Monster Children Short Film Awards – Meet The Judges

Kai Neville
Kai Neville needs no introduction, but we wrote one anyway so it wouldn’t be weird. Kai is the director, cinematographer, and editor behind classic surf films like Modern Collective, Cluster, and Dear Suburbia. He’s shot everyone who’s anyone in surf—Mikey, Ando, Chippa, et al.—and he’s done more to capture the spirit and beauty on celluloid than anyone we know. That’s why he’s a judge, and he’ll be judging you. @kaineville

Ben Briand
Ben is a filmmaker whose work is visually striking, profoundly emotional, and makes audiences believe ‘the unreal can be real.’ He has directed projects featuring Gal Gadot, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Joseph Fiennes, and Odessa Young, to name but five. Ben has won an absolute butt-load of awards, including the MTV One80Project Awards judged by Paramount Pictures Australia, the silver Shots YDA (Young Director Award) at the Cannes Lions, and three Best Director nominations from the Australian Directors’ Guild. He will judge you. @benbriand

Dylan River
Dylan River is an award-winning First Nations filmmaker and photographer from Mpartnwe (Alice Springs). He shot Sweet Country, The Beach, Mystery Road and directed Buckskin, Finding Maawirrangga, and Finke: There and Back. He’s won a slew of AACTA’s and international awards for his direction and cinematography. His grandmother, Freda Glynn, co-founded the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, the country’s most prominent Indigenous broadcaster. Feel judged? You should. He’s judging you. @riverdylans

Benn Jae
Benn Jae’s striking visuals in the world of fashion photography attracted the attention of Universal Music, who asked if he’d be interested in trying his hand at directing. He was interested, and now he’s a well-known figure in that visual arena. Benn has made videos for The Veronicas, Jessica Mauboy, and Boy & Bear, among others, and commercial clients include L’Oréal, Vogue Australia, and Holden. Besides his commissioned work, Benn makes award-winning shorts, and his feature film PHOENIX is scheduled to begin production in December. He is soooo judging you. @bennjae

Lula Cucchiara
Lula Cucchiara is a queer Latinx artist, creative film director, and photographer who creates bold, stylized and very recognizable work. Originally from Argentina, she has called Aotearoa home for the past fifteen years. Her film, art, and fashion photography background gives her work an allure and polish that is distinctly her own. Her clients include Mercedes, i-D, Vogue, The Face Magazine, Paris Georgia, Kathmandu, Stephen Marr, and many more. She has also directed projects for Benee, Ladyhawke, and her first feature film, Fiona Clark: Unafraid. Lula Cucchiara will move, inspire, and entertain you. She will also judge you. @lulacucchiara