2023 Jury



Krew Boylan is a Multi-talented actor, screenwriter, and playwright. Her critically acclaimed feature screenwriting debut is Seriously Red had it’s world premiere at SXSW, Austin Texas and has since toured through the global festival circuit including Sydney International Film Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival & Cinefest. Produced by Dollhouse Pictures of which Krew, director Gracie Otto and co-star Rose Byrne are all founding partners, along with producer Jessica Carrera and director Shannon Murphy. Krew also plays the lead Red.

She has most recently worked on season two of BBC 1 TV series, The Secrets She Keeps. She is well known for her depiction of Schapelle Corby in the Nine Network telemovie SCHAPELLE and ABC Comedy, Sando, MOLLY, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, WILD BOYS, and the ABC telemovie, CLIFFY. Krew is also the voice and face of ‘Grubby’ in the ABC’s/CBeebies animation DIRTGIRLWORLD, which received the 2010 AFI Award for Best Children’s Animation.

Krew starred in Josh Reed’s horror film PRIMAL, which screened at several international film festivals including The Stiges Film Festival in Spain, Fantastik Film Festival in Sweden, Lisbon International Horror Film Festival and Fantastic Fest in Texas.

On stage, Krew has appeared in TUSK TUSK and BRECHT EXPLORATION for the Sydney Theatre Company; THAT FACE, SUMMERFOLK and BLISS for Belvoir Street Theatre; and THE SISTERS PROJECT and PERSONA for Magnolia Productions. Her Australian writing theatre credits include Stuck on Girls (dir. Eliza Gorka, 2005) at the Tap Gallery, The Hoods (dir. Sarah Goodes, 2006) at the Old Fitzroy Theatre and The Bean Counters (dir. Nadia Townsend, 2007) for Darlinghurst Theatre. Krew is currently writing an original TV series ‘The Intimacy Machine’.


Dean Francis is a multi-award winning director, producer and cinematographer who’s work has screened in more than 200 international film festivals. Dean holds a Master of Arts in Film & Television from AFTRS.

Francis’ first feature as director, the supernatural thriller ROAD TRAIN (aka ROAD KILL) was released in 50 countries and garnered critical acclaim on its 2010 Australian theatrical release including the Special Jury Prize at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.

Dean’s second feature DROWN (director, producer, cinematographer) film, became the best selling picture in the history of Sydney’s Mardi Gras Film Festival, before its theatrical release in Australia and the USA. The film went on to win 7 International film festival awards and gain distribution throughout the world.

In 2022, Dean produced and shot the feature LONESOME (directed by Craig Boreham), which was nominated for an AACTA award, and theatrically released in Europe, USA and Australia, after an extensive film festival run.

Dean has also directed and shot a dozen short films which have been honoured with awards for direction, cinematography and acting. His short VERMIN was nominated for an Australian Directors Guild Awards and premiered at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. BOYS GRAMMAR attracted national media attention for its graphic depiction of homophobic sexual violence and generated over a two million views online.

Dean is the founder and CEO of JJ Splice, an all-media production company working on commercials, music videos, branded content and feature films. He has taught at Australia’s leading creative institutions including the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Currently, Dean is preparing his third feature film BODY BLOW which he will direct in 2023.


Arka Das is writer, associate producer and star of HERE OUT WEST, an anthology feature film set in Western Sydney produced by Co-Curious & Emerald Productions which premiered as the opening night film at the Sydney Film Festival and has since released to critical acclaim, garnering an AACTA award nomination for ‘Best Film’. To coincide with the film airing on the ABC, Arka co-created, directed and hosted the short documentary series, 8 NIGHTS OUT WEST, which aired every night in the lead up to the filmls TV premiere.

Arka’s other recent work as an actor include the four part event series BALI 2002 currently streaming on Stan. He will soon be seen alongside Charlie Hunnam in Apple series SHANTARAM, and in The Jim Henson Company feature film THE PORTABLE DOOR with Sam Neill and Christoph Waltz. Other feature film credits include the multi Academy-Award nominated film LION, Disney’s live-action feature MULAN, Australian-Indian romantic comedy UNINDIAN, DOWN UNDER and JOE CINQUE!S CONSOLATION.

Arka’s Television work includes TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL, directed by Academy Award winner Jane Campion, Australian / English co-production FRAYED and regular roles on Australian dramas PULSE, JANET KING, THE CODE and BITE CLUB. His debut stage performance in ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER at the Ensemble Theatre won him a ‘best newcomer’ nomination at the Sydney Theatre Awards.

As a writer and director, Arka holds short films, web-series and short documentaries under his belt. He wrote and directed Khana Khazana, a short film exploring the dark side of migrant labour, which had its Australian premiere at Flickerfest International Short Film Festival and its US premiere at LA Shorts Film Festival alongside selections at St Kilda Film Festival and the International Film Festival of South Asia Toronto. The project is currently in development as a feature length film alongside several other stories he is writing and producing.




