Alumni Continued

NICK VERSO’s short films include HOLLOW BONES, HUGO, FLIGHT (a Tropfest finalist) and THE LAST TIME I SAW RICHARD, which screened at MIFF 2013 and won the AACTA Award For Best Short Film and City Of Melbourne Best Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. His TV directing work includes the Emmy award-winning series NOWHERE BOYS and the Nine Network’s SNAKE TALES. In 2016, he completed his feature debut BOYS IN THE TREES which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won Best Feature at the Austin Film Festival.

 

ANTONY WEBB: Since graduating from Curtin University in 2004, Webb worked as a writer director, producer, editor and cinematographer. He produced and directed several shorts including the short version of TINGLEWOOD, THE DINNER MEETING, HENRY & AARON’S PERFECTLY ADEQUATE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, THE FAN and CARMENTIS. He directed two episodes of Movie Extra’s Foxtel series HENRY & AARON’S 7 STEPS TO SUPERSTARDOM as well as several 'through the window' segments for PLAY SCHOOL. He won nine WA Screen Awards and 2009’s WA Young Filmmaker of the Year award, and two ACS awards. Through the Springboard process, Webb adapted and co-wrote the short BENEATH, based on his feature script for TINGLEWOOD. In 2014, he wrote and produced the award-winning web series ASHBECLEE. In 2015, he shadowed two directors on Warner Bros.TV series THE 100 in Vancouver. He directs commercials through production company Siamese and is managed by Fictional Entity in LA.

 

 

2012 ACCELERATOR EXPRESS DIRECTORS 

Selected by New Zealand Film Commission’s (NZFC) Escalator

 

ALAN DICKSON: The founder and owner of Australasian animation studio Yukfoo Ltd, Dickson has worked in New Zealand as a professional animator since 1999 and, before that, in the UK for six years. He has worked on feature films, music videos, more than 100 TV commercials and is the Director of NZ Film Commission’s Premiere Shorts animated short film PREFERABLY BLUE. He made an animated feature through NZFC's Escalator.

 

MAX CURRIE: Currie’s multi-award winning debut feature EVERYTHING WE LOVED premiered in competition at 2014’s Palm Springs and then competed in other festivals. The film scooped Best Director at VTXIFF 2015, Best Actress and Best Cinematography at 2014’s NZ Film & TV awards and Best Actor at the 2014 St-Tropez Antipodes Film Festival. For five years, Max wrote for prime-time serial drama SHORTLAND STREET, was a writer on both seasons of hit comedy drama STEP DAVE. Currie started his screen career writing and directing 80 episodes of the magazine format QUEER NATION over two years, with his work winning best factual series in the 2003 Qantas Media Awards.

 

CURTIS VOWELL: Vowell’s debut feature film, FANTAIL, premiered in 2013’s New Zealand International Film Festival and was named in the Dominion Post’s Top 10 Films of 2013. The film secured Level K as its international sales agent at 2013’s MIFF 37South Market: Breakthru Screenings before having its international premiere at 2014’s Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2014 and was selected for MIFF, receiving a People’s Choice award. Curtis’ recent work includes the short documentary, MANAWA ORA, the web series $1 RESERVE and a series of short films for Auckland Museum’s Taku Tāmaki exhibition.

 

ACCELERATOR 2011 PARTICIPANTS: 

 

Accelerator Classic – participants with short films at MIFF 2011

 

Alister Lockhart was born in Scotland and raised in Australia. He graduated in 1993 from a Bachelor of Graphic Design at the University of Newcastle. Lockhart has worked as a professional commercial illustrator and concept artist in press, advertising, custom sign art, children’s publishing, comics, traditional animation and TV. In between writing and illustrating for various independent Australian comics, he has written and directed short films and FMV for games such as Warlords Battlecry and Payload. He co-wrote and directed the CG animated short film NULLARBOR, which has won several of awards locally and internationally, including the 2012 AACTA Award for Best Animated Short Film.  

 

Andrew Kavanagh – see 2014.

