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Who are our judges in 2017?


Sandra Alexander – Line Producer 


Filmmaker Sandra Alexander has been line producer or production manager on feature films and high-end television dramas including RETURN TO EDEN (The Series), HILLS END, SPIT MACPHEE, MISSION TOP SECRET, LIFT OFF, SINGAPORE SLING, FRAUDS, SOFT FRUIT and SEPTEMBER, and on international productions shooting in Australia - THE JUNCTION BOYS, BLIND AMBITION and COLD FEET. She was Production Associate on the ABC series EAST OF EVERYTHING, and has produced short films and documentaries. She was a Project Manager at the Film Finance Corporation (now part of Screen Australia) and regularly consults to the major film agencies on budgets, production and offset applications.


She has had substantial engagement with emerging filmmakers as a lecturer and mentor for AFTRS students, as a lecturer at other Australian and international film schools, as director of the Media Centre at UTS and as co-ordinating editor for the 2007 edition of The Satchel, the Australian industry’s production bible. She is a board member of Currency House, a leading arts and cultural policy think tank.




Alan Nurthen - Actor / Writer / Producer / Director


Alan trained at New Theatre and then spent the next eight years performing in a variety of film and television productions before starting his own acting school, the Screen Actors Workshop, in 1988.


In 1991 Alan was one of only nine industry professionals chosen for the first Industry Program Advanced Screen Directors Certificate course at AFTRS.

Since then, Alan has produced and directed over sixty short films, numerous corporate videos for clients as diverse as MYOB and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, along with the international hit documentaries, Funnel Webs (7 Network; Beyond Distribution) and Boomers and Slackers (GDTV South Africa.)


Alan has trained numerous Gold and Silver Logie winning actors, and his production students have won some of Sydney's most prestigious film festivals, including Tropfest (twice) and The Short Black Film Festival.

The Screen Actors Workshop won Outstanding Educational Service at the Small Business Awards in 2010 and again in 2012, further recognition for Alan's passion for training brave and creative screen actors for the Australian film and television industry.


Alan is currently working in front of the camera again, playing the bad guy Josefa the Intoner in director Greg Perano's second feature film, Prufrock & Co.



Pieter de Vries ACS - Director of Photography


From the heights of the Space Shuttle to the depths of the North Atlantic ocean, from ancient land turtles on the Galapagos Islands to sublime performances of the music of Vivaldi, travelling through ninety five countries, internationally recognised cinematographer Pieter de Vries has been there with his camera.


He has received world-wide recognition and numerous awards for his cinematography which has featured on NBC, BBC, History, Discovery and National Geographic Channels, ZDF Germany, NZBC and ABC Australia.

As an ACS accredited Director of Photography, Pieter has reached the highest levels of his craft. He has been a recipient of the Australian Cinematographer of the Year Award, and for his photography of National Geographic documentaries, received an Emmy nomination. He as contributed to much loved programs hosted by David Attenborough and collaborated with Canadian director James Cameron filming the wreck of the Titanic in IMAX 3D.


His current project is a feature documentary, "Women in Blues” - the story of the Mississippi Delta music and the women who sing the blues, being filmed in Chicago, Mississippi and Louisiana. 



Susan Botello 


Susan is the Founder and Director of the International Mobil Film Festival in San Diego, USA. S. Botello ProductionsTM is one of the world’s first and pioneers in mobile film festivals providing an incentive in a global trend of mobile filmmaking. The film festival was launched and initiated by founder Susan Botello in 2009 from an idea and vision shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. The first film festival event took place in 2012 with several films shot with mobile phones and this year the festival received over 130 submissions from all over the world, including some from San Diego.


S. Botello ProductionsTM is working on a global mobile film resource center in San Diego including a mobile film school (non-accredited), International Mobil Film FestivalTM, MFTV, Community Stories and other mobile film based programs through the support of collaborative partnerships around the world.



SerhatCaradee - Award Winning Filmmaker / Writer / Director


An award winning Australian filmmaker, Serhat’s films have screened at over 50 local and international film festivals, winning numerous prizes and awards. He wrote, directed and co-produced the feature film ‘Cedar Boys’, which won the Audience Award at 56th Sydney International Film Festival, screened at 5 international film festivals and garnered many nominations and accolades in Australia, including AFI (AACTA), AWG, ADG and IF. He is currently working on numerous projects all in various stages of development through his company Bonafide Pictures with support from Screen NSW and Screen Australia. 

