Film Festival Director
What’s your link to Townsville?
I grew up in Annandale and went from Aitkenvale Primary to Heatley High.
Where are you now?
Living on a peninsular on Sydney’s northern beaches surrounded by water. It has a laid-back beachy community vibe with easy access to everything a big city has to offer. As the director of five touring film festivals, I watch a lot of films. With three adventure sport film festivals, an ocean film festival and a dog-lover’s film festival to scout for, the films I watch are incredibly diverse!
I curate a unique program of films for each of the tours, work with filmmakers to craft the perfect tour film, build relationships with venue partners and manage all aspects of marketing the tours. The best part of the job isn’t being paid to watch film, it’s sitting in the audience night after night listening to the laughter, ‘Ohhhs’ and ‘Ahhhs’ and overhearing the excited conversations at the end. I love hearing how the films on tour have inspired people to make big plans or change their life for the better.
What’s your next project?
Having just brought the Dirty Girls Adventure Film Tour and the Top Dog Film Festival to Riverway for the first time this year, I’m now focused on the Radical Reels Tour, which will be back at Riverway in November. Showcasing over two hours of action-packed, adrenaline-filled short films this one is not for the faint-hearted.
How did your time in Townsville set you up for success?
My childhood in Townsville was spent outside exploring nature. Annandale was still in the development stage when I was younger, so we had lots of bushland around us. There were echidnas and dingoes very near to where we lived and we’d spend weekends riding our bikes, swimming in the river and, when I was in high school, exploring further afield to local waterfalls. This love of nature and being outside drew me to adventure sports and through that I was introduced to the Banff Mountain Film Festival — now the largest of the tours I manage.
Summer camps on Magnetic Island and having a science teacher at Heatley High who was a marine biologist firmly cemented my love of the ocean and especially the Great Barrier Reef. This was the catalyst for creating the Ocean Film Festival World Tour four years ago. The tour now screens over 100 times around the globe including Australia, New Zealand, China, Belgium, Italy and the UK. Through this festival I’ve donated over $10,000 this year to Australian ocean-related charities, which is especially rewarding.
Do you still come ‘home’ to Townsville to visit?
Luckily for me the festivals all screen in Townsville so I get the opportunity to come home and visit family a few times a year. I make sure that I always host the Townsville screenings! I especially love visiting in the middle of the Sydney winter.