2020 Jury



Gracie Otto headshot

Gracie Otto is an accomplished Australian filmmaker, a 2006 graduate of Sydney Film School. Her acclaimed debut feature documentary, The Last Impresario, premiered at the 2013 London Film Festival and was released in all major territories.

She has just made her television series debut, directing the second series of The Other Guy, an original comedy drama for Stan, starring Matt Okine, Harriet Dyer and Claudia Karvan.

Gracie is currently filming Under The Volcano, a feature documentary on the late Sir George Martin’s legendary recording studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, where everyone from Paul McCartney, Elton John, Dire Straits and Sting hung out and created some of the best music of the 1980s.  She is also making a personal documentary on her father, Otto on Otto, and was Associate Producer of Nick Broomfield’s documentary Whitney Can I Be Me.

Gracie has directed an incredible slate of TVCs, including recent campaigns for Bonds, Seafolly and Myer in Australia, and Tresemme and Gigi Hadid for Maybelline in New York. Her award winning fashion films have featured celebrities including Selena Gomez, Elle Fanning, Elizabeth Debicki, Emilia Clarke and Miranda Kerr.

Her recent short film, Desert Dash which she wrote, directed and starred in, won the Soho House IWC North American Script Competition, screened in competition at Flickerfest 2019, and was shortlisted as Best Short Film in the 2019 AACTA Awards.

Gracie has a number of projects in various stages of development including Armistead Maupin’s audacious novel Maybe The Moon; and Girls In Hotels, a feature drama set in luxury hotels featuring beautiful actresses from around the world, with funding from Screen Australia, in development with Dollhouse Pictures, a company Gracie formed with other Australian women including Rose Byrne.

During her recent time living in Los Angeles, Gracie fulfilled an ambition by completing four courses in Stand Up Comedy, Storytelling and Improv at UCB. Gracie is repped by WME in the US and Yellow Agency in Australia. 


Don McAlpine headshot

Don McAlpine began his career as a share farmer, then a schoolteacher. He joined the ABC as an assistant cinematographer and in 1969 shot The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.

He was the initial Director of Photography discovered by Hollywood. His large body of work includes The Dressmaker, Romeo & Juliet, Mrs Doubtfire and Moulin Rouge for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Some 60+ feature films and 50 years on he is still dedicated to producing the best work he can. His most recent endeavour was supporting director Jeffrey Walker in the production of The Lambs of God.


Tanith Glynn-Maloney headshot

Tanith Glynn-Maloney is a Kaytetye/Luritja women from Central Australia. She hails from a creative family and has always had a love of Indigenous film. Tanith is currently in production on Warwick Thornton’s new documentary series The Beach for NITV.

Tanith co-produced Robbie Hood, winner of the AACTA Award for best online series 2019. She also produced award-winning feature documentary She Who Must Be Loved. Tanith is creative partners with Indigenous filmmaker, Dylan River, together they run ‘Since1788 Productions’.

Their AACTA award winning short film Nulla Nulla screened at the Berlin International Film Festival before going on to screen as part of the Flickerfest Australian programme in 2016.




Maya Stange headshotMaya Stange is an Award-Winning highly sought after and respected film and television actress, known for her starring roles in a range of films including A Suburban Love Story, Killing Ground, Garage Days and XX/XY, and the popular US hit TV show Burn Notice.

Maya is well known for her work across a range of popular Australian Television programs including Love Child, Wolf Creek, A Place to Call Home and The Secret Daughter. She is consistently recognised for her work on screen, and has been nominated for a series of AFI Awards for her work in the feature films Garage Days and In A Savage Land.

Maya’s Projects currently in post production and development are the feature films, Book Week and the TV Series We Were Tomorrow.

Maya has a huge love of short films and has appeared in the following Trespass, Two Bites, Mother and Stye – all which have been part of Flickerfest.


Peter Phelps headshot

Peter Phelps is one of Australia’s busiest and best-known actors; he has appeared in dozens of celebrated film, television and theatre productions.