Serhat comes from an extensive background in theatre, drama and performing arts studies. His vast array and experience covers all aspects of working on stage, TV and film. As an actor he has performed with the following theatre companies - Shakespeare by the Sea, New Theatre, Genesian Theatre and The Pilgrim Theatre. On TV in the second series of the award winning ‘East-West 101’, recently in the 2015 SBS TV series ‘The Principal’ and the 2016 U.S Sci-Fi series ‘Hunters’, produced by Gale Anne Hurd (‘Terminator’ 1 & 2) and created by Natalie Chaidez (‘Heroes’). Serhat also teaches casually at NIDA, Sydney Theatre School, NYFA and UNSW. 


Anthony Montes - Actor / Writer / Producer / Teacher


Anthony is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Artist Theare Group. With his group he has produced 90 plays, acted in over 60 and directed over 30. He has published 13 books available on In the past 1.5 years, he has written and starred in two feature films, The Last Night Inn and The Last Train, that is making the festival rounds. He has also written/directed/produced and starred in his one-man show, Outta The Darkness Into The Light.


Anthony also worked on, PLAYHOUSE for James Franco, as well as acted in, HOLY LAND, which James Franco wrote and produced. 

Anthony continues to teach with The Artist Theatre Group as well as Internationally where he has taught in, Mumbai, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Istanbul, Mexico City and Cape Town. He would like to make his way to Australia to teach as well. He also teaches for James Franco’s Studio 4 in LA. For over three years he taught acting to inner city kids as well as kids in juvenile hall. His hope is to continue teaching and putting up theatre with an ensemble of actors, living truthfully under the imaginary circumstances. His desire is to continue to encourage actors to take control of their destinies. Anthony is also on the judging committee for Mini Cinema TV.





Ros Gentle - Actor / Teacher


Graduate of NIDA with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art from the University of NSW Ros has 35+ years experience in all areas of the performing arts including coaching, producing and directing. Theatre credits include The Sum of Us, Big River, The Wizard of Oz, All’s well That Ends Well, Othello, Bitter Sweet, The Seagull, Escape From Happiness and The Arab Israeli Cookbook plus four one woman shows: The Bridal Suite, Face of an Angel, The Ladychapel and Still Life. 


In Australia Ros worked predominantly in television appearing in such shows as Neighbours, Home and Away, GP, Mother and Son, A Country Practice, Land of Hope, Mother and Son, Carson’s Law, and most notably as a multiple personality in Prisoner. In the US where she has lived for the past 20 years Ros recently  appeared in a recurring role in American Crime Story: The People Vs OJ Simpson. Other Tv includes HBO’s Hello Ladies, Agent X, Santa Sent me to the ER, Tabloid, LAX, Outrageous 911 Calls, Tattoo Nightmares and more. Films include Suing the Devil (alongside Malcolm McDowell), as well as Remember When, Sienna’s Choice, The Method, Discarded and the award winning Australian film Winning Formula. She was also part of the ‘loop troup’ for Saving Mr. Banks.


Alongside her acting, Ros has been teaching actors for the past 30 years and is currently an Instructor at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles where she has been coaching young actors and filmmakers for the past 6 years.


While her love is acting, her passion is helping to create a Better World for future generations. Ros believes the arts and media are profoundly influential in this endeavor.





Megan Riakos - Screenwriter / Director


Megan Riakos is a Screenwriter and Director with a passion for telling stories that engage and provoke. She recently completed her debut feature Crushed, a mystery thriller set in the beautiful Australian wine region of Mudgee. Crushed screened at a number of festivals including Montreal World Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival and Napa Valley Film Festival before completing a successful limited theatrical release in Australia. She has also completed over a dozen short films ranging from the psychological thriller The Shed to the 1930’s crime drama 50-50 and even an experimental dance film The Eye of the Beholder. Her tastes are eclectic but it’s the love of telling a good story no matter the genre that attracts Megan the most.


Megan’s screenplays have also garnered acclaim. Her mystery period feature The Last Reprieve was awarded the Grand Prize in the Greater Philadelphia SIP Screenplay competition and her political drama Victory and Defeat made the semi-finals in the Final Draft Big Break Competition.


Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Media Arts & Production) at University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and has completed both a Graduate Certificate in Screen Drama and a Graduate Diploma in Directing at the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). In 2013, she also completed the Professional Screenwriters Program at UCLA.  Megan is an active member of the Sydney chapter of Film Fatales – a global female feature film directors’ collective, as well as an executive committee member of WIFT NSW where she is a vocal advocate for women in the screen industries and a mentor as a part of the WIFT Big Screen Sister Initiative.


Megan is currently in development on her second feature, a science fiction thriller called Traceless.

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