 

Anthony Maras completed a Law Degree from Flinders University and later studied film production at the University of California. His first short film AZADI was nominated for an AFI Award for Best Short Film and screened at more than 30 festivals. He then wrote and directed the AFI Award-winning SPIKE UP. THE PALACE, an Australian-Cyprus co-production, won Best Short Fiction and Best Short Screenplay at 2011’s AACTAs, Best Australian Short at 2012’s Flickerfest, and earned him the Best Rising Talent award at 2011’s IF Awards. THE PALACE was also selected for 2011’s Telluride and 2012’s Santa Barbara Film Festivals. In 2017 he completed his debut feature HOTEL MUMBAI.

 

Daniel Koerner is a Creative Director of Sandpit– a company dedicated to exploring the collisions of technology and narrative participation. With Sandpit he has designed multiplatform extensions for feature films 52 TuesdaysThe Boy CastawaysNow You See Me and has directed an interactive audio tour experience I, Animal for Melbourne Zoo. He worked with Sandpit at Penguin Books Australia on an interactive storytelling project and at Windmill Theatre on the performance and feature film Girl Asleep. He has directed two short films, IF I DANCE WILL IT KEEP ME WARM? (2011) And YASUE (2010)

 

David Easteal studied law and literature at the University of Melbourne. His short film THE FATHER played at various international festivals, including London, Kiev, and Hamburg, Rio Film Festivals. His next short MONACO premiered at MIFF 2015 where Easteal received the Award for Emerging Australian Filmmaker. MONACO went on to screen at several international festivals including New York and Chicago.

 

Jackie van Beek is a New Zealand actress, writer and director in theatre and film. Her short films have played in many festivals, including Berlin, London and Palm Springs, and won several awards in Australasia and are being used as educational resources in NZ, Australia, France, Denmark and the UK. She was named SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year in 2013 (NZ), won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 NZ Film Awards for her role in TAIKA WAITITI and Jemaine Clement’s WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. She also won the WIFT International Shortcase prize in 2015. She is in post-production with her first feature, THE INLAND ROAD.

 

Jeremy Bliss was born to British-Australian parents, has lived and studied in Europe and the Middle East and has a background as a theatre and film actor. Shot in French and Hebrew, TOY SOLDIER was his first short film and it went to a number of festivals, including having a European premiere at Bilbao.

 

Kevan Funk produced, directed and wrote 2010’s short film, A Fine Young Man, which premiered at Toronto and won the Grand Jury Prix at the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Alberta Spirit Award at the Calgary International Film Festival, and won Funk three 2011 Leo Awards (Best Short Film, Best Direction, Best Screenwriting). His 2012 short film, Saint Pierre premiered at the 50th New York Film Festival. His short film This Bleeding Heart was at Cannes 2013 as a part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short On Talent showcase. Funk’s short films, Destroyer and Yellowheadboth premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, latter earning a Special Jury Mention. Yellowhead was also named Best Short Film at the Calgary International Film Festival, as well as being named to Canada’s Top Ten for 2013. In 2016, Funk completed his debut feature Hello Destroyer.

 

Miranda Nation – see 2012.

 

Nathan Lewis, director of ATTACH BOAT TO MOTOR, graduated from Sydney Film School in 2008, and then worked on several short film projects and video clips. He won the Insight 51 International Film Festival in 2004 and 2006, was chosen for the Destination Film Festival in 2008, and received the audience choice, best cinematography and best sound design prizes for his film LIFE WASN’T MEANT TO BE EASY in the 2009 Sydney 24 hour Film Festival.

 

Nick Matthews is an AFI award-winning cinematographer who photographed the AFI (now AACTA) Best Short Films – SPIKE UP; THE KISS, and THE PALACE. He produced, edited and photographed Cannes-selected feature 2:37, before moving into directing. In 2011, Nick directed the SAFC funded short COLLISION, which premiered at MIFF and played at Oberhausen and Palm Springs International festivals. His debut feature as director and co-writer, ONE EYED GIRL, won 2014’s Austin Film festival jury prize and 2015’s Beverly Hills Film Audience Choice Best Feature award. He is managed by LA-based Principato Young and represented by London’s Independent Talent Group.

 

Rodd Rathjen – see 2014.

