AFF Youth Short Film Directors

Sidiq Ariyadi

Sidiq Ariyadi is an Indonesian Documentary Filmmaker. He focuses on the use of observational documentary style by emphasizing intimate relationships between his subjects. He prefers to show events as opposed to telling events.

Gimbal: A Bet Between Tradition and Pride screens with Raise The Bar

Haukur Björgvinsson

Haukur Björgvinsson (aka Hawk) is a director and screenwriter, based in Reykjavík. He is obsessed with weird, eccentric and cinematic ways of making films, be it drama or comedy. He works in film, television, commercials and music videos. He is currently writing a scripted series and has two feature film projects in development.

Wilma screens with Perfect 10

Nils Bouvyer

Born in 1985 in Valence, Nils Bouvyer began studying Cinema with the Audiovisual option at the Lycée Camille Vernet in Valence. After high school, he did odd jobs before moving to London for a year.

Back in France he resumed his studies in Cinema, moving to Performing Arts, film studies at the University Lumière Lyon 2. Nils completed his Masters in Seoul in South Korea and continues to make independent films between France and Korea.

The Kid & The Octopus screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Jonathan Chong

Jonathan Chong (aka Dropbear) is an award-winning Director and Animator from Melbourne, Australia. With a background in music videos, Dropbear specialises in visual narrative film and stunning stop-motion creations. Through his work he relishes the opportunity to create visual stories that stand out, and as one reviewer coined, “jaw dropping worlds of visual delicacies.” His work varies from films, music videos to commercials, producing work for musicians such as John Butler Trio, Dan Sultan, Emma Louise, Husky, Opiou and more. He is passionate about great ideas underpinned by innovative art direction, and his attention to detail means he goes beyond expectations to deliver the best possible outcome on every project.

Goodbye Home screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Nick Crowhurst

Writer and Director Nick Crowhurst has spent the last 8 years working on web series, comedy sketches, and narrative short films. In 2017, Nick was selected to attend a Directors Intensive with Cate Shortland and Tony Krawitz in Byron Bay. In 2018, his short film Zoe received 8 SASA Award Nominations. Nick also won Hollywood Screening Festival’s Best Directing Award in 2018 for The Lost Sheep, coming in 2nd place at the Perfect Light Film Festival in 2019. Nick is currently editing and developing a feature length.

Down To Earth screens with A School In Cerro Hueso and Raise The Bar

Hanna Davidsen

Hanna is a 20 year old filmmaker from the Faroe Islands. She mainly directs, films and edits. She currently lives in Denmark where she studies Film and Media Studies at the University of Copenhagen. She loves telling different stories through film and will continue to do so for as long as possible. Hanna wants to leave the viewer with a feeling of happiness when they watch her films.

12 screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Zhivar Farajzadeh

Zhivar Farajzadeh was born in 2006, completing his cycle of elementary studies in the small town of Saheb, in Iranian Kurdistan. Serok is his second short film, which has already participated in more than fifty national and international festivals. Despite the scarcity of means and possibilities, both economic and material, Zhivar from an early age showed a keen interest in cinema and began producing his works with the support of his father. Zhivar aspires to become a great director and hopes to contribute to supporting and helping the Kurdish people through his work, offering opportunities for work and emancipation, especially for children.

Serok screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Chloe Gardner & Stephen de Villiers

Chloe Gardner began her career in the film industry as an actress in 2000. Chloe has always been attracted to working with children and started the highly successful youth film school, Kids Camera Action after writing and directing Snapshots in 2008. She subsequently founded the Adelaide International Youth Film Festival, with a passion for stories and films destined for a young audience.

Having produced Super Sounds in 2014, she was excited to make another film with a young protagonist as well as taking on her role as director, especially with her co-director and husband, Stephen de Villiers.

Butterfly screens as part of Almost 18 Shorts.

Ella Greenwood

Ella Greenwood is a British Actress and Filmmaker born and raised in London, England. At age 18, she has written, directed & produced her first film, Faulty Roots, which has been called “a rather powerful little story” by UK Film Review and “truly a special film” by LGTH. Faulty Roots was nominated for an award by UK Parliament-run and Disney-sponsored Film The House and will have its premiere at the Busan International Kids & Youth Film Festival. Straight after finishing Faulty Roots, Ella started on her first animation, Dreary Days. She has recently been called “an engaging, thoughtful and decisive young filmmaker to watch.” by Sarah Cartland of Caution Spoilers.

