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AFIN Adjudication Team

Meet some of the AFIN International adjudicators

PETER KOEVARI
Festival Director & Adjudicator

Screenwriter, Director, Producer - Australia

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Biography

Peter is an accomplished and award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer hailing from Brisbane, Australia.

As the academy director of FilmLab Academy and the festival director of AFIN International, Peter has played a pivotal role in nurturing emerging talent and promoting independent cinema. His creative vision is heavily influenced by genre-filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, John Woo, and David Fincher, shaping his distinctive approach to storytelling.

Peter's portfolio includes numerous independent projects, with standout works such as the critically acclaimed sci-fi short film "3" (2022), the compelling web-series "Diana" (2022), and the current short film "Broken," which is making waves in festivals.

He is immersed in the production of two highly anticipated films - the cyberpunk short film, 'Quantum Ride,' and the horror short film, 'Lucky Devil.' Both projects are scheduled to hit festivals in 2024, promising to captivate audiences with their unique narratives.

Beyond geographical boundaries, Peter embraces a global mindset, recognizing the importance of crafting stories that resonate universally. He firmly believes in the principles of excellence, originality, and audience engagement, emphasizing the necessity for films to be globally distributable for true success.

In his own words, "I write and create films not because I can, but because I must. Great films are made with strong planning, quality processes, great casting, a strong team, and a safe, happy, and supportive environment. Great stories are written by ensuring that the principals of drama and key elements of compelling storytelling are met."

Peter's dreams extend beyond individual projects; he aspires to build more platforms and opportunities within the film industry, fostering an environment where globally distributable products with a strong return on investment can flourish. His dedication to supporting creative endeavors underscores his commitment to seeing projects through from conception to realization.

In addition to his notable achievements in the film industry, he is actively involved in the fashion world, having served as a judge for the prestigious New Silk Road runway competition.

STEVE COATES
Adjudicator

Screenwriter, Producer - Australia

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Biography

With well over a decade of experience crafting intriguing and compelling stories, Stephen Coates is an
accomplished screenwriter.


He is a screenwriter of choice for producers looking to rewrite, elevate, and take their projects to the next
level and he is in strong demand as a story consultant by many directors, producers, and other writers.


An avid reader from a young age Stephen cut his teeth on Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five’, he then
devoured the entire series of ‘The Hardy Boys’. Then it was ‘Lord of the Rings’, and from there authors of
the likes of Alistar Mclean, Robert Ludlum, Stephen King, Peter Straub and others of that ilk.


These authors helped develop a fertile imagination, a love of adventure, and of the dark and offbeat but
most of all a passion for mystery. Whatever genre you’re reading or watching it is almost always the
mystery of what is happening or about to happen that keeps you reading.


From there Stephen developed a passion for and a deep love of film, visual storytelling, as we all know
offers the opportunity to create almost total immersion for the audience. And boy did he immerse himself in
film, watching nearly everything that was released in the eighties and nineties.


Finally, in 1997 the ember inside became a flame and Stephen started writing. A novel at first. The
feedback from the industry was not what was expected. You should write screenplays was the note, one
that he embraced wholeheartedly.


He threw himself down the rabbit hole of screenwriting and soaked in everything he could. The structure,
the setup, the payoff, it all resonated with the logical side of his mind. During the decades of watching films
he’d been subconsciously understanding not only how conflict and mystery are two of the main
components of a great story, but also all picking up all the tricks of the trade from the masters.


All of this gave him a unique ability to produce page turner after page turner, whatever the genre. It didn’t
take long until he was able to spread his wings and was called on for script rewriting and doctoring.
After Stephen performed a rewrite on Steven Bolia’s feature ‘Phoenix’, Firefly Films (NZ) came onboard to
produce and Indya Moore is attached to star.


‘Amnesia’ is set to go into production later this year with Shane Abbess directing, Highland Films and
Alcyon Entertainment producing.


His latest feature ‘Poker Face’ was released in 2022, directed by and starring Russell Crowe, alongside
Liam Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky and RZA. ‘Poker Face’ was Stan’s best performing film for the year.


His 2012 genre bending feature ‘John Doe: Vigilante’ has developed a cult following and is used in the
curriculum and publicly screened and debated in a number of Universities around the globe.

