Michael Miller, head of the SAE Auckland film department, has won Best Postgrad Fiction Film 2017 at the recent Uni Shorts festival in Auckland with his short film, Parasites.
The tagline of the film, “Everyone wants Jude to have a baby, even the parasite living in her brain,” hints at the nature of the colourful, intense dark comedy that impressed the judges. Judge Alyx Duncan praised the film for its hilarious premise and solid acting. Parasites also won Auckland University’s Geoff Evans Prize for Excellence in Screen Production.
Michael’s vibrant short films, which explore the themes of memory, identity, and instinct, have absorbed audiences at film festivals both in New Zealand and abroad. Alongside writing and directing, Michael is a photographer and cinematographer, and as head of SAE Auckland’s film programme has seen enrolments in the courses more than double since he took the role in 2016.
Michael leads students through a series of genre-based, hands-on film projects throughout the year, including taking part in the 48Hours film competition, which he describes as “a total blast.”
SAE Auckland’s project-based, hands-on approach sees students graduate with qualifications such as Diploma in Film Making and Bachelor of Film Arts, which, along with the rest of SAE Auckland’s diplomas and degrees, are eligible for the government’s new ‘fees free’ policy.