On television, Peter is perhaps best known for the role of Peter Church on the long running Network Nine TV series Stingers. Peter was a series regular Fire, The Flying Doctors, ABC TV’s Old School and the US series Baywatch. His extensive guest TV credits include Police Rescue, Heartbreak High, A Country Practice, Rafferty’s Rules, Blue Murder, Water Rats, Chandon Pictures, Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities and recurring guest roles on All Saints, Rescue Special Ops, Home & Away and Mr and Mrs Murder. From 2013-2015, Peter filmed seasons 1 & 2 of Channel Ten’s Wonderland in the lead role Warwick Wilcox. Most recently Peter could be seen in Shine Productions television mini series, High Road and ABC’s new television drama, Les Norton, as Mick Matthews.

Peter’s other television credits include; Les Darcy in the telemovie The Les Darcy Story, and Mick Webb in One Way Ticket, a telemovie inspired by a 1993 jailbreak. Peter also appeared opposite Judd Nelson, in the telemovie Blackwater Trail, starred in the hugely successful Network Nine series Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities. He also won the AFI Award for best actor in a leading Role in a TV Drama for GP (ABC TV), and the 2002 Silver Logie for Stingers.
Peter has been the lead in many Australian feature films including Teesh and Trude, Zone 39, The Lighthorseman and Playing Beatie Bow, Footy Legends, Ned Kelly, Stoned Bros, Caught Inside, The Square opposite Joel Edgerton, The Line and the critically acclaimed Lantana opposite Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush. In 2015, Peter starred as Cassidy in Australian feature film Embedded, directed by Stephen Sewell.
Peter most recently appeared in the feature film Locusts and short film Beverley, alongside Susie Porter.
Peter’s theatre credits include starring in the Edinburgh Festival hit Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, the sell out Australian tour of 12 Angry Men, and The Sum Of Us and Nicholas Nickleby for Sydney Theatre Company. In 2011, Peter starred as a lead role in Wayne Harrison’s production of Stainless Steel Rat at the Seymour Centre and in 2012; he performed in the Australian Tour of David Williamson’s Let The Sunshine, directed by Denis Moris. In 2014, he performed the lead role in David Williamson’s Cruise Control at The Ensemble Theatre.
Peter has directed episodes of All Saints and Home & Away for Channel Seven.
Based on his experience in the USA working, he subsequently wrote the best selling book – ‘Sex Without Madonna – True Confessions of a Hired Gun in Tinseltown‘ (a wry look at his years in Hollywood).


Renee Marie Petropoulos headshotRenée Marie Petropoulos is an award winning Greek-Australian filmmaker from Sydney, Australia. Her most recent short film, Tangles and Knots (2018), premiered at the Berlinale 2018: Generation 14Plus competition, followed by screenings at the SXSW 2018, Palm Springs International Shortfest 2018, Melbourne International Film Festival 2018, Flickerfest 2019 and many more renowned festivals worldwide.

The film was also nominated for the 2018 AACTA Award for Best Short Fiction Film, the 2019 ADG Award for Best Direction in a Student Short Film and awarded the Canon Award for Best Direction at Flickerfest 2019.

Since receiving her MFA in Directing at Columbia University, Renée has continued to push her cinematic practices, with a particular focus on female-driven stories.




Dylan River headshotDylan River is an filmmaker from Alice Springs, Australia.
He grew up in a creative family filled with numerous filmmakers and from an early age thought filmmaking was boring and not for him! He couldn’t have been more wrong……

In 2013 his debut documentary titled: “Buckskin”, won Foxtel Documentary Prize at the 60th annual Sydney Film Festival, and was selected in the program for the prestigious Adelaide Film festival, followed by its air date on the 13th of October 2013 on ABC.

His jump into drama with film “Nulla Nulla” has taken him to the Berlin Film festival. Sydney Film festival, MIFF, and lastly an AACTA Win.
2017 saw him work as second unit director and cinematographer on “Sweet Country” which world premiered at the Venice Film festival, picking up the special jury prize and best film at TIFF.

In 2018 Dylan completed his second documentary “Finke: There And Back” Narated by Eric Bana and playing at all major Austrian film festivals, its set to be released in mid 2019.

His most recent project “Robbie Hood” is a 6 x 10min series for SBS. It is a retelling of the famous folk tail set in his home town of Alice Springs.
Dylan is motivated to staying behind the camera, telling stories close to home.