 

Sam Holst is a graduate of Melbourne’s RMIT where he wrote and directed the short SWING, which screened at various festivals including at Cannes Lions Festival. His NZ Film Commission-funded short MEATHEAD screened in Official Selection at Cannes 2011 and won the Berlinale Generation 2012 Crystal Bear for Best Short Film. In 2014, Holst was selected as one of six international filmmakers to attend the Cannes Cinéfondation Residence in Paris to write and develop his debut feature. 

 

Tammy Davis, director of EBONY SOCIETY, got his acting break in WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN HEARTED. He since had roles in many screen productions including WHALE RIDER, FRACTURE and OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE and has worked with Jim Moriarty’s Te Rakau Drama Company on intensive drama workshops with at-risk youth, and with Hone Kouka as an Assistant Director on theatre productions. Davis’ writing-directing debut, EBONY SOCIETY screened at 2011’s Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. Also in 2011 he made his second short, the NZFC-funded SONNNY MY OLDER BROTHER and made two 90-minute dramas for the Maori TV station. Davis’ debut feature BORN TO DANCE (2015) was selected for both the Toronto and Berlin International film festivals, before going on to make over a million dollars at the New Zealand box office.

 

  

2011 ACCELERATOR EXPRESS DIRECTORS - Selected by Screen Australia's Springboard Program

 

Anna Broinowski. An award-winning director and writer who has been making films since 1995, her theatrically-screened feature documentaries include FORBIDDEN LIE$, HELL BENTO!! and HELEN’S WAR. Awards include three AFIs, the Rome Film Festival’s.Cult Prize, a Walkley Award, the Russian Film Critics’ prize, the Al Jazeera Golden Award, the 2008 NSW Premier’s Literary Award and Best Director at France’s Films Des Femmes. FORBIDDEN LIE$ is one of the top ten earning Australian documentaries ever and screened in North America, Middle East and Europe, and won the 2008 Writer’s Guild of America (East & West) Best Non-fiction Screenplay Award. In 2012, Broinowski shot MIFF Premiere Fund-supported AIM HIGH IN CREATION! - her feature (world premiere MIFF 2013) about the cinematic genius of Kim Jong Il - the development of which was inspired in part by the helpful sessions she attended at Accelerator 2011.

 

Ben Young directed blocks on TV series PRANK PATROL, also writing on TRAPPED and CASTAWAY. Other directing credits include eight short films that have screened internationally at more than 35 festivals and received multiple awards. His debut feature film HOUNDS OF LOVE world premiered at Venice Days 2017 before playing at Busan, South by SouthWest, Tribeca, Karlovy Vary and other festivals.

 

Luke Doolan has credits as a director, cinematographer, and editor, across music clips, TVCs, shorts, and features. His early days of feature film editing were spent assisting editor Jill Bilcock on MOULIN ROUGE. He shot and edited pre-visualisation on Baz Luhrman's shelved epic ALEXANDER and George Lucas' STAR WARS: EPISODE III. Doolan was a collaborator and editor for Nash Edgerton’s shorts including SPIDER, LUCKY and FUEL, for which he won Best Editing at The St. Kilda Film Festival. He won an AFI/AACTA award for best Editing on ANIMAL KINGDOM. MIRACLE FISH, which Doolan wrote and directed and which was produced by Drew Bailey, was nominated for Best Live Action Short at 2010’s Academy Awards. He was invited by Baz Luhrman to be second unit director on THE GREAT GATSBY, and was an additional editor on THE WOLVERINE.

 

Paul Oliver’s short FREEZE screened at Palm Springs, St Kilda, Brisbane and BBC Shorts. His 50-minuter LENNIE CAHILL SHOOTS THROUGH screened on SBS-TV and won AACTA Best Short Award, plus AWGIE and ATOM Awards. THE FIBROS AND THE SILVERTAILS, his one-hour ABC TV documentary, played at Sydney Film Festival and won an AWGIE. Oliver is a co-creator, writer and director of OLD SCHOOL, an eight-x-one-hour ABC-TV series starring Bryan Brown and Sam Neill.

