Accelerator Lab 2023 Participants

Accelerator Classic
Participants with films at MIFF 2023

Pulkit Arora (ANU): Pulkit Arora is an Indian-origin writer/director based in New Zealand. His debut short Milk Toffee premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and travelled through 8 other international festivals in 2021. His follow-up Anu won the Audience Award and Emerging Talent award at NZIFF, followed by an international premiere at MIFF and jury awards at IFFLA, Kaohsiung Film Festival and NFDC Film Bazaar. It released globally on MUBI in May 2024. As a screenwriter, he has led development for two projects with Disney+ and Home Stories, a Netflix anthology.

Tatiana Doroshenko (THE JOB): Tatiana’s short films and screen works have seen audiences in Australia, Europe and America. Her recent 2021 film Amissa Anima is currently screening Internationally, winning Best Director in Italy, Tokyo, Munich and Best Short in Athens and Canberra and Sydney World Film Festival amongst other awards and nominations. Other  highlights include European Media Arts Festival (EMAF) 2007, Festival Court Métrange 2022, Transmediale Berlin 2002, Aspen and Palm Springs in 2007, and the Santiago Biennale 2003.

Annelise Hickey (HAFEKASI): Tongan-Australian director/writer Annelise Hickey has built a career spanning music videos, commercials, and film steeped in narrative story and tales of belonging. Her short-film “Hafekasi” premiered at NYC’s Tribeca Film Festival 2023, and was awarded the Best Narrative Short Special Jury Mention. In 2021, she won the ARIA Award for Best Music Video for “Missing Piece” by Vance Joy. Her drive to elevate unheard voices and instinct for understanding people result in pieces that are honest, compelling and beautiful.

Joanna Joy (GENERATIONS OF MEN): Joanna Joy is a director, writer, producer with a passion for interdisciplinary and intersectional storytelling. Joanna spent 2022 working with Bus Stop Films and Barada and Darumbal Indigenous Councils on the creation of two films. Premiering at FlickerFest, ‘Generations of Men’ was funded by the Screen Queensland RiDE and serves as a proof of concept for a larger series in development. Shot under the consultation of Wayne Blair and featured the local actors and language of Barada and Darumbal Country.

Jamie Lawrence (EARTHLINGS): Kiwi born and bred, Jamie’s films have won notable awards at NZIFF, Show Me Shorts, France’s Festival Des Antipodes, and the Oscar-qualifying Nashville Film Festival. Along the way, he has received a NYC Film Academy Scholarship, a NZ Directors’ Guild Internship, and a Script to Screen FilmUp Mentorship.  As a commercials director, he has ranked in Best Ad’s top 10 Kiwi directors, and received multiple craft awards at A-list shows.

Derik Lynch (MARUNGKA TJALATJUNU (DIPPED IN BLACK)): Derik Lynch is an initiated Yankunytjatjara man. He is a performer, filmmaker, and artist who grew up between Alice Springs and remote Communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia. He has worked both nationally and internationally in theatre, film and TV. Marungka Tjalatjunu is Derik’s debut as a writer/director for screen telling part of his own story.

Rebecca Metcalf (DEVELOPMENT): Rebecca Metcalf is an award winning Australian filmmaker who has made work for VICE, SBS and Audible. Her films have seen her win the 2022 Young Walkley in visual storytelling. In 2020, the 12-part Audible Originals series ‘No Gangsters In Paradise’ she made with Mahmood Fazal won the Media Diversity Award, administered by the Walkley Foundation.

Jay Perry (COLD WATER): Jay Perry is an Australian independent filmmaker who frequently collaborates with his brother, Shaun Perry. Their work has been recognised by leading Australian Film Festivals, Melbourne International Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Flickerfest and more. Their most recent short film, Cold Water, starring Bruce Spence and Deborah Kennedy received major funding from Creative Victoria. Jay is also part of Screen Victoria’s Key Talent Placement Register as a director and is represented by Daniel Scharf at Profile Creative.

Shaun Perry (COLD WATER): Shaun Perry is an Australian writer, director who frequently collaborates with his brother, Jay Perry. Their short films have won multiple awards and have been selected to play at prestigious Australian film festivals, MIFF, St Kilda Film Festival and more. In their storytelling, they tend to like balancing comedy and drama, particularly when exploring ideas related to moral ambiguity and the human condition. Their recent short, Cold Water, starring Bruce Spence and Deborah Kennedy received major funding from Creative Victoria and will have its Australian premiere at the 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival.

David Robinson-Smith (WE USED TO OWN HOUSES): Australian writer/director David Robinson-Smith grew up in Budgewoi in NSW’s Central Coast and is based in Sydney. David is focused on stories that find the nuance in seemingly black-and-white issues. His filmography includes CILECT CAPA-award & Australian Director’s Guild-winning short film Mud Crab (2022). David new short film We Used To Own Houses is beginning its festival run. He is also in development writing his debut feature film Colossus alongside Executive Producer Michele Bennett and Producer Julia Corcoran.

Paloma Schneiderman (GATE CRASH): Paloma is an award winning filmmaker, musician and creative. Her interests have always gravitated towards the female experience, particularly the queer and diasporic experience, as those are the communities she most identifies with. She is currently being mentored by Jane Campion until 2024, when she will film her debut feature film. Gate Crash is a proof of concept of this, exploring queerness and coming-of-age in rural NZ. It was made in collaboration with NZ’s leading performing arts school Toi Whakaari.

Vee Shi (JIA): Vee Shi, a Melbourne-based filmmaker originally from China, transitioned from design to film, earning an Advanced Diploma in Professional Screenwriting from RMIT and receiving the Erin Thomas Award. His short films have been featured in over 20 international festivals. His recent film, Jia, won the AACTA & Sony: Pitch Focus and garnered Best Direction and Actor at Flickerfest 2023. Selected for Co-Curious’ 2022 Victoria workshop, he also serves as an associate producer at Big and Little Films, with support from VicScreen.

Sophie Somerville (LINDA 4 EVA): Sophie Somerville is a Melbourne-based filmmaker. Her short film PEEPS premiered at Telluride Film Festival, had a run of prestigious North American film festival selections and won the Dendy Award for Best Live Action Short at Sydney Film Festival. Her short LINDA 4 EVA won Best Director at Sydney Film Festival and went on to screen at numerous festivals including MIFF and London Short Film Festival. In 2024 she is presenting her first feature film, FWENDS.

Matthew Thorne (MARUNGKA TJALATJUNU (DIPPED IN BLACK)): Matthew Thorne is an SA filmmaker and artist whose work explores the Australian landscape and people through film, photography, and reenactment. His recent docufiction short film, Marungka Tjalatjunu (2023), made with Yankunytjatjara man Derik Lynch, won the Silver Bear Jury prize at Berlinale. Matthew also contributed photography to Nick Cave and The Badseed’s album Ghosteen (2019), Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang (2019), and Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant. In 2022, Matthew received the Adelaide Film Festival & Samstag Gallery of Art Commission.