Veterans Film Festival (VFF) presents an annual festival focusing on recent work by veterans or films made with veterans’ themes. The festival program also includes workshops, exhibitions and special events. The festival has recently moved to Sydney, NSW and is an important platform for promoting artists and media makers from Australia and around the world.
Within our festival program, VFF also presents mainstream films, gala premieres, retrospectives, and themed screenings, as well as crowd-pleasing events including workshops, discussions, exhibitions, and provides opportunities to meet with veterans, filmmakers and content creators via Q&As, panels, and more.
All films submitted in the official competition will be eligible to compete for the coveted Red Poppy Awards, inspired by the poem ‘In Flanders Field’.
Past Festival Highlights
- The VFF went virtual and presented the first online festival due to the pandemic.
- U311 Cherkasy, from the Ukraine, directed by Tymur Yashchenko wins the Red Poppy Award for Best Feature Film.
- Trust Frank, from Australia, directed by Penny Moore, wins the Red Poppy Award for Best Short Film.
- Award-winning director Kriv Stenders and VFF Chair Warwick Young are in conversation online.
- Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan, from Australia, directed by Kriv Stenders, wins the Red Poppy Award presented by Westpac, for Best Feature Film.
- Writer/Director Brenda Strong’s short film #3 Normandy Lane wins the Red Poppy Award presented by Westpac for the Best Short Film.
- Four Australian premieres
- Transmilitary won the Red Poppy Award for Best Feature Film
- 53% of films selected to screen had a female filmmaker in a leading role (Producer, Director, Writer Cinematographer, Editor or Lead Actor)
- Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman, won the Red Poppy Award for Best Feature Film
- 57% of films selected to screen had a female filmmaker in a leading role (Producer, Director, Writer Cinematographer, Editor or Lead Actor).
- Female filmmakers won 67% of all the awards at our Red Poppy Awards Ceremony.
Veterans Film Festival is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status and a board of directors working alongside the festival team.
2022 Board Members
Warwick Young OAM
A veteran himself, Warwick is an award-winning filmmaker who continues to serve as a part-time officer in the Australian Army, and was appointed by the Governor General to the Veterans’ Review Board in 2008.
In 2013 Warwick completed his Masters in Directing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). In 2014 he was then enlisted to assist the ADF in the design and delivery of the Australian Defence Force Theatre Project, a joint venture between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Sydney Theatre Company. Then, in 2015 he was instrumental in the design and delivery of the ADF ARRTS program, an arts therapy program for injured and ill members of the ADF, using drama, music, visual arts, and creative writing as mediums for recovery.
Mr Boylson is an experienced commodity trader and resource project manager with over 25 years’ experience. He commenced his career in the international trade and commodity markets after time in the Australian Army. He has worked for Brickworks Limited in various managerial positions, run the trade desk for Sinosteel Australia PL, and was the WA and Bulk Commodity General Manager for Tennant Metals. He has been responsible for several high profile off-take transactions and been involved in the start-up of several mining and recovery projects in Australia, the USA and Asia.
Mr Boylson co-founded and is currently a Director of ResCap Investments PL and Enfilade Defilade Capital. He was an Executive Director of Riversgold from Aug 2019 to Aug 2020 and Director of Manuka Resources from Jan 2019 to Mar 2020. He is presently a Director of Mt Boppy Resources Pty Ltd, Davidson Gold Pty Ltd, Stockton Mining Pty Ltd and is the Non-Executive Chairman of Mamba Exploration Limited and Winsome Resource Limited.
Alison chairs the ACT Veterans’ Advisory Council, the Board of Governors for The Road Home and The Hospital Research Foundation ICT and Cyber Security Committee. She is a Non-executive Director of The Hospital Research Foundation, an ACT Defence Ambassador and member of the ACT Defence Industry Advisory Board, a member of the AustCyber Canberra Node Industry Advisory Group and Strategic Adviser for the University of NSW Defence Research Institute. Brigadier Creagh is the Representative Colonel Commandant for the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. Brigadier Creagh retired from the Australian Regular Army in March 2015 after a 30-year career and continues to serve in the Army Reserve. She served on operations in Cambodia East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Glen is the Founder and Director of Australia’s Leading Recruitment Agency for veterans, Ironside Resources, and is himself a veteran of the Afghanistan War. Glen was honored as Australia’s Most Outstanding Contributor to Veteran Employment by the then-Prime Minister The Hon Malcolm Turnbull. He has a deep connection with current and former serving Defence Force personnel. Glen is a Board Member of the Victorian RSL State Executive and is well regarded across business, defence and government networks.
Jonathan is an experienced barrister whose main area of practice at the NSW Bar is Public and Administrative Law. He is retained by various government agencies and statutory bodies including the AFP, ASIC, the Australian Commissioner for Law Enforcement Integrity, NSW Coal Services and the ABC. He has considerable experience in royal commissions, commissions of inquiry and coronial inquests.
In 2017 Jonathan was appointed as a military judge by the Chief of the Defence Force. He is the president of the RSL NSW Discipline and Conduct Tribunal and a current serving ADF member at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is also a former member of the Veterans Review Board. In 2006 Jonathan served in Iraq on Operation Catalyst.
Tash Moore is KPMG Australia’s Partner in Charge of Transformational Program Management and works with a team of 150 program professionals to drive societal outcomes through Transformation. Her vision is to drive this through five foundational elements focussed on People, Growth, Brand, Professionalism and Transformation. Tash supports KPMG’s Defence, National Security and Justice practice, engaging with Policing, the National Intelligence Community, Corrections, Justice, Emergency Response, Federal Government and Department of Defence clients to transform their operating and business models and to prioritise and optimise their portfolios.
Dr Marty Murphy
Dr Marty Murphy is Program Convenor of the Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and is Staff Member of AFTRS Council. He has directed film and television, written for radio drama and is a comedy narrative specialist with a PhD from the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University.
Appointed in late 2021, Annie’s background across film festival management, programming and direction complements her former career in social work and community education and training. She brings a wealth of experience to the role, drawing from positions held with Flickerfest, Tropfest, Antenna Documentary Film Festival, the National Film and Sound Archive, Dungog Festival, and with production companies making content such as Water Rats, Pulse, The Circuit S1, Wolverine and many others.
Tom has over 21 years’ experience in creative design, project management, stakeholder engagement in arts and media organisations, and was Festival Director from 2016-2020.
His expertise in various aspects of festival management include the development and implementation of strategic plan to operations and risk management systems, administration, programming, graphic designing, marketing, event and media management and everything from formatting files and editing to writing print and online articles.
Tom’s time as festival director is filled with highlights, introducing many screen and digital media initiatives that engaged thousands of people, from short film competitions to global film challenges that raise awareness, provoke and inspire social change with key stakeholders. He combines film programming with other art forms and introduced numerous special focus strands from new media screenings to educational programs.