 

Zak Hilditch studied film at Perth’s Curtin University, where he completed his honours degree in 2004. He won 2006’s WA Screen Awards Young Filmmaker of the Year. Hilditch’s debut low budget feature THE ACTRESS (2007) secured Australia/NZ DVD distribution. In 2010 he developed his feature film THESE FINAL HOURS through Screen Australia’s Springboard initiative and received funding for a short sci-fi drama called TRANSMISSION through the same scheme. TRANSMISSION was in competition at 2012’s Tribeca Film Festival, won four awards including best film and director at 2012’s St Kilda Film Festival and won best short screenplay at 2013’s AACTA awards. Hilditch’s first funded feature, the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported THESE FINAL HOURS won The Age Critics Award for best Australian feature at MIFF 2013 (where it world premiered and was picked up for local releasing by Roadshow) and was later selected to screen at Cannes 2013 Directors’ Fortnight.

 

2011 ACCELERATOR EXPRESS DIRECTORS Selected by South Australian Film Corporation’s (SAFC) FilmLab

 

Christopher Houghton trained as a photographer and dancer, running his own fine art studio while choreographing and performing works for theatre before turning to directing in 2001. An award-winning graduate of the Australian Film, TV & Radio School (AFTRS), he spent three years conducting video interviews of war veterans for the world’s largest video memorial, the Australian’s at War Film Archive. He also directed two sell-out seasons of Alan’s Ball’s FIVE WOMEN WEARNING THE SAME DRESS for Sydney’s Darlinghurst Theatre. His short films have screened at festivals including Palm Springs, Tribeca, London and Chicago. In 2007, he directed SWING, which won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at Adelaide and Best Film at St. Kilda. He made feature documentary SONS & MOTHERS with investment from Screen Australia and the SAFC in 2012 and then made his dramatic feature debut with TOUCH.

 

Dave Wade is a self-taught filmmaker who began his filmmaking journey making no-budget shorts with some of these films screening at the likes of Dungog, St Kilda, and Bondi. In 2010 he made CROPPED, his first truly-budgeted short, which screened at many festivals including Sydney and Chicago. His next film A TALE OF OBSESSION premiered in competition at Flickerfest and in 2012 he shot the short A TORTURED MIND. He has since written and directed WELCOME TO THE IRON KNOB (2013) screening at Adelaide and Sydney Film Festival as well as Canada’s Edmonton International Film Festival and Ireland’s Cork International Film Festival.

 

Hugh Sullivan is a writer and director whose debut feature film THE INFINITE MAN was picked-up by sales agent Shoreline at the 2013 37South Breakthru Screenings and then world premiered at 2014’s South by Southwest Film Festival, where it was voted Best Screenplay and Best First Feature in the SXSW Indiewire Critic Network poll. It then screened at many international film festivals (including Sitges, Edinburgh and Melbourne) and won Best First Feature Film at the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival.

 

Matt Vesely completed a Flinders University Bachelor of Creative Arts in 2007. He made several low-budget shorts, including BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, STREET’S PRESS, and the Media Resource Centre (MRC) production A LOAD OF BUCKSHOT. The short THE THING ABOUT DOLPHINS was produced in 2010 as part of Vesely’s attendance at the SAFC’s FilmLab and premiered at 2011’s Adelaide Film Festival. He has since written episodes for WASTELANDER PANDA, and was Production Manager for Australian feature 52 TUESDAYS (Sundance Winner of Best Direction). His short, MY BEST FRIEND IS STUCK ON THE CEILING was produced by Closer Productions and premiered at Adelaide Film Festival 2015.

 

Ursula Dabrowsky went to film school in Montreal where she made several experimental shorts before moving to Adelaide. In 2005, Ursula wrote her first psychological horror screenplay, FAMILY DEMONS, and shot the ultra low budget film in 2006. In 2009, FAMILY DEMONS had its world premiere at Sydney’s A Night of Horror International Film Festival where she won Best Australian Director. The film has since screened at numerous film festivals and won Best Foreign Film and Best Actress at USA’s Fright Night International Film Festival. It was also nominated for Best Actress at the Eerie Horror Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2009 DigiSPAA Competition. Dabrowsky’s second instalment of her Demon Trilogy, INNER DEMON, is a supernatural horror film that obtained financing through the South Australian Film Corporation's FilmLab program.