Samantha Lang headshotSamantha Lang works through her production company Handmaid Media. She is producer, director, writer, and visual artist. Working in Australia, Europe and the US over the last 20 years, her films have screened at major international festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, and have received international recognition at the highest level, her film The Well competing at the Cannes Film Festival for the prestigious Palme D’Or. In Australia, Samantha’s films have been awarded many times including – at the Australian Film Institute Awards and the Sydney Film Festival. In 2015 – her film Carlotta was nominated for five AACTA awards and won three.

As well as being a creative practitioner, she has mentored, supervised and lectured postgraduate film students in her capacity as Head of Directing at AFTRS (2010-2016), as well as mentored emerging practitioners at SNSW, HIVE at AIFF, and SA. Presently she is a DCA candidate at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her areas of interest are cultural narratives in the Anthropocene, eco-feminine cinema, environmental humanities, and gender studies.

In 2015 Samantha was elected as President of the Australian Directors’ Guild with a mandate to create greater diversity across gender, race and class in the sector. As part of this remit she remains on the taskforce at Screen Australia that rolled out the Gender Matters Initiative in 2016.

Samantha’s current projects include a VR project – Prehistoric VR with Erth Physical, The Anthropocene VR project, screen adaptations of Nakkiah Lui’s Kill The Messenger, Alice Pung’s Laurinda, as well as a TV series Night Games with Aquarius Films. Sam’s feature documentary It All Started With A Stale Sandwich premiered at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival.


Ian Darling headshot

Ian Darling is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with Shark Island Productions in Sydney.

His Director and Producer credits include The Final Quarter, Paul Kelly – Stories of Me, The Oasis, Suzy & the Simple Man, In the Company of Actors, Alone Across Australia, Woodstock for Capitalists, Polly & Me, and The Soldier.

He is an Executive Producer of Toxic Labour, 2040, The Fourth Estate, The Bleeding Edge, Unrest, Inventing Tomorrow and How to Change the World.

He was Founder of Good Pitch Australia and Documentary Australia Foundation.

Ian Darling received the Byron Kennedy Award at the 2018 AACTA Awards. He received the AFI/AACTA Award for Best Direction in a Documentary, is a Walkley Awards Finalist, winner of the Film Critics Award, and has been nominated for numerous AFI/AACTA, Australian Directors Guild, , SPAA and IF awards.




JJillian Nguyen headshotillian will be the female lead in romantic U.S/Australian sci-fi feature Loveland, directed by
Mystery Road’s Ivan Sen and co-starring Ryan Kwanten and Hugo Weaving.

She plays the role of Molly Kane in the feature The True History of the Kelly Gang, directed by Justin Kurzel and starring Russell Crowe. The film is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Peter Carey.

Continuing a run of exciting breakout projects, Jillian recently filmed a key role in SBS original drama Hungry Ghosts, which will air in 2020.

Jillian was part of the ensemble cast of King Cross Theatre’s The Serpent’s Teeth and has appeared in lead roles in many short films.

She is a graduate of the full-time acting course at 16th Street Actors Studio in Melbourne and holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Media Communication, from The University of Melbourne.

Jillian was born as Huyen Dieu at a Sungai Besi refugee camp in Malaysia. Both her parents are Vietnamese, with Chinese heritage on her mother’s side. She immigrated to Australia when she was 14 months old.


Vonne Patiag headshotVonne Patiag is a Filmmaker based in Western Sydney and the Director of In-Between Pictures, a production company interested in producing personal stories that dissect issues of racism and prejudice in Australia – localised stories with global appeal.

In 2019 he was profiled as a Producer in the Ones To Watch (SPA) program and appeared twice at the Sydney Opera House – he made his speaking debut during All About Women, joining Clementine Ford and Osher Gunsberg in a discussion about modern masculinity, and also premiered his short documentary connectIRL as part of Antidote Festival. His latest project Halal Gurls (ABC, Create NSW), which he produced, directed and wrote inclusively alongside a team of Muslim/female writers, was released on ABC iView in October 2019. He was recently awarded the Spirit Of The West award by Made In The West Film Festival, honouring his continued work in promoting and championing Western Sydney filmmaking.

His short films have screened at multiple festivals across the world – Tomgirl, funded through the GEFF Initiative (Create NSW, SBS) screened internationally at Palms Springs Shortsfest, and in the UK and China and is currently available to watch on SBS onDemand.

