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  • Writer's pictureDenby Weller

Movie Mogul event wows with horror, lamingtons and a little bit of Kylie...

Swinburne’s 2023 Movie Mogul pitch winner has been named. Issie Soudy reports.

Adam Coustley and fellow students present their curation, 'The Lamington Movies', at ACMI's Swinburne Studio during the Movie Mogul event on Friday, May 26. Photo: Issie Soudy / The Burne.


From technicolour horror, to lamingtons and Kylie Minogue, there was something for everyone at Swinburne University of Technology's annual Movie Mogul pitch event on Friday, May 26 at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).


As part of their studies of cinema and screen, students were required to curate a selection of up to five films and pitch this selection to a panel of judges, with the winning curation to be displayed at ACMI over the coming months.

Media and communications student Jayden Sheppard was declared the winner with his pitch ‘ACMI for Beginners’ which explored a selection of films that are approachable for budding movie enthusiasts.


Kaylah Hands and fellow students prepare to pitch. Photo: Issie Soudy / The Burne.

Mr Sheppard said he felt a sense of imposter syndrome being at the event, as he always wanted to visit ACMI as a child but felt inferior with his limited knowledge of film.


“I created my pitch for people who are wanting to get into deeper areas of cinema,” he said. “I know I have struggled in the past with that myself.”


Mr Sheppard said he was surprised when he was named the winner. “I am shocked but super proud of the effort I put in this semester, and it’s great to have that recognised by Swinburne and ACMI staff,” he said.


Mr Sheppard's pitch was one of six that had already made it through an initial round of judging and were chosen to present their pitches at Friday’s event.

One student group pitched a selection of Australian films, titling its curation as ‘The Lamington Movies'.


“We had a sponge cake film, a jam film, and a coconut film,” said student Adam Coustley.


“We kind of went with this novelty idea of putting together these films where people could enjoy a lamington,” he said.


Mr Coustley said the dark Australian true crime film Chopper was represented as chocolate, while Muriel’s Wedding was coconut. “… because it is a bit nutty,” he said.

Students prepared slides, and even props, to bolster their pitches. Photo: Issie Soudy / The Burne.

In some presentations props were handed out to the audience.


The ‘Eat the Rich’ group handed out dollar notes, while ‘The Lamington Movies’ group handed out lamingtons.


Student Finn Sawyer said his group, ‘The Brighter Side of Horror’, choose to coordinate their outfits with each film slide they presented.


“Instead of the darker grey tones, we wanted to look at the brighter technicolour of horror movies,” he said.


The annual event is held at ACMI's Swinburne Studio, and provides students the opportunity to showcase their understanding of film program curation to a panel of industry and academic experts. Associate Professor Liam Burke, who leads the Cinema and Screen discipline at Swinburne, said that this skills of curation and marketing were increasingly important in the era of endless streaming services.


The students, he said, gained real-world experience that would benefit them as they graduate from university and enter the industry. "They've been looking at how to market and promote these seasons of movies, and thinking of inventive thematic links around them," he said.


Swinburne students lit up the stage at ACMI on Friday 26 May, 2023. Video by Issie Soudy.


Cinema and screen studies lecturer Dr Andy Lynch said his third-year students had spent the semester working on the curation project with the presentation at ACMI as the final goal.


“The hope is their season of movies will be available to ACMIs real paying customers, as a great industry experience,” he said.


Jayden Sheppard’s winning selection of curated films will be available to stream on ACMIs Cinema 3 soon.


With Millie Spencer.


1 Comment


Terra Willow
Terra Willow
Jul 10, 2023

What a wonderful piece of writing! Although, given that they will also be streaming on Cinema 3, shouldn't it also mention the audience winner vote?

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