Accelerator 2016 Participants

Accelerator Classic
Participants with films at MIFF 2016

Alice Englert (The Boyfriend Game) has worked as an actress on a variety of screen productions including GINGER & ROSA and TOP OF THE LAKE 2. Englert’s short film directing debut THE BOYFRIEND GAME screened at Toronto International Film Festival 2015 and Berlinale 2016. Englert’s second short film FAMILY HAPPINESS, starring Ben Whishaw, was selected for a number of festivals including MIFF and the BFI London Film Festival.

Eddie Diamandi (Emily) grew-up traveling and performing with the Great Moscow Circus. After moving with his family to Australia, Diamandi trained as an actor and later was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) School of Film & TV. A recipient of the AMP Tomorrow Maker Award and Raw Artists Melbourne Filmmaker of the Year, he has written and directed several short films and music videos that have screened in festivals locally and overseas. In 2018, as part of Screen Australia’s Hot Shots Plus program, he wrote and directed THE WAKE, a short film proof-of-concept for his first feature SVETLANA. He also had a director’s attachment on US TV Series PREACHER.

Elizabeth Fermanis (Hospitality) is a Melbourne-based writer and filmmaker who is a graduate of the Masters of Film & TV at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) where she was awarded a Victorian Scholarship for visual art. She works at Silver Spoon Productions as an editor and production coordinator and has recently directed an episode of web series Fresh.

Goran Stolevski (You Deserve Everything) has a Masters in Film & TV from Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). He has made several short films, which have played at the Raindance, Sydney, Adelaide and Frameline San Francisco Film Festivals, among others. In 2014, he was selected for Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator initiative and he worked as a writers’ room assistant and director’s attachment on the Emmy-award-winning NOWHERE BOYS and Matchbox TV series BARRACUDA. In 2017 he attended the Berlinale Talent Campus and in 2018 won Best International Short with Would You Look at Her at the Sundance Film Festival. He is represented by UTA.

Ivan Barge’s second short, MADAM BLACK has screened at more than 150 festivals globally, winning many accolades including the Prix Du Public at Clermont Ferrand, the world’s biggest Audience Award for short film. His first short, SNOOZE TIME, was featured in the New Directors section of ‘Shots’.

Jordan Bond (Big City) is a writer/director of short films and music videos, and, from 2013-2016, was fulltime writer/director at DPI Productions. In 2015 he wrote and directed two music videos for Tiny Little Houses, winning an Audience Award in the SoundKILDA music video competition and screening in competition at the Los Angeles Music Video Festival. His film SHE SELLS screened at Flickerfest 2015 and was picked-up by Flickerfest distribution.

Lachlan Ryan (Big City) associate produced family film ODDBALL while working at The Film Company. Previously, he wrote, directed and produced his debut feature film, REVERSE RUNNER, executive produced by THE MIGHTY DUCKS director Stephen Herek. In 2010 he wrote and directed ANDREW & BEC’S SKYDIVING VIDEO, which won the Colorado Film Festival’s Director’s Heart Award.

Eli Kent (Moving) is a winner of the Bruce Mason Award for emerging playwrights and the New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award and in 2010 completed his Masters in Scriptwriting at Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern Letters. His show ALL YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS FULFILLED FOREVER played at London’s Vaults Festival following runs in Auckland and New York.

Leon Wadham (Moving) is a graduate of Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School, where he received the Museum Hotel Scholarship Award. He worked as an actor, director and writer for many of New Zealand’s industry leaders, including South Pacific Pictures, Silo Theatre and Auckland Theatre Company and his TV credits include Alice Snedden’s Bad News, Cystic Sisters &The Male Gayz. Wadham directed 8 Reasonable Demands for Auckland Theatre Company.

Luci Schroder (Slapper) is a Melbourne based writer director nominated for the Cannes Young Director Award with a varied background in fine arts, textiles design and philosophy and has a working history in fashion, film, music video, TV commercials, video art, short documentary and short stories and participation in various video exhibitions in Paris, Sydney, Melbourne and Mexico. In 2016, Schroder won Emerging Australian Filmmaker Award at MIFF and SLAPPER played at Sundance 2017.

Natalie Erika James (Creswick) is a Japanese-Australian writer-director and Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduate whose shorts, including Burrow (2014) and Tritch (2012), have screened internationally, including at MIFF, Palm Springs ShortFest and Flickerfest. She was director’s attachment on Leigh Whannell’s sci-fi thriller STEM and her debut feature, RELIC, was produced by Carver Films (SNOWTOWN, PARTISAN) & Nine Stories (Riva Marker, Jake Gyllenhaal), and supported by the Russo Brothers’ AGBO, Screen Australia and Film Victoria. Natalie is signed to WME and directs commercials and music videos through Melbourne production company Fiction.

