Alumni Continued 2

Mark Albiston (together with co-writer/director Louis Sutherland) won an Honourable Mention at 2007’s Cannes Shorts Competition for the short RUN while the short SIX DOLLAR FIFTY MAN won 2009’s Sundance Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking, Best Short Film at Flickerfest, Aspen Shortsfest Best Drama and Special Mentions at Cannes 2009 and 2010’s Berlinale K-plus. Mark’s and Louis’ first feature SHOPPING was in competition at Sundance 2013 and won the Berlinale Generation Grand Prix.


Nash Edgerton’s first feature film THE SQAURE was completed in 2008. He has directed music videos, including two for Bob Dylan and one for Brandon Flowers starring Charlize Theron. Edgerton completed a sequel to his award-winning short SPIDER (2007) called BEAR (2011) and in 2012 co-directed a short, called THE CAPTAIN. He has worked in Stunts across many films including THE MATRIX, ZERO DARK THIRTY, THE ROVER, and THE NICE GUYS.


Paul Andersen directed a short film for Coca Cola called HAPPY ACCIDENT, which premiered at Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. His first TV commercial, THIS IS WHAT WE AUSTRALI-ARE (made for GetUp!) won the national award at a gala event at the Sydney Opera House. Andersen also completed two shorts, IMAGINARY FRIEND and DEPARTURE LOUNGE – A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR. His short thriller ‘THE VISITOR’ premiered at MIFF and won multiple awards across the USA. Andersen directed the first season of a teen adventure series that aired on ABC.


Sean Byrne’s MIFF Premiere Fund co-financed debut feature THE LOVED ONES world premiered at MIFF 2009, received the Midnight Madness Award at Toronto International Film Festival 2009 and played in local theatres in 2010. His next feature film, THE DEVIL’S CANDY, was screened at MIFF 2016, as well as other international film festivals.


Sophie Hyde’s debut feature drama 52 TUESDAYS, which shot every Tuesday for a year, won the Directing Award for World Cinema dramatic at Sundance Film Festival and the Crystal Bear at 2014’s Berlinale. Hyde produced the award-winning feature documentaries SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE and SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE both of which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2011 and 2015 respectively. She produced and co-directed the Australian Documentary Prize winning feature documentary LIFE IN MOVEMENT and recently produced the short MY BEST FRIEND IS STUCK ON THE CEILING.  


Stephen Carroll won SHOTS new director of the year for Asia Pacific.


Zia Mandviwalla was named 2009 New Zealand New Filmmaker of the year and her short film AMADI screened at MIFF 2010. Mandviwalla’s short film NIGHT SHIFT was screened in competition at Cannes 2012 and Sundance 2013.





Amy Gebhardt wrote and directed a Screen Australia and YouTube funded short film INTO THE SUN on the basis of which she was selected by Dr George Miller to make WE WERE. She also shot & directed ABC-TV half-hour documentary CARNIVAL QUEEN and directed Second
Unit on Justin Kurzel’s Cannes-selected MACBETH.


Ben Phelps’ award-winning, second short film, NICE SHOOTIN’ COWBOY, won the Narrative Short Jury Award at the Austin Film Festival


Denie Pentecost’s film SEXY THING travelled to many film festivals worldwide and screened on SBS. His next short film, THE ROAD HOME, was screened at Flickerfest and won The MetroScreen NSW Filmmaker Award at the Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2013.


Glendyn Ivin‘s s debut short film CRACKER BAG won the Palme d'Or at 2003’s Cannes Film Festival. His debut feature film LAST RIDE won a jury prize at Rome International Film Festival and a Black Pearl at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for Best New Director. As well as working on TVCs via Exit Films, he directed episodes of the series PUBERTY BLUES and OFFSPRING as well as the BEACONSFIELD TV-movie. In 2014 Ivin directed TV mini-series GALLIPOLI and set-up THE BEAUTIFUL LIE in 2015 and in 2016 directed the miniseries THE SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY. 


Heng Tang completed his short film MOONCAKE & CRAB.


Jane Shearer made a short titled BIRD in 2008.


Lily Coates formed The Apiary with Gavin Youngs in 2009, specialising in films about, and made in collaboration with, musicians, theatre-makers, dancers and visual artists. Commissions include work for The Australian Ballet, Aesop, The Royal Ballet, National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Victoria, Rogerseller, AFAR Media, The Avant/Garde Diaries and Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance.