Dreary Days screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Ethosheia Hylton

London born Actor, Writer and Director Ethosheia Hylton is best known for her work on In the Silence (2019), Brixton Rock (2018), Lia (2015), Cutting Edge (2014) and Small World (2013). In 2018, Ethosheia was presented with the inaugural European Academy Gold Fellowship For Women, the award offering a year-long mentorship scheme from the Academy.

Driven by stories from untold voices and about community and culture, Ethosheia’s Brixton Rock, an adaptation of award winning author Alex Wheatle’s book of the same name, is being turned into a feature film. She is currently directing Ackley Bridge, a series running on Channel 4.

DỌLÁPỌ IS FINE screens with The Club of Ugly Children

Piotr Kaźmierczak

Piotr Kaźmierczak is 14 years old. He goes to painting lessons, draws comics and creates programs in Scratch. Animation became Piotr’s main passion in 2015, encouraging him to create his own films in puppet, painting, clay, cutout and computer animation techniques. He is a laureate of many competitions for children and youth animation in Poland and abroad.

The Moments screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Isaac King

Isaac King is an award-winning animation artist, filmmaker and teacher from Canada. Directing films and commercials for 20 years, his work spans drawing, stop-motion, and outdoor animation techniques. Using handcrafted and digital media, he focusses on environmental and social issues with humour and warmth. His films have screened worldwide, winning numerous awards including the Annecy Audience Prize.

Whatevertree screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Joel Kohn

Joel Kohn is a Writer, Director and Producer with over 15 years of industry experience. Joel completed a Masters of Communication at RMIT, and has extensive industry training, with a directors attachment with Anthony Minghella on his Civil War film Cold Mountain. Alongside his directing credits in TV, Joel has made a host of award winning short films that have screened both locally and internationally. His latest short script for The Mirror won the Short Film Fund Grant at the Jewish International Film Festival. It was also a finalist in the Screen Craft Film Fund, and the Academy qualifying Holly Shorts Film Festival. In 2017, Joel was selected for the SPA ‘ones to watch program’ and won the emerging producer SBS first-look award. He has his own production outfit, Screen Invaders, and is currently developing a slate of exciting, high-end projects.

The Mirror screens as part of Almost 18 Shorts

Dianna La Grassa

Dianna La Grassa is Bus Stop’s COO and in-house Producer. As an MBA graduate, she has over 10 years of experience in the education sector as well as being a NIDA trained actress and emerging Film Producer/Director. As a woman living with disability and understanding that the Arts and Entertainment industry can sometimes be a hard nut to crack. Through Bus Stop Films Dianna is able to fully utilise her skillset and give back to an industry she loves. With Invisible Heroes, Dianna supported students attending Accessible Film Studies Program in Wollongong and Parramatta to share their insight and work collaboratively to develop interview questions, direct scenes and explore the themes of the film. The project was made during the height of the pandemic so students attended classes online, learning together in a digital classroom before finally coming together in person to shoot their interviews. The film brings together lived experience of disability, documentary and animation through the lens of inclusive filmmaking.

Invisible Heroes screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Christian Lee

Christian Lee is an award-winning visual artist based in Los Angeles, California. The New York Times published his photography in their first print section entirely dedicated to teen artwork. He won and received recognition from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the 20th Annual Drexel University High School Photography Contest, the 23rd Annual National High School Poetry Contest, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Film Festival. His short films earned prizes and screened at nineteen additional competitions. He is also a photojournalist for the Los Angeles Times High School Insider.

Will I Die Because I Am Black? screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Whitney Legge

Whitney Legge grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine and after graduating high school relocated to Guatemala to develop photography programs for at-risk youths. In 2008, Whitney was accepted to the San Francisco Art Institute where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Photography, honored with the John Collier Humanitarian Award. After graduation, Whitney helped organise and lead DocuPhoto, a public lecture series with acclaimed documentary photographers and filmmakers. She works for The Asia Foundation as Senior Producer, producing documentary short films. Whitney’s personal photography and films explore themes of family, identity, and social issues such as immigration and poverty and have screened at Full Frame, SF DocFest, UNAFF, Global Voices, and Sonoma International Film Festival. In 2019, Whitney Legge won the best student short documentary at Full Frame.

