The ultimate treat for movie buffs and aspiring filmmakers alike. Join us in the Lido Jazz Room as our filmmakers share their behind-the-scenes stories, industry tips and craft secrets.


Caregiving On Screen

Jazz Room

Examine another side of our RGFF program this year in a session that aims to shed light on the intersections between the twinned acts of caregiving and storytelling while celebrating the resilience found within caregiving communities in this unique Talks session.

Participants: Oliver Wicks ('Carer', RGFF24), Will Johnston ('Carer', RGFF24) and Rae Choi ('When the Sky Was Blue', RGFF24).

Moderator: Tanisha Hewa


Oliver Wicks

Oliver “Ollie” Wicks is a writer-director with a Masters of Film & Television from the Victorian College of the Arts. He also works as a disability support worker for Your DNA Creative Arts and Bus Stop Films, where he helps facilitate inclusive film-making classes. He has a deep love for humanistic storytelling and flawed, complex characters. His graduate film project, 'Carer', was awarded the Brian Robinson Memorial Script Prize for outstanding result in screenwriting.

Rae Choi

Rae Choi is a filmmaker and lawyer living in Meanjin (Brisbane, Australia), who gained recognition for her short film "My Home is a Dog that Lives Inside Me" (2017), featured at the Edinburgh and New Orleans Film Festivals. Collaborating with the same team, she produced their debut feature, 'Paris Funeral, 1972’ (2021), shot on 16mm with across Australia, France, and Italy. In 2021, Rae wrote and directed 'When the Sky Was Blue', a Screen Queensland-funded 16mm short, nominated for an Australian Writers’ Guild Award and recognized at festivals like the Asian American International Film Festival and Chicago Children’s Film Festival. She was selected for AFTRS’ QLD Talent Camp (2022) and PlatformBUSAN at the Busan International Film Festival. Recently, Rae co-wrote and produced 'Viv’s Silly Mango', as part of ABC ME and Screen Australia’s initiative The Kaleidoscope Project.


Spotlight on SWAG Films

Jazz Room

With an expansive body of work across short films, music videos, commercial and TV projects that continue to influence a generation of young Australian film-makers, we are proud to spotlight the extraordinary work of Lucy Knox and W.A.M. Bleakley, the intrepid, resourceful and prolific filmmaking team behind SWAG Films.

Participants: Lucy Knox ('Hot Mother', RGFF23) & W.A.M. Bleakley ('A Birthday Party', RGFF24)(SWAG Films)

Moderator: Blake Curtis


SWAG is the collective work of directors W.A.M. Bleakley and Lucy Knox, formed in 2017 to house their writing and directing projects.  Starting out in music videos, their work in the form has led to award-winning short films, tv projects and commercial work across Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand).  Their short films have played at leading international festivals and museums including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Berlinale, Sheffield DocFest, Melbourne International Film Festival, Tropfest, received Vimeo Staff Picks and been distributed by The Criterion Collection.  Their music video work has received ARIA Awards, UKMVA and Directors Guild nominations, working with top artists including the DMA’s, Vance Joy, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Jessica Mauboy and Courtney Barnett. In commercial work they have created work for global brands including Google, Mastercard, Nike and ASB Bank.  SWAG is currently developing various feature film and television projects.


Spotlight on Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine

Jazz Room

Since 2001, Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine have collaborated on some of Australia’s most celebrated animation, interactive and immersive screen projects. Their acclaimed works like "Night Creatures" and "Passenger" have earned international recognition and awards, demonstrating their innovative storytelling, melding animation, installation, and documentary. We are pleased to welcome them to the festival in their first major Australian retrospective.

Participants: Isobel Knowles & Van Sowerwine

Moderator: Chris Luscri


Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine have collaborated together since 2001 when they met at art school with a shared interest in stop-motion animation. They began making single-channel films, then quickly moved into installation and interactivity, investigating ways to engage viewers physically and emotionally with narrative-based stop-motion experiences. Their notable projects include ‘Night Creatures’, an award-winning augmented reality stop-motion work at the Melbourne International Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023; ‘Passenger’ (2019), a VR stop-motion exploring migration, premiering at the Venice International Film Festival and earning accolades at Thessaloniki International Film Festival and VRDays; and ‘Out in the Open’ (2016) a site-specific installation that uses puppet animation, was inspired by and based around the community of traders at Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, and was created as a stand-alone film in 2017. They first gained recognition with ‘Clara’ (2004), a Cannes Film Festival selection and winner at the Chicago International Film Festival. Their achievements span installations like ‘Dwelling’ (2015), engaging Melbourne communities, and ‘Play With Me’ (2004) exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW. They have won awards like Prix Ars Electronica and Premier of Queensland’s National New Media Art Award. Their impactful installations toured internationally, showcasing their dedication to innovative storytelling and audience engagement.


Documentary Ethics: Where Do We Go from Here?

