Accelerator Lab 2021 Participants

Accelerator Classic
Participants with films at MIFF 2021

Brietta Hague (BALTASAR): Brietta Hague is a filmmaker and international journalist. A director and a  producer, she has created  TV documentaries across the globe and currently works with ABC’s Foreign Correspondent. Brietta produced the award-winning narrative short Red Rover in 2015. In 2017 she received an ADG film fellowship which enabled her to make a short film in Cuba under the guidance of Werner Herzog. Brietta has lived in Barcelona intermittently for the past ten years. Baltasar is her first narrative work as a writer/director.”

Cloudy Rhodes (BEAUTIFUL THEY): Cloudy Rhodes is a non-binary award-winning director and DOP producing distinct and emotionally intuitive work. They have directed music videos, short films, and TVCs, worked with brands such as Levis, Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein, and shot editorials for Vogue, i-D, Monster Children, Oyster and Russh. Cloudy is in development on their debut feature. In 2021 their short film ‘Beautiful They’ – a personal, auto-biographical piece – will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival’s 20th anniversary edition.

Domini Marshall (SLAP): Domini Marshall is a writer/director whose work explores gender, social norms and the experiences of women.  In 2017, Domini directed ‘her words’ – an Australian web series aiming to amplify the voices of women and awarded the inaugural Female Empowerment Grant from TOM Organic and was accepted into the Foundation for Young Australian’s Young Social Pioneers program. Domini is currently finishing a Masters in Narrative Film at VCA and works as the Creative Communications Manager with The Equality Institute.

James Hunter (NEST):  James Hunter is an award-winning director with a background in short films, music videos and commercials. His short films include ‘Tinman’ (Official Selection, Brisbane International Film Festival) produced by Simon Weaving (Tropfest finalist, ‘Ascension’) and starring Rhys Muldoon and Oliver Ackland  as well as ‘The Archive’ (Best Film, Best Director, Lights! Canberra! Action!). His other works include ‘Struggle’ (National Youth Winner, Canberra Short Film Festival) and ‘School Daze’ (Best Film, Reelife Short Film Festival).

Jaslyn Mairs (SUNBURN): Jaslyn Mairs is a Sydney-based director. A graduate of the Australian Film Television Radio School, she has worked across a range of projects including short films, music videos, and web series. Her most recent work ‘Sunburn’, staring Zoe Terakes and Brenna Harding, has so far screened at CinefestOZ, Brisbane International Film Festival, Flickerfest, and Gold Coast Film Festival.

Jasmin Tarasin (THE STORY OF LEE PING): Jasmin Tarasin is an award winning filmmaker and artist. She creates emotionally charged heartfelt stories driven by humanity and honesty.  Her creativity and honest and unaffected approach have brought attention to her work worldwide. She has directed documentaries , short films, commercials and video art installations. She is passionate about creating change in gender equality through storytelling in every part of her work.

Jordan Giusti (REPTILE): Jordan Giusti is an award-winning writer and director based in Naarm (Melbourne), Australia. His short film GREVILLEA had its World Premiere at the 2020 Berlinale as part of Generation’s 14plus Competition, where it was nominated for the Crystal Bear. In 2019, his short TAPE was awarded Best Youth Short Film at the St Kilda Film Festival, while Jordan himself was nominated for the Young Filmmaker of the Year Award at the 2020 Byron Bay International Film Festival.

Kauthar Abdulalim (THE NINTH TOWER): Kauthar Abdulalim has formally studied documentary filmmaking, Islamic Studies and is currently pursuing her Masters in Arts Management at RMIT. Kauthar has worked on documentary projects for the ABC and SBS as an Impact Producer and Production Manager. She is the founder of an independent production company, Blacksand Pictures, and has been a recipient of various internships, scholarships and funding from both state and federal screen agencies, including a Screen Australia development funding for her comedy web-series ‘Salma and the City’.

Kieran Wheeler (JUNGLE): Kieran Wheeler has worked in the Australian film industry for over ten years. His short films have played at festivals all around the world and received numerous awards. He is currently working towards getting his first feature film made. He is a true cinephile who watches films non-stop and is always in awe by the power of stories and the innate need that people seem to have to tell and hear them.

