STAGE 2 - AUSTRALIAN JUDGING PANEL

FAITH MARTIN - CASTING DIRECTOR

During the last ten years Faith has consulted with many major US television networks, including ABC US, Fox, Universal, HBO, Starz, Sundance Channel which has resulted in Australian actors being cast in leading roles for US television and international.“A life in film has provided me with the most outstanding gift and that is to “do what I love” and to share my day collaborating with the most inspiring range of talent across all sections of the Film Industry”.  I am priviledged”

Features include:  Buckley’s Chance (Dir: Tim Brown, Bill Nighy’s first film in Australia), Strictly Ballrom, The Crossing, Russell Crowe’s first feature film, Peter Pan (PJ Hogan, Australian casting,  Paperback Hero, Alexandra’s Project (Dir:  Rolf de Heer) Crush, Lapis Lazuli (German – Lead Boy), Acolytes and Cactus (Dir Jasmin Yuen Carrucan)  which launched David Lyons into an International career and  Gabriel which  also launched Andy Whitfield into an International career).  More recently, 33 Postcards (Dir Pauline Chan), The King is Dead (Dir Rolf de Heer). Healing (Dir:  Craig Monahan) The Merger (Dir Mark Grentell) Better Watch Out (Dir Chris Peckover Osirus Child (Dir Shane Abbess) Gabriel (Dir Shane Abbess) Infini (Dir Shane Abbess) Cabin in the Woods (Cast Anna Hutchison out of Aust Evid Dead (Dir Fede Alvarez) The Sum of US (Dirs Kevin Dowling & Geoff Burton, Satellite Boy (Dir Catriona McKenzie)

Tele-moves include:  Junction Boys (US) creating a breakaway career for Ryan Kwanten in the US and casting Ewan Leslie in his first screen role. Invincible (Icon Productions) Disappearance (US). Carlotta (Dir Sam Lang) , Blood Brothers (Dr: Peter Adrikidis, Television series include: Spartacus, Legend of the Seeker, Which Way Home (HBO) Kangaroo Palace, Four Day Revolution (out of the Phillipines) In television series:   Blue Heelers (10 seasons) Water Rats (6 seasons) Stingers (4 seasons) Out There (2 seasons), Two Twisted, Rain Shadow, Blood Brothers, Sea Patrol – Season 1, Upside Down Show, Out There, Good Cop Bad Cop, The Battlers, Mortified, Going Home (improvised series)

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TOM MCSWEENEY - CASTING DIRECTOR MCSWEENEY NEWMAN CASTING

With over 50 years in the industry as an actor, director, writer/producer and educator, Tom began his work in Casting in 1988 in Los Angeles.  To date, he has cast well over 100 feature film, mini-series and tele-movie projects, as well as over 500 hours of episodic television for the US, UK, Canadian and Australian markets.   Tom is a proud member of the Casting Guild of Australia and for the past 28 years, he has been a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA), serving on the Board of Directors prior to his move to Australia in 1998.  Recognized for outstanding achievement by his peers on numerous occasions, Tom has received four Artios Award nominations from the CSA and in 2007 was honoured with an Emmy nomination by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work on the US mini-series 'The Starter Wife'. 

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MICAELEY GIBSON - CASTING DIRECTOR

Micaeley works with Anousha Zarkesh Casting as a Casting Director and Associate on some of Australia's most ground-breaking TV and film productions. She has been working in film, television & commercials for 19 years. Micaeley has worked on some of the most popular and critically acclaimed film and television series to come out of Australia, including several AFI, AACTA and LOGIE award winning projects. Micaeley's calm and encouraging nature puts people at ease, invoking great performances from actors. She has also cast national TV commercials for some of Australia's biggest consumer brands.


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IAN WATSON - DIRECTOR

Ian Watson has been directing for over 30 years. As a theatre director his credits include productions for the Melbourne and Adelaide State Theatre Companies, the Griffin Theatre Company, the Hunter Valley Theatre Company, the Victorian College of the Arts and the National Institute of Dramatic Art.  

