NIDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we learn and tell stories, the Bidjigal, Gadigal, Dharawal and Dharug peoples, and we pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.


NIDA alum James Ivor takes Crushing Season short to MIFF and beyond.

Alumnus James Ivor (Acting, 2011) is a writer, actor, director from Queensland, who’s known for playing Albert Crundell in the 2019 remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock along with Belvoir St Theatre’s productions of Summer of the Seventeenth Doll directed by Neil Armfield and Strange Interlude directed by Simon Stone.

Written, directed and produced, as well as starring James, Crushing Season is a self-funded proof of concept short film based off his Black List trending feature-length screenplay, which was also a finalist in the 2021 ScreenCraft writing competition.

“At NIDA, there’s a technical ‘tool kit’ that you use throughout your career. What helped me make Crushing Season was backing myself, knowing the story and keeping a cool head when everything was uncertain. At the end of the day, we’re telling stories, we’re taking an audience through wild emotions and they’re trusting that we know what we’re doing. If you know what story you’re telling and why you’re telling it then go all in, one hundred percent.”

Crushing Season premiered at the New York Indie Shorts Awards in 2022 where it won Best Film and is currently touring with Flickerfest’s Best of Australian Shorts. In August, it will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) and has also secured distribution with Sling Blade producer Larry Meistrich’s new platform Red Coral Universe and will be available to stream from September. While fellow alumna Laura Pike (Acting, 2006) opens the short, the film stars James Ivor, Rahel Romahn and Joshua Brennan.

When discussing his time at NIDA, James says “a lot of the lessons at NIDA are life lessons. A memorable quote I learned during my first week at NIDA was imparted by the late Kevin Jackson –

‘To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is unforgivable’. There’s a discipline to all this storytelling – it’s organised chaos. Making Crushing Season, especially with the many variables and uncertainties forced me to trust in myself, trust in what I was doing and why I was doing it. The training and years spent at NIDA instinctively gave me foundations to pursue and achieve this.”

Crushing Season will screen during the 71st Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)from 7-18 August and will stream on MIFF Play from 18-27 August 2023.

MIFF celebrates the best in world cinema and new Australian filmmaking and their 2023 program proves to be another exceptional selection of films featuring many NIDA alumni. NIDA congratulates all the alumni involved in the festival.