Rene Hernandez’s short THE GROUND BENEATH, a 20-minute film funded by the Australian Film Commission, screened at MIFF 2008 and won the 2008 Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film. In 2012, she completed her short film REASON TO SMILE, and in 2016 she was commissioned by the Macquarie Centre to make a short fashion film called LOVE YOURSELF, which won the People’s Choice Award at the 2016 Australian Fashion Film Awards (AFFA).

Rhys Graham wrote and directed the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported film GALORE, which world premiered at MIFF 2013 before having its international premiere at 2014’s Berlinale. He was one of the directors of the portmanteau film of Tim Winton’s THE TURNING (also supported by the MIFF Premiere for MIFF 2013 and also at Berlinale 2014). His documentary MURUNDAK – SONGS OF FREEDOM (co-directed with Natasha Gadd) won the Grand Prix at Seminci, Spain and FIFO Tahiti, as well as a UN Media Peace Award. Most recently, Graham co-wrote the 2016 feature film NOWHERE BOYS: THE BOOK OF SHADOWS for Matchbox Pictures.


Sian Davies was a director on the portmanteau film LITTLE DEATHS (which won Best Independent Feature at DigiSPAA 2010) and also wrote and directed TV, including OFFSPRING, TIME OF OUR LIVES, NOWHERE BOYS and a six-part comedy for Shaun Micallef, THE ExPM. She completed work on TRUE STORY, a narrative comedy for Hamish and Andy. 

Te Arepa Kahi acted in The Māori Merchant of Venice, and directed TV documentaries (The Flight of Te Hookioi), award-winning shorts — Taua and The Speaker — and reggae movie Mt Zion. He worked on feature documentary FREEZING WORKS as Executive Producer, and directed POI E, which was nominated for a Crystal Bear at 2017’s Berlinale in the Generation 14plus competition.




Alex Badham made a short in 2006 called SONGS IN THE KEY OF DEATH.

Ali Kasap’s short film BROKEN ENGLISH was funded by the Australian Film Commission in 2006. His short film LOVE APPLES played in the London Film Festival along with another 30 festivals winning several awards.

Catriona McKenzie directed TV since Accelerator, including THE CIRCUIT, SATISFACTION, MY PLACE and REDFERN NOW and in 2012 completed her first feature film, SATELLITE BOY.

Erin White directed TIMOTHY for Quail/ABC, Peter Helliar’s series IT’S A DATE for Princess Pictures/ABC, and screened Lally Katz’s adaptation of her stage work STORIES I WANT TO TELL YOU IN PERSON for Matchbox/ABC at MIFF in 2015. White’s short FOUR won best short at FlickerFest and screened at MIFF and elsewhere. She directed WEDNESDAY NIGHT FEVER for Quail/ABC1 in 2013, and recently completed the webseries OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS for ABC iView. In 2017 her company, Hardy White Pictures received development funding from Screen Australia's Brilliant Careers Gender Matters program.

Eron Sheean’s 2005 short FISH won the MIFF Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award and screened at Berlinale 2006. His 2007 short WILLIAM screened at Sundance 2007. In 2010, he wrote and co-produced feature THE DIVIDE. In 2011, he completed his directorial debut feature ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY that screened at several international festivals, theatrically released in the US (IFC Films) and the UK, Japan, Australia and NZ. Sheean is now based in London and most recently shot Lawrence Johnston’s and MIFF-Premiere Fund supported documentary NEON, and the German component for Tim Slade’s documentary THE DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY.

Helena Brooks short NOTHING SPECIAL (2005) screened at Cannes, Chicago International and Prague Short Film Festival. She directed TVC’s through Ridley Scott and Associates in London and directed TV in New Zealand. 

Justin Kurzel‘s acclaimed feature debut SNOWTOWN was selected for Cannes 2011 and won the Adelaide Film Festival audience award. He directed a chapter of MIFF Premiere Fund-supported TIM WINTON’S THE TURNING (MIFF 2013). In 2014 he completed a new feature film adaptation of MACBETH starring Michael Fessbender and Marion Cotillard. His next feature was ASSASSIN’S CREED – based on the best-selling video game.

Karen Colston’s short THE STATION was acquired for screening on SBS-TV.

Michael Bennett directed (and co-wrote) his feature debut MATARIKI in 2009. He worked on various TV projects including OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE and TV movie documentary, THE CONFESSIONS OF PRISONER T for which he was writer, director and producer.

