Our students

Agnes Baginska

My background comes from theatre but I decided to attend the Screen Directors Studio program at NIDA to strengthen my theoretical and practical knowledge.

I found that the main focus wasn’t on technical aspects of filmmaking, but rather on practical aspects of working with actors – essential knowledge for any director.

Shortly after completing the program, I was awarded first place in the Judge’s Choice Award during the Short and Sweet Theatre Festival – Wildcards 6.

Recently, David Lynch selected my short as the first-place winner in a film competition. I received a full scholarship and I am now attending the David Lynch MA in Film in the USA. I will apply the knowledge of working with actors that I gained during the Screen Director’s Studio on the set of my next film.

I would highly recommend the program to anyone who is interested in exercising their directing muscles.

David Burrowes

Director’s Studio: Screen 2013

Doing the NIDA Open: Directors Studio (Screen) reignited a dormant passion for filmmaking that I had forgotten about since finishing university. The Directors Studio reminded me why I had learnt how to use a camera – to be an artist. The NIDA Open program focuses on making us better artists, not just more proficient technicans. After completing the Open program I went on to apply for the full time Masters of Fine Arts (Directing) at NIDA. Today, I am week from commencing principal photography on the short film I will be presenting as a part of the Directors Graduating Program in November 2014. I’m certain I would not be in this position had I not done the Directors Studio course.

Farah Sobey

Screen Actor’s Studio Sydney 2014

From the age of 9 my dream was to become an actor. Life had its twists and turns, and by the time I reached 35 that burning desire and creative passion within was still alive. I made the decision to audition for the Screen Actors Studio at NIDA.

This was one of the best life decisions I have ever made! The learnings, experiences, networks and friendships formed from my time at NIDA have been life changing. The calibre of tutors selected to run the classes are second to none. The connections and creative collaboration opportunities that I have made are completely outstanding, and something money can’t buy.

My career progression as an actor has had a huge elevation thanks to my time at NIDA. In the last year alone, I have worked on 7 short films, and several other casting opportunities.

To become an actor with a wealth of solid knowledge, NIDA is the place to go and grow.

Karen Beavis

Director’s and Writer’s Studio, 2014

It was always my dream to attend NIDA. So after a couple of short courses, I was accepted into the Studio Program and began studying Directing then Writing. In the two years I’ve learnt exactly what it takes to put a production together for theatre, film and television. I’ve developed a much better understanding of what my role entails while in the Director’s chair or the Writer’s chair. I’ve also discovered at times how stressful writing a script can be but I love it so I’ll continue to write and create stories.

Kelly Jane Pickford

Actor’s Studio Melbourne 2014

The chance to learn from NIDA’s finest made all the difference for recent Open alumnus Kelly Pickford: 'Having had a 20-year Hiatus from acting, I enrolled in the Open Actors Studio course at NIDA due to the excellent reputation and standard of tutors ... I’m so glad that I did as the NIDA course has been a great learning opportunity. I have just been successful in picking up two paid theatre gigs in Melbourne, a support role in an independent film and I’m in the running for a lead in another Independent Film that is being submitted to the Melbourne International Film Festival.'

Michele Coggiola

Director’s Studio: Screen 2013

I was already a working director before landing at NIDA, but always felt something was missing in my artistic training.

With its multitude of great teachers, facilities and technicians, studying at NIDA becomes a unique playground.

I recall spending my days in the library, before and after the class, swimming in a vast ocean of great culture that the school offers for free.

My teachers were all very inspiring, kind and generous in their act of giving knowledge. This school teaches you how to be in the profession, how to communicate with artists and how to create and prepare the perfect environment in order to achieve the greatest of the arts.

Mitchell Bourke

Actor’s Studio Sydney 2014

The success of a course relies on the effort, time, talent and care that the tutors and course managers put into their work. I cannot think of a better part-time course that offers this at such a high standard than the NIDA Actor’s Studio.

The Actor’s Studio course has allowed me to discover and develop techniques for classical and contemporary texts, hone vocal and physical techniques and supported the discovery of each actor’s individual presence on stage and screen. These skills have assisted my performance in professional feature films, stage productions and photo-shoots.

Shan-Ree Tan

Actor’s Studio Sydney 2014

Participating in the Actors Studio 2014 has been an immensely enjoyable and meaningful journey for me. I work full time as a lawyer, and the opportunity to dive back into theatre and performance practice over the course of the year has been incredibly rewarding.

The Studio has given me an invaluable foundation in the rigours of professional training. I’m especially grateful to our talented, experienced and relentlessly devoted tutors for holding us to the same standards as any student in NIDA’s full-time course – supporting, challenging and occasionally poking us with pointy sticks, but always with love.

Tania Knight

I enrolled in NIDA’s open program hoping to expand my range and refine my technical skills. Three terms in, and I am feeling more confident, am making bolder choices, building more intricate, detailed characters, and have the technical skills I need to bring them to life.

It’s been a delight to work with teachers who genuinely care for the artistic progress of every single student and to watch and share in the breakthroughs and improvements. The experience has been thought provoking, enriching and has further ignited my passion. I look forward to taking the skills, inspiration, and reverence for the craft I have developed during the course and continuing to apply them to my work.

Vaishnavi Suryaprakash

Actor’s Studio Sydney 2014

Taking part in the NIDA Actors Studio has been one of the best experiences of my life. I always counted down the days until Saturday came around again! The course was invaluable in developing my skills and experimenting with my acting range, giving me a well-stocked toolbox of techniques, exercises and experiences to draw upon. Being able to put them into practice in a professionally-directed production alongside such a passionate and talented group of actors was an immense privilege – and a huge learning curve! Looking back on the course, I feel that I am now more open, curious and truthful as an actor than when I began. The course has given me courage, and the confidence to pursue my creative passion.

Connect with us