In television Ian has directed over 200 hours of drama, with credits that include, Heartbreak High, The Secret Life of Us, Seachange, Wildside, the cult US Si-fi series Farscape, White Collar Blue, Blackjack, All Saints, Tripping Over, East of Everything, the multi award winning and Emmy nominated, Love My Way, Carla Cametti P.D a six part miniseries for SBS, Satisfaction, Packed To The Rafters, Wicked Love:The Maria Korp Story, Rescue Special Ops, Killing Time, the Emmy nominated Dance Academy, Underbelly Badness, Janet King and Anzac Girls for the ABC and most recently House Husbands and Doctor Doctor for Channel 9.

In film Ian recently directed the feature film Unsound for Wise Goat productions.

Ian was the inaugural winner of the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award for best direction in a television miniseries for his work on the Australian/UK production Tripping Over. Ian was again nominated in the miniseries category in 2009 for Carla Cametti P.D. in 2013 for Underbelly: BADNESS and again in 2015 for Anzac Girls.

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PETER ANDRIKIDIS - DIRECTOR

Peter Andrikidis was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in the 2001 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to Australian society and Australian film production. He graduated from AFTRS (Film Direction) in 1981 as one of the youngest students and was immediately recruited to Crawford Productions where he went on to direct numerous dramas productions culminating in producing a series of 'Flying Doctors' (RFDS). Peter believes his real 'coming of age' was on ABC drama 'G.P.' which he also became Producer. Followed by 'Wildside', that won a total of eight AFI's including Best Direction. He went on to direct BC series 'Grass Roots' written by Geoffrey Atherden that won seven AFI's over two seasons including Best Direction. In 2001 he directed the telemovie 'My Husband, My Killer' which also won numerous awards and his third AFI for Best Direction. 'Heroes' Mountain' (drama telemovie) and 'Jessica' (mini-series) each won a Silver Hugo for Best Direction and a Gold/Silver Plaque for Best Drama at the Chicago International Television Awards. Peter then directed five telemovies of 'BlackJack' for Ten Network, which won numerous awards including best direction twice in Chicago. 2006 saw Peter direct the $15 million dollar co-production with the Granada - ITV, Screentime and Power-TV 'The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant'. This screened to 8million viewers in the UK, won an AFI, a Logie, and a New York Festival Award for Best TV Mini-series and a Silver Plaque for Best Direction at the Chicago Awards. In 2007 he directed SBS mini-series 'East West 101’, in the same year directed groundbreaking mini-series that not only received critical acclaim but won seven AFI Awards (Best Direction-Peter Andrikidis) and  blitzed the ratings for the Nine Network in Australia. Peter was voted one of the Top Ten Directors in Encore Magazine 'Celebration of the Industry's Finest’.'False Witness' also won the AFI for best mini-series. In 2009 Peter directed another season of 'East West 101' which won three AFI's including best direction, he also directed Feature Film 'Kings of Mykonos' for Paramount, third highest-grossing film in Australia and highest-grossing film in Greece. Recent credits include 'Killing Time' for Fremantle International, ’Blood Brothers’, ABC series 'The Straits' 'Brothers in Arms' , 'Serangoon Road' for HBO’, Janet King' for the ABC, Fat Tony and Co’, ’Catching Milat' for Shine Australia, ’Alex and Eve’, 'Hyde and Seek' for Matchbox and Nine Network. And will be set-up director on the next 'Janet King' and the new medical drama for ABC ‘Pulse’.