Michael Weisler returned to filmmaking with 2011’s short MISSING HER, which won best script at Tropfest 2011, and worked as a Director with Melbourne’s Annix Films.

Paulo Alberton worked on 2008 documentary MY FATHER, MY MASTER as well as authoring interactive DVD ABORIGINAL RULES, which was produced by Wirlpiri Media and aired on ABC. He also coordinated post-production for a TV series at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association and worked as technical director on Jane Oehr’s feature documentary TEA WITH MADAME CLOS.

Reina Webster worked on the TV series OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE.

Tony Krawitz completed the feature length documentary THE TALL MAN and in 2012 directed his first drama feature film DEAD EUROPE, based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas. In 2013 he directed THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND for Foxtel, with whom he also made THE KETTERING INCIDENT in 2015.




Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s 2009 MIFF Premiere Fund co-financed feature documentary BASTARDY won many awards and was released theatrically in Australia. His short film CICADA had its international premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight 2009, while his drama feature HAIL premiered at 2011’s Adelaide Film Festival and then screened at Venice and Rotterdam Film Festivals. His MIFF Premiere Fund-supported feature documentary BEN LEE: CATCH MY DISEASE premiered at MIFF 2011. The Cambodian-shot feature RUIN won Special Jury Prize in the Orrizonti competition at 2013’s Venice Film Festival. Courtin-Wilson won the 2015 AFI-AACTA Byron Kennedy Award.


Ben Chessell was one of the directors of LITTLE DEATHS (MIFF 2008). He directed TV episodes of RESCUE SPECIAL OPS, RUSH, CAMP and OFFSPRING. In 2014, he directed feature SUCKER (co-written with Lawrence Leung) which premiered at MIFF 2015.

Ben Hackworth completed his debut feature film CORROBOREE in 2007. His next feature in development, CURE FOR SERPENTS, was selected as one of 15 projects for the 2008 Cannes Festival’s Atelier.

Charlotte George moved to London in 2008 and has found a niche creating short films and online video campaigns for charities and NGOs. She won the Robin Hood Tax film competition with her film WHAT DOES 0.05% LOOK LIKE?

Chi Yen Ooi’s feature BEETLE RAMEN was selected for 2006’s Rotterdam Cinemart Pitching forum.

Cris Jones’ short THE FUNK screened at more than 60 international film festivals, winning awards overseas and locally. In 2013, he was selected to attend the Binger Director's Lab in Amsterdam. His first feature, the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OTTO BLOOM world premiered at MIFF 2016.

David Rittey’s first short CLOSER won a 2005 NZ Screen Best Short Award and was selected for competition at Cannes. His follow-up film, WE THE LIVING, screened at MIFF 2006. In 2008 he joined Exit Films as a TVC director.


Gabriel Reid was BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA’s production assistant and CHRONICLES OF NARNIA’s assistant director. In 2016, his short film EVERY MOMENT was awarded Best Short Film Screenplay by the Writer’s Guild of New Zealand at the SWANZ Awards.


Richard Vette’s short TEEN CHRISTIAN BEACH PARTY screened at the Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival in 2005. His next short, LOOK MY WAY (2010) screened at the Byron Bay International Film Festival. Since then, he has worked as Location Manager across TV productions such as THE BROKEN SHORE, UNDERBELLY FILES and TANGLE.


Samantha Scott is Founder/Artistic Director of NZ’s Massive Theatre Company, which in 2015 initiated a Director’s Lab.


Sotiris Dounoukos short A Single Body was selected for MIFF 2014. Dounoukos was the recipient of the ACT Creative Arts Fellowship after attending the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam. His short film, UN SEUL CORPS, had its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, where it won the inaugural award for Best International Short Film. Most recently, he completed his first feature, a screen adaptation of Helen Garner’s book JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION that screened at MIFF 2016.


Taika Waititi’s short TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT was nominated for a 2005 Academy Award. His first feature film EAGLE VS SHARK was released in 2007 and screened at the Berlin Film Festival. He wrote and directed several episodes of TV series FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS. His feature BOY (that he wrote, directed and acted in) premiered at Sundance and won the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix at 2010’s Berlin Film Festival. His films WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS and HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE were both selected for Berlin and Sundance while the latter went on to become NZ’s highest grossing local film of all time. In 2016/17, Waititi directed Marvel’s THOR: RAGNAROK.