Team

Festival Organising Committee 

Lauren Colosimo

Festival Director

Lauren began at Melbourne WebFest as a communications intern in the festival's second year and has been involved ever since. Lauren has a background in communications, working as a Student Communications Officer at La Trobe University and as the communications Manager for Melbourne WebFest for three years. Lauren has worked as a Project Manager for the Monash University Business School and is a co-founder of the sustainability education company, Earth Crusaders, where she has developed and delivered several programs to schools and organisations. Lauren has a love for film and has produced several programs for Channel 31, where she now works as the Grants & Partnerships Officer. Lauren is thrilled to be leading the festival this year!

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Max Robins

General Manager

As General Manager, Max is striving to use his knowledge of the medium, the community and the organisation itself to take the festival into new territory.

He has been with Melbourne WebFest for 4 years covering a range of technical and content management roles. As a video editor and animator by trade, he also brings to the table extensive project management, FMCG design, academic and advertising acumen from his previous roles.

This diverse background allows him to hold an ambitious outlook for his work and an ever-ready adaptability to the challenges the digital entertainment industry inherently brings with it.

 

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Kristen Settinelli

Engagement Manager

Kristen Settinelli is a proactive and driven individual working in the Australian media and communications industry. A strong advocate for freedom of expression in the media, she is devoted to the growth of digital communication and is excited to be a part of the future of broadcast and online content. Kristen is presently engaged in the media and spends her time writing as a freelance journalist and has published works with the AU review, Punkee, Rabelais and UniPollWatch. Kristen has hosted multiple broadcast programs including Channel 31’s Smith Street 86 and SYN 1700. In her spare time, Kristen enjoys a cup of coffee, visiting Loch and Key, debating politics and having a giggle. 

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Susu Najjarin

Content Manager

Susu is very excited to continue her journey with Melbourne WebFest as the Content Manager for 2019. Beginning as an AV intern in 2017, Susu took on the role of AV Coordinator in 2018 and, in 2019, holds the position of Content Manager. Graduating from a Bachelor of Creative Arts in 2017, she hopes to delve deep into the media industry. Being part of the web series community excites her in many ways and she looks forward to watching the digital platform progress in the near future.

 

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Candace Brereton

Communications & PR Manager

Candace has a keen interest in the digital and creative industries, as evident in her festival involvement since 2016. Her background relays diverse industry experience inclusive of educational, corporate, retail and the arts sector involvement. Candace prides herself on clear-cut messaging and her attention to detail, with a “tell it like it is” attitude that often shines through in her work.  

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Lisa Falla

Production Manager

 Lisa is an enthusiastic broad spectrum media professional. Some of her industry highlights includes her work with Gogglebox, T2, the Cancer Council, La Trobe University and of course Melbourne WebFest. Other projects she's particularly proud of are the "I Wish I'd Asked" campaign, the web series "The Writers Room", "Magnify Melbourne" 2017, and her contributions to Rabelais magazine. She is a writer, photographer, editor, lover of dogs and coffee.

Ishta Saraswati

Digital Coordinator

Ishta has been working in digital communications for 4 years with a wide range experience including not-for-profits, politicians, and small businessess. He built the MWF 2019 website and is helping again in 2020.

LinkedIn | Business Website

Andrew Drake

Digital Contributor

Andrew is a La Trobe 2019 graduate in a Bachelor of Media & Communications (Public Relations). Helping out at last year's festival as a Communications Intern, he's ready to help out at the festival once more, but with now 100% less University stress. Deciding to watch 'American Pie: Reunion' everyday for a week in quarantine "for the fun of it" makes him feel up for any challenge

Benjamin Singleton

Digital Contributor

Ben is a 2019 graduate of RMIT's Bachelor of Media & Communications (Journalism), and first joined the Melbourne WebFest team with last year's festival, as an AV Intern. He specialises in video editing and post production. This year, Ben returns with a vengeance, eager to flex his digital muscles, and to assist his fellow WebFestians in bringing another amazing festival to life!

