Student collaborations in action

Troy Nankervis

IFSS and ACTT students team up in successful collaborations.
Student collaborations in action

Lale Teoman in her film The Palace that I Live In, directed by Aimee-Lee X Curran. Also pictured, Hunter Page- Lochard.

A partnership between two recent IFSS (International Film School Sydney) and ACTT (Actors College of Theatre and Television) graduates is bearing the fruits of success.

In a precursor to the unfolding collaborative relationship between the two schools, both located in the same building in Sydney’s Surry Hills, 2008 Advanced Diploma of Stage and Screen Acting graduate Lale Teoman has teamed up with 2012 IFSS Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media graduate Aimee-Lee X Curran on several award winning screen projects.

The catalyst for this collaboration came when Teoman met Curran through a casting notice via online casting portal AT2 for her IFSS student film, and was impressed by her level of enthusiasm and professionalism. ‘I loved the script. As the rehearsals began we discovered many uncanny parallels in our lives. We have been close ever since and have collaborated on four film projects together so far,’ said Teoman.

Curran adds that The Palace That I Live In, loosely based on Teoman’s own childhood and starring her real life mother, was an important project to fuel the trust, faith and ongoing success between the two artists. ‘When Lale first came to me with a script she had written about such a vulnerable moment in her life, I was touched by the trust she placed in me. Bringing her vision to life was both daunting and exciting, particularly as real-life mother and daughter would be playing themselves on screen,’ she said. 

‘Working off a true story with the real people [involved] had the potential to feel quite binding, but any unexpected performance ideas I came up with were welcomed and embraced, particularly by Lale who is a very giving actress. It was really a process of finding a new space between the real and the unreal, and strangely enough that duality is what the film itself is about. To me, The Palace That I Live In is a story that speaks to the teenager within us all.’

Curran’s second independent short Jump, won Best Student Live Action  at the 2013 Palm Springs International ShortFest and screened at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. Jump also won Best Family Film at the 2013 Blue Mountains Film Festival, was a finalist at the 2013 IPAF Atom Awards, and has been selected for the 2014 Flickerfest Festival.  

Head of Acting at ACTT John O’Hare is excited to see more creative partnerships borne out of the unique approach to vocational training that IFSS and ACTT provides. ‘Lale Teoman and Aimee Lee Curran have this creative synergy. They understand each other as an artistic director and an actor and they’ve done four films together, already building their profile together as team. It’s a wonderful thing to sit on the sidelines and see,’ he said.

Teoman recommends working with IFSS students for a professional production experience, quality showreel material and the opportunity to make creative connections with the next wave of Industry professionals.  ‘It's a very good way of getting your experience and confidence up in front of the camera. You’re well looked after, and may develop lifelong creative partnerships,’ she said.

‘I found the first few years after graduation really hard. I did a lot of waiting around expecting opportunities to come. When I realised I had to make those opportunities happen myself the ball started rolling.’

‘You have to constantly keep doing things, whether its student films, plays, or even better, writing you own roles. And from there you will meet people and get your work in front of people and that’s the most important thing.’

Teoman said that the most important thing she learnt at ACTT is to trust that you have the skills required to forge a pathway within the Australian creative industries. ‘Once you have your training, and you have prepared for that audition, role or interview, trust that you will be able to deliver.  And be brave,’

Visit Lale Teoman’s website for more information about her upcoming projects.

Full time courses at  ACTT commence 3 March, 2014.  For more information, including selection criteria, application requirements and fee schedules visit the ACTT and IFSS websites.

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis