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Alumni Continued 2



Aaron Wilson’s shorts - including AHMAD'S GARDEN, which premiered at MIFF 2008 - won numerous awards and travelled to 100+ film festivals worldwide. His debut feature CANOPY debuted at 2013’s Toronto International Film Festival and played at Busan, Abu Dhabi (where it was awarded Special Jury Mention), Stockholm, Rotterdam, Taipei and New Horizons Poland. He is signed as a TVC director with Airbag.


Anthony Chen’s shorts were recognized at several film festivals including Ah Ma (Special Mention, 60th Cannes Film Festival) and Haze (Nominee, Golden Bear for Short Film, 58th Berlin Film Festival). He won Singapore’s National Arts Council 2009 Young Artist Award and completed a Film Directing MA at the UK’s National Film & TV in 2010. His debut feature film ILO ILO premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes 2013 and won the prestigious Camera d’Or for Best Debut Film, garnering over 40 awards internationally. He is second feature is 2019’s WET SEASON. He works between London and Singapore.


Callum Cooper completed his Master’s degree at London’s Royal College of Art. His short LITTLE BROTHER screened at Sundance 2011 and VICTORIA, GEORGE, EDWARD and THATCHER at Toronto 2010. His fine art commission was “the constant and the flux” for Toronto International Film Festival (2012) and short film MINE KAFON won a jury prize at the Focus Forward program presented at Sundance 2013.


Dustin Feneley is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Film School whose short films as writer and director (NIGHT, SNOW, HAWKER, ESKIMO KISS) won awards and screened at more than 100 festivals, including official selections at Cannes, London and Melbourne. His student film SNOW premiered at Cannes 2006’s Cinéfondation selection and in 2011 he was awarded the Filmmaker Grand Prix at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival for his work in short films. He completed his debut feature film STRAY in 2017, for which has was nominated for an ADG Best Direction award.


Hugh Sullivan - see 2011.


Jason Stutter’s short film CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE won the Golden Spike Award for Best Short Film at the 53rd Valladolid International Film Festival 2008. Next came CAREFUL WITH THAT POWER TOOL in 2009 and CAREFUL WITH THAT CROSSBOW in 2010. Since then, he directed two shorts, PREDICAMENT and ROUNDS. He wrote and directed feature EDWIN: MY LIFE AS A KOONT, which was screened at Los Angeles Comedy Festival 2013. He has since written and directed horror/thriller THE DEAD ROOM.


Jeremy Cumpston’s 2011 short film THE LAST RACE screened at several film festivals, while as an actor he appeared in Jeremy Sims’ LAST CAB TO DARWIN.


John Alsop’s 15-minute short HE, SHE, IT., developed during his 2007 Asialink Manila residency and filmed the following year, has toured festivals in Australia and internationally.


John Evagora won Best Short Film at MIFF 2008 for 296 SMITH STREET, which also received the CRC Award at 2008’s Sydney Film Festival.


Jonathan auf der Heide won the MIFF 2008 Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award for his short HELL’S GATES that he later made into feature film VAN DIEMEN’S LAND (MIFF 2009). He since co-directed and produced web series COP HARD and directed a chapter of MIFF Premiere Fund-supported THE TURNING (MIFF 2013). Shortly after, he produced (alongside Kitty Green & Michael Latham) the AACTA Award winning feature documentary UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL that premiered at Venice International Film Festival. He edited Paul Cox's MIFF 2015 Opening Night Film FORCE OF DESTINY and was 2nd Unit Director on THE SECRET RIVER for the ABC.


Julius Avery won the Jury Prize at Cannes 2008 for his short JERRYCAN, which was also awarded Honourable Mention at Sundance 2009 and a Special Mention at that year’s Berlinale. In 2013, he shot his debut feature SON OF A GUN.


Katie Wolfe's second short REDEMPTION screened at Sundance 2011. She also directed a telemovie KAWA (based on Witi Ihimaera's book Nights In the Gardens In Spain) which premiered at the Hawaiian International Film Festival.


Leo Woodhead’s short ZERO, starring Emily Barclay, premiered at Berlin 2010. He has also been shooting commercials for boutique agency Thick As Thieves. His short COLD SNAP screened at Venice 2013.


Michelle Savill – See 2018.


Steph Green’s short NEW BOY was nominated for an Oscar in 2009 and received a Special Mention at 2008’s Berlinale. Green’s feature debut RUN & JUMP premiered in 2013.





Adam Arkapaw is a cinematographer who worked on Julius Avery’s short JERRYCAN, which won the Cannes 2008 Jury Award, David Michôd’s ANIMAL KINGDOM and Justin Kurzel’s SNOWTOWN. In 2013 he won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography on Jane Campion’s TOP OF THE LAKE. In 2014 Arkapaw won a second Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for his work on HBO’s TRUE DETECTIVE. In 2015 he worked on Justin Kurzel’s MACBETH, as well as MCFARLAND, USA and worked on the drama THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. He also worked as Director of Photography for Kurzel’s ASSASSIN’S CREED and as cinematographer on Casey Affleck’s LIGHT OF MY LIFE.


