Student production earns place at world's largest Australian film festival

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 13-6-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



A short film about an Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer defending the contents of a secret room, produced by University of Notre Dame Australia Communications students from the Sydney Campus, was screened at the 2011 Dungog Film Festival.

The film’s director, Arts and Sciences student Olivia Cameron, described the feeling of seeing her work on the big screen as “surreal” and said it could be the start of a future career in the film industry.

The Dungog Film Festival is the world’s largest festival of Australian films and promotes the best home-grown content in a non-competitive environment to students, journalists, established directors and the general public over four nights.

Ms Cameron’s nine-minute film titled A Real Piece of Work, uncovers the physical and emotional barriers Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer Josh (played by young actor Logan Aria) is willing to build against his carer Wendy (Vixen Noir) in order to protect the contents of a secret room.

Wendy eventually opens the door of the room to find a collection of beautiful art work and Josh completing a colourful painting of her.

The film was shot at Crows Nest, Sydney, and took more than six weeks to prepare before the three day shoot and then a further five weeks in post-production to complete the editing and sound.

Notre Dame students, Jaide Fletcher and Simone Lord, were co-producers of the film while Marlena Ianni and Bethany Regatteri were the editors.

Ms Cameron said the storyline was inspired by the autistic character Charlie in the 2008 Australian film, The Black Balloon, and the emotional attachment to his brother, Thomas.

A challenge for Ms Cameron during the shoot was maintaining an aesthetic ‘morning light’ and conveying suspense about the secret room through clever camera work.

“We used suspense to create the fear around the room and we did that through the music and also not actually showing the room until the final scene,” Ms Cameron said.

Mr Marco Ianello, Communications Lecturer in the School of Arts and Sciences, Sydney, congratulated Ms Cameron and her team on their successful film.

“To have a Notre Dame student’s film selected to screen alongside some of the most celebrated Australian films at one of the fastest growing film festivals in the country is fantastic,” Mr Ianello said.

“Short films have launched the careers of many directors and their crews in the Australian film industry and perhaps this is just the beginning for this talented team of Notre Dame Communications students.”

Ms Cameron works at Transmission Films two days per week as part of her career goal to work in the Australian film industry.

To watch the film, visit: vimeo.com/oliviacameron/arealpieceofwork.

Media Contact: Leigh Dawson (+61) 8 9433 0569, Mob (+61) 0405 441 093