An AFTRS Student Film Has Been Selected for Cannes

mumlife aftrs short film cannes

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival is just a few weeks away, and for the team behind MumLife, it’s going to be an extra special year.

MumLife is a student film from the Australian Film Television and Radio School‘s (AFTRS) Master of Arts Screen capstone project and has been selected for the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the La Cinef section.

La Cinef — which was previously known as Cinéfondation — is a section of the Cannes Film Festival that is committed to finding new talent in cinema, and selects submissions from all over the world. La Cinef is part of the Official Selection at Cannes.

The selected films are presented to La Cinef and the Short Films Competition Jury. From there, the top three films are awarded prizes at an official ceremony.

This year, MumLife is the only Australian film in the competition and the second ever to make it. The first Australian film selected for La Cinef was 2018’s Dots, by Master of Screen Arts student Eryk Lenartowicz. MumLife was one of 16 international entries selected from over 1,500 submissions.

So what’s MumLife about? Well, it’s a pop musical about post-natal anxiety. A short film, it was directed by Ruby Challenger and written by Gerard Dewhurst, from a story by Ruby Challenger and Claudia Shepherd (who also produced MumLife). Also on the team was Sophia Christopher who composed the film’s original music, Benjamin Bellette, who did the cinematography, and Emily Jansz, who headed up the production design. All six are AFTRS Master of Arts Screen students.

AFTRS mumlife team
Credit: Supplied

In a statement, Challenger said that she “never dreamed” her film “would be screening in competition at Cannes”.

“Being at AFTRS allowed me to find a tribe of incredibly talented and hardworking filmmakers that made the process intensely gratifying,” Challenger said. “With MumLife, I hope to reach other women like me and show them that anything is possible.”

Meanwhile, Nell Greenwood, CEO of AFTRS, offered her congratulations to the team, calling it “brilliant news and a testament to the skill and dedication of the Master of Arts Screen teaching team and the value of the creative relationships that are formed by our students as they progress through the School.”

She added: “Cannes is a festival that places an international spotlight on talent and launches careers so huge congratulations to the MumLife team.”

Watch the trailer for MumLife below.

The Cannes Film Festival will run from Tuesday, 17 May until Saturday, 28 May, 2022.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.