The 2019 Stellar Judges
Angourie won Best Lead Actress at the 2018 AACTA Awards for her role in Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black, based on Madeleine St. John’s 1993 best-selling Australian novel The Women in Black.
She will be in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home, from Marvel Studio.
Angourie’s recent features include Every Day, directed by Michael Sucsy (The Vow, Grey Gardens) and based on the novel by David Levithan; Spider-Man: Homecoming; and Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, alongside Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Kristen Dunst and Elle Fanning.
Angourie played a leading role in the feature adaptation of Jasper Jones, directed by Rachel Perkins, and starred in The Nice Guys opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe – from director Shane Black and producer Joel Silver – for which she received uniformly glowing reviews.
Australian film work includes Zak Hilditch’s These Final Hours, and Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows from David Caesar.
Angourie’s small screen credits include Mako Mermaids, Hartman’s Solution, The Dr Blake Mysteries and The Worst Year of My Life Again.
From a creative family, Angourie began her career in Perth, Western Australia with several short films and national television commercials. She first came to industry attention at just eleven years old with her lead role in Zak Hilditch’s short Transmission, for which she won a Best Actress award at St Kilda Film Festival.
Sean Lahiff is a director and editor from sunny Somerton Park, South Australia. His latest film as director - Smashed, premiered at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and has since played festivals around the world, receiving accolades such as Best Film, Best Director and Best Editor at the South Australian Screen Awards and winning Best Film at Stellar in 2018. Prior to Smashed Sean directed the award winning short horror comedy Too Dark and he is currently in development on a number of feature projects.
Sean is also an experienced post-production'eer and has worked on cult Aussie horror through to Hollywood blockbusters. As film editor, Sean worked on the Wolf Creek franchise and recently cut Greg McLean's survival thriller Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Grant Sputore's Sci-Fi - I Am Mother, starring Clara Rugaard & Hilary Swank (which took him to the Sundance Film Festival for the film's World Premiere). Among other feature edits, his recent accomplishments include Highly Strung for acclaimed director Scott Hicks, Netflix films Cargo and The Darkness, Adelaide-made horror Awoken starring Sara West & Erik Thomson and he is currently editing the Sci-Fi thriller 2067 - starring Ryan Kwanten and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
Matt Day has established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading film and television actors having appeared in numerous television series including Rake, Tangle, Hell Has Harbour Views, My Brother Jack and series two of Wolf Creek. Feature credits includeSweet Country, Dance Academy Touch,My Year Without Sex, Love and Other Catastrophes, Muriel’s Wedding, Woody Allen’s Scoop, and Kiss or Kill, for which he received nominations for a Film Critic Circle Award and an AFI Award for Best Actor. Hisinternational television credits include Shackleton (with Kenneth Branagh), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Commander, Spooks, Hotel Babylon, Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Bruce Beresford’s And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. Short films as writer/director include The Mother Situation (winner best film, best screenplay, best actress Tropfest 2017) Perry (2016 St Kilda Short Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortFest 2016, CineWest 2016, Flickerfest 2017) Wish (Turner Classic Shorts 2008 Special Mention, 2008 London Film Festival, 2008 Encounters Short Film Festival, 2008 Foyle Film Festival, 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2008 Stockholm Film Festival) Beat (2011 St Kilda Film Festival) Title Card (co-written and directed with Brendan Cowell (Flickerfest 2016, 2016 St Kilda Short Film Festival) and My Everything (2003 Toronto Short Film Festival, 2003 Borges En Curt International Short Film Festival).
Ryan’s charismatic on-screen presence and the breadth of his emotional and comedic range ensure he is in constant demand.
Upcoming feature films include 1930’s action-thriller High Ground, directed by Stephen Johnson, and the lead role in Maziar Lahooti’s debut feature film Below, opposite Anthony LaPaglia.
Ryan played Rudi in Bruce Beresford’s period drama Ladies in Black, based on Madeleine St John’s 1993 best-selling Australian novel The Women in Black. He also starred in Stan’s gripping six-part drama, Bloom.
