Meet our Screen students

Flinders Screen students Abby Nicholls and Ben Raschella


During the Flinders Festival of Creative Arts, you have the opportunity to attend 3 events highlighting the work of our amazing Screen students: a special screening of Dry Winter (Nov 14), the Screen Student Showcase: Sunset Screening (Nov 17) and the Flinders Film Showcase (Nov 18).

We spoke to two of the students from the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen), Abby Nicholls and Benjamin Raschella, to get a glimpse into their daily lives, Flinders experience and career ambitions.

Abby Nicholls

Abby’s passion for film started in high school. “I was a boarder and sought comfort in organising movie nights every week for my peers because it was a great escape for all of us to relax and bond. I was fortunate enough to have Film Studies offered as a subject in years 11 and 12 and that’s really where my passion for the craft came into effect.

“Through that class, I felt like I was exposed to a whole new world and really got a taste for guerrilla filmmaking. I ended up making a variety of short films and music videos that I used for my portfolio to get into the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen).

“My high school had an annual film festival that showcased the students’ work and I always looked forward to it every year, as it inspired me to continue telling stories on the big screen.” Abby’s Film Studies teacher in high school, Miss Brookes, was the first person to really inspire her. It was her who really motivated Abby to go the extra mile in her work and ultimately to pursue a career in the industry.

Looking back at the films she made in her courses, there are several films that Abby is proud of. “The first one is a short documentary video I produced with Sybella Schumacher which was basically a love letter to fringes. We conducted light-hearted interviews with people on campus who had fringes. It was an all-around enjoyable experience because it was a script-less short film produced by two friends with one big green screen setup. 

“I’m also proud of a recent short film I shot with current and former Flinders Screen/Drama students for the 48-Hour Film Challenge. The 48-Hour Film Challenge is an event held every year in cities all around the world whereby teams receive genre, prop, character and dialogue prompts to use in a short film that has to be made within 48 hours.

“It’s a tough and sleepless experience but it’s very worthwhile. I was asked to come on board as a cinematographer with the CRAM Collective – a company founded by Flinders Drama Centre alumni – for the film challenge and we ended up winning ‘Best Cinematography’ for our film ‘Disco Milk’.”

Entering the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) degree, Abby thought she wanted to become a producer as it would guarantee a place in the creation process of making films. In her spare time, however, she would be researching the best cameras and gear for cinematographers, so soon decided to put herself forward for more camera operating roles.

Having now reached the end of the degree, Abby has experienced a variety of sets both on Flinders student films and on industry productions, giving her a good gauge of what each role entails. “It has been a very natural progression to camera assistance, and I now want to pursue freelance camera assistance to eventually become a cinematographer. I also have aspirations to direct a few short films of my own and step back from the camera after I finish the degree”, she tells us.

“The technical and business-related mentorship that I received from lecturers in the degree has equipped me for any avenue I wish to take in the industry. Whether it be as a freelance camera assistant or owning a production company, I feel supported with the knowledge on how to proceed with a career in the industry.”

“When I was applying for the Screen degree I was very stressed out about my portfolio and the interview process. I would tell prospective Screen students that you don’t have to worry too much about the quality of the work you submit. As long as you show initiative and an eagerness to pursue film, people will want to support you both inside and outside university.”

For further tips on how to prepare your portfolio for entry into the course, check out the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) course page.

Ben Raschella

Ben’s interest in films also started at a young age. And in a very practical way. “My friend and I had absorbed so many action films, we decided the best course of action was to whip out the Nerf guns and Sony Action Cam. The films weren’t great, but our passions eventually evolved into careers. Today we are both making a stable living as freelancers.”

Having founded his own business Black Aperture, Ben says the one director he is truly inspired by is Martin Scorsese. “I draw inspiration mostly from his ability to keep his content fresh, despite his many years in the industry. Despite his age, he is still the most exciting filmmaker to me, and I am always keeping tabs on what he’s coming out with next.”

When it comes to his own work, Ben fondly looks back on the production The Shack, for two reasons: “Though it isn’t our best work, The Shack is still the film I am most proud of directing. The film’s audience, I found, was extremely divided. Some people love it, and others hate the film to pieces. I found this divide extremely exciting, as drawing strong reactions from people is exactly what I strive to achieve as a filmmaker. 

The project was also extremely demanding. Between the long hours, small working space, and shooting predominantly at night, the experience strengthened the patience and work ethic of the entire team.”

Ben now aims to maintain and expand his videography business, while also finding time to attack creative projects, and says studying Screen at Flinders set the foundation for his onward journey in the field. “If there is one thing Flinders has done for me, it’s expand my network. From undertaking simple tasks with fellow students, industry volunteering, and assisting in honours projects – I will be leaving Flinders with a fantastic network of collaborators.

“If I could offer any advice to students in Screen, I would say to treat every practical assignment like it’s an opportunity for your portfolio. Try your hands in every role, and don’t rule out specialising in any area of production.”

See what you can achieve with a Screen degree

Keen to study Screen yourself or just want to see the amazing work that Screen’s current students and alumni have produced in recent years? Register for one of the Screen events and connect with Flinders’ Screen community:

Register for the Screen Student Showcase.

Register for the Flinders Film Showcase.



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Flinders Festival of Creative Arts Screen Students

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