Pigeon Girl screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Emmaneul Li

Emmanuel Li is a multi award-winning, 18-year-old Filmmaker from Waltham Forest, London. With experience as a Director, Actor, Writer, Editor, Producer, and Composer. He has always loved stories and is passionate about working both in front of and behind the camera.

His multi-disciplinary background in theatre, magic, comedy and music, combined with his cinematic influences, has resulted in a well-rounded directorial style. With distinctive characters, striking visuals and stories teeming with heart, humour and energy, Emmanuel is always learning and improving with each film he makes.

Have You Seen Buster? screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Lianne Mackessy

Lianne is a Screenwriter, Director and Actor based in Sydney, Australia. Lianne holds an Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), and an Advanced Diploma of Acting for Stage & Screen (ACTT). Lianne has appeared in numerous Australian television series, commercials, short films and independent feature films. As a screenwriter, Lianne was most recently involved in developing the documentary What Was it Like? with Bus Stop Films, which explores the impact of language and prejudice in the medical system when working with new parents who have a child with a disability.

Not A Wallflower screens as part of Almost 18 Shorts

Ebony McGuire

Ebony McGuire is an actor and emerging writer, who graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Since graduating she has worked on a number of projects with theatre companies across Australia including Cloudstreet (Malthouse/Black Swan), From Darkness (La Boite Theatre Company), The Fever and The Fret (Yirra Yaakin/National Play Festival) and Coranderrk (Ilbijerri Theatre Company). Ebony was the voice actor for Lisa Cartwright/Wing Commander in the 2019 release of Australia’s first Indigenous superhero anime, Zero Point. In 2019 Ebony co-wrote her first short film, Wirun, in which she also produced and performed. She debuted her first stage play, FIRE, at Fringeworld 2021 and voiced the role of Yuan in Perth Festival’s 2021 Fist Of Fury Noongar Daa.

Wirun screens with Summertime and Almost 18 Shorts

Gottfried Mentor

French-born director and animator Gottfried Mentor (Oh Sheep!) pursued a freelance career in Film and TV after graduating from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany in 2012.

Benztown screens as part of All Age Access Shorts

Muhammad Mikdad

Muhammad Mikdad is a Jakarta-born Filmmaker and current student in South Tangerang. Created in 2020, Given is the young Filmmakers debut short.

Given screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Roxy Morris

Roxy Morris is an 18-year-old Chinese American Filmmaker based in San Diego, California. Roxy fell in love with cinema through her short film directorial debut Daughters. Roxy embarks on a journey of self-discovery through her work, embodying the roles of Director, Writer, and Editor in order to produce thought-provoking, personal films that spread social awareness and promote empathy. She will begin studying film and television at the University of California, Los Angeles this year.

Daughters screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Chad O’Brien

Director, co-writer and co-producer of Wirun, Chad O’Brien, was born and raised in Perth and has been involved in a range of films and web series both on screen and behind the camera. Chad travelled to Singapore to train as an actor and, before returning to Australia, he performed in film and theatre across South-East Asia. The collaborations and experiences Chad had with these international artists, practitioners and storytelling styles have significantly influenced his work as a director.

Wirun screens with Summertime and Almost 18 Shorts

Jacqueline Pelczar

Jacqueline Pelczar is an emerging Director from Perth, Western Australia. She began directing music videos, some which have been featured on MTV Australia, Rage, and in nationwide festivals. Jacqueline has Produced and Edited short documentaries for NITV (National Indigenous Television, Australia) additionally supported by Screenwest. Jacqueline has written, produced, and directed three short films to date which have gone on to screen in National and International Festivals such as Cinefest Oz and the Imagine This International Women’s Film Festival in New York City. She recently completed her third financially supported short form project Sparkles through Screenwest’s Elevate70 funding. Jacqueline has previously obtained a full-time position at Screenwest; Western Australia’s primary funding body for Screen Production, as the Factual and Diversity Development and Production assistant. She has also previously worked at DADAA (Disability in the Arts, Disadvantages in the Arts) as a mentor to artists with various living disabilities. Jacqueline is currently in development for her first long form project a television series; Teenage Dream.

Sparkles screens with Beans

Pika Boo

Armaan Dadyburjor is a Santacruz-based 7th grade student, Cartoonist, Independent Game Developer, Animator and avid reader. He enjoys writing comics, making animations and coding his own games from scratch.