Lianne Mackessy (NOT A WALLFLOWER): Lianne is a Sydney based writer, director and actor. She has been involved with Bus Stop Films since 2018. During this time, Lianne has worked closely with the filmmaking students at Bus Stop as a tutor, and writer/director; co-creating inclusively made films. As an actor, she has appeared in numerous Australian television series, commercials, short films and independent feature films. In addition to her creative work, over the past decade, she has supported and mentored both disadvantaged youth and individuals living with intellectual disabilities.

Lillian Paterson (CALL HISTORY): Lillian is a writer, director and multi-disciplinary artist. Her recent short Call History has screened at festivals around Australia. In 2018, she made the short documentary Lives in Action alongside Hawanatu Bangura. This was part of her work with Bus Stop Films, an organisation that provides film workshops for adults with intellectual disabilities. Lillian also works as an episode writer, director’s assistant and assistant director on films and TVCs. She is currently writing a feature film set in colonial Australia.

Madeleine Gottlieb (LAURA): In 2018 Madeleine directed, wrote and produced her short film Snare, which was nominated for a 2019 AACTA Award and world premiered at SXSW 2019, going on to screen at various interntional film festivals, including Tribeca. 2019 also saw Madeleine complete a Screen Australia Director’s Attachment on Leah Purcell’s film The Drovers Wife, and write feature film Panyee for Revolver Films. She also wrote, directed and produced her third short film Laura which screened at MIFF 2020. in 2020 Madeleine completed her fourth short film You and Me, Before and After starring Yael Stone and Emily Barclay. She is currently developing a number of long form projects with esteemed location production companies.

Mariella S. Solano (ALBA): Mariella is a Peruvian-Australian, director, writer and producer and a recent graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Post-graduation, Mariella has worked independently in writer’s rooms, as a casting assistant and a production assistant in Film, TV, VFX and TVC’s. Mariella is drawn to stories that showcase the intrinsic details of intimacy and relationship dynamics. She is heavily influenced by Latino filmmaking which embodies movement and dance as expression, community and sensual connection.

Michael Beets (NEZUNOBAN): Michael Beets is an award winning director. His virtual reality projects, music videos, and films have been screened at festivals around the world including Venice Film Festival, Cannes, Busan, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. He has three projects at MIFF this year: Artefacts (Interactive VR), Nezunoban (Short Film), and Those Left Waiting (Live Film Experience).

Michael Gupta (THE ECHO): An Australian/Indian writer and director. Classically trained as an actor, Michael studied screenwriting at AFTRS with an interest in exploring themes of identity and power. Michael was a participant in Screen Australia’s Talent Camp lab and as a writer has worked in television for Aquarius Films and Buster Productions. His short films have played around the world. With a desire to unearth beautiful, emotional narratives Michael is cur-rently developing his debut feature alongside other short and long form works.

Petra Leslie (SUNSET COUNTRY): Petra Leslie is a Sydney based cinematographer, director and writer. Petra holds a BA in Media, Screen & Sound and recently completed a Masters in Cinematography at AFTRS. Her video work has exhibited at Melbourne gallery Seventh and her first short film Sleeping is Difficult premiered at the Human Rights Arts Film Festival in 2020. Her second short film Sunset Country will have its premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival as part of the 2021 Accelerator program.

Taylor Ferguson (TOUGH): Taylor Ferguson grew up in Cairns, Far North Queensland and has worked extensively as an actor in theatre, television and film. She recently starred in the US Netflix show ‘Clickbait’, and ‘Fires’ for ABC and NBC, which will premiere in 2021. In 2020 she wrote and directed her first music video for the band ‘Boy & Bear’. ‘Tough’ is Taylor’s first film. She is currently developing her feature and treating the short as a proof of concept.

Terry Hou (RIDING SCOOTERS): Terry is a Chinese Australian filmmaker who grew up flying between China, Nepal, Malaysia and Australia. Despite the chaos three times a week his family would go to the movies and this passion carried over into him making theatre, commercials and short films. He has worked as a creative producer in Beijing and a talent handler for Legendary East, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. He recently graduated from the American Film Institute with an MFA in directing.

Tom Campbell (THE BENDS): Tom has spent many years assisting and being closely mentored by Garth Davis before directing Splinter Unit on his critically acclaimed feature film LION (2016). Tom has since moved between music videos, documentary work and commercials while developing his own slate of narrative film projects. Tom’s passion is the ability to explore other worlds and uncover authenticity in accessible and dramatic ways. Embedding himself in and living in these worlds to extract universal cinematic truth in collaboration with his cast.