JENNIFER SCOTT
Adjudicator

Actress, Producer - USA

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Biography

Jennifer Scott, founder of Open Eyes Productions, L.L.C. is an Award Winning p.g.a. Producer, Actress and Writer. Jennifer has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1995. Her independent film work has played in a variety of film festivals around the World. She has been credited with over 40 films and television appearances portraying various roles, making her a chameleon actor.

ANDREW CONDER ACS SOC
Adjudicator

Cinematographer, Camera, Producer - Australia

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Biography

Andrew Conder ACS SOC started his career in 1981 at BTQ7 in Brisbane shooting location drama and children’s magazine television.

He was elevated to Chief Cameraman for children’s production in 1986 and won the prestigious “Pater” Award for television excellence in 1988.

Andrew won his first Australian Cinematographers Society Award in 1991 for the music clip “Lullaby”. Since then, he has been awarded more than 30 Cinematography Awards including the coveted ACS “Golden Tripod” in 2008 and Best Cinematography at the 2016 ASIN Awards and the 2020 AFIN Awards and the Outstanding Support Award to the ACS in 2021.

Andrew has been the Director of Photography for EIGHT Australian feature films and multiple tv series.

He is currently shooting the 3rd season of Rock Island Mysteries for Nickelodeon

JUSTIN HILL
Adjudicator

Entertainment Reporter, Host, Film Expert - Australia

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For over a decade, Justin Hill has been delighting fans as Australia’s favourite entertainment reporter.


In 2023, Justin hosted Hayu’s first ever original series during World Pride called Loud and Proud with Justin Hill
interviewing Australian celebrities about their connection to the LGBTQIA+ community. The series was broadcast to over
40 markets around the world and featured international guests including Bravo’s Andy Cohen and Lisa Vanderpump.


An experienced TV host, Justin has been welcomed into Australian homes as a presenter on Channel 10 music countdown
show The Loop and entertainment news programs Scoopla TV and The Dirt.


When it comes to what’s trending in the world of social media, entertainment, and lifestyle, Justin has also made guest
appearances on TV shows like Studio10, A Current Affair, and more.


Behind the podcast microphone, Justin is the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under: The Podcast for Stan Australia,
rocketing up the Apple Podcast – TV After Show charts to the #1 spot PLUS the LiSTNR podcast The Streaming Service
with Justin Hill covering off the biggest streaming, movie and TV news.


When it comes to the radio airwaves, appearances include Fifi, Fev and Nick, Hughesy, Ed and Erin, Carrie and Tommy
and Hot Nights With Abbie Chatfield to name a few. His radio reach extends outside of Australia as a co-host on the
Radio1 UAE weekly drive show Live From LA – covering the latest breaking Hollywood news and interviews.


Justin has been invited to travel internationally to Japan, Korea, Singapore, and LA to interview stars like Jeremy Renner,
Adam Driver, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more and has trended globally on TikTok retelling his personal experiences and
interviews with celebrities like Mariah Carey, Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian to name a few PLUS fans have loved his viral
interview moments with the likes of Margot Robbie reaching over 1.8 million views, bringing his social media reach to
over 50,000 fans.


A prominent member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Justin hosted the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Hit Network
podcast The Ally Podcast as part of their official media partnership, interviewing CEO Albert Kruger and community ally
and singer Rita Ora. This comes off the back of his journey as a finalist in Mr. Gay Pride Australia 2019 and being
recognised for his work as a nominee for Media Personality Of The Year at the LGBT Awards in 2018.


Justin was also honored to be invited to represent Australia on a panel for Princeton University, discussing his exciting
career as an entertainment reporter.


As a passionate content creator, Justin’s brand partnerships include Binge, Prime Video, Little Creatures, McDonalds,
Cadbury, Disney, Air New Zealand and more…

TIM ALEXANDER
Adjudicator

Fight choreographer, Actor - Australia

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With over 20 years’ experience in his field, Tim Alexander is Asia Pacific’s foremost expert in hand-to-hand combat for the International Krav Maga Federation, the I.K.M.F., Israel. The I.K.M.F. is the world’s leading provider of defensive tactics training to civilians, Military, Law Enforcement, Intelligence, and Counter Terrorism units.

 

Tim’s performing arts and psychology background combine with his fight training and expertise to uniquely qualify him as a Fight Choreographer and Action Consultant. He prides himself on listening to and understanding production goals and working to take that vision to a level of accurate realism through intensive hands-on training.

 

He has choreographed and featured locally and internationally on stage and screen, including in short films, features, and commercial campaigns. This is his third year as an adjudicator for the AFIN Awards.

