Scholarship was prime timing for Ben's film career

Stanthorpe in South East Queensland’s Granite Belt region may seem an unlikely setting to inspire thoughts of a career in film, but Ben Russell was determined to follow his dream.

But first he needed to overcome a few hurdles including isolation from his family combined with the high cost of living in Brisbane. Nevertheless, Ben’s academic performance in his Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production degree saw him receive a Griffith Futures Scholarship.

“A lot of families who live in the city or close to it don’t really know what it’s like to have to accept being separated from your family, your home, pretty much all you know, to come to university and follow your dreams,” Ben said.

“If I didn’t have the support of my scholarship, everything would have been so much harder.

“I lived on campus for two years and the scholarship also alleviated financial pressure from my family back home in Stanthorpe.”

Ben jumped straight into freelancing after graduation and worked on a couple of film sets, utilising his skills in editing while enjoying the creative outlet. Shortly after he took the plunge and launched his own company, which specialises in film post-production and is amassing an impressive list of clients and projects. So far he’s worked on projects for Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre, Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, Vinnies CEO Sleepout, Isuzu and Hummingbird House Origin Energy, to name a few.

He credits his success to his education and the financial support he received, which enabled him to gain a tertiary education and follow his dream. He feels the scholarship helped define his story and now helps him to tell other people’s stories through film.

“Knowing that I didn’t have to spend my time working just to pay my rent allowed me to use my time to absorb and digest as much knowledge and experience as possible,” Ben explained.

“My scholarship was not just about meeting costs. It was about giving me a real freedom to pursue my passion. The impact it had on me was amazing at the time, and it’s allowing me to make an impact in my own career.”

Ben Russell

Scholarship recipient and Griffith graduate

Bachelor of Film and Screen Media Production