With just two weeks to go until submissions close for the 2019 Gold Coast Film Festival and SIPFest Shorts In Paradise, meet the talented judges who will select the finalists and winner of our inaugural web series category.
Lauren Atkins (Founder, NYC Web Fest), Leanne Tonkes (Producer, The Second, My Mistress, This Is Desmondo Ray!), Julie Kalceff (Writer/Director/Producer, Starting From Now) and Matthew Eeles (Founder and Editor, Cinema Australia) will shortlist 6 finalists to screen at the Gold Coast Film Festival and will select the Best Comedy, Best International Web Series and the overall prize of Best Australian Web Series with a $500 cash prize.
Meet the judges:
Born in Cape Town and raised in Toronto, Lauren Atkins spent much of her childhood and adolescence singing in the choir, acting in plays, and modeling. But it was the invention of social media platforms and advances in digital entertainment that really sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. In 2014, after coming to New York and doing some market research, she started NYC’s first web series festival. NYC Web Fest continues to gain in size and momentum, celebrating diverse storytellers with guests flying in from around the world.
A graduate of the AFTRS with a Master of Arts (Scriptwriting) Julie is the creator, writer, director and a producer of the international hit online drama Starting From Now. The series is one of Australia’s most successful multi-platform projects and one of the most viewed web series in the world. It has amassed in excess of 120 million views, been watched in over 230 countries, and was screened on broadcast television in Australia. Starting From Now has played on the global festival circuit, winning a number of awards including the International Academy of Web Television Award of Recognition.
Matthew Eeles is the founder and editor of Cinema Australia – an online space dedicated to the support and promotion of Australian made films through independent news, reviews, features and interviews with a strong focus on upcoming, independent filmmakers.
Leanne Tonkes is an advocate for Gender Equality in the entertainment industry and champions the careers of female writers, directors and storytellers across all media. Leanne’s producing credits include feature films MY MISTRESS (2014) and Stan’s first Original feature THE SECOND (2018), AFI award winning short DOG WITH ELECTRIC COLLAR and Tropfest finalist I’M STILL HERE. She produced THIS IS DESMONDO RAY! – an award winning 6 part web series created by Tropfest and AFI award winning filmmaker Steve Baker which recently won 50 major prizes at Web Festivals around the world including the Web Series World Cup.