Rafael Joseph is a 7th grader from Billabong High International School, Santacruz . A 12 year old car enthusiast who owns upto 800 model cars. He joined Toon club 2 years ago & says he never wants to stop, because he believes that’s where his creativity and imagination comes alive.

Rahul Iyer is a 7th grade student at Learners’ Academy, Mumbai. He likes reading and playing piano. He has a hobby for drawing pictures and comics. His reason for joining ‘Toon Club’ is because of his drawing hobby and his admiration for images in motion.

Daksh Bhaskar enjoys drawing caricatures and cartoons of various people and situations to describe events. He even started his own newsletter called the “daily dagger” with funny animated stories. He is an avid gamer and engages with other children for online games.

Kyra Narain is a thoughtful, sensitive and creative and thinker who as a cartoonist and independent animator brings to life stuff beyond imagination. She enjoys the creativity in dancing, baking and music; all of which find themselves imbibed in her animations. She is currently studying in Grade 5 at Podar International School, Santacruz.

Saniya Khan is the youngest of 5 children in her family. She is 11years and is studying in Class VI at St. Joseph’s Convent High School, Bandra (West). Saniya is a gifted dancer and attends dance classes. She is very friendly and enjoys story telling too. Her other hobbies are swimming and animation.

Aastha Singh, aged 11 years, is the second child in her family. She has a sister and a brother. Aastha is studying at St.Joseph’s Convent High School,Bandra (West) in Class VI. She is a talented basketball and football player. Apart from this she is very creative and spends a lot of time on art and craft.

Sohum Gupta is a grade 7 student at Arya Vidya Mandir, an all rounder excelling in Badminton and chess while being a whiz kid in mathematics. He also loves to build lego and cities in Minecraft.

Rohan Sannappanavar is a curious 13 year old keen on learning and experiencing new things. He’s an enthusiast of sports and outdoor activities as well as an avid reader. A self-confessed food lover, he finds pleasure in travel and quality time with his family. His latest interest is being pursued in the art of animation and he hopes to imbibe as much as he can in the field

Pika Boo screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Rob Plaza

Rob Plaza is an 18 year old emerging young Filmmaker based on the Gold Coast, Australia with a primary focus on experimental narrative. Completely self taught, Rob is roused by psychological, raw narratives finding meaningful connections through poetic imagery. Not having gone to any University or film school, he has learned all of his skills through online tutorials and research.
Nevertheless, the passion and determination has gotten him into numerous festivals already. Rob created his first short film Every Moment Counts in 2018, later finishing Symmetry, which has screened at almost 30 film festivals around the world, winning an abundance of awards along the way.

Symmetry screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Hannah Ragudos

Hannah Ragudos is a young Filipino Filmmaker studying in Alaminos City National High School under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Strand. Along with her co-crew members at Layag Productions, Hannah expresses her creativity through various mediums including documentary, experimental and short fiction films.

Decalcomania screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Michael Shanks

Michael Shanks is a multi-award-winning Director and Writer based in Melbourne, Australia. With a background in comedy, music and VFX, his work with multiple production companies has garnered millions of views online and his work has been broadcast on Adult Swim, ABC, SBS2, and Foxtel’s Comedy Channel and Showcase. Michael co-created the SBS2 series The Wizards of Aus, which he also directed, wrote, starred in, composed the music, and had a hand in VFX. His work often takes place within distinctive, often comedic worlds, with a focus on visual storytelling and spectacle. He is currently commissioned to write multiple feature films and comedy series for a range of production companies.

Rebooted screens with Our Lady of the Nile

Tisya Sharma

Tropfest Jnr Finalist Tisya Sharma brings audiences her new short, Migrant. The film which follows a new migrant and his struggles to find purpose in a new country. Recently graduated high school, Tisya is keen on becoming a professional Filmmaker and exploring a range of subject matters through a filmmakers lense.

Migrant screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

The Shut-in

Eric Lieu is an Australian-born animator based in Sydney. He is a graduate from the University of Technology Sydney and recently completed his Honours in animation. Eric has a strong passion for storytelling and character animation, with multidisciplinary skill sets ranging in both 2D and 3D mediums.