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THEA MCLEOD - CASTING DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CO-PRODUCER

Thea McLeod of McLeod Casting is one of Australia’s most prominent casting directors with a wide breadth of work ranging from international films to television, Thea has a passion for discovering and nurturing the next generation of A list actors from Australia and beyond. Thea spent eleven years in the UK where she was both an actress and a casting director, gaining much experience on an international level for film, television, and commercials. Since her return to Australia, over the past nine years, she has been the resident casting director for NEIGHBOURS. Other television credits include the highly acclaimed BETTER MAN for the SBS network, the controversial telemovie SCHAPELLE for Channel Nine, based on the fascinating story of Schapelle Corby and her trial, and UNDERBELLY FILES: THE MAN THAT GOT AWAY for Screentime, which was a part of the highly successful crime series UNDERBELLY plus CITY HOMICIDE for The Seven Network  and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT GUY for Foxtel.  As well as many successful Australian feature films including MEASURE FOR MEASURE, PAWNO, SPIN OUT, EMO THE MUSICAL, SUMMERCODA, BLINDER, WHAT IF IT WORKS and THE MENKOFF METHOD. The feature film PAWNO, cast by Thea, was nominated for six AACTA Awards: Including two Best Actor Awards, Best Actress Award, Best Supporting Actor Award, and Best Supporting Actress Award, recognising the brilliant work by McLeod Casting. Thea McLeod has cast many A-list Australian actors including Hugo Weaving, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, Jack Thompson, Noah Taylor, Robert Taylor, Rachael Taylor, Maeve Dermody, Kerry Armstrong, Angus Sampson, Colin Friels, Josh Lawson, Xavier Samuel, Josh Helman, Rose McIver and the Academy Award Winner Jacki Weaver. McLeod Casting prides itself on casting A-list Australian talent and discovering outstanding new actors.  Thea continues to cast Neighbours and many other feature film and television productions. Most recently Thea McLeod Cast and Co-Produced plus Executive Produced  "Measure For Measure" Toothless Pictures staring Hugo Weaving.

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DAVID NEWMAN - CASTING DIRECTOR MCSWEENEY NEWMAN CASTING

David has worked in various aspects of the industry for the last 30 years, the last 20 years in casting, including 7 years working with Christine King Casting. Having started his casting career with hundreds of commercial projects he then progressed to work on some of the biggest and most successful feature film & long-form drama projects to shoot in Australia.

He spent 15 months as the Australian Casting Associate on 'The Pacific' (Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks, HBO), scoured the country and personally conducting well over 3000 auditions on this project alone. 'The Pacific' won the 2010 Emmy award for Outstanding Casting for a Mini Series, Movie or Special – Dave calls The Pacific his ‘degree in casting’.  For the past two years Dave has been honoured to represent his peers as Vice President of the Casting Guild of Australia.

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LES CHANTERY - COACH/ACTOR

Les is a NIDA Acting graduate. Prior to NIDA he starred in U.S Sci-Fi feature film Pitch Black alongside Vin Diesel. At NIDA he performed in As You Like It, Saved, Accrington Pals and Stags and Hens. Television credits include Heartbreak High, All Saints and East West 101 Series 2. In 2007, Les was awarded the Mike Walsh Fellowship where he studied Film Making in LA and NY, and appeared in feature film Righteous Kill with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Les directed Who You Kidden which was selected for Tropfest Best of the Rest in 2006 in addition to writing and directing Stand, a finalist in Brian Brown’s Reeldeal Festival. Les was the lead in award winning feature film Cedar Boys and appeared in feature film Sleeping Beauty, which opened the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2012 he played famed Razor Gang mobster Guido Caletti in the award winning short film 50/50. Recent credits include the critically acclaimed TV series Redfern Now and highly controversial Channel 9 movie Schapelle. Les has taught Acting since graduating NIDA in 2003. He works with the NIDA Full Time 3rd year students in Screen Acting Performance, as well as Screen Testing and Auditioning, and NIDA Open Program for over ten years. Currently he’s a Core Tutor with the Screen Actors Studio. Les has also taught at ACA, AFTRS, McDonald College and The Hub Studio. A highly sought after acting coach, with clients recently booking work in many projects including Home and Away, Neighbours, Blockers, Thor 2, Lion, The Kissing Booth, Ladies in Black,  Underbelly, Rake, Wolf creek 2, Gallipoli, Unbroken, Bloom, A Place to Call Home, Playing for Keeps, among many, many more. Les is passionate about empowering the actor to take charge of their own process and careers. Living with Dangerous Inspiration.