 

 

ACCELERATOR 2010 PARTICIPANTS:

 

Alethea Jones’s first feature, FUN MOM DINNER, starred Toni Collette and Molly Shannon and premiered at Sundance 2017. She directed episodes of Amazon Studios’ GORTIMER GIBBONS, a pilot for Amazon and commercials for Jungle including sketches for THE ELEGANT GENTLEMEN (ABC). In 2012, she directed Tropfest winner LEMONADE STAND and premiered her documentary TISSUE (ABC). Jones has had two shorts in MIFF: DAVE’S DEAD and WHEN THE WIND CHANGES.

 

Ariel Kleiman’s 2010 short DEEPER THAN YESTERDAY had its world premiere at Cannes Critics Week where it won the Discovery Award for a short film and Petit Rail d'Or. In the same year, it won the AFI award for Best Screenplay in a Short Film and 2011’s Sundance Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking. Kleiman returned to Sundance in 2015 with his first feature PARTISAN, winning a Special Jury Award for cinematography, and in 2016/17 directed several episodes of TOP OF THE LAKE.

 

Ashlee Page’s short THE KISS won 2010’s MIFF Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award, two AFI Awards, Best Short at Sydney and screenings at Busan, Clermont-Ferrand and Tribeca. Page directed a chapter of MIFF Premiere Fund-supported THE TURNING (MIFF 2013). She received a Sundance Institute Global Filmmaker Award in 2014, and the Lynn Auerbach Screenwriting Fellowship to assist with the development of her SAFC FilmLab-initiated feature film - ARCHIVE.

 

Asuka Sylvie’s award-winning graduate film PINION travelled to various festivals including the Hamptons, Odense and Shanghai. Her next short LAKE, made with the assistance of the NZFC, premiered at 2014’s Palm Springs International ShortFest and won the Ingmar Bergman award at the Uppsala International Short Film Festival.

 

Christopher Dudman directed TVCs and wrote and directed six-hour police series HARRY. His short CHOICE NIGHT screened at London, Valladolid and Tours Ecrans Geneva, where it won Best International Short, and in competition at 2011’s Clermont-Ferrand.  He since wrote and directed documentary THE DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE.

 

Eddie Martin’s short documentary JISOE (2005) won the Audience Award at the St Kilda Film Festival. His debut feature documentary LIONEL (MIFF 2008) was followed by ALL THIS MAYHEM (2014), which won Best Independent Film on iTunes UK and also won the Direction in a Documentary, Editing in a Documentary and Original Music Score prizes at 2015’s AACTA Awards. The MIFF Premiere Fund-supported HAVE YOU SEEN THE LISTERS world premiered at MIFF 2017.

 

Edward Housden’s short MUSCLES premiered in Official Selection at Cannes 2010 and then screened at numerous festivals including South By Southwest, London, Chicago, Stockholm and more. He has been directing music videos and is represented for commercials by the UK’s Independent Films.

 

Hannah Hilliard was the inaugural recipient of Screen Australia’s Acclaim Fund, a grant supporting career development of filmmakers with shorts that have won specific awards at high profile festivals. Hillard was eligible based on her wins at Berlin and MIFF 2010. She is represented by global transmedia company @radical.media as a TVC director.

 

Irina Goundortseva has credits on five short films, both live action and animation, which have screened at MIFF, Annecy, Hiroshima, Montreal, Palm Springs, Hawaii and more. She worked as Script Supervisor for short HAMMER OR CLAW, which premiered at St Kilda Film Festival 2015. Goundortseva works as a Script Supervisor and her credits include Upper Middle Bogan, Little Lunch, Open Slather, Hunters etc.

 

James Cunningham has made nine more short films since MIFF 2010. One is a zombie-romantic-comedy called ROTTING HILL, which has picked up several awards at various festivals. Another is 2012’s SHELVED, which went to SXSW among many other festivals. Cunningham completed work on animation short OVER THE MOON in 2013 and has since been teaching visual effects and directing films at Auckland’s Media Design School.

