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Kent Boswell, director, cinematographer & editor of Bondi Hop-Head Zombie Freakout, winner of arena's Graveyard Shift Short Film competition, has just collected the top prize of a week in New York, on location with Troma Films; and he's headed back to study at the New York Film Academy. ANDREW L. URBAN talks to Kent.

Kent Boswell arrived in New York on Sunday in late August (1999) and by Monday he was on location in uptown New York, in Pughkeepsi, watching the shoot for The Toxic Avenger 4. The excitement of being on a feature film set was given edge by the warning from Troma boss Lloyd Kaufman that he shouldn't stray from the crew - Pughkeepsi is a notorious crack dealing area. Boswell heeded the warning and is back in Sydney after his excellent adventure, having lived to tell the tale.

"It was fascinating,"

"It was fascinating," he says. "Lloyd Kaufman is really interesting . . .his brain is always working." Boswell, an editor on tv commercials for the past five years at Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney, found a feature film set very different: "it's much bigger, much longer. . . " The experience taught him to be "really well organised for production. And I also had a lot of fun."

Bondi Hop-Head Zombie Freakout was made with Troma's filmmaking ethos uppermost in the minds of Boswell and his team: it was made specifically for the Graveyard Shift Competition, and Boswell knew the Troma flavour was appreciated. Bondi Hop Head is as funny as it is horrific.

But his future as a filmmaker is not glued to the horror genre, Boswell says. In the short term, though, he is about to make four new short films, as he takes up his scholarship to the New York Film Academy. The NYFA offers a fast track version of the famed New York University film course, cramming the maximum into eight weeks, seven days a week, 16 hours a day. But Boswell is not daunted: "I'm thrilled. It's fabulous to get this chance."

He starts the course on October 4, and within 8 weeks he will have shot four films on 16 mm and used the NYFA's excellent facilities.

"It's a Cinderella story,"

But it nearly didn't happen: the cost of the course, complete with fares and film costs, is around A$12,000, and even when he was accepted - on the strength of his showreel and a two page application letter - he feared he couldn't take up the place. "I couldn't afford it…" He rang the film agencies, and he was directed to the Queen's Trust for Young Australians. "I rang and was told the yearly application deadline had passed two weeks earlier. But I told them the circumstances and they suggested I write a letter to the chairman, and they liked that so I was asked to apply formally, but had a day to do it. The next day they rang and wanted to interview me, and two days later I got the nod. It's a Cinderella story," he says brightly.

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Kent Boswell in Times Square

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