AIE Filmmaking Students Win Three Awards at Fleurieu Film Festival 2024!

We're excited to congratulate our talented filmmaking students, Hamish Phillips and Lilia Bowes, for winning three awards at the 2024 Fleurieu Film Festival!

Hamish and Lillia entered their captivating short film, After Service, which was awarded the Focus On the Fleurieu Award, The Young South Australian Filmmakers Award and Community Bank Fleurieu Audience Choice Award.

After Service, written and directed by Hamish and produced by Lilia, takes place on a busy Saturday night, and delves into the hectic world of a restaurant kitchen, where head chef Matt grapples with the weight of a recent loss while striving to maintain order amidst the chaos.

After Service draws inspiration from the TV series "The Bear" and Hamish's firsthand experiences in the hospitality industry, infusing the film with drama and tension. Through characters inspired by real-life chefs and restaurateurs, the film explores the universal connection fostered by food and culinary culture, highlighting the shared human experience of dining.

Scroll further down for an interview with Hamish and Lilia.


Interview with Hamish Phillips (Writer & Director) and Lilia Bowes (Producer)

What was the best part of creating the short film?


The best part of the film’s production was the opportunity to shoot on location in a real restaurant. Shooting at Ekhidna Kitchen in McLaren Vale gave myself and the cast the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the environment and build on the kinetic energy established in the script. I also had the pleasure of working with an amazing group of people, from the thoughtful and talented cast to the crew, who each were able to bring their own ideas to the table and compound them into a strong product overall.


The best part of working on After Service was collaborating with everyone. The crew on this film was the best crew I could have ever asked for. Hamish and I worked so hard for this film and gave it our everything. Jack and Max bounced so many ideas off of each other to help improve our scenes. Oscar was amazing on audio and really made the film come to life.

The cast consisted of all amazing actors who workshopped and really put there all into every single scene. This film really wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of all the cast. The amazing staff at Ekhidna Wines who were gracious enough to lend us their amazing location in McLaren Vale.


What was the key challenge the team faced during the project?


The challenge of shooting the film within a 3-day timeslot was difficult, especially considering the use of virtual production technology that proved difficult to blend with our real-world assets. This time frame combined with the late shooting hours lead to a fair amount of stress, but I believe this ultimately led to a stronger final outcome, forcing us all to work together, think on our feet and strive for the finish line at all costs.


Hamish summed it up perfectly. Incorporating Virtual Production into our film in such a limited amount of time was our biggest challenge, but together we all worked super hard and gave us a really strong final film.


What was your favourite scene of the short film?


The initial chaotic environment of the restaurant that makes up the first half of the film. I myself have experienced firsthand the trials and tribulations of a busy Saturday night in the hospitality industry, and being able to reflect that in the dialogue, sharp cinematography and brutal acting choices from the cast was so immersive, even on set.


The scene where head chef Matt (Jonathan Darby) throws a pot at Pete (Daniel Fryar-Calibro). It was one of the most fun scenes to film and even looking back on the final project, watching the scene and the look on his face brings a smile to my face.


What inspired the creation?


After Service was inspired by the popular TV series The Bear, which carries a similar style and themes. My own experience in the hospitality industry and working in restaurants gave me an in, helping me to create a sense of drama and tension; many of the characters within the story are retellings of chefs and restauranteurs I have worked with. Mainly, I wanted to present the idea that the universal experience of food and culinary culture can unite people, after all, we all gotta eat.


What are the key takeaways for the audience?


I hope audiences will take away a sense of connection and relief from the film. The idea that shared experiences through food, through sharing a meal with someone or cooking that special dish with a loved one can be a source of connection that follows you, that’s what the film’s about. I hope that idea can resonate with audience’s who have lost someone close to them, and that they can find their own way of maintaining that connection through that loss.


Hamish summed it up perfectly again. After watching the film, we hoped the audience would feel a connection to food and the significance it can have on people. I truly believe that we achieved this and hopefully it made people hungry 🙂

Want to follow in Hamish and Lilia's footsteps?

If you're passionate about filmmaking and have ideas and stories you're eager to tell, check out AIE's filmmaking programs!