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Alumni Continued 2



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.