2018 Judging Panel

Cause Film Festival is honoured to announce our judges for this year's film entries.

 
 
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JULIE KALCEFF

Julie Kalceff is an award-winning writer, director and producer and a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School with a Masters Degree in Scriptwriting. 
Julie is the creator, writer, director and a producer of the international hit multi-platform drama Starting From Now. Attracting both critical and popular acclaim, the series is one of Australia’s most successful multi-platform projects. It has amassed over 53 million views, been watched in over 230 countries, and was sold to broadcast television in Australia. Starting From Now has played on the global festival circuit, winning multiple awards. 
With Starting From Now, Julie went against the online comedy trend and created a web series model which is now used as a case-study around the world. Julie has helped raise public awareness around the lack of diversity on screen and is highly sought after as a speaker, panelist and judge at industry events and festivals.
Julie received development funding through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative for half-hour drama series Torn. She was also commissioned by the ABC to write and direct First Day, a stand-alone television episode about a 12 year-old transgender girl starting high school.


DIMI NAKOV

Dimi is an emerging multi award winning Filmmaker. Since 2009 he has produced a number of awards winning music videos with over 1.2million views on You Tube, short films, and corporate videos for Coca Cola Amatil NZ. Dimi’s short films have acquired non-exclusive worldwide distribution deals from numerous VOD distributors.
In 2009 Dimi founded an Online Community - FGN Inc. (FilmMakers Generation Next Inc.), which has over 37,000 members on Facebook and over 25,000 Followers on Twitter. The Non-Profit has the mission to engage, educate and support the next generation of filmmakers worldwide and is Dimi’s way to give back to the community. 
Dimi was the first New Zealand Director to have two short films in competition at the 2012 Cyprus International Film Festival, where his short “Playmates” won Best Cinematography. The second short film “BlindSide” that he produced and directed was accepted in Cannes Short Film Corner the same year and subsequently took him to Cannes to experience its full glory and meet some valuable business contacts.
Since April 2017, Dimi’s sci-fi screenplays have been circulating some of the top international screenplay competitions and festivals, delivering multiple awards, finalist and semi-finalist selections. 

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MAHA WILSON

Maha Wilson is an Australian filmmaker and actress who migrated from Iraq in 1994. She grew up in Sydney’s Western Suburbs and found her love for films at twelve years old when she started making short films with her home video camera. Maha grounds her art with a degree in broadcast media and has also studied acting extensively in Sydney. Her vast industry knowledge coupled with reputable contacts is gaining her wide attention as an up and coming Producer.
Her Directorial debut film Damaged which she also Produced, screened at two film festivals in 2016 and continues to travel the international film festival circuit. She is currently in development on several screen projects and is Associate Producer alongside See Pictures on up and coming live action anima film Martha the Monster with Rose Byrne. She recently appeared as Yomna in Matchbox Pictures award winning feature film Ali’s Wedding which won the Audience Award at the 2017 Sydney Film festival, the Age Critics award at Melbourne Film Festival and Best original screenplay at the AACTA awards. Maha is keen to cement her position and work within the industry both in front and behind the camera.  


GEORGE KACEVSKI

An award winning writer, director and producer, George is a multi-disciplinary content creator who's holistic approach to filmmaking combines creative, logistic and business solutions. This unique combination of skills, honed over 12 years in advertising, film, events and technology industries, has allowed George to discover, create and innovate across multiple mediums.

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BRAD MCMURRAY

Brad is an Australian actor with more than twenty years' experience in film, television and theatre.
Brad was born in in Sydney, Australia in 1971 and grew up bursting with creativity and energy, initially channeling the two into a 12 year career as a chef and a long standing passion for martial arts (he is a 2nd degree Black Belt). With an innate love of performing however, by the mid 1990's Brad started seeking out and landing small roles in commercials, television series and feature films. His passion for acting sparked quickly and he soon left cooking behind to pursue a full-time acting career.
Brad graduated from QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) degree in 2005, studying the highly respected, method-based, Eric Morris System of Acting. His talent was quickly recognised and nurtured, with Brad playing the lead in the graduating class's production of Bertolt Brecht's BAAL, directed by acclaimed theatre director, Michael Gow.
Brad has been seen most recently playing popular villain, ‘Jacka Hills’, on long running hit television series, Neighbours, as well as in the much lauded Pawno, which screened at MIFF 2015, was a finalist at CinefestOZ, and was nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award. In 2016 he also hit Australian TV screens in the highly anticipated mini-series, BROCK, based on the life of racing driver, Peter Brock; and in kids television series, Mako Mermaids, which screens on Network Ten, Disney and Netflix worldwide. 2017 heralds a role for Brad in Blue Murder: Killer Cop, the long-awaited sequel to Blue Murder. Other recent credits include San Andreas, with Dwayne The Rock Johnson and the worldwide hit series, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
Over the years, Brad has worked with such Hollywood luminaries as Harvey Keitel, in Fatal Honeymoon (2012) Cuba Gooding Jr in Deception (2013) and Ray Liotta in Bad Karma (2012). He is also well known by TV fans worldwide as 'the man who shot Lisa McCune' in popular Australian series, Sea Patrol. Other notable credits include the terrifying role of 'Derek' in the award-winning revenge film, The Horseman, (2009) and the irascible 'Big Elvis' in 2007's comedy of errors, Crooked Business and a role alongside William Hurt in 2006's Stephen King series, Nightmares and Dreamscapes. Brad also maintains a love of theatre, being seen treading the boards in Queensland Theatre Company’s, The Crucible (2009) and Pygmalion (2011) as well as being a part of the Creative Works Development Program with QUT.
With a strong physicality and intensity, Brad cuts an imposing figure and is capable of the most brutal and raw expressions of character. However, this belies his true emotional range, with thoughtful processes and his approach to craft also creating highly nuanced and emotionally engaging performances as well as betraying a surprising sense of fun and of the absurd.
Brad's other credits are numerous across all mediums. He continues his martial arts and weapons training to this day, which has also led to an interest, and increasing experience and training, in stunt work within the film and television industries. He still loves to cook and can whip up one hell of a soufflé!  