Maxine Curva is a designer and illustrator in Sydney. She graduated from UTS Honours in 2019 after completing a Bachelor in Animation Design. She has a passion for character design and storytelling in both 2D and 3D.

Jira Udomsri is a 3D artist currently residing in Sydney, Australia. During the second year of university, Jira’s interest in 3D animation grew as he involved himself with all fields including 3D modelling, rigging, texturing, animation, and lighting. During the final year of university, Jira cultivated his passion and experience to direct a short film “The Shut In” alongside his peers; Maxine Curva and Eric Lieu.

The Shut-in screens as part of Almost 18 Shorts

Side EFX

Side EFX was created by 8 students of Oberoi International School as part of their Visual Arts program for their Diploma Program Submission, under the guidance and training of Toon Club. Under the supervision of Animation Teacher Ms Tehzeeb Khurana, children created backgrounds, props and characters for the film. They shot the live footage against a limbo background and then rotoscoped the footage frame by frame using the handdrawn animation technique on animation light tables. The children were involved in the creative process of creating the rotoscopy animation. Each child was involved in created one completely individual sequence of the film including the music.

Side EFX screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years


Kaitlyn Schwalje is an American science journalist and documentary director based in Portland, Maine. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Carnegie Mellon University before completing her postgraduate studies at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Before pivoting to storytelling, Kaitlyn designed haptic prototypes for the research division of the Walt Disney Company. Her stories about her disaster obsessed father, tsunamis, how archaeology saved the cat, and city squirrels appear in CBC, Atlas Obscura, WNYC, 99% Invisible, National Geographic, and others. Director credits include This Land, a feature film documenting the 2020 election, and Snowy, premiering at Sundance in 2021.

Alex Wolf Lewis is a director and DP based in NYC and Portland, Maine. He has travelled the world for work, shooting for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Disney+, Netflix, Vice, PBS, A&E, Discovery as well as a number of feature documentaries and shorts. DP Credits include: Well Groomed (HBO Sports, SXSW ‘19, Hot Docs ‘19), 2nd Unit DP on the narrative feature Critical Thinking, dir. John Leguizamo, (SXSW ‘20). As a director, credits include, Single Room Occupancy (co-directed) (SIFF ‘16, Big Sky ‘17, Short of The Week). Hildegarde’s Piano (Rooftop Film Festi- val ‘19), and Snowy (Sundance ‘21). When not making films, Alex volunteers as an EMT for the town of Falmouth, Maine.

Snowy screens with Curtain Up! and Almost 18 Shorts

Christian Staats

Christian Staats is an Animator and Artist living in Brisbane. He directed the short film Pop N Possum along side his co-director Aminah A Malek whilst studying animation at the Queensland University of Technology. He now works as an Animator on a VR short film and as an Animation Tutor at the Queensland University of Technology.

Pop N Possum screens with Curtain Up! and All Age Access Shorts

Elly Stern

Elly Stern is a Vancouver-based mixed media animator specialising in stop motion. Elly spent her childhood in Tel Aviv, later moving to Toronto before returning to complete a BFA in animation from Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Elly recently relocated to Vancouver to work for Spotted Fawn Productions. Utilizing surrealism and a handmade approach, Elly’s animations often explore female issues and the internal body. She draws inspiration from her dreams and daydreams, and uses them to express the grittier, darker aspects of our existence and the humour that underlies this somber reality. Elly enjoy collecting trash for artistic purposes and finding beauty in the inconspicuous.

Waste Away screens as part of Almost 18 Shorts

Rap Battle

Students of the Multimedia Workshop of Escola Parque High School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mentored by Alexandre Juruena and Lilian Sodré.

Rap Battle screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Arkhip Varfolomeev

Russian-based aspiring Animator Arkhip Varfolomeev is a 13-year-old student living in Saint Petersburg. Arkhip started working on animation at the age of six in his home studio ‘Animation Studio DAR’. The young creator’s creative process begins with coming up with a scenario, then creating a storyboard, graphic design of the characters and scenery, before creating each frame and adding sound design. Arkhip hopes to continue making art and expressing himself through animation as he studies music and 3D animation.

The Dog’s Story – Part II screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years

Nico Ossa Williams

Filmmaker and activist Nico Ossa Williams leads Peterborough’s biggest climate demonstration ever to show us the power of the youth’s voice.

You(th) screens as part of Directors Aged 5-18 Years