Sacha Horler is one of Australia’s most loved and respected actors working in
Film, TV and Theatre. She is in the brand new comedy COLIN FROM ACCOUNTS
on Stan.

She has recently been appointed to the Screen Australia Board.

She was on the Jury at The Edinburgh Film Festival with Joe Wright, Frank Lengella and Janet Street Porter. That was fun.

She stars in the 2 time ACCTA award winning comedy THE LETDOWN, and is opposite the glorious Kate Winslet in THE DRESSMAKER. She is in the cult classic THE MOODYS. Other credits include the title role in SANDO. Also, PETER RABBIT, THE KETTERING INCIDENT, SECRET CITY, RAKE and GRASSROOTS.

Sacha had the unprecedented joy of winning two AFI awards on one night for the lead role in PRAISE and supporting role in SOFT FRUIT. She won her third AFI for her supporting role in TRAVELLING LIGHT. Her most recent lead role was in THE WAYSIDE BRIDE at Belvoir st Theatre, an Alana Valentine premiere. She starred in Kodie Bedford’s CURSED and Valentine’s THE SUGAR HOUSE both at Belvoir St Theatre, and has appeared in other plays at MTC, ENSEMBLE and STC.

Sacha is a passionate MEAA member and a campaigner for her industry..


Bjorn Stewart is a Sydney-based filmmaker and creator. Most notably he directed the AACTA award-winning mini-series ‘All My Friends are Racist’, which had its international premiere at Series Mania.

Bjorn wrote and directed schlock horror comedy ‘Killer Native’ and directed ‘Last Drinks at Frida’s’, both premiering at the Sydney Film Festival and screened at festivals across the globe since. In 2021 Bjorn was mentored by and shadowed Taika Waititi on ‘Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder’.

In front of the camera, Bjorn was one of the leading stars on Black Comedy and a part of the core ensemble for ‘Nice Shorts’. He also performed and wrote for the ABC’s ‘At Home Alone Together, Get Krack!n’, and the controversial daily news series ‘Tonightly’ with Tom Ballard. Bjorn has performed with Skit Box and their series ‘Wham Bam Thank You Mam and Drunk History Australia’.
Bjorn is an avid foodie, retro game enthusiast, and like every mid-30-year-old, a lover of the 90s...


Del Kathryn Barton is a multidisciplinary artist and director living and working in Sydney, Australia. In addition to a highly established fine art career, Barton has recently directed and released her debut feature film, ‘Blaze’, following two short films, ‘Red’ and ‘Oscar Wilde’s Nightingale and the Rose’.

Following its premier at Tribeca Film Festival, ‘Blaze’ has shown widely to international and local audiences and been highly praised critically. ‘Blaze’ reflects Barton’s complex interior world and her belief in the healing power of the imaginary world which centres every element of her creative practices. Following solo painting shows in Sydney and Los Angeles in the last year, Barton looks forward to an upcoming London show and continuing her film making practice.




Maya Newell is a director and impact producer. She directed the acclaimed feature In My Blood It Runs’ (2019) about ten-year-old Arrernte/Garrwa boy Dujuan and his community made in collaboration with those onscreen at Closer Productions.

‘In My Blood It Runs’was selected for Goodpitch² Aus, a Sundance Institute Fellowship, was nominated for Best Doc/Best Cinematography at the AACTAs, won Best Director at ADG awards and screened at festivals worldwide. The families onscreen led a multi-year impact campaign targeting juvenile justice, education and anti-racism.

Previously, she has made short documentaries, including TWO (2013), RICHARD (2009), Growing Up Gayby (2014) and her feature doc Gayby Baby (2015) made with Charlotte Mars. Gayby Baby screened at festivals internationally, won many awards and sparked a national conversation in Australia about the rights of children raised in LGBTIQ families.
Maya’s latest film The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (2022) is a Netflix Original..


Alex West has produced and directed over 40 factual and documentary series and specials for many TV networks, including BBC, C4, Five, ABC, SBS, and National Geographic. He began his career in the USA, before working with the BBC.

‘Immigration Nation: The Secret History of Us’, was nominated for the AACTA/AFI as Best Documentary Series and the Prime Ministers prize for Australian History. Alex is a three time Logie nominee.

He has recently produced several high profile ABC doco series. The Art of Australia, and Bodyline: The Ultimate Test, ‘Making Australia Great’, ‘Revolution School’ and ‘Monash & Me’. With Director Nicholas Brown, in 2020 Alex won the Emmy Award for best nature film for ‘The Serengeti Rules’.
Alex was appointed Head of Documentary at Screen Australia in July 2021..


Luke Cornish had his debut feature documentary ‘Keep Stepping’ win the Jury prize for Best Documentary and Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sydney Film Festival 2022 and is in consideration for the 2023 Academy Awards.

He also produced, directed and wrote ‘Alone Out Here’ selected by The New Yorker, Amazon Prime Series ‘Unheard’.

He is currently in production on ‘Dance Life’, a 5 part docuseries also for Amazon Prime.




