Festival Ambassadors

Ian Darling

Ian Darling is Executive Director of Shark Island Productions and Shark Island Institute, and Chair of Good Pitch² Australia.

He is an AFI award winning documentary filmmaker. His director and producer credits include Stories From the Inside, Paul Kelly – Stories of Me, The Oasis, Polly & Me, Wall Boy, The Soldier, In The Company of Actors, Alone Across Australia and Woodstock for Capitalists. He is currently directing and producing Our Little Garden, a documentary about environmental sustainability and survival in a remote rural community.

Ian is a Member of the Advisory Board of Impact Partners in New York, Ambassador of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival, Patron of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, and Founder and Patron of the Documentary Australia Foundation. He is Chair of The Caledonia Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Social Impact.

He received the AFI Award for Best Direction in a Documentary, and is a recipient of the Creative Partnerships Australia ‘Business Arts Leadership Award’. The Oasis was recently named one of ‘Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time.’ His photographs have been finalists in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, the Sydney Life Photography Prize, and the Head On Portrait Prize.

He has a MBA from IMD Switzerland, and a BA from the Australian National University.

Sandra and Yoram Gross

Sandra and Yoram set up their very first film studio Yoram Gross Films in Israel in 1962.

In 1968, by now in Australia, Yoram and Sandra founded Yoram Gross Film Studios in Paddington, which quickly evolved into a highly respected producer of animation for cinema, television and video, distributed worldwide.

Yoram first made international headlines with the animated film Dot and the Kangaroo in 1977, featuring the studio’s trademark technique of animation over a live action background. Dot and the Kangaroo proved to be a universal and timeless success, and led to the production of a further eight Dot films over the following seventeen years, which were delivered to 27 territories internationally.

In 1992, Yoram Gross Film Studios diversified into making animated series for television. The first series, Blinky Bill, totalling 52 half hour episodes, achieved significant international success, both as a broadcasting and as a merchandising property and was a major licensing success in Europe.

Following Blinky Bill, Yoram Gross co-produced the series Tabaluga (26 half hours) with EM.TV & Merchandising AG, which in 1998 quickly became the top-rating children’s show in Germany. An animated series adapting Australia’s best-known kangaroo, Skippy, was completed in 1998, whereupon the studio commenced the animation of Flipper and Lopaka. Both series comprise 26 half hour episodes.