 

Kazik Radwanski’s short films screened at the Berlinale Shorts Competition for three consecutive years. His 2012 feature debut TOWER world premiered at the 65th Locarno International Film Festival and then screened at many festivals including Toronto, Viennale, New Directors/ New Films presented by MoMA and MIFF 2013. He has since written and directed CUTAWAY (2014) which screened at Locarno, Vancouver, Hamptoms, Chicago, Dallas film festivals as well as France’s Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.

 

Matthew Bate’s debut feature documentary SHUT UP LITTLE MAN! AN AUDIO MISADVENTURE was selected in Competition at 2011’s Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema Documentary program) and for the 40th New Directors / New Films Festival at New York's Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center. His short film THE MYSTERY OF FLYING KICKS won 2010’s MIFF Best Short Doc and Best Short Doc at New Zealand's Documentary Edge Festival 2011. His next feature documentary SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE premiered at Sundance's New Frontiers section and was selected for HotDocs and Rotterdam Film Festivals. 

 

Olivia Peniston-Bird completed her first feature documentary GRACEFUL GIRLS (MIFF 2015).

 

Sam Peacocke shot a Volkswagen TVC and an online music promo that picked-up a Gold Axis award. His 2010 MIFF Accelerator film MANUREWA won a Best Short Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival Generation 14plus section. In 2012, he directed music documentary SHIHAD: BEAUTIFUL MACHINE. He moved to Europe finding TVC representation with the UK’s Rokkit and France’s Irene.

 

 

ACCELERATOR 2009 PARTICIPANTS:

 

Adrian Francis participated in Doc Station at the 2010 Berlinale Talent Campus and in 2011 was invited to the inaugural 5x5x5 workshop at Switzerland's Winterthur International Short Film Festival. His documentary shorts as writer/director include LESSONS FROM THE NIGHT and THE FOREST OF THINGS LEFT UNSAID, which have screened at festivals including Sundance, Karlovy Vary, Edinburgh, AFI Silverdocs, MIFF, Flickerfest & Visions du Reel, and won prizes including the Grand Prix at Montenegro’s International TV Festival.

 

Ainsley Gardiner produced Taika Waititi’s acclaimed short films and features and is a writer/director in her own right. She co-produced the feature film BOY, New Zealand’s highest grossing local film ever, which won the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Grand Prix at Berlinale 2010. She produced 2014’s PA BOYS (which screened at the Hawaii Film Festival) and Executive Produced the Rotterdam-selected FANTAIL as well the Oscar-nominated short film TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT and produced TV series HAPPY HOUR.

 

Alexandra Schepisi’s second short LOIS (MIFF 2012), starring Jacki Weaver, shot in Australia and Greece. She acted in ABC-TV telemovie DEVIL’S DUST and MTC's theatre production of QUEEN LEAR and TV series HOUSE HUSBANDS as well as HBO series THE LEFTOVERS.

 

Corrie Chen – see 2014.

 

Corrie Jones – see 2015

 

Dena Curtis’ 2008 short HUSH won the audience award for Best Foreign Short Film at France’s Films de Femmes. Her third short film, JACOB (MIFF 2009), won Best Short Drama at 2009’s WOW Film Festival and the Gold Shorts Prize at 2009’s Adelaide Shorts Film Festival, while another short, JACOB, won an award at 2010’s Harlem International Film Festival. With a 2002 graduate diploma in TV editing from the Australian Film TV and Radio School, Curtis returned to the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association Productions [CAAMA] and worked there for several years and later worked as a producer for ABC-TV’s MESSAGE STICK. Her editing credits include Rosalie’s Journey, Lore of Love (NIDF Series 6), Willaberta Jack and Cheeky Dog, a documentary she directed. She has since directed several TV works, such as 8MMM ABORIGINAL RADIO, SHADOW TRACKERS, and COLOUR THEORY UNDERGROUND. In 2016 she completed her next short film, NAN & A WHOLE LOT OF TROUBLE, which debuted at Flickerfest and then screened internationally.

