Less than 40 feature films are funded in Australia every year. To get their stories in front of audiences (and to survive) directors must be innovative, determined and clever.
In this edition of Meet the Creators at ACMI, four directors share their stories of determination, passion and creativity – along with tips on how to get features funded and how to explore platforms other than the cinema.
- Adam Elliot is an Academy Award-winning independent animator and visual artist. He is currently in pre-production of his new feature film, Memoir of a Snail, with his co-producer Liz Kearney and executive producer Robert Connolly.
- Saara Lamberg is a director, actor, writer and producer. Her first feature film, Innuendo, opened theatrically in Melbourne in 2017 and was broadcast nationally on Australian free-to-air television in 2019.
- Logan Mucha is a director whose films have played at film festivals globally, on TV and major online platforms. He’s twice won Best Australian Short at the Human Rights Film Festival and his feature documentary, East Bloc Love, launched Amnesty International’s Pride Fund at The Hague.
- Aaron Wilson’s second feature Little Tornadoes opened at the Melbourne International Film Festival this year. It was ten years in the making. He works as a director and writer across film, VR, multi-platform and commercials.
Join these four talented directors and MC Denise Eriksen of Media Mentors Australia on a panel livestreamed on ACMI’s YouTube Channel, with the opportunity to speak directly to the panelists at an online Q&A at the end of the discussion.
More about the panelists
Adam Elliot is an Academy Award-winning independent animator and visual artist based in Melbourne Australia. He calls his animated films and imagery 'Clayographies': clay animated biographies based on the bittersweet lives of his family and friends.
His animated films, including Mary and Max, Harvie Krumpet, Ernie Biscuit, Brother, Cousin and Uncle, have been voiced by some of the world’s leading actors, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush, Barry Humphries, Eric Bana and Toni Collette.
Among the 100+ accolades worldwide for his films, his 2004 short film Harvie Krumpet won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. His first feature film Mary and Max (2009) had its World Premiere on the Opening Night of the Sundance Film Festival, and in 2010 it was included in IMDB’s Top 250 Films of all time. It is currently being developed into a Broadway Musical, and to date there have been six stage adaptations produced in Europe.
His films are taught in schools and universities here and abroad and he has had multiple retrospectives including exhibitions in Melbourne (at ACMI), Paris, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Singapore, with more to follow. He is currently in pre-production of his new feature film, Memoir of a Snail, with his co-producer Liz Kearney and executive producer Robert Connolly.
Finnish-Australian Saara Lamberg is a director, actor, writer and producer. Accolades for her directorial work include Best Film at the IFF (Milan 2018), Best Film at the FAFF (Los Angeles 2017), Cinema Australia Audience Award (Melbourne 2017), and Bronze Prize at the Beverly Hills screenplay contest (Hollywood 2013). From 2006 she lived in England and studied at the critically acclaimed Dartington College of Arts near Devon, graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Choreographic Practices in 2007. She moved to Melbourne in January 2010.
Her first feature film, Innuendo, opened theatrically in Melbourne 2017 and was broadcast nationally on Australian free-to-air television in 2019. It is currently screening on Amazon. Her second feature film, Westermarck Effect, was scheduled to have its World Premiere at Cannes Cinephiles in 2020, but due to the pandemic the film will launch at Cannes in 2022. She currently has other films in various stages of production, including the improvised features The Lies We Tell Ourselves and COMA. Lamberg has self-financed all her films through sweat, equity and crowdfunding.
Logan Mucha is a director and video artist whose films have played at film festivals globally, on TV and major online platforms, including ABC iView, Virgin In-Flight Entertainment and with Teen Vogue USA. He has twice won Best Australian Short at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival.
Logan’s feature documentary, East Bloc Love, launched Amnesty International’s Pride Fund at the Movies that Matter festival at The Hague.
Two of his short films were nominated for Australian Directors’ Guild awards and his video work, We’re All In This Together, won the Emerging Artist Award at Fortyfivedownstairs. His short documentary, You Are Never Alone, about queer lives in isolation was commissioned by MQFF and Creative Victoria, and released through Victoria Together. His latest work Scattered is a vertical drama series he co-created, wrote and directed, which will release in early 2021 on TikTok.
Logan completed postgraduate Documentary Studies at AFTRS in 2012 and has worked with production company @Radical.Media in New York and Sweetshop, globally. He is now writing his first fiction feature, Divided We Fall, developed through Creative Victoria’s Creator’s Fund.
Aaron was born in rural Australia and has lived and worked in the South-East Asia region. As a director and writer across film, VR, multi-platform and commercials, he is drawn to narratives that explore human vulnerability and connection between peoples across neighbouring country divides.
In 2006, Aaron was selected to take part in a filmmaker residency programme with The Objectifs Centre for Filmmaking and Photography in Singapore where he developed the script for his debut feature, Canopy. The film premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and screened at festivals including Rotterdam, Busan, Taipei, Shanghai, Jerusalem, New Horizons and Seattle. Canopy was released in UK, Canada, US, Taiwan and Australia, and VOD in China.
Aaron is currently in post-production on his second feature, Little Tornadoes. He is represented for film and TV by RGM (Australia) and Echo Lake Entertainment (US). He is represented for TVC work by AIRBAG (Australia and Asia).
Events at AFTRS
9 Mar 2021: Celebrating Women
with Corrie Chen, Debbie Cuell, Leah Purcell, Laurie Critchley and Samantha Strauss
13 Apr 2021: From Concept to Broadcast
with Rikkie Proost, Deb Spinocchia and Majella Wiemers
8 June 2021: Te Ao Maori: Making 'Cousins'
with Ainsley Gardiner, Briar Grace-Smith and Amy Thunig
10 August 2021: Passion Projects
with Annabel Crabb, Stamatia Maroupas, Jane Castle ACS, Tiriki Onus and Alec Morgan
14 Sept 2021: Podcasting Powerhouses
with Marc Fennell, Jesse Klass, Marlee Silva and Alex Mitchell
Meet the Creators @ AFTRS & ACMI
Join us for a series of free, in-person and live-streamed events for the screen and broadcast industry presented by AFTRS, ACMI, Film Victoria and Media Mentors Australia.