Jury President: Nadia Tass

Nadia Tass is a multi-award winning director of feature films, telemovies, and theatre. After pursuing an academic career in Arts and Education, Tass began acting and later directing classical and contemporary theatre in Melbourne. Her study of acting and directing in Australia and New York, has given her performance as a director a fine and unique style.
After pursuing an academic career in Arts and Education, Nadia Tass began acting and later directing classical and contemporary theatre in Melbourne. She directed her first feature film, MALCOLM, in 1986, followed by Australian features RIKKY AND PETE, THE BIG STEAL, MR RELIABLE, AMY, MATCHING JACK and most recently FATAL HONEYMOON Her work in the US includes PURE LUCK for Universal, THE MIRACLE WORKER and CHILD STAR: THE SHIRLEY TEMPLE STORY for Disney, UNDERCOVER CHRISTMAS for CBS, SAMANTHA: AN AMERICAN GIRL HOLIDAY, and FELICITY: AN AMERICAN GIRL ADVENTURE for Warner Bros and CUSTODY for Jaffe/Braunstein.
Tass continues to work in various media, moving from stage to television to film with great success. Her experience as a director of theatre is extensive and diverse, ranging from improvised theatre, classical plays, contemporary pieces, and musical theatre. Tass’ original musical theatre production of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” toured Australia , Asia and New Zealand for two years, and garnered her a nomination for Best Direction of a Musical for the prestigious Sir Robert Helpmann Awards.
Through her production company, Cascade Films, Tass combines the roles of Producer and Director. One of her key assets is her ability to develop ideas and first draft scripts into shooting drafts. Nadia’s literary background holds her in good stead in this intricate complex process.

Jury Member: RAY ARGALL

A graduate of AFTRS, Ray has worked as a director, producer, DOP, editor and writer on features, short dramas, documentaries, and established a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative cinematographers on features such as Wrong World, The Prisoner of St Petersberg and Look Both Ways.
Ray’s feature, Return Home, received an AFI Award for best director, played in Australian cinemas for four months and was presented at numerous international festivals. He was a set-up director for the award winning ABC drama series SeaChange and MDA; and produced numerous music videos for Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Crowded House, and Hoodoo Guru among others.
As President of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) he has represented Australian filmmakers in many forums, and presented discussions on the Australian industry and its filmmakers at festivals around the world.


Herman Van Eyken, graduated (magna cum laude) with a Masters Degree in Audio Visual Arts in 1979 from the RITS national film school in Brussels. He was subsequently granted an Italian Government fellowship to study in Italy for three years, where he pursued further film studies at the University of Rome (dir. Prof. Mario V erdone), and at DAMS Dipartimento Arte, Musica e Spettacolo (dir. Prof. Umberto Eco) at the University of Bologna. V an Eyken returned to Belgium, where, over the course of 15 years, he directed more than 190 films
(commercials, corporate identity and institutional films, interactive film media, creative documentaries, short feature fiction films, feature length films on dance and opera, and one long feature fiction film). In all these categories his films were represented in the shortlists and competitions of the leading film festivals (Cannes, New York, Biarritz, London, Stockholm, Vienna, Montreal, Lyon, etc.) Many of his films have received top awards in their respective category. His long feature fiction film has been released in more than 10 countries, among them Australia, Canada, France, Italy and Taiwan. The film was screened in 30 International Film Festivals and won several major awards.
In 1990, he joined RITS, his alma mater, and served as a Professor in Film Directing (with a tenure track as a full time Professor). He has been invited as graduation jury member of other film schools (Sint Lucas), and the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre, Brussels.

Jury Member: MARK POOLE

Mark Poole is the Chapter Head of the Australian Directors Guild in Victoria. He is a director and writer based in Melbourne and has directed, produced or written a number of award winning features, short films and documentaries.
He produced and directed the television broadcast of the ADG Awards for Foxtel in 2016, and his documentary Fearless screened on the ABC in 2010. His short film Basically Speaking was a prize-winner at the St Kilda Film Festival. He also worked as a director and producer at the ABC in Melbourne making documentary series. He wrote the feature film A Single Life, starring Tina Bursill and Steve Jacobs, who won an AFI Award for his role.

