What We Do

Our hands-on film-making course  addresses the learning needs of the students while lifting their aspirations.

Our flexible program offers hands-on educational projects, with options to share them on local media and social networks, integrate with the local community with which you are already in contact, help manage disengaged students, inspire gifted and talented students and track the results.

Collecting Smiles Community Engagement Project

      Collecting Smiles Community Engagement Project is a film-making unit of work integrated within Literacy, Numeracy, HSIE, Science and Technology, Creative Arts, and PDHPE.

Covering the fundamentals of short filmmaking, the course gives students the opportunity to write, act, shoot & direct their own short film. This project is particularly useful as part of a behaviour management strategy for challenging students.

Delivered by award-winning Forster Film Festival Production Team, the Collecting Smiles Community Engagement Project includes an end-of-term launch, when students screen their short film. The film, shot at selected local venues, features them presenting flowers to passers-by in exchange for a smile.

Outcomes For Schools

      • Staff gain professional development in project delivery
      • Significant parental involvement at the end of term launch
      • Positive media portrayal

Outcomes For Students

      • Active positive engagement with local community
      • Increased confidence and self-esteem
      • Increased attendance and engagement at school
      • Learning outcomes include specific talking and listening, reading and writing skills
      • Positive engagement with members of the general public
      • Exposure to technologies associated with film making
      • Learn the fundamentals of filmmaking from script to screen
      • Experience with local media

Schedule, Staff And Cost

Schedule: One day per week for one term.

Cost: $ 600 per day (total) for two staff (one award winning film maker with one community engagement officer/health professional) plus professional film equipment.

Films made locally in 2012 – click on pic to open video


Collecting Smiles vimeo opener

Collecting Smiles

An uplifting reality doco showing positive engagement with the wider community.

In a creative collaboration between Taree Public School and Forster Films, Taree Public School Class 5/6 film the smiles from people as they hand out flowers at the main entrance of a local shopping centre.



Federal Magistrate

Federal Magistrate

Aboriginal students from Taree schools host and film an interview with Australia’s first Aboriginal Federal Court Magistrate.

An inspirational interview with His Honour Matthew Myers, conducted at Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree.



Skipping The JunkSkipping The Junk

A mockumentary addressing the issue of junk food advertising aimed at young Australians. Taree Public School Class 5/6 teams up with Forster Films to make a short film of a race between Junk food (represented by deep-fried chips) and Healthy food (represented by an apple). During the adventure, the young filmmakers visit nearby Bungwahl School to see some amazing skipping by students who grow and cook their own food. A tasty educational resource!


Media Coverage


Feedback – click on pic to open video

Allison Alliston, Principal Taree High School

Allison Alliston, Principal Taree High School









Therese Sullivan, Learning & Support Teacher

Therese Sullivan, Learning & Support Teacher









Taree High Students

Taree High Students









Taree Public Principal Peter Johnson: “Fantastic, a real asset to the school.”

Taree High Principal Allison Alliston: “Bravo! Keep up the fantastic work.”

Taree Public and High Schools Learning Support Teacher Annette Gleeson: The idea of the film group was to promote positive engagement with peers and staff for students ‘at risk’, for a variety of reasons, as they transitioned to high school. The film shows the good relationships formed amongst the group and the increased confidence of individuals that developed along the way. It has also given the each student a sense of achievement and pride that this was a valuable resource for the Taree HS parent info night and orientation day.

Tuncurry Public School GATS Teacher Avril Benham, “The weekly sessions were looked forward to by students and staff alike. The film we made was professional, clever and charming. We have the project as an annual event.”

Tuncurry Public Principal Tim Putland, “Fabulous, we have signed up for an annual repeat of this inspiring program.”

Great Lakes College Tuncurry Campus Principal, Stephen Nicholas: “We have supported the Forster Film Festival film-making project for a number of years. Scenes from a number of films were shot here on campus, two of which (My Mate’s Mum, Ripples) are now on our Year 9 PDHPE syllabus. A number of students who have taken part in the film-making course have gone on to pursue careers in the film industry.”

Camden Haven High School, Distance Education, Shane Williams,. “The film Ripples fitted in perfectly with one of our Distance Education units and is now part of NSW DE syllabus.”

Gloucester High School Principal, Pat Cavanagh: “We have worked with Gloucester Youth Centre on making a number of films with the Forster Film Festival film-making crew, both on and off-campus. The creative film-making process is a lot of fun for both staff and students, and it is good to have professional film-making technology being presented at regional schools.”

Bungwahl School Principal Susan Hobbs: Our school loved being involved with the filming project!

Pacific Palms School Drama Director Rebecca Perkins: Professional job filming in our school; a great product plus a fun crew!

Reviews of ‘Respect’ - click on pic to open video

‘Respect’ portrays an Aboriginal community using traditional ways to deal with alcohol-fuelled domestic violence. Produced by Forster Films.



Linda Burney1


Linda Burney

The first Aboriginal person to be elected to the NSW Parliament, launching the film at Metro Screen Paddington in 2011.





John Nicholson


Judge John Nicholson SC

District Court NSW




Terry CheneryTerry Chenery

Executive Directory Aboriginal Affairs NSW




Kristal Morris Sara Jane OakeshottKristal Morris & Sara Jane Oakeshott

Actors in Respect, celebrating screening of the film during NAIDOC Week at The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Redfern.





Wayne Paulson


Wayne Paulson

Lead actor, talking to NITV about his role in the film at the launch in Paddington.





Peter Miszalski, Magistrate


Peter Miszalski






Brian Lulham


Brian Lulham