Screenworks and Netflix today named the four trainees who will be employed from February as part of Screenworks’ 2022 Regional Crew Development Program, delivered with the support of the NSW Government and TAFE NSW.

Amos Voltz from Lismore, Eden Cansdell from the Clarence Valley, Ky Crethar from Richmond Valley and Charlie Turner from Ballina Shire will spend next year learning about a range of industry roles, and developing their knowledge through a mix of paid on-the-job placements backed up by on-campus training at TAFE NSW Lismore for a Cert III in Screen & Media.

Screenworks CEO, Ken Crouch said that there had been an overwhelming response to the callout for applications from across the Northern Rivers region: “It was great to see so many talented applicants keen to take their first steps into the industry; the future is very bright.

We were expecting that there would be a good level of interest in these traineeships but were thrilled to receive 130 applications from across the region, with the bulk of the applications coming from the Byron Shire (26%) and Lismore (23%).

Nearly half of the applications – including our selected trainees – were from individuals from communities which are under-represented in our industry such as First Nations peoples, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people that identify as LGBTQIA+, financially disadvantaged and persons living with disability,” said Mr Crouch.

Each of the trainees is thrilled to have been selected for the program and excited about the year ahead: Amos Voltz from Goonellabah in NSW said “I’m so excited to get an opportunity with Netflix and Screenworks to push start my career in the film industry and hopefully one day “make poetry with a camera” (Denis Villeneuve). I want to build a world where people who struggle with life can escape to, a world everyone can feel a part of. This opportunity is the beginning of the rest of my life!

Eden Cansdell, from Minnie Water in the Clarence Valley is similarly excited, commenting that: “Given the limited accessibility in regional areas to get into the film industry, I jumped at the rare opportunity for a traineeship that offers me skills training, insight and the experience I need to get me started in my dream career. I’m excited and grateful to be a part of a program that is creating new pathways into the Australian film industry’

Casino-based Ky Crethar (in the Richmond Valley) said: “I’m a typical country bred boy from the Northern Rivers of NSW, through this traineeship Screenworks has provided me with a solid direction to pursue my filmmaking journey and given me a rare opportunity to garner the experience I will need to flourish and succeed in the industry. This Traineeship means the world to me, and I cannot wait to see the brilliant things we achieve next year

Charlie Turner, who lives in Lennox Head, can’t wait to get started: “I am truly excited about being accepted for this traineeship as this is the industry I want to be in for the rest of my life. This program will provide me with the training and experience I really need to succeed in this industry. Film is my passion, and this is the perfect opportunity for me.  

Netflix Director Nick O’Donnell said: “Congratulations to Amos, Eden, Ky and Charlie, and what a fantastic introduction to the industry you’ll get from Screenworks as the inaugural Regional Crew Development Program trainees.

At Netflix we’re committed to creating an environment where people from different backgrounds and cultural experiences feel accepted, reflected, and respected in all that we do. We’re privileged that Netflix can play a part in the beginning of what we hope will be long and fulfilling careers in the screen sector.”

The program, the first joint initiative between Screenworks and Netflix, will start as a pilot project in Northern NSW with the aim of scaling into other regions across Australia.

Screenworks is now looking for screen industry professionals across all disciplines who are interested in taking on a trainee for work placements in 2022. All trainees will be paid by Screenworks for a 40-hour week during their work placements. Placements can be based in Northern NSW or beyond.

Productions and professionals interested in taking a trainee should reach out to Screenworks to and register their interest at [email protected].

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