Jury Member: Simon Wilmot

A Simon Wilmot is a Senior Lecturer in in Film and Television in the School of Communications and Creative Arts at Deakin University. He was previously the Head of the Department.
From 1984 to 1990 Simon worked in television and film productions including on staff at Crawford Productions. From 1986 to 1987 he was employed at Kestrel Film and Video where he directed documentaries for government and corporations. In 1992 he produced a 30 minute documentary, Wise Use. Tropical Rainforests in Ghana for the Department of Natural Resources in the West African State of Ghana. He has produced and directed documentaries with students such as The Occidental Tourist 2003 (in Vietnam and Cambodia), distributed by VEA, Our Fair Share 2006, which was a finalist in the United Nations Association of Australia, World Environment Day Awards and World Within No More (in Sarawak), also commercially distributed by VEA.
Simon’s research interests is in documentary as an ideological practice and how it relates to other social practices that shape individual and group identity. This has become a theme and area of interest in the films he has been making in collaboration with anthropologists. Kotla Walks. Performing Locality (2005), distributed by Ronin Films in Australia and Berkeley Media in North America, explores how urban locality shapes identity and agency in Delhi.
Since 2006 he has been working on a series of documentaries funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant in collaboration with the Museum of Victoria, anthropologist from the University of Queensland and the Lamalama community of East Cape York. He is currently finishing a feature length documentary out of these smaller works, Last Days of Sunlight. He recently completed Firey Creek, the second of two films about the continuing presence of Aboriginality on Victoria’s Volcanic Plains.
Simon has had a key role in developing international study abroad opportunities for Deakin film students in the US, Thailand and India and now China. He has run study tours on the Chinese film industry in 2014 and 2016 that visited Beijing and Chongqing. He visits India regularly where he has held a visiting lectureship position at the Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai University and has taught at Indrapathsa College of Delhi University and Amity University, New Delhi. He has taught in Malaysia and Thailand.
Simon has been a member of the selection committee of the documentary section of Melbourne International Film Festival, is a judge of the Australian television industry Logie Awards and the ATOM Awards Executive Officer from 2009 to 2012.


Dr Cathy Henkel is the Director of the WA Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University, West Australia’s leading training centre for screen industry practitioners. The Screen Academy is a member of the prestigious CILECT network of international film schools. The Academy enjoys strong industry support, including partnerships with the Nine Network, Arri Australia and Panther, and offers both a Masters of Screen Studies and a Bachelor of Media and Communications, Screen Studies Major.
Cathy has worked as a documentary producer/director and writer for 27 years, and is founding director of Virgo Productions, an award-winning, boutique screen industries company. Her work is focused on inspiring, positive, global stories with cross-platform delivery, engaging audiences world-wide through cinema, television, online, mobile and education platforms.
Cathy’s previous credits include The Burning Season (ABC, BBC, CBC, PBS, National Geographic, IF Award for Best Documentary 2008, nominated for an Emmy), I told you I was ill: Spike Milligan (ABC, BBC1, RTE), Show me the Magic about acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine (ACS Silver Awards and Best Editor, ASE Awards), and The Man who Stole my Mother’s Face (Broadcast in 26 countries, IF Award and Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Feature Documentary 2004).
Cathy was awarded SPA Documentary Producer of the Year in 2009. She recently produced and directed Rise of the Eco-Warriors, an action adventure feature documentary set in Borneo and Saving Jojo, a 13 part TV series.
She has a PhD from Queensland University of Technology, (QUT) and is researching innovative finance and education markets for Australian screen content. She is the WA Chapter Head for the Australian Director’s Guild and a board member for the Australian International Documentary Conference.


Alan is a director and producer with 50 years’ experience. His most recent films are The Naked Wanderer on release 5th of September 2019 cinema documentary Harmony the Missing 8th that is being premiered November 2019. Alan is Australian Producer of Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart which competed in Palme d’Or 2015 and co-producer of the animated movies Kung Fu Style and Perfect Friends. Since 2000 he has also directed the ABC/HBO documentary Child Soldiers (Silver World Medal New York Film Festival), produced and directed the ABC/ FA documentary A Compassionate Rage, the ABC series Hell On Ice, the National Geographic/ABC series Black Ice, the ABC/NDR doco series Wild Valley, the dramatised doco miniseries Air Australia and 144 documentaries and drama over his long career.

Jury Member: SAM LARA

Sam Lara has been directing short films, music videos and factual content for the past 10 years. Sam’s directing work has been nominated at Sydney Film Festival, St Kilda Film Festival, Flickerfest International Film Festival, Cambridge Film Festival, Byron Bay Film Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival, where she was selected to participate in MIFF’s 2019 Accelerator Lab. She has worked in the West Australian film industry over the past 5 years as an Assistant Director on feature films, TV series and on over 30 commercials. She is the West Australian Chapter Head of the Australian Director’s Guild, is one of the founders of West Australia’s film community Gamechangers Collectiveand she holds a Bachelor of Film and Television from Bond University. Sam is currently in post-production on a feature documentary.

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