Industry Advisory Board

The Industry Advisory Board was established in 2015 in order to ensure that the Sydney Film School continues to deliver to the needs of the Australian screen industry.

Leading industry experts, representing a range of screen industry sectors, provide feedback on the quality of the course programs and student films, and assist where possible in providing employment opportunities for suitable graduates.

Ray Argall, ADG

A graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 1980, Ray Argall has enjoyed a colourful and productive presence in a filmmaking career spanning more than thirty years.

In that time he has worked as a director, producer, DOP, editor and writer on features, short dramas, documentaries, and established a reputation as one of Australia's most innovative cinematographers through his work on features such as Wrong World, The Prisoner of St Petersberg and most recently Look Both Ways.

Ray's first feature, Return Home, received the 1990 AFI Award for best director, and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Best Director and Best Film; and screened at Berlin, Edinburgh, Seattle and a retrospective in Cannes. He was a set-up director for the award winning ABC drama series SeaChange and MDA; and produced numerous music videos for Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Crowded House, and Hoodoo Gurus among others.

To keep body and soul alive, Ray plays ice hockey with a local Sydney team, and referees for IHNSW in junior and senior competitions.

Geoff Burton, ACS

Geoff Burton began his career in cinematography at ABC-TV in Sydney in 1963 with a strong interest in documentary film production.  By the early seventies, after a short period freelancing in Europe, he joined in the renaissance of the Australian feature film industry by photographing his first feature film, Sunday too Far Away, and has worked as cinematographer, director, writer or producer on around fifty feature films since then.

Whilst remaining a strong advocate for the maintenance of a national Australian cinema, Burton has worked extensively overseas, particularly in South East Asia, his preferred part of the world.  The production company that Burton set up with his partner Sharon Bell in 1975 continues to develop and produce documentary films in Asia and Australia.

Currently Burton claims to lead the ideal existence by living in Darwin during the Dry, whilst working on his film projects, and spending the Wet on the family vineyard near Canberra where he continues to pursue the perfect Shiraz for the Gundog Estate label.

Warren Coleman, AWG

Warren was a Co-Director and Co-Writer on George Miller’s Academy Award-winning animated feature Happy Feet. He went on to co-write its sequel Happy Feet 2 and was creative consultant on the animated feature Legends of the Guardians.

He is co-writing a film adaptation of Linda Jaivin’s novel The Infernal Optimist with Steve Abbott, as well the features Birdbrain and The Day we lost the H-Bomb.

Donald Crombie, ADG

Donald Crombie is an Australian film and television director.

He was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School and studied at National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Crombie started work at the Commonwealth Film Unit in 1963. He has directed feature films, telemovies, mini-series, drama series, documentaries and commercials, and has also written film and television scripts. Crombie has been a board member of the AWG, ASDACS and ASDA and the President of ASDA for over 5 years.

Dr. Mitzi Goldman, DAF

Mitzi has thirty years experience as documentary director, writer, editor and producer. Her award winning films have been screened around the world. She produced End of the Rainbow which premiered at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, and Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, and directed A Common Purpose, which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival. Mitzi was formerly Co-Head of Documentary at Australian Film Television & Radio School and Chair of the Australian International Documentary Conference. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies.

David Redman, SPA

David Redman is the founder of Redman Entertainments and its subsidiary Instinct Entertainment and his producer credits at Instinct include the animated mockumentary, Little Johnny the Movie, the Paramount distributed Charlie & Boots, Salute and Till Human Voices Wake Us and the highest grossing Australian movie of 2004 Strange Bedfellows which was distributed by Universal in the US.  Prior to this he worked in the UK on productions including Before The Rain, a UK, French, Macedonian Co-Production which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1994 and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995 and The Young Poisoner’s Handbook, a UK, German Co-Production awarded the Critics’ Prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival.  Before moving into production David ran the Jeremy Thomas / Chris Blackwell owned UK distribution company, Recorded Releasing.   He is currently producing two features films, one being distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures and the other exploring new distribution models.  He is also developing a range of Film, TV and Multi-platform projects with an emphasis on international co-productions.  He sits on the council of Screen Producers Australia, is mentoring emerging producers via their Ones to Watch program, is lecturing the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media at Open Channel and recently produced their Conference on Online Video supported by YouTube.

Yantra de Vilder, AGSC

Yantra de Vilder is an international award winning composer exploring the intersection between classical and contemporary music, inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural arts practices.  Her trademark is weaving visuals and music together creating dynamic multi-media performances. Along with her numerous film credits, Yantra has worked on a range of projects for the BBC in London, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Burma.

Her recent sell out concert series with virtuoso classical pianist David Helfgott are a unique collaboration based in the meeting of two distinct paradigms –classical and contemporary, in an improvisatory format.

At present Yantra is the recipient of a scholarship for a Doctorate in Creative Arts with the University of Western Sydney, and has recently returned from a research trip to Paris and New York, where she has been exploring cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary collaborative and improvised performances.

“Improvisation encapsulates the essence of what I search for in my musical compositions – a place where the listener can be taken on a journey to uncover the ’artistic moment.’ The search for the artistic moment is the subject of my doctorate research, whereby I strive to uncover the essential timeless and transcendent qualities that are possible through the experience of music and other creative arts practices”.

Diaan Wajon, APDG

Diaan Wajon gained her Design degree at Sydney College of the Arts and initially worked as an Interior Designer. In 1981, a unique opportunity to study the inaugural Set Design course at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), launched a career in design for film and television spanning over 20 years. Industry credits as Art Director include international feature films Birthday Girl and Fortress. Australian feature film credits include on Me, Myself I and Lilian’s Story. Television credits include A Place To Called Home, All Saints, Ihaka and Big Sky series.

In 2000, employed as Design Lecturer at AFTRS, her passion for visual storytelling and screen design evolved into the role of Screen Design Educator, enabling her to pass on her film and television industry knowledge to the next generation of filmmakers across all disciplines.

Diaan continues to share her expertise with graduate students past, present and future, as a mentor and a careers advisor.

In 2010, Diaan worked as a Online Education Teacher and Course Writer with the Think Education Group.

As Education Manager, Diaan represented the APDG at forums conducted by IBSA and has contributed to the 2105 review of Government Training Packages for Screen and Media and Live Production Design courses.

Diaan is currently teaching Screen and Event design at TAFE Enmore Design Centre.

Stephen Wallace, ADG

Stephen Wallace is an Australian director and writer, known for Prisoners of the Sun (1990), For Love Alone (1986) and Stir (1980).

He was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to the Australian film and television industry as a director and to the Australian Screen Directors' Association.

Ben Ferris (SFS)

Ben Ferris is one of the founders of Sydney Film School, where he is currently the Artistic Director and a writing / directing teacher of the Advanced Diploma Thesis program. Ferris, a film writer/director, has screened films and won numerous awards in Paris, New York, Croatia, Italy, Tokyo, Singapore and Amsterdam, as well as having theatrical releases of his works in Tokyo, Croatia, and Australia. Ben’s first feature film “Penelope”, an Australia-Croatia co-production, had a worldwide release in 2011 to critical acclaim. He is currently in production on his second feature film as writer/director, “57 Lawson”, and in development on the feature film “The Rites of Autumn”. Ben is a researcher with the Australasian Classical Reception Studies Network, and is undertaking a part-time PhD by Research at the University of Sydney in the field of Classical Reception, exploring the figure of Orpheus in the films of French Poet-Cineaste Jean Cocteau. 

Ben has been the Artistic Director of the Sydney Film School since its inception in 2004. He enjoys pushing the medium right to the edge of the frame.