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. His first documentary feature, PAPER CITY (made in collaboration with producer Melanie Brunt, French co-producers Les Films de Imprudence, and EPs Sophie Hyde & Rebecca Summerton of Closer Productions) world premiered at MIFF 2021 and had its international premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2022. Francis won Best Emerging Australian Director and Best Melbourne Documentary awards at the 7th Melbourne Documentary Film Festival for PAPER CITY.

Ainsley Gardiner‘s first short film as writer/director, MOKOPUNA won Gold at the Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival. She was one of 9 wåhine Måori filmmakers to write and direct the acclaimed feature film WARU which was selected for TIFF. She has just completed her second feature, COUSINS, co-directing with the film’s screenplay writer, Briar Grace-Smith. Ainsley has produced more than a dozen short and feature films, documentaries and television drama. Notably Ainsley produced the short films TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT and TAMU TU written and directed by Oscar-nominee, Taika Waititi.  She went on to collaborate with Waititi on his feature films, EAGLE VS SHARK in 2005 and his first No. 1 Box Office hit, BOY, in 2009. She produced 2014’s PA BOYS (which screened at the Hawaii Film Festival) and Executive Produced the Rotterdam-selected FANTAIL and produced 2018’s comedy hit, THE BREAKER UPPERERS, selected for SXSW.

Alexandra Schepisi shot her second short LOIS (MIFF 2012), starring Jacki Weaver, in Australia and Greece. Since becoming a mum she has focused on acting in productions such as HBO’s THE LEFTOVERS, WENTWORTH and ABC’s THE NEWSREADER.

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 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 New Zealand feature film MR PIP, as 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. He shot Rodd Rathjen’s MIFF Premiere-Fund supported feature debut BUOYANCY which was selected for 2019’s Berlinale.

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 was exhibited at Sydney’s Carriageworks Arts Centre.