Craig Boreham is an award-winning Sydney based writer, director and Producer. Boreham’s films have screened at over 200 international festivals: including the Berlin International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Cannes, Palm Springs, Frameline and Outfest.

Craig’s debut feature film ‘Teenage Kicks’ premiered at the Sydney Film Festival to critical acclaims did his second feature ‘Lonesome’.

‘Lonesome’ travelled to many international film festivals including Seattle International Film Festival, Guadalajara International Film Festival, Frameline in San Francisco and Newfest in New York and won Festival Favourite and Director’s Choice at the Cinema Diverse Festival in Palm Springs and was Nominated for Best Independent Film at the 2022 AACTA Awards while Craig was also nominated for Australian Directors Guild Award. Lonesome is in cinemas in February 2023.
Craig has been the Flickerfest Rainbow Shorts curator since 2019.


Benson Wu is the founder and festival director of the Taiwan Film Festival in Australia. He is passionate about diverse representation, equality and storytelling.

Hs been working in the arts and film festival industry worldwide for many years including Documentary Australia, Sydney Film Festival, Programmers of Colour Collective, Asia Pacific Queer Film Festival Alliance, Taiwan International Queer Film Festival and many more.



Liam Heyen is a film and television producer who is passionate about telling stories about the LGBTQI+ experience. He was Associate Producer of ‘Cleverman’, and the Helen Reddy biopic ‘I Am Woman’, and Co-Producer of the box-office hit ‘Top End Wedding’, and acclaimed revisionist western ‘New Gold Mountain’.

Alongside his long-form work Liam has produced the award-winning web series ‘Location Scouts’ and an expansive catalogue of shorts including ‘Adult’ (SXSW 2017), ‘You And Me, Before And After’ (TIFF 2021), ‘Strangers’ (Iris Prize), and ‘Voice Activated’ which was recently nominated for a 2022 AACTA award. Most recently, Liam produced the online series ‘Latecomers’ through the SBS/Screen Australia Digital Originals program, which was released on SBS on Demand, SBS Viceland and CBC to critical acclaim. He is currently producing ‘Erotic Stories’ with Lingo Pictures – an anthology series for SBS and ITV Studios and Sophie Hyde’s upcoming feature film ‘Jimpa’.


Margaret McHugh is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and creative practice researcher. Margaret comes from an industry background working in film production, and film festival marketing and programming.

Her films have screened at over 50 national and international film festivals, galleries and online exhibition platforms.

Margaret is a lecturer in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)..




Julia Savage is an Australian actress appearing in the title role of Del Kathyrn Barton’s acclaimed debut feature ‘Blaze’ (2022) for Causeway films for which she received an AACTA nomination for best actress in a feature film.

She began acting professionally at the age of seven and has gone on to build a varied screen career in both film and television including several short films which have appeared in competition in Flickerfest.

In 2023 she will appear in Kacie Anning’s all-female comedy series ‘Class of ’07’ for Matchbox Pictures (Universal International Studios) and Amazon Studios/Amazon Prime Video and in the eight-part psychological thriller series ‘The Clearing’ directed by Jeffrey Walker (‘Young Rock’) and Gracie Otto (‘Heartbreak High’) for Wooden Horse TV/Disney+.


Jahvis Loveday is an award-winning 22-year-old filmmaker from the Northern Rivers of NSW, his mob are the Dyirbal speakers of Far North QLD. He completed his bachelor of film at SAE Institute in 2020, creating over 12 short films and 200 online videos. His short films have won many awards across Australia including the Best Young Australian Filmmaker of 2020, best film and audience choice awards at Flickerfest’s Byron All Shorts 2021.

Jahvis’ film BAMA was selected to represent Australian cinema at the Dubai 2021 world expo. Jahvis focuses on bringing to life the first nation’s stories of his brothers and sisters and those around him. Through something deadly, Jahvis’ first nations focused production company, he has created many online video series as well as short films funded by Create NSW and Regional Arts Australia. His most recent short film Bangay Lore has been nominated for best director at cinefestOz 2022 and premiered at the 2023 Flickerfest in Bondi.

Jahvis was selected for the First Nations creators program by Screen Australia and Meta, where he went through a three-day workshop at Meta headquarters in Sydney learning about content creation. Through ongoing networking with many organizations such as the rites of passage institute, desert pea media, NITV, Regional Arts Australia and Screen Australia, Jahvis hopes to broaden his skills and bring his stories into the film industry.


Renée Brack is a storyteller, journalist, writer and screen professional with film, TV, print and digital credits. She’s written, produced and directed short films, plays, feature documentaries and scripted a range of stories for screen.

She 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 screened in multiple international film festivals.

It gives her great joy to give back to the filmmaking community by nurturing the next wave of screen professionals as an EP, mentor and creative consultant. Right now, her social impact feature documentary ‘Ticketyboo: a Secret in Plain Sight’ (2022) is on the international film festival circuit earning laurels and awards.

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.