Ryan was nominated for a 2018 AACTA Award for his lead role in 1% (renamed Outlaws), which premiered in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival. Other recent features include Mary Magdalene, from renowned director Garth Davis.
His portrayal of Tim Conigrave in Neil Armfield’s adaptation of the book Holding the Man earned him nominations for Best Actor at the 2016 AACTA Awards and Australia’s Film Critics’ Circle Awards.
Previous film credits include the award-winning Hacksaw Ridge, from director Mel Gibson; The Water Diviner, under the direction of Russell Crowe; Ali’s Wedding and A Few Less Men.
Ryan was honoured to be named the GQ Breakthrough Actor of 2015. He has been the recipient of the Australians in Film Heath Ledger Scholarship and the IF Out of the Box award. He has received Logie nominations in the categories of Most Outstanding New Talent and Most Popular New Male Talent.
Other film work includes Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek 2, Not Suitable for Children and Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. Not Suitable for Children saw him nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the AACTA Awards and receive a Best Supporting Actor win at the Film Critics’ Circle Award.
With several main cast TV credits to his name as a teenager, Ryan went on to study at NIDA. Later TV credits include Love Child, Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Tangle, Redfern Now, The Moodys, and Coby in the Seven Network’s hit series Packed to the Rafters.
Ryan made his professional stage debut in Sex with Strangers for the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) and was reunited with the company in 2015 for its production of Arcadia.
He’s the Australian acting equivalent of being in your happy place – a man who makes people smile just by looking at him. Depending on your age, he’s like everyone’s favourite mate, Dad or Grandfather, and he’s coming to Stellar!
Ladies and gentleman, we are beyond thrilled to announce that Michael Caton will join the judging panel for the first annual Stellar Short Film Festival.
Michael has one of the most successful acting careers in Australia, spanning six decades, and has a plaque on the Australian Film Walk of Fame to prove it!
His TV credits are too numerous to list but include roles in ‘Skippy’, ‘The Sullivans’, ‘A Country Practice’, ‘Five Mile Creek’ and ‘Packed to the Rafters’, plus he’s been on stage in productions like ‘Hair’ and ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert – the Musical’.
As for film, audiences around the world know Michael thanks to cracking performances in dozens of films, most notably our fave ‘The Castle’. Michael will be reunited at Stellar with his co-star Stephen Curry, making it a night sure to be filled with memories and photos that will go “straight to the pool room”.
Cassandra Magrath is ditching her film set for a day to be one of our guest judges at Stellar!
With a career that began when she was just 11 years old on TV’s ‘Ocean Girl’ and is currently over 25 years strong, Cassandra has a wealth of industry credits to her name.
She’s perhaps best known for playing the part of ill-fated backpacker, Liz, in one of the most famous and chilling Australian horror movies of all time, ‘Wolf Creek’, but there’s an impressive list of roles on stage, TV and film that have kept her working full-time as an actress. Just a few of these include ‘Sea Change’, ‘House Husbands’, ‘Wentworth’, ‘Winners and Losers’, ‘Blue Heelers’ and even the best training ground of all, ‘Neighbours’, as well as a plethora of short films including last year’s ‘Liz Drives’.
She’s one of the most likeable people in the industry, and we can’t wait to have Cassandra join us
Master of Ceremonies
We are happy to have Master of Ceremonies for the Stellar Short Film Festival … the quadruple threat, actor/director/producer/writer SCOTT MAJOR!
Scott is in the rare but happy position of being in constant demand in the competitive entertainment industry, having worked extensively in television, theatre and film around the world for the past 28 years. Generations of Australians know and love him from his regular television roles on ‘Heartbreak High’ (who can forget our favourite bad boy Rivers?!), ‘Wildside’, ‘Neighbours’, and ‘Always Greener’. Film credits include: ‘Envy’, ‘He Died With a Falafel in His Hand’, ‘Ned’, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ and the soon-to-be released ‘Trench’. His recent theatre work includes ‘The Subtle Art of Flirting’, ‘Closer’, ‘Terminus’ and ‘Salt’. He has been directing on Neighbours for the last five years and is also a director and founder of Poppy Seed Theatre Festival.