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DAVID SMITH - TALENT AGENT SMITH & JONES

On putting together this bio, David was aghast to find out that he has been working in the business we call show for over 45 years. Having made his first feature film Second Star to the Right in his native home in London aged 8, he continued acting (leaving school with no exams) constantly working in film, television and theatre. He then decided he should gain proper training ( having been getting away with it for years) so attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London for 3 years, ( studying Voice under the legendary Patsy Rodenburg)  Sharing his 3 years there with Dan Craig, Joseph Finnes, Orlando Bloom and his flatmate Ewan McGregor (it wasn’t a bad 3 years!) On graduating he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company touring the world with a number of plays, with stints at the National Theatre and ongoing roles on Eastenders, BBC sitcoms, BBC drama, BBC radio - basically anything the BBC were doing. David continued to work in all spheres culminating in his last(ish) feature film role as John Hemmings in Shakespeare in Love (only 8 Oscars but let’s not get greedy!)… and his final Movie role was as LORD ARGON… ( English Bad Guy role) in  YOUNG ALEXANDER THE GREAT.  In between downtimes, he worked for his agency Jonathan Altaraz Associates as a trainee agent, married the  boss and moved the other side of the desk. JA at the time was one of the most influential agents in London representing everyone from Sir Dirk Bogard, most of the Lords and Ladies, Gary Oldman (who they found at Drama school), Ewan (who came with David), Jude Law (who they discovered playing Fagin in a high school production of Oliver), Pierce Brosnan  (when he was offer BOND, both times…don’t ask), basically most of the cream of British actors throughout the 80’s-90’s. Whilst holidaying in Australia, David a) decided there was a niche market for an English style agency in Sydney or b) met a boy in a bar and decided to hang around and think about what he could do here. Choose whichever one you think is most likely…..

 Smith & Jones Management has now been going for almost 13 years and continues to work with some of the most talented and fun actors, screenwriters, playwrights and directors (film, TV and theatre) in Australia… Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he!

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GARY JONES - TALENT MANAGER GJ INTERNATIONAL

Gary started in the industry by running a Company called Q Talent. Q Talent was a facilitating company for overseas companies that were shooting in Australia. It was also an extras Agency. He then started an Agency with David Smith called Smith and Jones Management and after 10 years moved on to start G J International Management. Clients represented include, Carmen Duncan,( Another World, Homicide, A Country Practice, Hotel Mumbai). 3 time Helpmann Award winner Caroline O’Connor,( Chicago, End of The Rainbow, Sweeney Todd), Ilona Rodgers,(Dr Who, Prisoner, The Sullivans, Sons and Daughters, Dirty Laundry), Mercia Deane-Johns, (Packed to The Rafters, The Other Guy, Harrow, Mr Inbetween). 

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PAUL IRELAND - ACTOR/PRODUCER/DIRECTOR

Ireland originally started off as a fishmonger in his father's shop in Greenock, Renfrewshire for five years before deciding to learn acting. In 1995, Ireland acted in the West End of London at the Ambassadors Theatre in a theatrical adaptation of the novel, Trainspotting. During its run, the show won the Sunday Times Best New Play award. During his career, Ireland has acted in numerous British television programmes such as Judge John Deed, Two Thousand Acres of Sky, The Bill and Midsomer Murders. In April 2011, he gained a role in Australian soap opera, Neighbours as Superintendent Duncan Hayes. Ireland was initially cast to play the role for thirteen episodes. In 2012, he also acted in Australian Broadcasting Corporation comedy, Outland after auditioning and meeting the writers, who told him that they wanted a British actor in the role in the programme. In 2006, Ireland appeared in the BBC History online interactive game CDX as MacKinnon, a Mithraist soldier. In 2016, he co-produced and directed the Australian drama film Pawno. Most recently Paul starred in The Kings Daughter and co-produced “Measure for Measure” with Hugo Weaving. 

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