  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Leroy Button Builds Up Blockbuster Credits

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    New York Film Academy Australia alum Leroy Button has been busy since graduating the Filmmaking program in 2018, having worked on multiple blockbusters, including Aquaman and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, as well as upcoming franchise sequels Fast & Furious 9 and James Bond film No Time to Die.

    Australian publication Daily Telegraph recently covered Button’s achievements in a profile, touching on his early start as a child playing with consumer and prosumer camera equipment. Button would shoot numerous videos and short films with his friends, presaging his future career in the filmmaking industry.

     

    leroy button

    Sense, a film he made while still in high school, went on to win seven awards in the festival circuit, and led to Button creating his own freelance company, Button Media. After taking a Panavision Master Class while studying at NYFA Australia’s Gold Coast campus, Button landed a job with Panavision, where he eventually was able to work on superhero epic Aquaman, which was partially filmed at Village Roadshow Studios.

    On set, Button worked closely with stars like Jason Momoa and Nicole Kidman, but it was the state-of-the-art technical equipment that really wowed him. “I was actually more interested in having conversations with the camera boys,” Button tells Daily Telegraph Australia.

    Sure enough, that job led to another and then another, and in just a few short years Button has built up an impressive resume with credits on huge Hollywood films in the camera and electric departments, including as the drone technician on last summer’s Dora the Explorer film.

    leroy button

    Additionally, Button has been working in television, and earning cinematography credits as well. His career is clearly only just getting started.

    “Leroy displayed passion, positivity, and a strong work ethic,” says Steve Pratt, NYFA Australia Chair of Filmmaking, “and was able to utilize the unique hands-on approach to filmmaking that makes NYFA Australia’s curriculum stand out from the rest—ensuring graduates like him are industry-ready when big studios come calling. We are extremely proud of him and look forward to his continued success in the industry.”

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    November 8, 2019 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 454

  • New York Film Academy Australia Filmmaking Alum Josh Hale Shoots Second Feature on Gold Coast

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    New York Film Academy Australia (NYFA Australia) alum Josh Hale just completed production of House of Inequity, his second feature film, on the Gold Coast, Australia.

    Australia’s Gold Coast is known for its beautiful natural scenery, so it might not be the first place you’d think of when choosing a location for a creepy horror film, but that outside-the-box thinking is part of what makes Hale such a talented filmmaker.

    Hale attended New York Film Academy Australia in 2014, taking the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media in Filmmaking program at the Gold Coast campus, where students have the opportunity to shoot on the Village Roadshow Studios backlot. Before then, he was shooting skateboard videos, but felt inspired to do more with the medium. 

    “I tried to make my own film in 2009 and failed miserably,” Hale tells the Gold Coast Bulletin. “I was overly ambitious. I didn’t know anything except I wanted to make a film. I always loved writing so it was a natural progression.”

    Josh Hale

    After graduating, Hale wrote and directed his first feature, a comedy entitled Digital Athletes: The Road to Seat League, which won several awards at multiple festivals, including the NYC Indie Film Awards, Festigious International Film Festival, IndieFEST Film Awards, and Los Angeles Film Awards.

    “Josh utilized his hands-on training with NYFA Australia, at the Gold Coast, to go make a feature film right out of college,” NYFA Australia Director Tasha Cooper stated after the North American premiere of Digital Athletes. “He’s one of our success stories and we’re very proud of his recent achievements.

    His sophomore effort, House of Inequity, was shot in two distinct locations on the Gold Coast—Jacobs Well and Helensvale. The independent film is being financed by an American investor; Hale also received a film grant from the Australian Government. 

    Josh Hale House of Inequity

    House of Inequity, was written in 16 days, and shot over several months across both Gold Coast locations. Filming recently wrapped on the US-Gold Coast co-production, and House of Inequity is expected to premiere later this year. And Hale isn’t slowing down—he is currently producing two other films, including a documentary.

    New York Film Academy congratulates NYFA Australia Filmmaking alum Josh Hale on his latest work, House of Inequity, and looks forward to seeing the completed version later this year!

