Our People

Deanne WeirChair

A media entrepreneur and media executive, company director and philanthropist, Deanne Weir has more than 25 years’ experience in media and communications.

Deanne chairs the boards of two private companies in which her company, WeirAnderson.com is a significant investor: Hoodlum, an Emmy and BAFTA award winning production company, and Ai-Media, a technology and social innovation company.

Deanne is passionate about community engagement and the power of storytelling to help influence social change. She is chair of the Australian Women Donors Network and a member of the global philanthropic community, Women Moving Millions – both of which seek to increase the amount of social investment that reaches women and girls. A frequent guest speaker at corporate and philanthropic events, Deanne also provides informal mentoring support to a number of women in the media.

Deanne was a board member of Screen Australia for eight years until 2016 and was instrumental in the development of its Gender Matters program.

In 2017 Deanne was appointed Chair of the Sydney Film Festival.


Carole CampbellDirector, Chair of Finance Committee

Carole has over 25 years’ experience in senior finance roles (CFO / Treasurer / Company Secretary) in a diverse range of industries including professional services, banking, media, industrial services and hospitality.

Carole commenced her career in the Sydney and London offices of KPMG and has worked for Macquarie Bank, Westpac Institutional Bank, Seven West Media and Bis Industries. Her most recent executive role was as Group Business and Finance Director of Merivale. Carole currently serves as the Independent Chair of the Finance and Risk Management Committee of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School.

Carole is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University.


Jan Chapman AODirector

Jan Chapman has produced some of Australia’s most critically successful and popular films – including Palme d’Or nominated Bright Star, AFI Best Film winner Lantana and Academy Award® winner The Piano. Jan’s most recent production (with Nicole O’Donohue) was The Daughter written and directed by Simon Stone. The film premiered in competition at the 2015 Sydney Film Festival and was selected to screen at the Venice, Toronto and London International Film Festivals. It was released in Australia in 2016.

Jan has supported and nurtured the careers of some of Australia’s most talented filmmakers and was the executive producer on SomersaultSuburban MayhemGriff the Invisible and The Babadook. Her films have won many awards including co-recipient of the Palme d’Or at Cannes (The Piano, 1993), three Academy Awards® (The Piano, 1994), Camera d’Or at Cannes (Love Serenade, 1996), over 38 Australian Film Institute Awards, and have had numerous screenings and honours across the globe at the world’s top film festivals including Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Cannes. 

In 2004, Jan was honoured for her outstanding contribution to the Australian film industry as the recipient of the Order of Australia.


Darren DaleDirector

A director of Blackfella Films since 2000, Darren has produced many award winning productions including the landmark series First Australians, the feature documentaries The Tall Man and Deep Water – The Real Story, and the documentary series First Contact (Seasons 1 and 2) and DNA Nation.

With Miranda Dear, he has produced the telemovie Mabo, two series and a telemovie of Redfern Now, the first drama series to be written, produced and directed by Indigenous Australians, and the mini series Deep Water. Darren was executive producer on the teen drama series Ready for This.

Currently in post production are the feature documentary Literacy for Life and a major series for SBS exploring homelessness in Australia.

Darren also currently serves on the Council of AFTRS and Sydney Festival.


Nicholas FairfaxDeputy Chair

Nick Fairfax is the Managing Director of Marinya Capital which runs the family office investments and affairs of a branch of the Fairfax family. He has worked in accounting and the music industry and held numerous private and public company directorships including Rural Press Ltd and Fairfax Media Ltd.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and is a Chartered Accountant.



Zareh NalbandianDirector

Zareh Nalbandian, Animal Logic’s Co-Founder and CEO, has been managing, developing and producing large-scale screen projects for over 25 years.  He has collaborated with iconic directors, producers and artists on some of the most successful feature films of our time. Since leading Animal Logic’s expansion into feature film visual effects in 1996 and feature animation in 2006, Zareh has guided one of the most respected and admired artistic and technical cultures in the industry, earning his reputation as a world leader in the fields of film development, animation, visual effects and production.

Zareh was Executive Producer on Academy Award winning Happy Feet, he produced the animated adventure Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, directed by Zack Snyder which was produced entirely at Animal Logic’s studios in Sydney, Australia. Most recently Zareh served as Executive Producer on The LEGO® Batman Movie and is currently Producer on Peter Rabbit (2018) and Executive Producer on The LEGO® Ninjago Movie (2017) and The LEGO® Movie Sequel (2019).

Zareh is committed to building a successful, globally competitive digital production industry in Australia. He enjoys strong personal relationships with key US Studio Executives and leading Directors and Producers, in addition to the continued day-to day management of the company. Zareh guides the development of an exciting slate of feature film properties and continues to push the boundaries of digital storytelling.


Leigh SmallChief Executive Officer

Leigh Small has worked for over 25 years in management positions in many of Sydney’s performing arts companies, including Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, and as Executive Director of Sydney Dance Company for 10 years. Most recently she has worked as a freelance producer for Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the English National Ballet.

Nashen MoodleyFestival Director

Nashen Moodley commenced as Festival Director in January 2012 after stepping down from his role as Manager/Head of Programming of the Durban International Film Festival, South Africa’s longest-running film festival, which he held since 2001. During his ten-year term he was responsible for expanding the content and audiences of the festival and raising the profile of the South African film industry by establishing the Durban FilmMart.

As a highly respected international film programmer, Nashen has worked as an Industry Consultant at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and as a regular expert guest as part of the Programme Events at the Berlinale Talent Campus. Since 2005 he has held the position of Director of Asia and Africa Programmes for the Dubai International Film Festival and has overseen DIFF’s popular Muhr AsiaAfrica competition.

In 2006, Nashen curated the first South African Film Festival in Tehran. He has also been an adviser to several other festivals including India’s International Film Festival of Kerala, South Korea’s Busan International Film Festival and Africala in Mexico City.

Nashen’s film writing and criticism has appeared in newspapers and magazines including GQThe Sunday Independent and The Mail & Guardian online. He is currently the film critic for South Africa’s Sunday Tribune.

Jenny NeighbourPrograms Manager, Documentary Programmer

Andrew PerkinProgram Coordinator

David Stratton AMRetrospective Curator

Richard KuipersFreak Me Out Programmer

Clare SawyerFamily Programmer

Bridget IkinFLUX: Art+Film Guest Curator

Sofya GollanScreenability Programmer

Leo FaberVR Programmer

Shaun GladwellVR Programmer

Malcolm TurnerAnimation Programmer

Lisa KitchingIndustry and Guest Manager

James WoolleyHead of Marketing and Customer Relations

Sarah SteelMarketing Executive

Kathleen SmithDigital & Social Media Coordinator

Claire ConnorsCustomer Relations Manager

Lilli-Marie Liebisch, Sofia NastriContent, Marketing and Online Interns

Amber Forrest-BisleyDirector, Cardinal Spin

Amy OwenCommunications Advisor

Matt FraserCommunications Manager

Aidan McLaughlinCommunications Assistant

Genvin InCommunications Assistant

Gemma TreacherCommunications Assistant

Holly ValeDevelopment Manager

Georgia ShepherdPhilanthropy Manager

Bernadette WithamDevelopment Executive

Tracey HurtFinance and Administration Manager

Sanam RodriguesFestival Administrator

Julie GiffordAssistant Accountant

Karina LibbeyTravelling Film Festival Manager

Ruth JohnsonTravelling Film Festival Intern

Robert McIndoeHead of Events

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