Patrick McBain (Slug) cut his teeth as a writer, director and editor across dozens of productions as part of the Bachelor of Narrative Directing (Film & TV) at Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). As well as writing, directing and editing his graduate film Slug in his final year, he assisted in post-production on three other VCA productions as an editor and credits supervisor. He works as an editor and post-production producer for GlossVFX in New York.

Shannon Murphy (Eaglehawk) is a National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) graduate who worked as a theatre director and devisor for 10 years before attending the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS). Murphy directed episodes of Offspring, Love Child, Rake & Sisters and SBS-TV’s four-part miniseries On the Ropes, before making her feature directing debut with Babyteeth starring Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn.

Tim Egan (Curve) is a Melbourne-based Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduate who has worked many roles on film sets over the last decade, including as DoP for films like DEATH BY MUFF, THE SCORE, BLOOD ON THE GAME DICE, PROSOPAGNOSIA, A LIFE UNEXPECTED, LIZ DRIVES and TROLL BRIDGE. Egan has also worked as an online editor in advertising and TV and as a director, DOP and Editor for ABC-TV’s THE BAZURA PROJECT.

Yamin Tun (Wait) is a writer-director and a graduate of Oxford University in Philosophy, Politics & Economics. Originally from Myanmar, Yamin spent her childhood as an asylum-seeker in numerous countries. In 2013, Yamin was selected by Film Finances Inc to attend Telluride Film Festival and meet film industry in Los Angeles. As part of the NZ Script-to-Screen FilmUp Program, her mentor was Rolf de Heer and she was named 2016’s New Filmmaker of the Year in New Zealand.

Emily Dynes (St. Elmo) is a Swinburne University Bachelor of Film & TV graduate and the co-founder of Impel Pictures, where she creates short films and documentaries.

Brendon McDonall (The Dam) is a director, screenwriter and actor and is a graduate of University of Western Sydney (UWS) Theatre Nepean (Acting) and a triple graduate of the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS). His first short film, THE LAW, won a Flickerfest 2012 Jury Prize. ALL GOD’S CREATURES won Best Film and Best Director at 2014’s Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival and the International Iris Prize. McDonall won the AFTRS/Foxtel Award for Exceptional Talent and was Associate Director on ABC-TV series JANET KING. In 2014 he completed a Master of Screen Arts in Directing at AFTRS where he wrote and directed THE DAM. His romantic comedy Spoilers premiered at Frameline and screened on the UK’s BBC2. He currently lectures in directing and screenwriting at AFTRS & JMC.

Jennifer Perrott (The Ravens) is a writer/director/producer working between Europe and Australia who won a Best Young Director Award at the Broadcastnow / BBC B+Young Talent Awards. Perrott has directed prime-time UK and Australian TV drama and she wrote-financed-produced and directed 22-minute short film THE RAVENS which won 2016’s Heartland Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. In 2018 she directed episodes of BBC’s Doctor Who and British-American historical drama series created by Sally Wainwright, Gentleman Jack for HBO/BBC1.

 

Accelerator Express Directors
Directors selected by Screen Tasmania’s Pitch, Plot, Produce 

Briony Kidd is a Tasmanian-based filmmaker and theatre-maker and graduate of Melbourne’s Victoria College of the Arts (VCA). Her short gothic melodrama THE ROOM AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS debuted on the Shudder.com platform internationally and her short WATCH ME, a thriller written by Claire d’Este, premiered at Monster Fest before heading out on the international circuit. Her Radio Gothic theatre collective presented horror radio plays at Dark MOFO 2016 and 2017.

Rebecca Thomson is a Tasmanian based writer/director who has directed eight short films, including cult hit CUPCAKE: A ZOMBIE LESBIAN MUSICAL and THE JELLY WRESTLER, and whose films have won awards and screened at more than 70 film festivals worldwide including Frameline, St. Kilda Film Festival, New York International Film Festival. Thomson’s I AM UNDONE was selected to be part of the horror feature anthology A NIGHT OF HORROR VOL.1 produced by Deadhouse Films and A Night of Horror International Film Festival. In 2010 Thomson was chosen as a participant in the Screen Australia-funded Raw Nerve Program, resulting in the short film Slashed.

 

Directors selected by South Australian Film Commission iView Initiative

Brendon Skinner began working with Simon Williams while studying film at University and together they have directed three short films with international festival recognition, SEE-SAW SWEETHEARTS (2009), MONKEYBAR MAFIA (2010) and TOOT TOOT (2010), before creating corporate web-series AGE MATTERS (2011) and IS IT DEMENTIA (2013). They also directed and co-produced 2016’s ABC-iview series GOOBER.