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    August 16, 2019 • Film School, Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1416

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Students Participate in VIVA Surfers Paradise Parade

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    Last month, New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia students participated in a street parade as part of VIVA Surfers Paradise, a week-long festival held in Australia’s Gold Coast.

    VIVA Surfers Paradise

    VIVA Surfers Paradise is described as Australia’s ultimate tribute artist festival, and consists of multiple live performances and other events over the course of a week, including tributes to Elvis, Elton John, Queen, and The Beatles. This year’s event had an overall attendance of more than 132,000 visitors. 

    For the VIVA Surfers Paradise street parade, there were around 50 different groups and floats, including New York Film Academy, which has a campus on the Gold Coast. Additionally, six student actors from NYFA played zombies as part of a “fest-evil” float. The NYFA float included three students, representing two actors and a director, from NYFA-Australia’s Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs.

    The parade was a huge hit, with large crowds filming and photographing the various artists and floats that passed by.

    “The team’s professionalism, punctuality, and dedication to ensuring they remain in character for the whole duration of the parade is a testament to the students and mentors at the Academy,” says Ian Maclachlan, NYFA-Australia Operations Manager.

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    August 13, 2019 • Acting, Community Highlights, Film School, Filmmaking • Views: 741

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Congratulates Producer Dana Lustig on the Release of Feature Film “Look Away”

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    The New York Film Academy (NYFA) encourages everyone to check out the new psychological thriller Look Away, which releases this October 12, 2018 on VOD and in theaters nationwide. In a Hollywood culture currently dominated by epic franchise films and sequels, Look Away is an independent film crafted by passionate filmmakers and actors looking to tell an exciting, new story without the luxury of a $200 million budget. The film was directed by Assaf Bernstein — known for the hit Netflix series Fauda — and produced by prolific filmmaker and celebrated New York Film Academy (NYFA) lecturer Dana Lustig.

    Look Away is a thriller-horror about an alienated teenager who switches places with her evil mirror image. It stars Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, Star Trek: Discovery, The Death of Stalin), and India Eisley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager). Eisley is starring next in the television miniseries I Am the Night with Chris Pine (Star Trek, Wonder Woman), produced and directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster, Wonder Woman).

    Lustig was born in Israel and has directed five feature films and produced over twenty independent features, working with many high-profile actors, actresses, and filmmakers. Embodying the modern female filmmaker archetype that is finally getting the recognition it deserves in Hollywood, Lustig balances her career in the industry with her occasional lectures at New York Film Academy and other institutions, as well as with being a full-time mother.

    “Filmmaking is a 24-hours-a-day job, it never stops,” Lustig tells NYFA, continuing, “You might find your next story at the dinner table or dreaming at night. It is a lifestyle.”

    As for the types of narratives she pursues, Lustig says that she looks for stories that are “diverse, creative, and moving. Even if it’s a period film, it needs to be current and relevant to today.”Dana Lustig

    The true survival story Jungle, starring Harry Potter lead Daniel Radcliffe, was produced by Lustig and released earlier this year. The film shot both in Colombia and Australia’s Gold Coast, where NYFA has another location with access to the Village Roadshow backlot.

    Lustig directed the dark love story A Thousand Kisses Deep starring Dougary Scott (Mission: Impossible 2) and Jodie Whittaker (Attack the Block, Broadchurch). Whittaker herself has been making headlines this week as she debuted as the Thirteenth Doctor — and first female Doctor — in the long-running smash British series Doctor Who. A Thousand Kisses Deep was nominated for a British Independent Film Award.

    In addition to A Thousand Kisses Deep, Lustig also directed the comedy Wild Cherry starring Rob Schneider, Kill Me Later starring Selma Blair, Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Wedding Bell Blues starring John Corbett. Additionally, Lustig was a partner at Berman Lustig Productions for ten years, along with producer Ram Bergman (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.) BLP produced the hit Rian Johnson indie Brick as well as Dancing at the Blue Iguana, directed by Oscar nominee Michael Radford.

    Dana LustigLustig tells NYFA that she feels the urge to always keep moving and looking forward to the next project, saying “We can never really be satisfied as storytellers.” She is currently executive producing Spider in the Web with Ben Kingsley and Monica Bellucci and has just wrapped filming the second season of Israeli hit series Very Important Man. She is scheduled next to direct the remake of the Israeli film The Man in the Wall.