 

Dominic Allen won 2009’s MIFF Emerging Australian Filmmaker with his short film TWO MEN. He completed BACK OF HOUSE, a TV series about Australian artist Jeff Martin, and short films HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS and EARTH MOVES TOO. He directs with Melbourne’s Guilty.

 

Eddie White  worked as a writer on ABC-TV’s ITTY BITTY DITTIES and his short film UPSIDE DOWN FEELING screened at MIFF 2016.

 

Edwin McGill’s first short BOOTH STORY won Film Of The Festival at London’s Raindance Film Festival and Audience Favorite at Palm Springs. He has directed two shorts, LONE RIDER and IMPRINT and directs out of Melbourne’s Guilty.

 

Gaysorn Thavat was commissioned to write and direct an international campaign for MTV London.

 

Grant Major did production design on THE GREEN LANTERN and worked on several commercials and a segment of a 3D feature on Cirque du Soleil and worked designing major New Zealand feature film MR PIPas well as working on THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. He also worked on documentary BEYOND THE EDGE, which premiered at 2013’s Toronto International Film Festival,

 

Mads Matthiesen’s first feature TEDDY BEAR world premiered at Sundance 2012 where it won Best Director for a Foreign Film. His work includes HVOR IYSET KOMMER IND which screened at the CPH:PIX Film Festival, Denmark. He also co-wrote and directed THE MODEL.

 

Michael Latham works internationally as a cinematographer and producer. His projects include THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OSKANA BAIUL, which won Best Short Documentary at Sundance 2015 and UKRAINE IS NOT A BROTHEL, which won 2015’s AACTA for Best Feature Length Documentary.

 

Nassiem Valamanesh’s DISTANT WORDS screened at MIFF 2012 and exhibited at Wollongong City Gallery, London’s Rose Issa Gallery and won 3rd place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Farhang Film Festival. His film SIDE BY SIDE screened at MIFF 2010, European Media Art Festival and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. He completed a collaborative video art project with his father titled CHAR SOO, which opened 2015’s Adelaide Film Festival and was exhibited at Sydney’s Carriageworks Arts Centre.

 

 

ACCELERATOR 2008 PARTICIPANTS: 

 

Aaron Wilson’s shorts - including AHMAD'S GARDEN, which premiered at MIFF 2008 - won numerous awards and travelled to 100+ film festivals worldwide. In 2013, his debut feature film CANOPY debuted at 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. 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.

 

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. He followed that up with CAREFUL WITH THAT POWER TOOL in 2009 and CAREFUL WITH THAT CROSSBOW in 2010. Since then, he has 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 Cumpstons 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 in Venice Film Festival 2013.

 

Michelle Savill was awarded the 2011 Script to Screen US Screenwriting Scholarship to spend three months interning at Killer Films in New York. Savill’s short film ELLEN IS LEAVING won the Narrative Shorts section at South By Southwest Film Festival 2013. Saville has been directing commercials for boutique agency Thick as Thieves.

 

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.

 

ACCELERATOR 2007 PARTICIPANTS:

 

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 New York’s Film Critics Circle. He also co-wrote (with director Spencer Susser) the feature film HESHER, which screened in Sundance 2010's US Competition. His documentary SOLO (co-directed with Jen Peedom) won Best Documentary Under One Hour at 2009’s Australian Film Institute Awards and 2010’s Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Short Documentary. Michôd co-wrote Nash Edgerton's short film BEAR, which played in Cannes 2011’s Official Competition, and produced (with Michael Cody) Mirrah Foulkes's short film DUMPY GOES TO THE BIG SMOKE (MIFF 2012). Michôd's second feature THE ROVER, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, premiered in Official Selection at Cannes 2014. He wrote (and served as Executive Producer) on 10 episodes of the US TV adaptation of ANIMAL KINGDOM and directed 2017 feature film WAR MACHINE, starring Brad Pitt.  

 

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 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.

  

 

ACCELERATOR 2006 PARTICIPANTS:

 

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.

 

ACCELERATOR 2005 PARTICIPANTS:

 

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.

 

 

ACCELERATOR 2004 PARTICIPANTS:  

 

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.