Excelsia College is delighted to announce that internationally recognised director Michael McLennan’s short film, A Tea Party for Sad People, was awarded the prestigious prize of Best Comedy at the Italian Assurdo Film Festival. Assurdo is an international cinema festival celebrating alternative and independent cinema.

This is the third international award won by Excelsia College short films this year. A Tea Party for Sad People was also recognised at the Accolade Global Film Competition in August 2020.  This included an Award of Recognition for Tihana Vulcik as Best Supporting Actress, Cathy Friend for Best Script, an award of Special Mention for Luna Pan and Sandrine Rudaz for music, and an award of Special Mention for the editors, Viktor Jonsson and Michael McLennan.

The original script adapted for screen was written by Excelsia College Drama graduate Cathy Friend as part of her undergraduate degree.  Excelsia College has recently partnered with the creative team and crew at Sydney Film School for the film. This includes emerging filmmakers who recently graduated from SFS.

A Tea Party for Sad People features four outstanding young actresses; Ashleigh Hermann, Orana Keen, Julia Pennisi, and Tihana Vulcik are who are recent graduates of the Bachelor of Dramatic Art at Excelsia College.

When Ziva happens upon an invitation to a Tea Party for Sad People, she is drawn into a surreal Purgatory where sadness is sought for all the wrong reasons. Tears are a source of pride, no matter how minor the trigger, and status is about how sad your story is.

As the former Head of Film at Sydney Film School, Michael McLennan has instructed and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers. Michael came on board as a producer and director of the project, screen testing the actresses, identifying crew and locations, and re-working the script. The film was shot in late September 2019 over two days in the Grand Dining Room of Sydney’s Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, with a day of pickups in October.

Applications for the Bachelor of Dramatic Art and Bachelor of Screen Production are open for Semester 1, 2021.

Got further questions? Please contact our friendly student advisors on 02 9819 8810 or contact us via the enquiry form on our website here