DAMIEN LEITH
Adjudicator

Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Author, Playright, TV/Radio Personality - Australia

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Damien Leith is a multi-talented artist that has made his mark in Australia as a singer, songwriter, producer, author, playwright and tv/radio host personality. 

The talented family man first captured the attention and affection of Australians when he contested the 2006 edition of Australian Idol – a series he went on to win.

 

Since then, Damien has enjoyed platinum-selling albums and won many prestigious awards including Arias, Golden Guitar, Songwriter of the Year and many more. His music has been chosen to appear in commercials, movies and television shows, with his song, Beautiful, accompanying a global ESTEE LAUDER campaign and not just for the weekend, being the theme song for the television series, saving kids – a show that Damien also hosted. 

Damien continues to tour extensively every year and work with the likes of Nashville legends; Joe Melson (co-writer of Roy Orbison’s Crying and Only the Lonely among many others) and the late Barbara Orbison. 

When Leith is not touring and performing, he spends his time in his recording studio where he is a highly sought-after songwriter (published through Embassy Publishing) and producer. Writing for many artists, he’s won 2016 APRA/ASA songwriter of the year and 2017 APRA/AMCOS GOLDEN GUITAR winner for song of the year.

Damien has written a new novel which will be released late 2024 and is currently breakfast radio announcer alongside Jade at WAVE FM 96.5 in Wollongong.

R J REDL
Adjudicator

Producer, Director, Writer, Comic Book Creator - Australia

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Known For and Upcoming Works (Select highlights)

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R.J. Redl, a multi-talented force in the world of film, has been captivating audiences since 2010 as a freelance film reviewer for prominent online publications and independent magazines, including MX, Time Out, and Rave.

 

Beyond his critical eye, he has made his mark as a visionary short film director and producer, with a remarkable portfolio dating back to 2016. Redl's storytelling prowess doesn't stop there; he's an award-winning screenwriter, celebrated for his narrative prowess.

 

Building on his creative journey, since 2022, he's been crafting an enthralling supernatural thriller graphic novel series in collaboration with Free Fall Comics, promising to take readers on a spellbinding journey into the unknown. With a decade of industry experience and an unrelenting passion for storytelling, R.J. Redl is a name to watch in the world of film and comics

KYLE GOLDFINCH
Adjudicator

Creative Producer - Australia

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Kyle Goldfinch is director, producer, writer, host and film programmer based in Sydney who has been highly engaged working in the LGBT screen space.

 

He has been on the selection committee for festivals like Mardi Gras Film Festival, Queer Screen Film Fest, Flickerfest and Scout Film Festival in LA.

 

He is in his final year of study at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney, Australia.

GLEN COLLINS
Adjudicator

Producer, Director, Actor, Writer, Editor - Australia

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Glen Collins is an Australian filmmaker and festival adjudicator. Born in Canberra.

 

After graduating Year 12, he decided to go into filmmaking. Studied at film school on the Gold Coast.

 

Working on projects of all sizes. In 2021, he joined AFIN - International Film Festival, Brisbane as adjudicating member.

 

Today he continues to understand the industry worldwide, and help grow the Australian film trade.

TIM CLOUGH
Adjudicator

Director, Editor - Australia

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Timothy Clough is a Writer, Director and accomplished Editor from Brisbane, with a range of experience over a number of different genres and platforms.

 

Upon finishing Film School in 2019, he travelled to South America, where he shot his own self-funded low budget Feature Documentary. Based on the deforestation of Amazon forest, this film received 3 annual awards and 2 nominations from Film Festivals world wide.

 

Upon his return, Timothy dove headfirst into the art of Post-Production and Writing.

 

He has now collaborated with a number of filmmakers, and has continuously improved his craft. Timothy has a keen eye for detail and is very passionate about the art of storytelling.

VICKY WANLESS
Adjudicator - Festival Operations Manager

Actress, Producer, Director - Brisbane, Australia

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Vicky Wanless is a woman who wears many hats in the industry.


Producing and Directing the award winning shorts "Ripples" and the AACTA nominated "Once Upon A Midnight"


She has worked on many professional productions in different roles such as Australian Survivor, Ambulance, Godzilla vs Kong and recently Boy Swallows Universe.


Vicky works tirelessly behind the scenes through a large variety of roles on a myriad of productions and believes in the community and creativity of Indie Productions.

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