Accelerator Lab 2021 Participants

Accelerator Classic
Participants with films at MIFF 2021

Brietta Hague (BALTASAR): A director and a producer, Brietta Hague 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. 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 who has 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’s 2021 short film Beautiful They – a personal, auto-biographical piece – world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival’s 20th anniversary edition.

Domini Marshall (SLAP): Domini Marshall is a writer/director whose 2017 work ‘her words’ is an Australian web series aiming to amplify the voices of women that was awarded the inaugural Female Empowerment Grant from TOM Organic and was accepted into the Foundation for Young Australian’s Young Social Pioneers program.

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’ (Brisbane International Film Festival) and ‘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): A graduate of the Australian Film Television Radio School (AFTRS), Sydney-based Mairs has worked across short films, music videos, and web series. Sunburn has also 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 who has directed documentaries, short films, commercials and video art installations.

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. His short TAPE won Best Youth Short Film at 2019’s St Kilda Film Festival.

Kauthar Abdulalim (THE NINTH TOWER): Kauthar Abdulalim 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.

Lianne Mackessy (NOT A WALLFLOWER): A Sydney-based writer, director and actor, Mackessy has been involved with Bus Stop Films since 2018 working closely with Bus Stop’s filmmaking students as a tutor and writer/director to co-create inclusively-made films. As an actor, she has appeared in numerous Australian TV series, commercials, shorts and independent features.

Lillian Paterson (CALL HISTORY): A writer, director and multi-disciplinary artist, Paterson made short documentary Lives in Action in 2018 alongside Hawanatu Bangura as part of her work with Bus Stop Films, which provides film workshops for adults with intellectual disabilities. She also works as an episode writer, director’s assistant and assistant director on films and TVCs.

Madeleine Gottlieb (LAURA): In 2018, Gottlieb directed, wrote and produced short film Snare which world premiered at 2019’s South by SouthWest (SxSW). In 2019, she was director attachment on Leah Purcell’s The Drovers Wife and made her third short film, Laura (MIFF 2020). Her fourth short film, 2020’s You and Me, stared Yael Stone and Emily Barclay.

Mariella S. Solano (ALBA): A Peruvian-Australian, director, writer and producer, and a recent graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Solano has worked independently in writer’s rooms, as a casting assistant and a production assistant in Film, TV, VFX and TVCs.

Michael Beets (NEZUNOBAN): Michael Beets is an award winning director, whose virtual reality projects, music videos, and films have been screened at festivals around the world including Venice, Cannes, Busan, Toronto, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. His three projects at MIFF 2021 are Artefacts (Interactive VR), Nezunoban (Short Film), and Those Left Waiting (Live Film Experience).

Michael Gupta (THE ECHO): An Australian/Indian writer and director who classically trained as an actor, Gupta studied screenwriting at the Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS) and was a participant in Screen Australia’s Talent Camp. As a TV writer, he has worked for Aquarius Films and Buster Productions, while his short films have played around the world.

Petra Leslie (SUNSET COUNTRY): A Sydney-based cinematographer, director and writer, Leslie holds a BA in Media, Screen & Sound and a Masters in Cinematography from the Australian Film TV & Radio School. Her video work has exhibited at Melbourne gallery Seventh and her first short film, Sleeping is Difficult, premiered at 2020’s Human Rights Film Festival.

Taylor Ferguson (TOUGH): An experienced screen and theatre actor, whose credits include Netflix’s Clickbait and ABC’s Fires, Ferguson made her narrative helming debut with Tough which she is treating as a proof-of-concept for a feature debut. In 2020 she wrote and directed her first music video for the band ‘Boy & Bear’.

Terry Hou (RIDING SCOOTERS): A Chinese Australian filmmaker who grew-up between China, Nepal, Malaysia and Australia, Hou has made theatre, commercials and short films, as well as working as a creative producer in Beijing and a talent handler for Legendary East, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. He has a MFA in directing from the American Film Institute.

Tom Campbell (THE BENDS): Having spent many years assisting and being closely mentored by Garth Davis, Campbell directed Splinter Unit on Davis’ multiple award-winning LION (2016) and has since moved between music videos, documentaries and commercials while developing his own slate of narrative film projects.

Victoria Singh-Thompson (DON’T FORGET TO GO HOME): A Sundance Ignite finalist, Singh-Thompson short films have played at festivals around the world and won numerous awards.


2021 Accelerator Express Directors

Directors selected by the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) Film Lab: New Voices initiative:

Madeleine Parry: A SAFC Lottie Lyell Award-winner, Parry directed Emmy-winning Hannah Gadsby: Nanette for Netflix having earlier appeared in award-winning documentaries Murder Mouth, in which she killed her own food for the first time, Meatwork and series Maddie Parry: Tough Jobs.

Matt Veseley: A writer, director and comedian from South Australia, Vesely is part of award-winning collective Closer Productions and has made several short films, including sci-fi comedy System Error which played Tribeca Film Festival and had more than 300,000 views on US sci-fi platform DUST.

Peter Ninos: A director whose short films and web series have amassed moren than three million views online, Ninos was director attachment to Ana Kokkinos on The Hunting and assistant director on Mortal Kombat. He is part of the SAFC’s FilmLab: New Voices initiative working on his feature film representing both the LGBTQI+ community and his Greek-Australian heritage.


Directors selected by Film Victoria’s Originate initiative:

Katie Found: A 2020 Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Screenwriting Masters graduate, Found’s debut feature My First Summer, screened at Adelaide Film Festival, BFI Flare, Santa Barbara, Inside Out, Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival before streaming on STAN.

Logan Mucha: A repeat winner of the Human Rights Film Festival’s Best Australian Short award, Mucha’s feature documentary East Bloc Love launched Amnesty International’s Pride Fund at the Hague. In 2021, he co-created, wrote and directed vertical drama series Scattered for TikTok.


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

Anthea Williams: An award-winning theatre director and Churchill Fellow, Williams was Associate Director (New Work) Sydney’s Belvoir where she developed the original productions of Babyteeth and The Drover’s Wife. Her short film Safety Net featured at Sydney Film Festival, Slamdance and Whānau Mārama New Zealand International Film Festival.

Julie Kalceff: Best known for writing, directing and co-producing TV series First Day, Australia’s first series starring a transgender actor in the lead role that sold to Hulu (US) and CBBC (UK) and a Rose d’Or and a GLAAD Media Award, Kalceff was one of five directors on anthology feature film Here Out West. She is also the writer, director and producer of online series Starting From Now, which, with more than 170 million views, is one of the world’s most watched web series.

Rebecca O’Brien: An ACCTA-nominated TV Director who has directed and produced award-winning projects for ABC-TV, NITV and Netflix (The Unlisted), O’Brien has also directed award-winning shorts The Great Dark and Do Not Disturb, which featured in festivals such as Palm Springs, Montreal and Creteil International Women’s Film Festival, and is completing the Screen NSW and Unreal Engine funded short film The Gathering.