    And still Lustig finds time in between projects to speak with film school students at NYFA. One piece of advice she gives to aspiring filmmakers that comes from her roles both as a director and as a producer is to “Find the next great story to tell — one that is financially viable in the current market, both commercially and artistically.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates producer, filmmaker, and lecturer Dana Lustig on her long list of successes and looks forward to the many still to come! Look Away releases nationwide this October 12.

    Dana Lustig Look Away

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    October 11, 2018 • Faculty Highlights, Filmmaking • Views: 1559

  • New York Film Academy Australia Alum Stephen Osborne Enjoys “Life Behind the Camera”

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia Alum Stephen Osborne has been quite productive since graduating from the Filmmaking school program offered on the Australia’s Gold Coast. 

    His short film Jane, completed during his studies at New York Film Academy, has received several international accolades, including Best 1st Time Director at the Oniros Film Awards. Additionally, Jane was a Semifinalist at both the Los Angeles CineFest and the European Cinematography Awards. 

    Speaking of his experience at NYFA Australia, Osborne says he valued “the intensity of the course, making seven short films in less than a year, and the experienced lecturers.” NYFA Alum Stephen Osborne

    Receiving their education in the heart of Queensland’s innovative film industry, NYFA Australia students find themselves completely immersed in their studies from day one, surrounded by award-winning faculty and working with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. 

    Additionally, NYFA Australia students have access to production sets on the world-famous Village Roadshow Studios. NYFA students have the opportunity to shoot their projects on the same soundstages and backlots as blockbuster films like Kong: Skull Island, Aquaman, and Thor: Ragnarok, which have been shot at the location.

    Osborne continues, “NYFA has taught me the structure of making a film and provided us with networks within the film industry.”

    Since graduating, Osborne has worked on short films, feature length productions, and music videos in a professional capacity. As the founder of Mica Media, Osborne also creates his own content and has “just finished shooting a pilot episode for a miniseries titled Roommate Wanted for the End of the World. Furthermore, Osborne has a feature film in development set to start shooting later this year.

    Should there ever be a film shot about his own life, Osborne says “it would be a drama film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, titled Life Behind the Camera.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Stephen Osborne on his accolades and looks forward to keeping track of his successful career! 

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    September 6, 2018 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1001

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Elizabeth McLeish Is “Always Nice”

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    Elizabeth McLeish is a graduate of the filmmaking school offered at New York Film Academy Australia on the Gold Coast. After completing her studies earlier this year, she’s hit the ground running and has already founded her own company, McLeish Film & Media.

    McLeish Film & Media bills itself as a videography and content creation service, specializing in wedding & event videography and available in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Mount Tamborine, and Byron Bay.

    Filmmaking has been a calling for McLeish for some time. Quoted on her website, she says, “I knew from an early age that filmmaking was going to be a life long passion. What started with a hobby of photography grew into a love for all things film.”

    McLeish followed through on that dream by attending New York Film Academy (NYFA). She continues, “After studying at the New York Film Academy, Australia in 2017, I grew as a filmmaker with my graduate film picking up multiple awards at festivals, both nationally and internationally.”

    McLeish credits NYFA for giving her “hands on experience with industry recognized cameras and equipment and having lecturers with extensive experience in the film industry.” During her time as a student at NYFA, McLeish most enjoyed “having the chance to meet creative, likeminded people and working together on each other’s film projects.” 

    Her motto – “be nice, always!”

    McLeish is putting that education and her multiple festival awards to good use. In addition to founding McLeish Film & Media, she is also working on her debut feature documentary, titled Kell’s Ride For a Cure. The film is to be shot in New Zealand later this year and explores the topic of early onset dementia as experienced by motorcycle enthusiast Greg Kelly. Australian media icon Ita Buttrose was also interviewed by McLeish and her team as part of the feature. 

    Should there ever be a film shot about her own life, McLeish says it would be “an adventure/comedy, starring Keira Knightley and the title would be Daydreamer.” McLeish plans to continue working on her documentary and running her videography business which, she says, “has been very successful, so I look forward to seeing where it takes me.”

