DHS Graduate premiers 1st Feature Film
Last week one of our alumni students, 2015 graduate Nathaniel Kelly celebrated the premier of his first feature film ‘We’re Family Now’ last week. An impressive achievement for the aspiring film maker who has also just completed his first year of study at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.
The feature film premiered to a sold-out audience at BCC Darwin Cinemas and was a huge success. Nathaniel said that
The premiere was a great night for us. We actually sold out all 160 of our available tickets and on the night we were selling our reserved seating to people at the door-- I was so surprised to see so many people turn up to watch our film. It felt surreal. It was also great to have some of our cast and crew there on the night to watch themselves on the big screen, many for the first time, and to feel like they were a part of something special.
The film’s success is recognition of Nathaniel’s dedication and commitment to the final product given he commenced working on the project two years earlier.
The process took a bit longer due to a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest ones was that I was studying at the same time and it was not associated with any of my assignment or in-class tasks, so it sat on the backburner for a long time and I would work on it whenever I got the chance. We filmed it in the Wet Season of 2017 and that was followed by much of the same work process last year, I would collaborate with people to get the music, visual effects and editing done-- all while still studying.
Pictured above: Behind the scenes, 'We're Family Now' in production (photo credit Nathaniel Kelly)
Nathaniel is a seasoned storyteller. During his time at Darwin High School he won the Drama, Cinematography and Jury Prize Categories at the 2015 Bond University Television and Film Awards (BUFTA). He finds his inspiration from all areas of his life and works with a small crew, some of whom are also Darwin High graduates. Nathaniel credits Darwin High School for preparing him to follow his passion of filmmaking
I had a fantastic Photography teacher and English teacher in my final year of Darwin High School. They encouraged me to explore ways in which I could apply my love of filmmaking with my class assignments and helped me focus on ways I could explore new areas of both art and literature to further my understanding of those worlds.
Nathaniel encourages all aspiring filmmakers to step outside their comfort zone and trust their creative instincts
You can give anything a crack, no matter how little money or help you have. Filmmaking is about resourcefulness and intelligent compromises more than it is about big budgets and massive cameras. Don't doubt yourself and be ambitious!
The success of ‘We’re Family Now’ has further inspired Nathaniel to share his stories. He and his crew are currently working on a six part mini-series for YouTube and once that project is complete he plans to sink his teeth into another film. Nathaniel said
I'd just like to point out that I appreciate the support I have received from DHS on many occasions, even since graduating in 2015. I've returned multiple times and asked for permission to film at the school, to which I have always been met with open arms and an inexplicable amount of trust. I really appreciate all that DHS has given me, and former principal Trevor Read for his undying support for young people trying to do their thing, which happened to include myself.