Members of the Judging Panel 2016


John Rapsey


John is a prolific series creator and writer of television drama. His credits include Haydaze, Ship to Shore I-III, Sweat , Fast Tracks and Foreign Exchange.

John was the founder and Director of the WA Screen Academy, one of Australia’s leading screen production training programs. He held that position from 2005 until he retired in 2013.


In 2010 he was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to the Industry at the WA Screen Awards and was selected as Teacher of the Year in the 2011 ATOM Awards. He served for many years as chair of the WA Branch of the Australian Writers’ Guild and is a former member of the board of Screenwest.  John is the Board Chair of WTV Perth and is developing and producing a number of programs for Community Television.

Peter Krausz


Peter Krausz is a film critic, film journalist, film festival judge and film Q & A host, who is the former Chair of the Australian Film Critics Association and a member (and former jury member) of FIPRESCI.


He broadcasts a weekly film program on Melbourne radio, is a regular film reviewer for various publications, and is a consultant to various film festivals including the German Film Festival in Australia (run by the Goethe Institute), plus the Tasmanian, Indonesian, Polish, Jewish and Japanese Film Festivals in Australia. He has been a guest of the Munich Film Festival on several occasions, and contributed to the book: The 100 Greatest Australian Films.

Franco Di Chiera


Franco’s projects have won numerous awards, screened at prestigious film festivals and sold around the world.  He produced Under the Skin, winner of an AFI/AACTA Award for Best Mini-Series/Telefeature and an ATOM Award for Best TV Drama Series – episode Best Wishes screened at the Venice International Film Festival.


He was SBS Executive on the landmark indigenous package of short dramas From Sand to Celluloid – episode No Way to Forget screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes International Film Festival and on Rolf de Heer’s feature The Quiet Room which screened in Official Competition at Cannes. He directed the miniseries Three Forever for RAI Uno in Italy starring Bud Spencer and the feature comedy Big Mamma’s Boy starring Holly Valance, released nationally by Madman Entertainment.  Big Mamma’s Boy screened at CinefestOz as well as festivals in Italy and the US and sold to Fox Movies. Franco's film The Joys of the Women was released theatrically, broadcast on ABC-TV and nominated Best Documentary in the film Critics Circle of Australia Awards.   His films Pipe Dreams andHoover’s Gold were huge ratings successes on ABC and SBS, respectively and The Fabulous Flag Sisters doubled ratings for Fox Italy’s Cult Channel and won Best Documentary at RomeFictionFest and the WA Screen Awards. His animated feature Death of the Megabeasts won Best HD Documentary at WorldFest in Houston and was nominated Best Visual Effects in the AFI/AACTA Awards. He wrote and directed episodes of Who Do You Think You Are?, breaking ratings records for SBS. He’s held senior industry positions including Commissioning Editor at SBS, Drama Development Executive at ScreenWest, Executive Producer at Film Australia, Director WA Screen Academy at Edith Cowan University and Development and Investment Manager at Film Victoria.

Richard Sowada


Director Revelation Perth International Film Festival & Freelance curator

Sowada has been an active player in the Australian Screen Culture sector of nearly two decades.

As founder of the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in 1997 and remaing as the festival’s Director to this very day,

Sowada build a considerable reputation as an inventive film curator and vocal advocate of screen culture activity in Australia.

From 2006 until 2015, Sowada was Head of Film Programs at the country’s leading screen culture organisation, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) during which time he sat on the ACMI Executive team and programmed some of the institute’s most successful film programs.

Sowada has previously acted as script and project assessor for the ScreenWest and the Australian Film Commission/Screen Australia, curator/tour manager for the regional film festival Big Screen, 2001 AIDC Conference Director and lecturer in documentary.

He is currently working on a Masters examining the works of Frank Capra for the US Government in WW2 and directing the national film festival “Essential Independents: American Cinema Now! For Palace Cinemas.