    New York Film Academy congratulates Elizabeth McLeish on her success and commends her positive attitude and incredible drive!

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    September 5, 2018 • Filmmaking, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 953

  • Actor Cameron Dean Speaks About His Time at New York Film Academy Australia


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    Cameron Dean completed the Acting for Film program offered at New York Film Academy’s Gold Coast campus and has since relocated to Vancouver, Canada. He has worked on a number of projects including Kong: Skull Island and Thor: Ragnarok in Australia, as well as the latest campaign for Lamborghini, shot in Vancouver.

    Speaking of his experience at New York Film Academy (NYFA) Australia, Dean stated he most enjoyed “how interactive and hands on it was” and how It offered him the opportunity “to create and express myself in a safe environment with other like-minded individuals.”

    Dean continued, “The lecturers at NYFA were always helpful and professional; their guidance throughout my entire journey was a step above, and I am where I am today because they brought out the best in me.”

    “When you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life,” he added. “When I was at NYFA it never felt like work, whether I had a 1200-word essay to hand in or doing research for a character, it was all just fun because it’s a part of being an actor. Finding answers and bringing a character to life and giving him or her the voice is what makes this job beautiful.”Cameron Dean

    Dean spent time on the sets for both Kong: Skull Island and Thor: Ragnarok while still a student of the Acting for Film program, allowing him “to get firsthand training on big production sets with A-List actors.” He credits NYFA for preparing him for the film industry by “stripping away my inhibitions which held me back from expressing myself creatively. NYFA set me up with the necessary tools to confidently break down a script, add depth and layers to a character, and take an organic performance into the audition room or on screen.”

    With plans to stay on in Canada, Dean hopes to sustain his career as a working actor and explore stunt performance for action films. “Things I want to achieve as an actor are to play a lead in an action film and do a lot of my own stunt work, for example a John Wick or a Jason Bourne style film.” Dean keeps himself motivated with boxing to increase his fitness and gather skills for the action film genre, and has also started writing him own material.

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Cameron Dean and wishes him continued success!

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    August 6, 2018 • Acting, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1472

  • New York Film Academy (NYFA) Alum Jordan Abbey-Young Finishes Feature Film Shoot

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    New York Film Academy (NYFA) Acting for Film graduate Jordan Abbey-Young is living the Aussie dream – originally a boy from the bush, he recently finished shooting on the feature film Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan. The Vietnam War drama was filmed at Village Roadshow Studios on Australia’s Gold Coast, adjacent to the New York Film Academy Australia campus co-located in Southport, Queensland. 

    Abbey-Young plays the role of Private Ron Eglinton alongside stars Richard Roxburgh and Travis Fimmel, best known for playing Ragnar on the History Channel’s original series Vikings.

    Abbey-Young stated that NYFA provided “an environment where you could build that personal network of like-minded people all there for a common goal. In this industry you’re nothing without each other, and the relationships NYFA gave me (good and bad, not everyone gets along), have done nothing but propel me as a person and as an all-round creative individual.”Jordan Abbey-Young

    In preparing for entering the industry after completing his training, Abbey-Young says that his teachers “were very realistic people who got on the level with you. That more personable aspect is a huge benefit to NYFA, I feel. It’s a hard industry and having the people teaching you giving you that blunt reality at the same time, it makes you take things on board a lot more if you’re serious about giving it a go.”

    He continued, “My motto has always been ‘Live Life Like A Movie’, so I’ve always had a very internal and a very narrated perspective of my life like it was being filmed.”

    Along with his role in Danger Close, Abbey-Young will appear in another feature titled The Last Video Store. “It’s comprised of a lot of NYFA family from graduated actors, to filmmakers and lecturers, which has been really fun,” he added. As for his future, “I’ll probably go back to robbing banks and doing auditions,” he joked. “Keep an eye out for an eight-part web series entitled Don’t @ Me next year — a very talented lad decided I was worth putting in front of the camera for it.”

    The New York Film Academy congratulates Jordan Abbey-Young and wishes him continued success!

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    August 6, 2018 • Acting, Entertainment Australia, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1790