Jazz Room

RGFF is full of documentary shorts on a myriad of subjects, this year more so than ever. How can filmmakers ensure truth, integrity, and respect for subjects are upheld throughout the filmmaking process? Following on from last year’s sell-out session, we explore this question of how to ethically approach the craft of making documentaries.

Participants: Derek Ho ('Forgiveness Day', RGFF24), Gabriel Murphy ('Enemy Alien', RGFF24) & Margot Nash ('Undercurrents: meditations on power', RGFF24).

Moderator: Chris Luscri


Derek Ho

Derek Ho is a Melbourne-based documentary director/ camera operator/ editor and has a Master degree in Documentary Filmmaking from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). His award-winning film ‘Forgiveness Day’ was a New York Times’ Op-Docs piece, screened on the ABC and was nominated for the Iris Prize. Derek’s previous film ‘A Thousand Words Unspoken’ was awarded Best Production Script (Documentary) and Best Documentary at VCA Awards night. It has been further developed with the ABC and was screened on ABC Compass. It is also an official selection at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival and had recently won Best Screenplay at the Shanghai Queer Film Festival.

Gabriel Murphy

Gabriel Murphy is a film director, producer and writer based in Eora (Sydney). Gabriel is a graduate of the Masters in Documentary Film-making at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS), where he created his capstone project ‘Enemy Alien’, a speculative documentary short film about a survivor of Australia’s WWII-era concentration camps. The film premiered domestically at the Antenna Documentary Film Festival, and internationally at DOC NYC in November 2023. For his work on the film, Gabriel won the Australian Directors’ Guild award for Best Direction in a Student Film in December 2023. Gabriel is in post-production in his first feature documentary ‘Councillor’, slated for completion in late 2024, alongside development for an installation-based follow-up to ‘Enemy Alien’, alongside several other documentaries and narratives. He is also the associate producer of ‘The Real Meaning of Pleasure’, one of several short documentaries to receive $30,000 in development support from Screen Australian and AIDC through the Fresh Cuts initiative.

Margot Nash

One of Australia's leading independent film-makers, Margot Nash has produced, written and directed a number of award-winning films as well as working as a cinematographer and a film editor. She holds an MFA from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales. Nash's debut film 'We Aim to Please' (1978), created with Robin Laurie, won a Jury Prize at the L’Homme Regarde Homme festival in Paris and is featured in ACMI's Screen Worlds exhibit. The film was digitally restored by the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) in 2017, screened at the Sydney Film Festival, and exhibited at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2022) and the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art (2023). Margot was co-filmmaker and editor of 'For Love or Money' (1982), a feature documentary about the history of women's work in Australia, which earned a UN Media Peace prize (1985) and was restored by the NFSA. Nash's short films 'Teno' (1984) and 'Shadow Panic' (1989) received awards from ATOM and AFI.  Her feature drama 'Vacant Possession' (1994) earned AFI nominations and screened at various international festivals, including a win at Films De Femmes festival (1996). 'Call Me Mum' (2005) won two AFI Awards and earned nominations from NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and AWGIEs.  Margot has worked as a consultant and a mentor for Indigenous filmmakers in Australia and the Pacific. In 2012, she was the Filmmaker in Residence at Zürich University of the Arts where she began developing a personal essay documentary 'The Silences' (2015). In 2016 she won an Australian Writers’ Guild (AWGIE) Award for the screenplay. In 2016, the Melbourne Cinémathèque honoured Margot with a retrospective of her work. In 2023, Nash world premiered 'Undercurrents: meditations on power' at MIFF, followed by its international debut at the Warsaw International Film Festival. She is currently a Visiting Fellow in Communications at the University of Technology Sydney.


Spotlight on New Queer Cinema

Jazz Room

Queer cinema continues to evolve, pushing boundaries and challenging norms, as filmmakers explore myriad narratives and perspectives within the LGBTQ+ community. This session spotlights some of Australia’s most notable queer filmmakers to discuss the lay of the landscape in queer screen culture currently, and model new directions for the future…

Participants: Jim Muntisov ('Hyperconnect', RGFF24), Andy Diep ('Happy New Year, Ms. Luna', RGFF24), Ella Millard ('Beautiful They' & 'Girl and Body', RGFF24) & Cloudy Rhodes ('Beautiful They', RGFF24).

Moderator: Tanisha Hewa


Jim Muntisov

Jim Muntisov studied film and media at both RMIT University in Melbourne and NYU Tisch in New York. Since graduating university, they worked as a freelance filmmaker while developing their first feature film “Daydreams”, which premiered in 2019. In 2021, Jim wrote and directed the short film ‘Gem’, which has its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2022. Their latest short film ‘Hyperconnect’ premiered at the inaugural SXSW Sydney in 2023.

