Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt AO is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman and Laureate Fellow at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a graduate of the UNSW Law School and has a Masters and SJD from Harvard Law School. She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues. Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Her most recent novel, After Story (2021, UQP) won the 2022 Voss Literary prize. Larissa is an award-winning filmmaker. She won the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Award for best Direction of a Documentary Film for After the Apology and the 2020 AACTA for Best Direction in Factual Television for her documentary, Maralinga Tjarutja. She is a Trustee of the Australian Museum, Chair of the Australia Council’s First Nations Arts and Culture Strategy Panel and a member of the NSW Literature Board. She was awarded an Order of Australia for her work in Indigenous education, the law and the arts in 2020. Larissa received the Human Rights Medal 2021 from the Australian Human Rights Commission. She is the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio.
Rachel Naninaaq Edwardson
Producer, Director, Impact Producer, Teacher (she/her)
Rachel is an Iñupiat/Norwegian/Sami woman from Utqiagvik (Alaska) and is a social justice film director/producer. She has directed and produced 8 documentaries, 2 short dramas and 13 episodes for television. Most recently she co-produced the film and impact campaign for In My Blood It Runs and was a collaborating director and co-lead workshop designer and facilitator for Burn, a improvisational short drama targeting youth gang violence in inner city Sydney. She is a 2009 alumni of the Sundance Institute Ford Fellowship for her Iñupiaq Fantasy Trilogy and short film. Her History of the Iñupiaq documentary series was the first all native produced and directed history series in the United States, the educational and political campaigns around the first 3 films contributed to legislative change, educational initiatives, and the declassification of federally held documents. She also works in education and is a cultural safety consultant in Australia and the USA, leading holistic culturally safe and responsive practice in education, film, arts and media, government, health and corporate sectors. Rachel is married to former land rights lawyer and social justice advocate, David Selvarajah Vadiveloo, and together they have three children. She is the oldest daughter of Debby and George Edwardson.
Director, Producer, DOP, Editor, Impact Producer (she/her)
Maya is a documentary film director and impact producer based on Gadigal Wangal Country. Her recent short documentary The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (2022), a Netflix Original, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. The film’s impact campaign, including the Dreamlife zine, amplified the voices of trans and gender-diverse youth. She directed the acclaimed feature In My Blood It Runs (2019) – made in collaboration with those onscreen – about ten-year-old Arrernte/Garrwa boy Dujuan, which screened at over 40 festivals. In My Blood It Runs was also screened in over 4000 classrooms, on Netflix, POV (USA), Arte (France) and ABC TV, won many awards including Best Feature Doc at the ADG Awards and was backed by the Sundance Institute. Dujuan’s family led a multi-year impact campaign focusing on juvenile justice, education and anti-racism and the ten year-old participant became the youngest person ever to address the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, Geneva. Her first feature doc Gayby Baby (2015) sparked a national conversation about the rights of children raised in LGBTIQ families. She is a parent, a climate justice advocate and is working to encourage change in filmmaking processes to redistribute and share power to those who share their stories on screen.
Director, Producer (she/they)
Sophie Hyde is a founding member of film collective Closer Productions. She lives and works on the lands of the Kaurna people in South Australia and makes provocative and intimate films and television. Her debut feature drama 52 Tuesdays (director/producer/co-writer) won the Directing Award at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. She directed and produced feature comedy Animals, which premiered at Sundance 2019 and won a BIFA for Best Debut Screenplay. She created, produced and directed episodic series F*!#ing Adelaide for ABC Australia, and the 4 x 1-hour series The Hunting for SBS, which won two AACTA’s for Best Screenplay in Television and Best Supporting Actor for Richard Roxburgh and the AWG award for Best Series. Sophie’s feature documentaries include Life in Movement (producer /co-director), Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure (producer), Sam Klemke’s Time Machine (producer) and In My Blood It Runs (Producer). In 2021 she directed the Emma Thompson starring comedy/drama Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, which premiered at Sundance and Berlinale 2022.
Producer, Impact Producer, Strategist, Director (she/her)
Alex Kelly is an artist, filmmaker, producer and activist based on Dja Dja Warrung Country. Working across film, theatre, communications strategy and troublemaking, Alex purposefully connects the disciplines of art and social change. Alex’s previous films include Nothing Rhymes with Ngapartji (Producer), Queen of the Desert (Director), This Changes Everything (Global Impact & Distribution Producer), Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Producer) and In My Blood It Runs (Impact Producer). Alex was also Impact Producer on The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (Netflix 2022). In 2013, Alex was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research documentaries and their social impact in the UK, Canada and the USA; Alex has been further supported by a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2016 and a Bertha Challenge Fellowship in 2020. Alex also has a speculative futuring practice,The Things We Did Next, a collaborative hybrid of theatre, imagination and democracy.
Producer, Production Accountant, Impact Producer (she/her)
Lisa came to the film industry after a career in banking and has a strong background in accounting and finance. Lisa worked on the distribution and impact campaign for Gayby Baby (2015) and with Screen Impact on the distribution of Motorkite Dreaming (2016). In 2018 Lisa gained her Diploma in Production Accounting from the Australian Film and Television School.