His film Window also premiered at St Kilda Film Festival and continued to play numerous national festivals. He is also a recipient of development and production funding for his latest comedy series Boy (Space) Friends, continuing his focus on issues of masculinity, racism and queer identity in Western Sydney.


Lesley Alway headshotLesley Alway has had a long career in cultural management, policy and leadership across a broad range of art forms in the government, non-profit and private sectors. She has also been involved with a wide range of cultural capital projects. Her previous roles include the Director, Asialink Arts, Managing Director of Sotheby’s Australia, Director / CEO of Heide Museum and the Director of Arts Victoria.

Lesley is currently the Chair of Geelong Arts Centre and a member of the Australian ASEAN Council appointed through DFAT. She has also served previously on the Boards of Opera Australia and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

Lesley’s academic qualifications include an MBA from Monash University, BA (Hons) and B.Ed. from the University of Melbourne. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013)

Lesley is based both in Queenscliff on the Bellarine peninsula and in Melbourne.




Craig Boreham headshotCraig is an award-winning writer and director.

His short films have screened at over 200 international festivals and his debut feature film Teenage Kicks premiered at the Sydney Film Festival to critical acclaim.


Fadia Abboud headshotFadia is a community arts worker. She has directed films, television and web series including Here Come the Habibs! and Les Norton.

Fadia was Co-director of the Arab Film Festival Australia for 10 years.


Adrian Chiarella headshotAdrian is a writer, director and script editor in short film, feature films and television.

He currently works in development for Tony Ayres’ production company, TAP.


Peter Polites headshotPeter is a writer of Greek descent from Western Sydney. His debut novel, Down the Hume, was shortlisted for a NSW Premier’s Literary Award in 2017.

His second novel, The Pillars, was released to wide acclaim in 2019.



Jessica Ellicott headshot

Jessica Ellicott is a writer and a film distribution executive. She is the Marketing Executive at Transmission Films, and is one of the editors of online film publication 4:3.

Her film criticism has featured in SBS Movies, ABC Radio National, The Big Issue, Runway and 4:3. She has covered numerous international film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Filmfest Munich, and was a participant in the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival Critics Campus program.

Jessica is a current advisory panel member at both Sydney Film Festival and Film in Revolt.


Morgan Davies headshot

Morgan plays Oberon in Foxtel’s upcoming series The End, by See-Saw Films. He had a lead role in the enormously popular Series 2 of The Girlfriend Experience, a Starz Original Series, and a lead in the re-telling of iconic feature film Storm Boy.

Morgan made his screen debut at only seven years of age, opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg in the Australian/French feature film The Tree. Directed by Julie Bertuccelli, the film premiered on closing night of the Cannes Film Festival and earned Morgan rave reviews. His performance was honoured with a Film Critics Circle Award and AFI nominations in both the categories of Best Lead Actor and Best Young Actor.

The following year, Morgan appeared in The Hunter, an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Julia Leigh. The film, staring Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and saw Morgan again nominated for an AFI (AACTA).

Other credits followed, including a lead guest role in Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova and the short film Julian, which took out the Crystal Bear for Best Short Film at the Berlin Film Festival in the Generation KPlus category.

Morgan later appeared in Return To The Devil’s Playground for Foxtel (Director: Rachel Ward) and in Alice Englert’s short film The Boyfriend Game, which premiered at TIFF.


Renee Brack (FlickerUp jury) headshot

Renee is a graduate of UTS, Australia with a Master of Creative Arts (documentary and VR) and Macquarie Uni in screen and media studies, Renée Brack is an acclaimed storyteller, journalist, writer and screen professional with 20+ years experience in film TV, print and digital.

She has written, produced and directed short films; scripted and directed plays produced in the world’s largest play festival, Short+Sweet; has pioneered research into a scripting template for immersive content (VR, CVR, 360) originated by filmmaker Elia Petridis of Fever Content, LA and scripted the award-winning short film Red Handed which has screened in multiple international film festivals.

Renee has a development slate of female-centric stories for screen as well as the documentary Ticketyboo: a Secret in Plain Sight about innovative, artistic, compassionate design to help people engage with dementia. She gives back to the filmmaking community by nurturing the next wave of screen professionals as an EP and creative consultant on a range of award-winning films, documentary and web series, overseeing production from concept to transmission.
A common response to her writing is, “I’ve never looked at it that way before” – testament to her creative and fresh approach to the stories she crafts.