Andy Diep

Andy Diep (they/them) is a non-binary Cambodian-Australian filmmaker and artist from Sydney's Western Suburbs. Their work explores intergenerational themes, gender, sexuality, and the immigrant experience in Australia. Andy holds a Master's degree in Media Arts and Production from UTS and is currently pursuing a Master's in Screen Arts: Directing at AFTRS.  In 2022, Andy won the Queer Screen PitchOff with ‘Happy New Year, Ms. Luna’, which premiered at the Mardi Gras Film Festival 2023. Their latest short film, ‘The Whip’, debuted at the Australian Independent Film Festival in Brisbane and is now touring festivals.  Beyond filmmaking, Andy has directed and worked on cinematography for commercial and fashion projects and crewed on major films like ‘Shang-Chi’, ’Thor: Love and Thunder’, and ‘Furiosa’. They transitioned into directing after receiving UTS' "Lawrie Fitzgerald Prize in Innovation and Creativity in Sound and/or Film" for their film ‘Tokophobia’, which explores male pregnancy.  In 2023, Andy was selected by filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul for the PlayLabs Creator’s Workshop in Yucatan to create a film under his mentorship.

Ella Millard

Ella Millard is an AACTA-nominated producer with experience developing, managing and delivering creative projects in the arts, festivals, events, film, and impact entertainment. Short films they have produced have screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, the Iris Prize, Out Fest LA, Hollyshorts, Palm Springs International Shorts Fest, Melbourne International Film Festival, and St Kilda Film Festival among others, and received an AACTA nomination for Best Short Form Drama, Best Film awards at the Mardis Gras, Melbourne Queer, and Dublin International Film Festivals, and Best Direction in a Short Film by the Australian Directors Guild. Ella was Development & Production Executive for Causeway Films (‘The Nightingale’, ‘The Babadook’), where she produced the short film, ‘Grace’, by writer/director Alex Holmes. ‘Grace’ was financed by Screen Australia, won Best Film at the 2018 Dublin Independent Film Festival, screened as part of the opening night selection of the 2018 St Kilda Film Festival, and has gone on to receive awards and nominations at festivals around the world. Ella has two films in this year’s RGFF program: ‘Beautiful They’ (directed by Cloudy Rhodes) and ‘Girl and Body’ (directed by Charlotte Mars). Both are up for the festival’s Best Short Film award.

Cloudy Rhodes

Cloudy Rhodes is a trans non-binary award-winning director and writer producing distinct and emotionally intuitive work. Rhodes’ work celebrates gender fluidity and expression through positive and uplifting queer narratives. Their work has received numerous accolades including an Australian Directors’ Guild Award, A Queer Screen - Best Film Award and The City of Melbourne award, as well as being nominated for an AACTA award.   In 2021 their short film ‘Beautiful They’ – a personal piece - had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival’s 20th anniversary edition and has since been picked up by Netflix. Cloudy's debut short ‘Lo Loves You’ premiered on i-D and was picked up by Arcadia Films to accompany the national theatrical release of Sundance Audience Award winner, ‘First Girl I Loved’. Their short ‘Deluge’, funded by Create NSW, premiered at Sydney Film Festival 2019, and their video work ‘New Masc’ was made as part of the Prototype Video Art Collective and screened at multiple major art institutes. They have directed narrative and documentary shorts, music videos and cause-related commercial campaigns and have worked with international brands such as Calvin Klein, Levis and Louis Vuitton.    Rhodes has just finished a three month directors attachment with their mentor Justin Kurzel and is currently in development on their debut feature. 


Spotlight on ‘Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)’

Cinema 5

‘Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped in Black)’ is a profoundly moving film, a remarkable collaboration between Anangu Yankunytjatjara actor, director and performer Derik Lynch, and film-maker and photographer Matthew Thorne. Through a heightened cinematic approach that has seen this Berlinale award-winning film celebrated internationally, ‘Marungka Tjalatjunu’ intricately navigates the realms of fact and fiction, unveiling profound insights into the essence of human existence as it follows Derik on a rite-of-passage back to community in Alice Springs. Join us to discuss the film with Matthew Thorne, co-director and co-writer.

Participant: Matthew Thorne

Moderator: Jamieson Pearce


Matthew Thorne was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. His film and photographic work explores contemporary 'Australian' identity, spirituality, masculinity, and relationship to land, through blurred fiction/non-fiction frameworks, often working directly with real communities and people using co-created and re-enacted storytelling practices.  Matthew's work has been shown at various festivals including receiving the Silver Bear Jury Prize at Berlinale, Documentary Australia Prize at Sydney Film Festival, Best Short Documentary at Melbourne International Film Festival, and nomination for Best Short Documentary at the International Documentary Association Awards.  He received the Martin Kantor Portrait Prize (2023), Adelaide Film Festival & Samstag Gallery of Art Commission (2022), Australian Directors Guild Award for Music Video (2021), and was nominated for the Olive Cotton Award (2023), National Portrait Prize, Australia (2021), and Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize, UK (2020). Recently, Matthew has had solo shows at Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide (2023), Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria (2023), Canberra Museum and Gallery with their Sidney Nolan collection (2022), and been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia (2021), National Portrait Gallery London (2020), and the Art Gallery of South Australia (2020).

We acknowledge the sovereignty of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation whose unceded land will always be a home of storytelling and culture.