International Competition Judges

Debra Zimmerman

Executive Director, Women Make Movies

Debra Zimmerman is the Executive Director of Women Make Movies, a NY non-profit social enterprise that’s been supporting women filmmakers with distribution and production assistance of their independent films since 1972. In the past 10 years filmmakers from WMM’s programs have won or been nominated for Academy Awards including this year’s winner for Best Short Documentary, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. Zimmerman speaks worldwide and is the recipient of numerous awards, including NY Women in Film and Television’s Changemaker Award and Hot Doc’s Doc Mogul Award.

Jason Ishikawa

Head of International Sales, Cinetic Media

Jason is the head of new international sales at Cinetic Media, a New York-based film and media company which represents some of the most prestigious and successful documentaries including the academy award winning films AMY, INSIDE JOB and THE FOG OF WAR. In his role Jason devises worldwide sales strategies for feature narrative and documentary films. He was previously Senior Director of Acquisitions, Financing and Sales at The Film Sales company.

Lars Meyer

Programmer, Dok Leipzig

Lars is a film progrmamer who managed the Schaubühne Lindenfels cinema in Leipzig as well as worked as a freelance journalist, film critic and freelance script analyst. He worked as a programmer at Filmfest Dresden before joining DOK Leipzig in 2011 as a selection committee member and a programmer. Founded in 1955, DOK Leipzig is the oldest documentary festival in the world, and one of the leading international documentary festivals and market places for documentary and animated films.

Sam Griffin

Investment Manager, Screen Australia

Sam has been an investment manager in documentary at Screen Australia for five years, and assisted with funding popular television series, emerging filmmaker initiatives and award-winning feature documentaries including GAYBY BABY; TYKE: ELEPHANT OUTLAW; PUTUPARRI; ECCO HOMO; THE FAMILY and MONSIEUR MAYONNAISE. Prior to Screen Australia, Sam worked in NYC for 15 years, where she was a supervising producer for several TV series and produced/directed documentaries, shorts films, radio and theatre productions.

Juan Francisco Salazar


Juan is an anthropologist, documentary filmmaker and currently Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies at Western Sydney University where he teaches and researches in documentary media and environmental humanities. He is co-author of the award winning book Screen Media Arts: introduction to concepts and practices (Oxford University Press) and his most recent film is Nightfall on Gaia (Antenna 2015).


Australian Competition Judges

Sascha Ettinger-Epstein


Sascha is a documentary cinematographer and director known for her raw, observational character-driven Australian stories including Painting with Light in a Dark World, The Oasis, Playing in the Shadows, and Destination Arnold. She has worked on TV series such as Recruits, Kings Cross ER and Kalgoorlie Cops and has an MA in Documentary Directing at AFTRS.

Tony Krawitz


Tony Krawitz is a writer/director that has directed series including THE KETTERING INCIDENT, READY FOR THIS, THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, THE SURGEON, CITY HOMICIDE and ALL SAINTS. He wrote and directed the feature documentary THE TALL MAN, and feature films DEAD EUROPE and JEWBOY which premiered in Un Certain Regard at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and which went on to screen at many festivals including Sundance.

Malinda Wink

Institute & Executive Director of Good Pitch²

Malinda is Executive Director for Good Pitch² Australia and Director Policy and Impact for Shark Island Productions. She has held senior roles across the corporate, political and philanthropic sectors and has also worked as a consultant on business strategy and capital-raising for for-profit film companies and the not-for-profit sector. Malinda has served on advisory boards including the Social Enterprise World Forum and The Caledonia Foundation.


Australian Shorts Competition Judges

Jack Sargeant

Programmer / Writer

Jack Sargeant, PhD, is the author of numerous books, articles, essays and documents that examine aspects of independent film and culture. His books include Flesh and Excess: On Underground Film, Against Control, Deathtripping: The Extreme Underground and Naked Lens: Beat Cinema. Jack has lectured and curated film screenings and exhibitions across the world. He is also programme director for Revelation Film Festival.

Susan Danta

Filmmaker / Animator

Susan completed a Masters of Digital Media at AFTRS, a Postgraduate Diploma (Animation) at VCA and has worked in animation for the past decade. Her award winning films HEIRLOOMS, MOTHER TONGUE, DRIVING HOME and SHADOWPLAY have screened at a number of international and local film festivals. Susan has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery; Australian Centre for the Moving Image; The 4th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; and the Smithsonian Institute USA.

Gary Paramanathan


Gary is an arts and cultural worker, producer and curator of films. He founded and manages Colourfest, Australia’s first and only short film festival that focuses on migrant stories which tours to over thirty venues across Australia. Gary’s films have screened in a number of film festivals, including Flickerfest. He currently works at Information and Cultural Exchange, Parramasala, and local government bodies.