Screen Warriors: A New Program to Recruit Military Veterans into the Film Industry Kicks Off

Screen Warriors founder Warrick Young
Courtesy of Veterans Film Festival

A program to recruit, train and mentor Australian Defence Force veterans into a career in Australia’s film and television industry is underway. Known as ‘Screen Warriors’, the program is a joint initiative between the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the Veterans Film Festival (VFF).

The first day of the inaugural training course is today (Wednesday, March 8). It has an intake of 12 participants, who have already departed from Defence and are currently transitioning or supporting a family member in the ADF. The program will deliver skills training, followed by professional placements and mentoring.

The program was announced last year by VFF’s Warwick Young, who is the film festival’s executive chairman, and Dr. Nell Greenwood, AFTRS CEO.

Young was an Army Officer who served in Iraq and had specialist crisis response roles in Australia. He also studied directing at AFTRS and won a European Union Film Award upon graduation for his film “Stuffed”.

Young said there were immediate opportunities in a range of areas in the sector, where trained Defence personnel and their skills would be highly valued.

“It may not be apparent that a creative industry like film and television is an obvious destination for a post-services career, however, our collaboration has identified several vocations in the sector with an exceptional match for veteran qualifications,” he said.

“There is both an immediate and a long-term need for qualified people in the film industry in roles such as production and unit management, locations scouting, assistant directing, accounting, transport and logistics – roles that are in high demand but with a short supply of skilled workers,” he said.

He added: “The high-level training and experience delivered to personnel in Army, Navy and Airforce programs equip prospective candidates with precisely the skills required in the many logistical aspects of production such as effective communications, working independently and in teams, punctuality, motivation, efficiency, leadership and adaptability – all highly desirable attributes we know are honed in military service.”

Greenwood said: “At AFTRS we know the power education has in shaping students’ futures. When you combine that with a growing industry in critical need of skilled workers in particular areas, Screen Warriors is an incredibly exciting, pathway for new talent into the industry.”