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): A graduate of  the Victorian College of the Arts, Eddie has written and directed multiple short films that have screened in festivals locally and around the world. In recent years he has been developing multiple long form projects independently and with support from Screen Australia. In 2019 Eddie completed a directing attachment on the US TV Series PREACHER (AMC/ Point Grey Pictures). Most recently Eddie co-wrote an episode and directed episodes of the series YEAR OF (2023, Stan/ Roadshow Rough Diamond).

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): After a long apprenticeship of more than a dozen shorts, Stolevski’s feature debut YOU WON’T BE ALONE premiered in official competition at 2022’s Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and then theatrical distribution by Universal’s Focus Features. OF AN AGE, his sophomore title co-financed with the MIFF Premiere Fund, world premiered in 2022 as the Melbourne International Film Festival 70th Opening Night, with Roadshow taking ANZ distribution and Universal’s Focus again taking rest of world, and also won the $100k CinefestOZ Film Prize. His third feature is the Macedonian-shot HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS. He was named one of Variety’s top-10 Directors to Watch in 2022.

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’. His third short BLUE SMOKE is in post-production and will premiere in 2021.

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 producer. Her debut feature, RELIC, is a psychological horror starring Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote and Robyn Nevin, produced by Carver Films, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories and executive produced by the Russo Brothers’ Agbo Films. RELIC premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and received a nomination for Best Film at the 2020 IFP Gotham Awards, as well as numerous nominations for Best Film, Best Direction, and Best Screenplay at the 2020 Australian Academy of Cinema Television Arts Awards, the Australian Director’s Guild Awards and the Australian Writer’s Guild Awards.

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, KILLING EVE and SBS-TV’s four-part miniseries ON THE ROPES, before making her feature directing debut with BABYTEETH starring Essie Davis and Ben Mendelsohn. She is currently directing two episodes of Sister Pictures new series THE POWER.

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. Yamin has been mentored by Rolf de Heer and she was named 2016’s New Filmmaker of the Year in New Zealand. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Sundance Merata Mita Fellowship. In 2021, Yamin’s feature script Hong Kong Story was selected by The Black List.

Emily Dynes (St. Elmo) is a director and composer committed to crafting inclusive and authentic storytelling through short films, visual art and music videos. Her work has been featured in Aesthetica Film Festival, My Queer Career, Leeds International Film Festival, Short of The Week, Director’s Notes, Boom.TV, BIFF’s Young Australian Filmmaker Nominees, Frankie Magazine’s Good Stuff Awards and as a finalist at St Kilda Film Festival. Emily recently completed a Film Victoria Director’s Attachment on the AACTA nominated TV drama HALIFAX: RETRIBUTION and currently directs DEEP END – an ongoing visual series exploring intimacy and trauma supported by the City of Melbourne.

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 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 AACTA-nominated Producer of The Last Daughter, which was awarded Best Australian Film at the Gold Coast Film Festival and recipient of the Audience Award at the Adelaide Film Festival. Skinner is part of Gravity Films, alongside Simon Williams. Since their feature debut in 2023, they’ve developed a diverse range of projects.

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 Sydney Film Festival, Flickerfest and St Kilda Film Festival. Brooke’s most recent short Outbreak Generation was the result of her receiving the 2016 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship, with the film premiering at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival. 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: Boscolo’s screenplay THE SOUND OF LIGHT was one of only nine international projects selected for the Venice International Film Festival’s Biennale College. She won MIFF’s Emerging Filmmaker Award for her short LET’S SEE HOW FAST THIS BABY WILL GO, which was preselected for Cannes Critics Week as well as Cannes main competition. Her short SAM’S GOLD won an ADG award for Best Direction in a Short Film and screened on ABC-TV. Her screenplay CATCHING SIGHT placed in the top 15 per cent of the Academy Nicholl competition. Boscolo was set-up Director on THE PM’S DAUGHTER (ABC) and has also directed DOCTOR DOCTOR.


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 is a graduate actor of The New Zealand Drama School. She starred in 1998 feature SAVING GRACE and was 2007 Globe Artistic fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. Her most recent acting role was in NO EXIT (2022). 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. She directed her first shortsKAT and BREATHE in 2014. Her third short, COLD, premiered in 2018 at the Sandy Dennis Film Festival. Her next directorial venture is short film SAVE ME, which is scheduled to shoot in 2023. Hamilton’s feature script WITHOUT SIN/HARAKORE is in development.

Renae Maihi Renae Maihi is an Indigenous Māori writer and director. Her anthology feature film Waru debuted at Toronto International Film Festival. In 2022, her film We Are Still Here opened the Sydney International Film Festival, premiered at TIFF during opening weekend and won Best Dramatic Feature Film at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in Toronto. A Berlinale Talents 2024 alumni, Maihi is represented by Hollywood management company 5XMedia.


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.