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NAIDOC Week Spotlight: Star Sandford

04 July 2022
Star Sandford holding a clapperboard, image provided.

As a part of the SAFC’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, we are profiling some of South Australia’s First Nations rising screen stars – in this case, literally!

Since being selected to take part in the SAFC and Channel 44 First Nations Internship in 2021, emerging screen creative and Ngarrindjeri woman Star Sandford has already risen through the ranks to become the community television broadcaster’s Production Coordinator. 

We chatted with Star about how the SAFC has helped her career, what she’d love to achieve and her favourite Australian films.

How have the SAFC programs and initiatives helped you in the industry?

As well as the Channel 44 First Nations Internship, I have participated in another SAFC program – prior to graduating from the University of South Australia, I was accepted in the SAFC and Mercury CX Master/Apprentice Mentorship Program to gain skills in Location Management. I partnered with my Mentor, Jesse Goninon, who is involved with location scouting in South Australia, and greater SA productions. She has been incredible to work with and has offered great insight into the pathway of Location Management.

What projects are you currently working on?

The projects I am working on change day to day, and my position at Channel 44 means that I am involved in many projects. Currently, my main focus is on a show called Mob Talks – a show created out of Channel 44 by Keith Gilbey-Warrior and Rick Hutcheson, who were also a part of the SAFC and Channel 44 First Nations Internship program. We are very excited for the show to air later this year and cannot wait to share it with our audiences.

What are your career aspirations for the future? 

In the near future I do hope to continue my work at Channel 44, I love the job, and I really enjoy the people I work with day in and day out. However, in the future, my big career aspiration is to one day direct my own feature film or television series. Or to give someone else the opportunity to create theirs by working together with them and producing it for them.

What do you like best about working in the screen industry? 

What I like best about working in the screen industry is the team – the whole team. I enjoy being involved with every part of a production and working with people from every department, from the writer’s room to the project’s premiere. We all have a common goal when signing up for a new project: to create something to put out there for our audience to be entertained, educated, inspired, and influenced by.

What is your dream screen industry job? 

My dream screen industry job is to one day be a Production Manager or a Producer. Every day I am gaining new knowledge and advancing my skills within my current position as a Production Coordinator at Channel 44. You can never have too much knowledge. I hope one day I can move to Producing, because I really enjoy being involved in all aspects of a production, and being a Producer will give me that opportunity in the future.

What’s your favourite Australian film/TV series of all time? My favourite Australian film of all time is Tomorrow, When The War Began. My longtime friend, Eli Barila, and I watch this movie quite often. It’s one of our favourites. It’s such a fantastic young adult action/adventure film, with lots of drama and some beautiful Australian landscapes. I find the character arcs are very strong, and seeing the changes in each person’s life is incredible. It is an older movie – the film made its debut in 2010 – but I still enjoy it every single time. I was quite disheartened that the film didn’t get a sequel, but at least I can explore the story further with the books. Other Australian directed or made films I enjoy are Daybreakers (2009)Lion (2016)Romeo and Juliet (1996), and SA made film Napoleon (1996)

Mob Talks will air on Channel 44 in the second half of 2022 – keep up to date with them via their Facebook or Instagram.

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