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Who are our judges in 2015?

We are so excited to announce our first five judges for SF3 2015.


 Jason van Genderen / Pocket Filmmaker
So what's a pocket filmmaker? Good question! Jason's passion for mobile phone filmmaking has seen him tread the stages of Tropfest NY, Aspen Short Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival and in 2013 Sundance London. Largely documentary based, Jason's short mobile films have also found a home within our HSC education curriculum, the National Film & Sound Archive, the Australian Museum even the world-renowned Smithsonian Institute. 
His philosophy is simple. Great storytelling transcends the perceived barriers of budget, experience and equipment. When you have a beautifully pure story idea...sometimes the simplest of tolls can be the secret to telling that story superbly well. Whether it's addressing a TED audience, a film festival panel or a global audience online - Jason's infectious enthusiasm for simple & powerful storytelling will help anyone find their inner creative voice. 
“Jason – your camera is small but your heart is huge!” - Don McAlpine / Master Cinematographer (Predator, Patriot Games, Mrs Doubtfire, Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, Peter Pan, The Chronicles of Narnia, Wolverine)



Anthony Montes - LA Acting Coach / Filmmaker / Writer / Director


Anthony Montes he began studying acting at H.B. Studios. He moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and studied Sandy Meisner’s acting technique and the Strasberg Method. Among his teachers are Sandy Meisner, Charlie Laughton, Bob Carnegie, Bill Alderson, James Franco, Susan Peretz, Barbara Bain and Shelley Winters. 
Fueled by a lack of opportunities for him, he beganThe Artist Theatre Group in 1987. With this group he began teaching & began producing plays with the actors he had trained. In the past 28 years he has produced 92 plays. Many of the productions have been original works that were developed in the classes. Many of these plays received the critic’s choice. Anthony is a recipient of the Drama-Logue Award for acting. 
To create his own opportunity, he began writing. He has written 24 one-act plays which can be found on He wrote, produced, directed and starred in the award winning short, “Seeing Pacino.” He has also acted & wrote the short films, “Crybabies,” & “Reflections.” 
Anthony has completed seven screenplays, “The Transformation Of Nicky Palumbo,” “An Actors Life For Me,” “Saint Anthony of the Bronx,” “The Dancer and Her Savior,” “The Mobster & The Priest,” “The House From Bunker Hill,” “The Last Night Inn,” and “The Last Train. 
Two of the films have just been produced in which Anthony stars and wrote the screenplays, “The Last Night Inn,” which is in post and will be released in 2015. He also has recently wrapped, “The Last Train,” which is currently in post-production. Both of these films, Anthony had originally written as plays, which he starred in on stage. 
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 and he will be soon teaching in Istanbul. He would like to make his way to Austrailia to teach as well. He also teaches for James Franco’s Studio 4. 
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 
Anthony was also on the judging committee for Mini Cinema TV

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. 
Serhat Caradee - Award Winning Filmmaker / Writer / Director

Serhat Caradee is an award winning filmmaker. His short films have screened at over 40 local & international film festivals, winning numerous prizes and awards, including Best Film at the 2001 Sydney International Film Festival: Dendy Awards, and an Audience Award at the 2001 New York University (NYU) International Student Film Festival, and also the first Bondi Short Film Festival. 
In 2009, Serhat wrote, directed and co-produced the feature film ‘Cedar Boys’, which won the Audience Award at Sydney International Film Festival. It went on to screen at 5 international film festivals and garnered nominations and accolades in Australia, including AFI, AWG, ADG and IF.
He is currently working on many projects in various stages of development including with writers Stephen Sewell and Nick Parsons through his company Uncovered Films and support from Screen NSW and Screen Australia..



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.




Maria Lewis - Journalist & Author
Maria Lewis is an author, film critic, radio host, podcaster and pop culture commentator. A journalist for over 10-years, her work has appeared in the New York Post, Empire, Huffington Post, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, WHO Weekly, Junkee, Spook Magazine, The Daily Mail and Penthouse, to name a few. She’s the co-host of the Eff Yeah Film & Feminism podcast and a founding member of the Australian film critic collective Graffiti With Punctuation. A writer and producer on the documentary about George Miller’s Justice League project, Maria’s debut novel Who’s Afraid? is also set for release in January, 2016 in Australia and worldwide in June, 2016. She can be found on Twitter at @MovieMazz 


Caris Bizzaca - Film Critic and Journalist
Caris Bizzaca is a critic and journalist, specialising in film, entertainment, technology and pop culture. As Film Writer at the newswire Australian Associated Press (AAP) for four years, her work has appeared in print and online for Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier Mail,, The West Australian, The Cairns Post and The Mercury in Hobart, among other publications.
A passionate supporter of Australian film and female filmmakers, Caris also hosts post-screening Q&As, appears as a guest critic on ABC 702 and in 2015 co-launched the podcast Eff Yeah Film and Feminism with fellow journalist Maria Lewis.

Carla ‘Biggzy’ Bignasca

Vivacious, sassy and switched-on, Biggzy’s currently a regular contributor for Channel 7’s The Morning Show, The Daily Edition and news presenter for KIIS FM & The Edge.

Born in Sydney, Biggzy has been in radio since 2002 where she was a volunteer announcer at Sydney’s 2RPH, Radio for the Print Handicap radio station.

Since then she has worked for some of Australia’s leading radio networks as an announcer and producer, and as co-host of Australia’s Number One Nights show, the Hot30 Countdown, has chatted with a multitude of stars including Robert Downey Jnr, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Hugh Jackman, Justin Bieber and Rihanna to name drop just a few!

As well as co-hosting the Hot30 Countdown Biggzy also co-hosted Rate the Hits National Top 20 Countdown broadcast on the weekends nationally and hosted heritage countdown shows Take 40 Australia and The Hot Hits.

More recently Biggzy was heard weekday mornings hosting the Breakfast show on Mix 106.3 Canberra and earned a 2013 Australian Commercial Radio Award for Best Multimedia Execution.

Biggzy has also tried her hand at acting appearing on TV shows such as Heartbreak High, Above the Law and Breakers. Carla also worked on Mission Impossible II, Bootmen and various TV commercials. 

She has also presented and produced the music news segment on the Music Jungle Channel 9 and had guests spots on MTV Music Specials (Britney vs The World and Lady Gaga), 20 to 1 Channel 9, The Morning Show Channel 7, Ready Steady Cook Network 10, Cybershack Network 10, Mornings with Kerri-Anne Kennerley channel 9, Pyramid Channel 9 and Saturday Disney Channel 7.


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