Meet this years judges

Every year, a distinguished panel of judges is assembled to select the winning flicks. This panel consists of industry leaders, established and emerging practitioners. These cool cats bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience, making them perfectly suited to giving the nod to the winning films.

Alice Burgin

Head of Documentary, Sweetshop & Green

Alice Burgin is Sweetshop & Green’s Head of Documentary and oversees the company’s development and production of non-fiction features and series. She has produced THE DEFENDERS (dir. Matt Bate, 2023) which was bought to Amazon Prime and LEFT WRITE HOOK (dir. Shannon Owen) to be released in theatres in 2024. Prior to joining the Sweetshop & Green family, Alice was best known for her role as the CEO/Conference Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC).

James Hewison

Creative Director, Atelier

As the former Executive Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival, James oversaw unprecedented growth in scale, event activity, and ticket sales, which propelled its national and international reputation. James has also contributed to the cultural sector in various roles, including as a Mentor for the Australia Council and the Rotterdam International Film Festival, a Board Member of organizations such as the Australian Art Orchestra and Alliance Française de Melbourne, and as a consultant to institutions from MONA to the Victorian College of the Arts.

Jason Raftopoulos

Director, West of Sunshine

Jason Raftopoulos is an Australian film director and writer. He is best known for his feature film WEST OF SUNSHINE, which premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival and received critical acclaim for its portrayal of a struggling father in Melbourne's western suburbs. With over 15 years of experience in the film industry, Raftopoulos has also directed award-winning short films and commercials, showcasing his talent and dedication to the craft.

Kalu Oji

Director, The Moon and Me

Kalu Oji is an Igbo-Australian writer-director whose focus is on narrative work and exploring the African-Australian identity. He graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and Television) and received the Australian Directors Guild Mentorship Award. His award-winning graduate film, BLACKWOOD, has screened at several Oscar and BAFTA Qualifying festivals, and his latest short film, THE MOON AND ME, premiered at the Oscar Qualifying, Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Marisa Nanakhorn-Brown

Development Coordinator, Tony Ayres Productions

Marisa is a screenwriter, script coordinator, development coordinator, and creative producer focusing on themes of belonging and finding one's place in the world. She has worked across theatre, screenwriting, music, and film production, completed her Master of Screenwriting, and participated in various industry programs, including Screen Canberra's Developer Trainee program and Film Victoria's emerging practitioner schemes. She is a full-time Development Coordinator at Tony Ayres Productions, co-founder of Octopod Films, and developing her own film and TV projects.

Molly O’Connor

Producer, Film Camp

Molly O'Connor is an emerging producer with experience in theatrical, broadcast and online projects. She produced several documentaries including RUNNING 62 and THE ARRIVAL, and most recently Inconceivable and BIOPIC. She joined Film Camp in 2021 as a recipient of Screen Australia's Enterprise People Program and was selected as a 2021 Screen Producers Australia Ones to Watch.

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