Festival Team

Festival Directors:

Dr. Dean Bertram

Dean is a freelance writer and filmmaker who recently completed principal photography on his feature film debut Sick Day (co-directed with his brother Grant). The film explores the darker side of human eros as it follows a young woman's psychological descent through abuse and sexual obsession into sickening revenge.

He has been a fan of the horror genre since he first watched John Carpenter's Halloween at the age of 10. From that time on, Dean's avid consumption of cinematic horror, lead, perhaps inevitably, to him founding Sydney's A Night of Horror International Film Festival. Dean has a PhD in cultural history from the University of Sydney.

Lisa Mitchell

A graduate of The Actors College of Theatre & Television, Lisa is a Sydney based actress and filmmaker, who is also active in the city's vibrant live theatre scene. Lisa has written, produced and starred in several short films, including Annie Get Your Whale Boy and the horror film Foresta Rossa.

Webmaster/Associate Programmer/Resident Geek:

Grant Bertram

At the age of 7, Grant got his hands on a Super 8 camera and started filming. Throughout the rest of his childhood and teens he didn't stop. About the same time he acquired his first camera, Grant also gained access to an extensive collection of horror videos including such greats as Halloween, Phantasm, Basket Case and Dawn of the Dead. Childhood nightmares and desensitisation aside, exposure to such films would ultimately dictate the type of cinema that he continues to love - bloody and terrifying. He recently co-directed the feature film Sick Day with his brother Dean.

Technical Coordinator:

Shane K

Shane K has been involved with the film and TV industry since 1994. Best known for his TV series Shane K's warZone, he abandoned TV in 1996 to focus on films. He has directed three different TV series, many short films, music videos, and TV commercials. In addition he has written and edited a multiple award winning feature film ZTS State of Entropy. His most recent feature film credit is as editor on "Australian Pie" which is about to be released to DVD in the U.S. Unwilling to compromise his art, and subversive as hell, Shane K still finds time to direct disturbing short horror films which find their way to audiences at festivals all over the world. Currently he is developing two horror-themed feature films.

Programming Consultant:

Jack Sargeant

Described by The Wire magazine as mixing the "critical apparatus of Foucault's Language Counter-Memory Practice with the sensibilities of a Tod Browning movie" Jack Sargeant is a writer, lecturer, and artist who is fascinated by the limits of human behaviour, and the aesthetic, political, sexual, and philosophical challenges to these limits. An author and editor of several books (including Deathtripping: The Cinema of Transgression, Naked Lens: Beat Cinema, Born Bad, Death Cults, and Bad Cop Bad Cop) and an acknowledged expert in underground film and culture, his work has been described as "dangerously inspirational". Jack is a regular on the lecture circuit, and frequent guest / curator at venues and festivals in New York, Chicago, Melbourne, Sydney, London, Berlin, Brussels, and all points in-between.

Special Guest Programmers:

Jaimie and Aspasia Leonarder

Jay Katz (aka Jaimie Leonarder) has been involved in underground artistic ventures for well over twenty-five years. He and his wife Aspasia (aka Miss Death) are the subject of the Pagan/SBS independent film Love & Anarchy. They are both devotees of independent cinema and run a screening venue in their own home - the Mu-Meson Archives - and operate Cult Sinema Monday once a week at the Annandale Hotel. With programming ranging from cult B movies through obscure UFO documentaries, their repertory cinema screenings (on 16mm film) are legendary amongst underground cinephiles. The duo also DJ "The Sounds of Seduction", a rare groove night covering an eclectic range of music, from easy listening exotica to cutting edge soul funk, accompanied by 16mm film projections and caged go-go dancers. Along with Coffin Eddie, Jay Katz and Miss Death co-host "The Naked City" (every Saturday between 10am and midday on FBi radio 94.5FM), which now streams on the net for the whole world to enjoy!

Technical Consultant:

Dalibor Backovic

Front manning the notorious underground heavy metal band Nazxul, Dalibor Backvic moved into producing heavy metal and industrial music videos for the likes of Wumpscut, Nazxul and The Amenta. Dalibor has since pursued his quest to release the forces of darkness with his mysterious, sombre, and macabre filmmaking. He made his directorial debut in 2003 with the short film Entombed, which, along with his 2nd short The Ancient Rite of Corey McGillis, was praised by horror fans and critics throughout the international horror/fantasy film festival circuit. His influences hail from the classic literature of H.P Lovecraft through the cinematic works of Fulci, Romero, Argento, Carpenter, to today's new blood of the horror hallmark.

Dalibor has also influenced fellow filmmakers and artists. In the highest rating episode from the Masters of Horror series - John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns - two key characters were named after Dalibor, one (played by Douglas H. Arthurs) named "Dalibor" and the other (played by Christian Bocher) named "Backovic". The basis of the screenplay originated whilst Dalibor and fellow friends and writers Scott Swan and Drew McWeeney of Ain't It Cool.com were at Fantasia Film Festival in 2003.

Judges (from previous years include):

Antony I. Ginnane (SPAA President, IFM World Releasing)

Jon Dalgaard (LIONSGATE)

Jason Di Rosso (Movietime, ABC Radio National)

Chris Ruhle (Journalist, Fbi Radio The Naked City)

Stuart Rowsell (Blood Hound FX)

Martin Vine (Editor People magazine, author)

Lewis Alsamari (Actor: United 93, Green Zone)

Festival Judges 2008

2008 Festival judges (left to right): Dalibor Backovic, Chris Ruhle, Jaimie Leonarder, and Martin Vine.
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