Kelvin Giraldo

Digital Contributor

Kel returns to Melbourne Webfest after contributing as an Engagement Intern in 2019. His study and experience have seen him work on sports media and broadcasting projects across The Australian Open, AFLW, A-League and GRV. His dedication and love for creative storytelling were further fueled by witnessing Andrew Drake spend 72 hours straight in one of La Trobe University's editing suites putting together a short film, late last year.

Clodie Veyrak

Digital Contributor

Clodie just completed her Media and Communication Bachelor (journalism major) at La Trobe University. After interning as an Engagement Intern at the 2019 Melbourne WebFest, she is joining the team again this year.
Her last ever uni assignment now submitted, she is ready to help out and watch all the web series submissions, as lockdown saw her become a professional binge-watcher.

Melbourne Webfest

Advisory Board

Michelle Law

Michelle Law is a writer and actor working across print, theatre, film and television. She wrote the smash-hit play Single Asian Female, which has sold out seasons and continues to tour across Australia. Her screenwriting work includes the SBS show Homecoming Queens, which she co-created, co-wrote and stars in. Michelle has been awarded a Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award, and two Australian Writers Guild awards. She is currently developing two new plays, an opera and an original feature film. Her latest play, Miss Peony, will be staged at Belvoir St Theatre in 2020.

Alexander Hipwell

Alexander is the former Director of the Melbourne WebFest and was a key part in building the foundations of the organisation. Alexander now works at RMIT in the Master of Media course running units on web series and contemporary media. Alexander also works in marketing with local B2B agency xGrowth and runs a B2B Growth Marketing community, Growth Colony.

Alexander has produced a wide range of content ranging from graphic design, fashion photography, press shots, web video advertisements, music video clips, marketing films and cinema ads for large-scale developments.

Warwick Holt

Warwick is a highly experienced, award-winning screenwriter, who’s written for many of Australia’s top comedians and presenters. His 7 part series Bruce, a black sitcom about Australia’s first convicts co-written with Mat Blackwell and directed by Tony Rogers, launched online in 2016, and has won over 20 awards worldwide, including Best Comedy and Best Writing (Comedy) from the International Academy of Web Television, Best Drama at the Australian Online Video Awards, and Best Screenplay at Melbourne WebFest.

Tamasin Simpkin

Tamasin Simpkin has experience in both online and traditional media spaces, and a passion for collaborating with diverse talent to create meaningful entertainment. Joining Film Victoria as a Production Executive earlier this year, she works across both the development and production funding programs. An alumni of the Screen Producers Australia Ones to Watch Program, and nominee for Breakthrough Business of the Year, she has over a decade of experience working across casting, locations, production, and most recently producing, giving her a holistic understanding of the production process which compliments her passion and instinct for story. Her most recent production, Get Krack!n, was described by critics as “the finest satire ever put to air on Australian television”, “comedy at its groundbreaking best” and “a must-watch for all Australians”. Tamasin’s previous work on The Katering Show allowed her to develop the knowledge and skills pertinent to online production and distribution – be it an independent project or in collaboration with a network. The first series had 2 million views in its first week online and took out numerous awards, including Best of the Fest and Best Short Form Series at the New York Television Festival, an AWGIE for Best Short Form Series, and the award for Best Comedy at ITV Festival, Melbourne Webfest and the Online Video Awards. Series two also broke the record for most watched ABC iView original program at the time of its release.

Sally McLean

Award-winning actor, writer and director, Sally McLean is currently the Creator/Director and lead ensemble member of the critically acclaimed and internationally award-winning web series Shakespeare Republic alongside fellow cast Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Alan Fletcher, Christopher Kirby and Dean Haglund, which is currently in development for Season Three as an Ozflix Original. A graduate of The Actors’ Institute, London (UK), Sally’s acting credits include lead and supporting roles in numerous Australian, UK & USA television and film productions including The Worst Year of My Life – Again! (ABC/CBBC), Elephant Princess (Channel 10), Upper Middle Bogan (ABC), Preacher (AMC/Sony), Utopia (ABC), Jack Irish (ABC), Comedy Inc. (Channel 9) and the BAFTA award-winning BBC mini-series Bootleg (BBC/Channel 10). Sally has also played roles in over thirty UK and Australian theatre productions, including the professional Australian premiere of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the world premiere of Annabel’s Requiem on the West End and the all-female Macbeth. Sally teaches Shakespeare as a faculty member of the highly respected Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia, is a Trustee of HFAS Australia and continues to work professionally as an actor in the Australian, UK and USA film, theatre and TV markets.

