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The 2018 Lexus Short Film Fellows – Nashen Moodley (SFF Festival Director, Jury), Jamieson Pearce, Melissa Anastasi, Sunday Emerson Gullifer, Nathan Mewett, and Vin Naidoo (Lexus Australia Senior Manager, Sales & Marketing)

Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship

The Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship was the largest cash fellowship ($200,000) for short film in Australia. The Fellowship was about developing and fostering new talent by allowing writers/directors/filmmakers to be assessed by key industry figures and premiere their work at Sydney Film Festival.

2018 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship

Lexus Australia and Sydney Film Festival have announced Melissa Anastasi, Sunday Emerson Gullifer, Jamieson Pearce, and duo Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett as the recipients of the 2018 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship.

The jury of industry luminaries announced the four new successful Fellows on Tuesday 12 June. Each Fellow will receive $50,000 to make their next short film, which will World Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in 2019.

Presiding over the selection process as Jury Chair was renowned Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp. She was joined by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia’s Vin Naidoo, Australian producer Greer Simpkin (Sweet Country) and President of the Australian Directors’ Guild Samantha Lang.

The 2018 Fellows Short Films will be screened at SFF 2019.

Meet the 2018 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellows

Melissa Anastasi (Arncliffe, NSW) is a filmmaker committed to telling intimate character-driven stories that challenge and provoke audiences. Melissa’s short films have screened worldwide at over 40 international film festivals. As a writer, Melissa’s feature film screenplays have been shortlisted for the Sundance Lab, and previously selected for the Binger FilmLab in Amsterdam. She is currently developing the feature screenplay Bluebirds with support from Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

Sunday Emerson Gullifer (Waterloo, NSW) is an award-winning filmmaker based in Sydney. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, her short film, Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, had its world premiere at Sydney Film Festival in 2017, where it was Highly Commended in the Dendy Awards, and went on to premiere internationally at Telluride Film Festival. Her work is internationally acclaimed, having won a slew of awards and two Australian Directors’ Guild Award nominations. Originally hailing from a background in theatre, she is drawn to bold stories told with heart.

Jamieson Pearce (Brunswick, VIC) is a freelance director and editor. His award-winning short films have screened at festivals around the world. Most notably, his most recent film Adult, adapted from a story by Christos Tsiolkas, screened at South by Southwest 2017. He likes stories about the stranger manifestations of human desire.

Nathan Mewett (Paddington, NSW) is a writer/director from Western Australia who has produced numerous short films, documentaries and music videos. As a young child he grew up in a remote gold mine Telfer, which resides in the Great Western Desert and has helped build his creative partnership with Martu Director Curtis Taylor with whom he co-directed Yulubidyi – Until The End, screening at Sydney Film Festival 2018. Nathan’s previous short film Sol Bunker has won over 9 awards across Australia and is a ‘proof of concept’ for a feature film of the same name. He is also currently in development of the feature film Baby which focuses on extending Nathan’s interest in working with characters and actors with disability.

Curtis Taylor (Subiaco, WA) is a filmmaker, screen artist, actor and a young Martu leader. Growing up in remote Martu desert communities and in the city, Curtis has both traditional Martu knowledge and a non-Aboriginal education. After finishing school in 2008, Curtis worked as Community Coordinator and Youth Development Officer at Martu Media (a division of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa), where he also spent 18 months working on the major Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route project as a filmmaker and youth ambassador. Curtis was the recipient of the 2011 Western Australian Youth Art Award and Wesfarmers Youth Scholarship. His screen work, including the acclaimed short film Mamu, has been shown in international film festivals from Brazil to Nepal. Curtis was the Director’s Attachment and is the Narrator of Emmy Award winning VR documentary Collisions.

Sunday Emerson Gullifer

Melissa Anastasi

Jamieson Pearce

Curtis Taylor and Nathan Mewett

Jury Members

Launched in 2015, the Fellowship is presided over by an industry jury, which was chaired by celebrated Australian actress Judy Davis in its first year. Other jury members have included Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia’s Adrian Weimers, Australian producers Jan Chapman AO and Darren Dale. In its second year, the Fellowship jury was chaired by leading Australian actor David Wenham with Nashen Moodley, Lexus Australia’s Vin Naidoo and Australian producers Kath Shelper and Sandra Levy AO.

Meet the 2017 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellows

For the second year, four Fellowship winners each received $50,000 to produce their next short film, to premiere at the Sydney Film Festival in 2018. Thomas Baricevic, Emily Avila, Lara Köse and Goran Stolevski premiered their films The Coin, Fitting, Kaya, and My Boy Oleg screened for the first time to a packed cinema at the Dendy Opera Quays as part of the Sydney Film Festival.

Emily Avila – Fitting

Goran Stolevski – My Boy Oleg

Lara Kose – Kaya

Thomas Baricevic – The Coin

The 2016 Lexus Australia Short Film Fellows

The inaugural Fellows had their first short films premiere at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival. Red Ink by Alex Ryan, How the Light Gets In by Anya Beyersdorf, Snow by Alex Murawski and Outbreak Generation by Brooke Goldfinch screened at the Lexus Australia Short Film Fellowship Gala, and were also screened as part of the program at the State Theatre.

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