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Case Studies Nextwave (formerly ‘REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival’) | RAF Case Study (2018)

A Community Grant recipient, via the Regional Arts Fund, as managed by Regional Arts NSW.

As part of Screenwave International Film Festival, Screenwave delivered 54 workshops in 2018, across regional NSW. They engaged over 1000 young people, employed regional film makers to deliver the workshops and had 75 short films entered into Nextwave Short Film Competition.

REC Ya Shorts Youth Film Festival entered its fourth year in 2018, continuing its mission to find and develop young filmmakers (aged 12 to 25) from around regional NSW. The annual festival includes a workshop program, a short film competition, the Nextwave Youth Film Awards, and a national screening tour. The festival also aims to destigmatise mental health support services for young regional people needing help.

From January 2019, the program is called Nextwave and is the official youth program of Coffs Harbour's Screenwave International Film Festival (

In 2018 Screenwave delivered 30 workshops funded by RAF, with a total of 54 workshops completed across the tour. All RAF-funded workshops were completed in Regional NSW, in areas where local councils funded REC Ya Shorts workshops. Screenwave outsourced workshop facilitation to mid-career regional filmmakers Simon Portus and Elliot Daniels to deliver the bulk of the workshop program. They did a fantastic job, evidenced by teacher/student feedback and a record year for entries into the short film competition (75 original short films produced by young regional NSW filmmakers). Nextwave is open to all young regional Australians aged 10 to 25. All films must incorporate a specific object and that year's mental health theme.

Screenwave have added a new premiere event for SWIFF - the Nextwave Youth Film Awards (NYFA) - an awards gala and celebration of young filmmakers and their works from all over Australia. The first event was a smashing success, with cabaret-style awards night sold out (350 pax) and over $40,000 in prizes awarded. The event premiered all 20 short film finalists on the big screen, included live musical performances by young people, red carpet, photo wall, and photos for all young filmmakers. All finalists were provided a 6 Film Pass to SWIFF 2019.

A new program, Film Outreach, was founded and provided a new distribution arm to the Screenwave International Film Festival, including the Nextwave program. The Nextwave Youth Week Film Festival program is a locally run initiative where Film Outreach Australia provides screening kits to regional communities to host their own Nextwave Film Festival event for Youth Week. The screening kit involves the 20 short film finalists from last year, the screening formats, licensing, and a suite of ready-made marketing tools and event plans to ensure a successful event. The uptake has been incredible for the first year (Youth Week 2019) with 14 regional screenings of the maiden program in towns around Regional NSW and 1 screening in Victoria. Young filmmakers had their films screened in front of over 1000 new audience members through these screenings, including 400 in Kempsey alone.

Screenwave connected with many new young regional filmmakers, many of whom travelled to Coffs Harbour for SWIFF and the Nextwave Youth Film Awards with their families. Nextwave continues to grow and is now the largest youth film development program operating in Regional Australia.


  • 54 x 100 minute workshops teach young people (10 to 25) filmmaking 101 and mental health education, delivered across 12 regional NSW LGAs
  • 2 young regional filmmakers were awarded and completed a short course at AFTRS
  • 3 young regional actors were awarded and completed short courses at NIDA
  • New partnerships with local councils, who funded screenings in their communities for Youth Week 2019
  • $40,000 in filmmaking equipment awarded to schools and individual filmmakers
  • New partnerships with local councils, who funded or partially funded the program in their areas
  • Distribution package through Film Outreach project
  • To date, two Nextwave finalists are now studying Bachelor’s degrees at AFTRS, and 1 studying at JMC in Brisbane

Applicant location: Coffs Harbour

Project Locations: Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Sawtell, Bellingen, Dorrigo, Nambucca, Macksville, Bowraville, Armidale, Guyra, Uralla, Tamworth, Manilla

Amount of RAF support: $20,900

Total project cost: $183,100

Nextwave Workshop Coffs Harbour Woolgoolga High School
Nextwave Workshop Woolgoolga High School, Coffs Harbour