Julie Kalceff

Julie Kalceff is an award-winning writer, director and producer. She is best known as the creator, writer, director, and producer of the international hit online drama series Starting From Now and writer, director and co-producer of children’s television series First Day. Attracting both critical and popular acclaim, Starting From Now is one of Australia’s most successful multi-platform projects. It has amassed over 130 million views, been watched in over 230 countries, and was also sold to and played on broadcast television in Australia. With Starting From Now, Julie went against the online comedy trend and created a web series model which is now used as a case-study around the world. Julie was the sole writer and director on all 30 episodes of the series and was a producer on all five seasons. First Day won the MiPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Kids’ Programming, 2018, and the Gender Equity Prize at the prestigious Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Television Festival, 2018. Julie won the Best Screenplay Award (My Queer Career) at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, 2018, for her work on First Day, which also picked up the Audience Award. First Day is the first scripted television series in Australia to star a transgender actor in the lead role. Julie is the founder and director of the Sydney-based production company Common Language Films. She has helped raise public awareness around the lack of diversity on screen and has paved the way by embedding diverse characters in stories with broad appeal.

Luke Eve

Luke has directed a number of short films including multi-award winner Cockroach, and Australian Summer, winner of Tropfest. In 2010 he began directing television such as Dave in The LifeSEX: An Unnatural History and the landmark documentary series Great Southern Land which landed him an ADG nomination for best direction in a documentary TV series. In 2014 Luke created, produced and directed the online series, Low Life: A Black Comedy About Depression. It went on to win over 25 major festival awards and was sold to Amazon Prime and CanalPlay. In 2017 he completed directing and producing the follow up series, High Life which was Executive Produced by Stephen Fry and stars Odessa Young with music by Sarah Blasko. The series has won over 30 major awards including Best Digital Original at C21 Content London and was also nominated for an AACTA Award. It took out the Web Series World Cup for 2017 for being the most awarded and successful web series of the year. The series has sold to BBC3, Channel 9, CanalPlay and Fullscreen. Luke just completed production on his first feature film, I Met A Girl, starring Brenton Thwaites and Lily Sullivan. The film is scheduled for release in 2020 through AMP Worldwide.

Steinar Ellingsen

Steinar Ellingsen is co-founder and former director of Melbourne WebFest. He is a senior lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communication at the University of Wollongong. Steinar has delivered keynotes and seminars on web series across the globe and is currently working on a four-year international research project on web series, funded by the Australian Research Council. His latest book chapter, “Writers, Producers and Creative Entrepreneurship in Web Series Development”, co-written with Dr Stayci Taylor (RMIT), is available in the Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production. The chapter details the often-liquid roles of writer and producer in web series production.

Ahmed Salama

Ahmed is an award-winning creative entrepreneur, filmmaker, and artist with a passion for exploring the intersection between technology, storytelling, and social impact. He executive produced critically acclaimed “The Tunnel”, the first feature film to be crowdfunded and released commercially via BitTorrent. Building on his early experience in online storytelling, he launched the ‘Free Hugs Campaign’, Australia’s first viral music video and campaign spawning a global movement. Collaborating with Rocky Horror Picture show’s Jim Sharman, he co-produced ‘Andy X’ an experimental online musical about Andy Warhol.  

More recently, he co-created 3 seasons of web series That Startup Show, recognised as a Webby Honouree. In 2020 he was a contributing artist for interdisciplinary sci-fi art project “The Parallel Effect” for the 2020 Next Wave Festival, and is currently directing a VR hybrid series exploring the boundaries of empathy. Ahmed is the creative director and co-founder of Futureology and currently lives and works upon the land of the Wurundjeri people. He holds a Master of Design degree from UNSW Art and Design.