Simon Williams began working with Brendon Skinner while studying film at University and together they have directed three short films with international festival recognition, SEE-SAW SWEETHEARTS (2009), MONKEYBAR MAFIA (2010) and TOOT TOOT (2010), before creating corporate web-series AGE MATTERS (2011) and IS IT DEMENTIA (2013). They also directed and co-produced 2016’s ABC-iview series GOOBER.

 

Directors selected by Australian Directors Guild’s Gender Careers initiative
(supported by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Program)

Beth Armstrong graduated from the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS) with a Masters in film directing and directed six shorts, winning awards including Best of Festival at Palm Springs. Her short comedy/drama YOU CUT I CHOOSE, premiered at MIFF 2014 and was nominated for an ADG award. She was awarded the Screen Australia/ADG Director’s Attachment to Mel Gibson on the Oscar-winning feature, HACKSAW RIDGE. Armstrong directed ten episodes of Seven Network’s children’s series DROP DEAD WEIRD and directs commercials for Two Little Indians and Clockwork films. She also co-produces and hosts podcast series CURVEBALL.

Brooke Goldfinch attended NYU’s graduate film program at Tisch School of the Arts as a scholarship student with support from the Thyne Reid Foundation. Goldfinch returned to Sydney after receiving a Screen Australia Talent Escalator Grant for her short film RED ROVER, which received Best Director Awards at 2016 Flickerfest and St Kilda Film Festival. In 2012, Goldfinch’s short film PEN PAL premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival and she was selected by actor/director James Franco to write and direct a segment of the compendium feature film THE COLOR OF TIME. She was a Director’s Attachment on ALIEN: COVENANT, shadowing director Ridley Scott.

Julietta Boscolo is a 2011 graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), where her Masters film, SAFE, won numerous awards. She won MIFF’s Emerging Filmmaker Award for her short LET’S SEE HOW FAST THIS BABY WILL GO, which was also preselected for Cannes Critics Week, and her short SAM’S GOLD won ADG’s Award for Best Direction in a Short Film and screened on ABC-TV. She was selected for Screen Australia’s Directors Attachment Scheme on LOVE CHILD.

 

Directors selected by the New Zealand Film Commission’s Talent Express Initiative

Nathalie Boltt has acted in the likes of Golden Globe winner DISTRICT 9, BBC series INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY and 24 HOURS TO LIVE with Ethan Hawke. Boltt has written for TV series’ and wrote and directed two shorts: THE SILK, selected as an installation by the Westport Arts Centre in New York (distributed by GaiaTV); and VAJAZZLE (selected by Canada’s Film Shortage). She is the co-creator of cult webseries Dropped Pie, which she also writes, directs and performs in.

Kirsty Hamilton graduated from New Zealand’s Toi Whakaari Drama School in 1992. She starred in 1998 feature SAVING GRACE and was 2007 Globe Artistic fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. In 2012, Hamilton earned her MA in creative writing at Wellington’s Victoria University and in 2016 gained her Auckland University Screen Production honours degree. Her third short film is COLD, which she wrote, produced, directed & acted in and she is also developing two short documentary films and feature screenplay Without Sin.

Renae Maihi is a writer and director in theatre and film. Her debut play, Nga Manurere, was touted as the “surprise jewel of the year” by the NZ Herald (2009), and her play Patua won the Adam NZ Playwrights award for Best Play by a Maori Playwright. She co-wrote short film REDEMPTION, which featured at Berlin and Sundance, and won Best Short Film at Toronto’s 2010 imagineNATIVE Film Festival. She then wrote and directed her NZFC-funded short BUTTERFLY, which travelled to numerous international festivals. Maihi developed her short MANNAHATTA in New York while studying filmmaking at NYFA. Her feature Waru which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival & opened ImagineNATIVE. It won best screenplay at the 2017 NZ SWANZ awards, the Grand Jury Award for an Outstanding International Narrative Feature at the 34th Asia Pacific Film Festival in LA & the 2018 Audience Award at Seattle International Film Festival. In 2018, alongside the other Waru filmmakers she was awarded the 2018 NZFC Maori Screen Excellence Award of $50,000.

 

Director selected by ScreenWest’s West Coast Visions

Stephen McCallum is a 2011 graduate of the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS), where he won the Foxtel Exceptional Talent award and the AFTRS EU scholarship. Since graduating, he has directed several commercials including It’s Time, his marriage equality advert for GetUp which was voted AdNews Viral of the Year and had more than 16 million YouTube hits. In 2013, McCallum had a director’s attachment on Tony Ayres’ MIFF Premiere Fund-supported feature CUT SNAKE and in 2014, he was Glendyn Ivin’s Director’s Assistant on Network Nine’s GALLIPOLI where he directed 2nd Unit. McCallum has directed several short films that have screened around the world and in 2016 directed his debut feature film, 1%, which was selected for the Toronto and London Film Festivals.