Darlene Johnson – see 2013.


David Michôd’s debut feature ANIMAL KINGDOM won Sundance 2010’s International Competition Grand Jury Prize (Drama) and 10 AFI Awards, earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for supporting actress Jacki Weaver and was named Best First Film by the New York’s Film Critics Circle. Michôd's second feature THE ROVER, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, premiered in Official Selection at Cannes 2014. He served as Executive Producer of the US TV adaptation of ANIMAL KINGDOM and directed 2017 feature film WAR MACHINE, starring Brad Pitt. He has co-written (with Luke Davies) and Executive Produces the upcoming limited-series adaptation of Joseph Heller's CATCH-22 and is finishing his fourth feature film, THE KING, starring Timothée Chalamet and Joel Edgerton.


Grant Scicluna directed THE WILDING, a Screen Australia Springboard project, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it was a Teddy Award finalist, and won the City of Melbourne Emerging Filmmaker Award at Melbourne Queer Film Festival for Best Australian Short in 2012. His short film NEON SKIN won the NFSA Orlando Award for Best Australian Queer Short and he also directed GOLDEN GIRL, a Film Victoria-funded adaptation of the Janette Turner Hospital short story. Scicluna directed his MIFF Premiere Fund-supported feature debut DOWNRIVER, which world-premiered at MIFF 2015 and was selected for the Toronto Film Festival ahead of an Australian and USA cinema release.


Kasimir Burgess films have won more than 25 awards, including 2011’s Berlinale Crystal Bear. His short THE MAN WHO COULD NOT DREAM featured the narration of Geoffrey Rush. Burgess completed his first feature film FELL in 2014.


Kole Onile-ere made a short film called BLAME to educate youngsters on the dangers of carrying knives.


Leon Ford completed his first feature film GRIFF THE INVISIBLE, which was released in 2011. He has focused on screen acting, most featuring on TV movie MABO and series OFFSPRING, PUBERTY BLUES, ANZAC GIRLS, DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND and GALLIPOLI as well as feature film RUBEN GUTHRIE.


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 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-supported 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 won the Directing Award for World Cinema dramatic at 2014’s 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 produced the short MY BEST FRIEND IS STUCK ON THE CEILING.  Her narrative feature film ANIMALS premiered at Sundance 2019 and the documentary IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS, which she produced, premiered at HotDocs 2019. She co-created, co-produced and directed four-part one-hour SBS-TV series THE HUNTING. 


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-TV. His next short film, THE ROAD HOME, screened at Flickerfest and won The MetroScreen NSW Filmmaker Award at 2013’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.


Glendyn Ivin‘s s debut short 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. He directed episodes of Network Ten series PUBERTY BLUES and OFFSPRING, as well as the Nine Network TV-movie BEACONSFIELD (2012), plus Nine Network mini-series GALLIPOLI (2014) and ABC-TV’s THE SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY (2016), as well as SBS-TV min-series SAFE HARBOUR (2017) and BBC’s Scottish-Australian co-production THE CRY (2018), and set-up ABC-TV’s THE BEAUTIFUL LIE in 2015.


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 Fund 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.  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 and also wrote and directed TV, including OFFSPRING, TIME OF OUR LIVES, MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES, WENTWORTH and THE ExPM (a six-part comedy for Shaun Micallef). She directed episodes of THE GLOAMING for Stan Originals.

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 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 completed the web-series OTHER PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS for ABC iView. In 2018, White directed episodes of SANDO and SQUINTERS Series 2 with Jungle Entertainment for ABC TV, while in 2019 she directed episodes of DOCTOR DOCTOR Series 4 for Easy Tiger and the Nine Network. 

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 shot Lawrence Johnston’s and MIFF-Premiere Fund supported documentary NEON, and the German component for Tim Slade’s documentary THE DESTRUCTION OF MEMORY. He is based in London.


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. 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 Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. His next feature was ASSASSIN’S CREED – based on the best-selling video game. His next feature is 2019’s THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, based on the Peter Carey novel.

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 screened at Venice 2010 and Rotterdam 2011. 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 and 2016’s THE SILENT EYE screened at the Whitney Museum. 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, while his second film was2018’s CELESTE starring Radha Mitchell.

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. 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 2005 Frameline San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. 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. His short film UN SEUL CORPS had its international premiere at Toronto 2014, where it won the Best International Short Film. His first feature, a screen adaptation of Helen Garner’s book JOE CINQUE’S CONSOLATION, screened at MIFF 2016.


Taika Waititi’s short TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT was nominated for a 2005 Academy Award. His first feature film, 2017’s EAGLE Vs SHARK was selected for the Berlinale. 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 Berlinale. His next films WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (which has also been adapted into a US-TV series) 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 and in 2019 directed JOJO RABBIT, starring Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and himself.