Victoria Singh-Thompson (DON’T FORGET TO GO HOME): Victoria is a QTPOC filmmaker living on unceded Gadigal land. A Sundance Ignite finalist, their short films have played at festivals around the world and won numerous awards. Their work seeks to tell the personal stories of those outside the dominant culture.


2021 Accelerator Express Directors

Directors selected by the South Australian Film Corporation’s Film Lab: New Voices initiative:

Madeleine Parry: Madeleine directed Emmy-award winning Hannah Gadsby: Nanette for Netflix and began her career appeared in award-winning documentaries Murder Mouth, in which she killed her own food for the first time (Best Film – Cineglobe, Bondi FF), Meatwork (Best Standalone Documentary – ADG) and series Maddie Parry: Tough Jobs (Nominated, Best Series – ADG). She is currently writing scripted feature The Storm with the SAFC/AFF/Mercury CX Film Lab: New Voices program, and recent recipient of the SAFC’s Lottie Lyell Award.

Matt Veseley: Matt Vesely is a writer, director and comedian from South Australia. He has made a number of successful short films, and works as a developer and writer with award-winning collective Closer Productions. His latest short, the sci-fi comedy SYSTEM ERROR, was selected for Tribeca Film Festival and has received over 300k views on US sci-fi platform DUST.

Peter Ninos: Peter Ninos has worked widely in the industry on projects including, The Hunting as directors attachment to Ana Kokkinos and as an assistant director on Mortal Kombat. His primary focus is as a director, creating  a number of short films and web series which have amassed over three million views online. Peter is working on his feature film debut for the SAFC’s FilmLab: New Voices initiative, where he is representing both the LGBTQI+ community and his Greek/Australian heritage.


Directors selected by Film Victoria’s Originate initiative:

Katie Found: Katie Found’s debut feature ‘My First Summer’, is currently streaming on STAN and screened at Adelaide Film Festival, BFI Flare, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Inside Out, MQFF and Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival. Katie completed her Masters of Screenwriting at VCA in 2020 and has recently received development funding from Film Victoria for her psychological horror ‘Down Came the Rain’ which explores postpartum psychosis.

Logan Mucha: Logan Mucha is a director whose films have played at film festivals globally, on TV and major online platforms. He is a repeat winner of Best Australian Short at the Human Rights Film Festival and his feature documentary, East Bloc Love, launched Amnesty International’s Pride Fund at the Hague. His latest work Scattered is a vertical drama series he co-created, wrote and directed for TikTok in 2021. He’s now writing his first fiction feature, Divided We Fall, developed through Creative Victoria’s Creator’s Fund.


Directors selected via Create NSW initiatives: Screenability; Charlie’s Talent Escalator Lab; and Unreal Engine

Anthea Williams: Anthea’s short film Safety Net was part of the Sydney Film Festival, Slamdance & Whānau Mārama | The New Zealand International Film Festival. Anthea has worked in script development at Causeway Films & now works as an independent developer. Anthea is also an award-winning theatre director & Churchill Fellow. She was Associate Director – New Work at Belvoir where she directed & commissioned new plays for the company. She developed the original productions of Babyteeth & The Drover’s Wife while at Belvoir.

Julie Kalceff: Julie Kalceff is an award-winning Australian writer, director and producer best known for writing, directing and co-producing the television series First Day. This ground-breaking story of a 12 year-old transgender girl starting high school was the first Australian series to star a transgender actor in the lead role. It has sold to multiple territories worldwide including Hulu (US) and CBBC (UK). First Day received a number of international awards including a Rose d’Or and a GLAAD Media Award. In 2020, Julie was one of 5 directors on the anthology feature film Here Out West. Julie is also the writer, director and producer of acclaimed online series Starting From Now. With over 170 million views, Starting From Now is one of the most watched web series in the world.

Rebecca O’Brien: Rebecca is an ACCTA nominated TV Director who has directed and produced award-winning projects for ABC TV, Netflix and NITV. Most recently she was nominated for an ADG award for her episode of the Netflix series The Unlisted. Rebecca has also directed several award-winning shorts, The Great Dark and Do Not Disturb have featured in festivals such as Palm Springs, Montreal and Creteil International Women’s Film Festival. Rebecca is currently in post-production on the Screen NSW and Unreal Engine Funded short film The Gathering.