We acknowledge Australia’s First Nations People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land, and pay respect to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, upon whose Country SFF are based.
We honour the storytelling and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.
Meet the programmers of the 2024 Sydney Film Festival
Community April 10 2024 by Team SFF
Sydney Film Festival’s Programming team works non-stop to review thousands of submissions every year, attend world premiere screenings, unearth the best local talent, and select award-winning features from across the globe, fresh from the Festival circuit. Read on to learn more about the programmers and curators behind this year’s SFF program.

Nashen Moodley – Festival Director

Festival Director Nashen Moodley will be running his 13th Festival this coming June. During his tenure, the festival has grown vastly. Moodley’s career in film programming has encompassed many leadership roles, including Manager at the Durban International Film Festival (2001–2011) and as a Programming Consultant for Dubai International Film Festival (2005–2017). During his tenure, he dramatically increased Durban’s content and reach. He has been a jury member at various film festivals worldwide including San Sebastián, Busan, Toronto, Rotterdam, El Gouna, Durban and Tokyo film festivals. Moodley studied English and philosophy at the University of Natal and worked as a journalist before turning to film programming.

Jenny Neighbour – Head of Programs and Documentary Programmer

Jenny Neighbour leads the Festival programming team, responsible for programming documentaries and overseeing the curatorial teams. Jenny studied Fine Arts at Goldsmith College in London. Moving to Australia, she worked on touring bicentennial exhibitions before joining SFF in 1989. Jenny began curating for the Festival in 2000, during Gayle Lake’s appointment as Festival Director. She has twice been awarded for her contribution to the industry – the AACTA Best Indie Film Grand Jury in 2018, and the NSW/ACT Cinema Pioneer of the Year in 2023.

Justin Martyniuk – Program Coordinator and Programmer

Assisting Jenny and Nashen is Justin Martyniuk. Since 2019, Justin has been overseeing Festival submissions as Program Coordinator and Programmer, as well as delivering films to cinemas and previewing film titles. Prior to SFF, Justin received his first programming gig as Program Coordinator at Adelaide Film Festival, and was one of three jurors for Calgary’s 2022 CUFF.Docs Awards.

Richard Kuipers – Freak Me Out Programmer

Richard Kuipers curates the Freak Me Out program. He is a Variety film critic, a specialist in weird cinema and has produced documentaries including The Cambodian Space Project – Not Easy Rock’n’Roll (SFF 2015).

Ruby Arrowsmith-Todd – FLUX Art+Film Co-curator

Film curator Ruby Arrowsmith-Todd returns to SFF to co-curate FLUX: Art + Cinema, putting together groundbreaking films that explore the intersection of art and cinema. Ruby regularly programs the weekly cinematheque at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Harriet Johnson – FLUX Art+Film Co-curator

Joining Ruby as co-curator is Harriet Johnson. Harriet currently holds a PhD in Critical Theory at the University of Sydney, where she also teaches contemporary art and aesthetics. The 71st Sydney Film Festival will be Harriet’s first year as a Festival programmer.

Paul Matereke – Shorts Programmer

Programming SFF shorts for a fourth year is Zimbabwean filmmaker Paul Matereke, who focuses on the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films. Paul is the co-founder of production company Treason Flowers and has directed films through the collective. They include David McBride: Declassified, selected at Antenna Documentary Film Festival in 2022.

Rebecca-McCormack photo

Rebecca McCormack – Screenability Programmer

Writer and creative Rebecca McCormack curates the Screenability program, showcasing inclusive stories by filmmakers with disabilities. With a strong passion for curating diverse and inclusive programs within the arts sector, Rebecca also regularly programs at Accessible Arts as an Arts Advisor.

Katharine Rogers – Family Programmer

Our Family Programmer Katharine Rogers is an award-winning filmmaker whose short films have screened at festivals worldwide. Katharine has worked as a digital producer for the Story Salad and podcast at ABC Kids, and the Creativity Rocks social media series at the Sydney Opera House. She currently tutors at AFTRS, SF3 Festival, and the non-profit filmmaking organisation Bus Stop Films.

Aaliyah Bradbury – First Nations Curator

Film producer Aaliyah Bradbury is the newest addition to SFF Programming this year. A proud Indigenous woman from the Larrakia Nation and Erubam Le peoples, Aaliyah curates our line-up of First Nation features and documentaries. Prior to SFF, Aaliyah co-produced the International Emmy award-winning Harley & Katya.

Shelly Kraicer – Programming Consultant

Writer and film curator Shelly Kraicer is our Programming Consultant for Chinese-language films. Shelly has written extensively on Chinese cinema and edits for the Chinese Cinema Digest. He has previously curated retrospectives on Johnnie To, Hong Kong political cinema, and the Fourth Generation of Chinese filmmakers.

Felix Hubble – Program Advisor

Felix Hubble is one of two Program Advisors at the Festival. He co-founded the arthouse cinema collective Static Vision, and was a programmer at SXSW Sydney during its inaugural year in 2023. Outside SFF, Felix is a professional film and television classifier, and was an editor at film journal 4:3.

Melba Proestos – Program Advisor

Programmer and creative director Melba Proestos also returns to the Festival as Program Advisor this year. Melba curated and presented the Jane Campion – Her Way retrospective at SFF 2023. Outside SFF, Melba has headed content, communications and marketing at AFTRS and Golden Age Cinema.

Lies Bruines – Assistant Program Advisor

Lies Bruines is one of three Assistant Program Advisors returning to the Festival. Lies has also assisted with programming the Flickerfest International Short Film Festival since 2016. Hailing from the Netherlands, she is currently the Head of Guest Services at the IDFA Institute.

Claire Cao – Assistant Program Advisor

Claire Cao is a writer, editor and critic from Western Sydney. A MIFF Critics Campus alumni, Claire has been profiled in The Western and Liminal, and her work has been published in Kill Your Darlings and SBS Voices. She also has screenwriting credits for SFF 2021’s Opening Night Film, Here Out West.

Kyle Goldfinch – Assistant Program Advisor

Kyle Goldfinch is a producer, writer, host and film programmer from Western Sydney. With a special interest in the LGBTQI+ screen space, Kyle has previously programmed for Flickerfest, Scout Film Festival and Mardi Gras Film Festival, where he premiered his short film Neuromance.

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