MIKE ILAGAN

Mike Ilagan is the managing director of StarCentral magazine - a publication with over 60,000 global readers that provides up and coming talents from all over the world with an authentic platform. He's also the managing director of InLife magazine as well as the graphic design firm StarCentral Agency.

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EDDIE ARYA

Born 29 October 1981, Eddie Arya is an Australian film writer, director and a producer. Arya's first feature film The Navigator was accepted in "Mississippi Sun and Sand Film Festival" and "Kansas International Film
Festival". He wrote, shot, directed and edited the entire film on a budget of $6000 with a Sony HVR camera and minimum crew. The Navigator is distributed by SGL Entertainment in LA for DVD, Bluray in major retail and
video stores in US and Canada and also video on demand online platforms worldwide.
"The System", a drama based on today's economy and unemployment was Arya's second feature film. The film was shot on a budget of $30,000. Due to the budget, Arya once again played the role of the writer, cinematographer,
director, producer and editor. The System was shot with a Black Magic Cinema camera. It received positive feedback and touched the audience's hearts at it's Sydney premier.
The audience related to the story. The System has been submitted to festivals and is distributed by SGL Entertainment.
Both films were shot on the weekends as he worked full time for a telecommunication company "Optus" in order to pay for the film's expenses. Arya edited at nights after work, he also played a big part in the art department,
where he built, paint and created his film sets. After sleepless nights and hard work, Arya is recognised and has built a solid reputation as a passionate independent film maker.
He gets his inspiration from such, self taught film makers as Christopher Nolan, Robert Rodriguez and Steven Spielberg as they started with nothing but a camera and their vision.
Arya started showing interest in film at a young age of 7, staying home most of his childhood watching TV and films, he mainly focused on the behind the scenes, the cinematography, the backgrounds, characters and how the
stories relating to the general audience. His parents wanted him to become a medical doctor. Arya believes that as film makers we may not be able to save a life but we certainly have the power to inspire and change them
through our stories. After years of discouragement by the people close to him, Arya finally bought his first camera on Ebay and started his first feature film on his 29th
birthday. His passion and obsession has only grown for film making. He helps and shares his knowledge with other young filmmakers.
Arya's upcoming feature film, "Risen", an American Sci-Fi thriller based on extraterrestrial life, something that he strongly believes in. Risen is on it's early stages of post production and also has distribution for cinema release. Risen is funded by private investors in New
York. Arya's ultimate dream is to collaborate with major studios and work on bigger projects where it allows him to build a much wider audience worldwide and continue to inspire and change lives through his movies.


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SUKI FOSTER

Suki is our Festival Director who joined us in early 2017 to take over the reins from Yolandi Franken. Suki used to dabble in video editing in a previous life. She has a life long love of film. She moved into still photography over a decade ago and has shot unit stills on filming location in London. She is now a passionate professional portrait and headshot photographer and loves working with actors. Suki is a previous Theatre Studies student and most recently studied with Darlo Drama performing monologue and scene work in The Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst. Suki is currently devoting her spare time and entrepreneurial skills to running Cause Film Festival but still makes time to watch films and network with filmmakers.


DAMIAN NIXEY

Damian is our Digital guru who is also an Actor and a Film Addict. Forget IMDB, this guy is "Information Movies Damian's Brain". Damian has supported the making of several movies including "The Babadook”, he has acted in Communicado’s "The Steven Shuttleworth Story”, "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", "Young Hercules", numerous other small budget films and has produced “Other World” among many others that we don't have room to list.

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GLENN MAJUREY

Glenn Majurey is currently the business manager of the Sydney boutique film gear rental house Digital Logic. He is a graduate from Sydney Film School, and started out in shorts writing and directing the award winning short film “Sleeper Cell” with comedian Akmal Saleh. His short film “Lights. Camera, Action!” was also a finalist in the comedy channels short film festival and is regularly aired on Foxtel in-between programs. He then moved into television writing and directing 51 episodes of the cult hit sketch comedy TV show Dolphin Juice. He has worked in radio on TripleM Sydney with a late night comedy show also titled Dolphin Juice. Glenn and Digital Logic are massive supporters of the local film industry and regularly attend and sponsor the Sydney film community. Including the feature films “Wyrmwood – Road of the Dead” and “Rough Stuff”