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Sydney Film Festival announces 20 finalists

The Sydney Film Festival and Lexus Australia announced that 20 filmmakers have been shortlisted to compete for the largest cash fellowship for short film in Australia.

Presiding over the selection process as Jury Chair is leading Australian actor David Wenham.

Wenham recently starred in the internationally acclaimed Australian film Lion, and will be seen on screens as lead villain in the anticipated Netflix series Marvel’s Iron Fist.

The other jury members are Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia’s Vin Naidoo, and Australian producers Kath Shelper and Sandra Levy AO.

The industry luminaries will assess each finalist’s proposed short film project to select up to four filmmakers, each of whom will receive a $50,000 Fellowship grant.

The four successful candidates will be announced at the Sydney Film Festival (7-18 June 2017).

The shortlisted filmmakers are:
Alexander Giblin (NSW)
Goran Stolevski (VIC)
Beth Armstrong (NSW)
Isaac Elliott (VIC)
Dane McCusker (NSW)
Lara Kose (VIC)
Sam Gosper (NSW)
Oran Franco (VIC)
Rueben Field (NSW)
Thomas Baricevic (VIC)
Sunday Emerson Gullifer (NSW)
Victoria Thaine (VIC)
Arthur Angel (VIC)
Dane Hansen (QLD)
David Hansen (VIC)
Emily Avila (QLD)
Ellen Richardson (VIC)
Josh Tanner (QLD)
Frank Margee (VIC)
Sean Meehan (WA)

Finalists are of the highest calibre.

Two filmmakers have come from incredible experiences on set: one working with Mel Gibson on the two time Oscar-winning Hacksaw Ridge; and another with Alister Grierson (director of James Cameron-produced Sanctum) on the Emmy-winning series Nowhere Boys.

Other filmmakers have come from mixed disciplines and experiences. One directed Grammy-nominated music DVD Liberacion, and another started making films after a motorcycle accident left him confined to a wheelchair.

Celebrated Australian playwright Stephen Sewell,  producer Nicole O’Donohue, and producer and consultant Gillian Moody chose the 20 shortlisted  filmmakers from over 280 Australians who entered the 2017 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship.

“The Fellowship is a significant investment in filmmakers looking to bring their next ground-breaking project to life,” Jury Chair David Wenham said.

“The Fellowship is delighted with the wealth of talent entering the competition in 2017, hailing from across the spectrum of creative industries,” Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley said.

“These unique perspectives and disciples are sure to make for compelling films.”

“The Fellowship is about discovering new voices and ideas that keep art forms moving forward at the local level, and just one example of how we invest in fostering creativity and emerging talent,” Vin Naidoo, Corporate Manager of Lexus Australia said.

Once announced at the Sydney Film Festival in June 2017, the four Fellows will commence production of their films, to premiere at the 65th Sydney Film Festival in 2018.

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