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. His Dev Patel-starring debut feature HOTEL MUMBAI had its international premiere at Toronto 2018.

Daniel Koerner is a Creative Director of Sandpit, where he has designed multiplatform extensions for feature films 52 Tuesdays, The Boy Castaways, Now 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, before screening 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. Her debut feature, THE INLAND ROAD was selected for Berlinale 2017, and her following feature THE BREAKER UPPERERS was a hit at the NZ box office after being selected for SXSW 2018. She has directed two episodes of the WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS series for FX.

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. His first short film, TOY SOLDIER, was shot in French and Hebrew and screen at several festivals, including 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 Yellowhead, both premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, later 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 SONNY 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$, HELL BENTO!!, HELEN’S WAR and the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported AIM HIGH IN CREATION! – the development of which was inspired in part by the helpful sessions she attended at Accelerator 2011. Awards include three AFIs, the Rome Film Festival’s Cult Prize, a Walkley Award, the Russian Film Critics’ prize, the Al Jazeera Golden Award, the 2008 NSW Premier’s Literary Award and Best Director at France’s Films Des Femmes. FORBIDDEN LIE$ is one of the top ten earning Australian documentaries ever and screened in North America, the Middle East and Europe, and won the 2008 Writer’s Guild of America (East & West) Best Non-fiction Screenplay Award. Her documentary PLEASE EXPLAIN was awarded an AACTA for Best Direction in a Documentary, and her next feature documentary will be the Premiere-Fund supported ULURU & THE MAGICIAN.

Ben Young: Since writing and directing his first feature film Hounds of Love in 2016, Ben has directed US films Extinction for Netflix and Devil’s Peak starring Billy Bob Thornton and Robin Wright. His television credits include Clickbait (Netflix), The Wilds (Amazon), Population 11 (Stan), The Twelve (Foxtel) and Scrublands (Stan). He has received AACTA Award, ADG and AWG award nominations in Australia and received numerous awards and nominations internationally.

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 Luhrmann’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 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 Luhrmann 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 the 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-part 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. In 2017 Hilditch directed1922, a Steven King adaptation for Netflix, and he is currently in post-production on feature film RATTLESNAKE.


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 37°South 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 – see 2021.

Sue Brown is a writer, director and producer focusing on elevated genre films. She has produced three feature films: FAMILY DEMONS (2009), INNER DEMON (2015), and THE DEVIL’S WORK (2024) written and directed under the pseudonym, Ursula Dabrowsky. All three features have screened at prestigious genre film festivals including London’s Frightfest and Spain’s Sitges International Film Festival and are currently being distributed worldwide by IFM Films and Terror Films respectively. Brown is co-producing supernatural horror film RUBY, RUBY with producer Antony Ginnane.