About Us

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’.

 

veterans film festival event

Governor General Patronage

The Governor General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC, DSC (Ret’d) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley have graciously agreed to be patrons of the Veterans Film Festival. 

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.

Mrs Hurley had a career in education, in both the public and private school systems, until her retirement from full-time teaching in July 2011. Mrs Hurley has an interest in the arts, especially music. She is passionate about singing, and showing how singing, especially in a group, can have a positive impact on individuals and the community.

Warwick Young, OAM, Executive Chair of the Veterans Film Festival:
“I am delighted to announce that His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley have accepted the role of being the joint patrons of the Veterans Film Festival. The festival is a platform for  films from every corner of the globe. Vice-Regal patronage will increase the profile of films made by veterans and films that deal with the issues that affect veterans, their families and the wider community.”

For more information visithttps://www.gg.gov.au/about-governor-general/patronages

Past Festival Highlights

2020

  • 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.

2019

  • 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.

2018

  • 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)

2017

  • 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).

2016

  • Female filmmakers won 67% of all the awards at our Red Poppy Awards Ceremony.

The Team

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

Warwick Young OAM

Executive Chair

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.

Justin Boylson

Justin Boylson

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 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 formerly an Executive Director of Riversgold and Director of Manuka Resources and 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 Creagh AM CSC

Alison Creagh AM CSC

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 Ferrarotto

Glen Ferrarotto

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 Hyde

Jonathan Hyde

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.

Natasha Moore

Natasha Moore

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

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.

Annie Parnell

Annie Parnell

Festival Director and Company Secretary

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.

Brooke Sporer

Brooke Sporer

Board Director

Brooke is the Assistant Director of Transition Enabling Support with Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) Branch. Her role covers three teams including Transition National Support, the Reserve Transition Centre and ADF Member and Family Transition Seminars.

A military spouse with a diverse career across Defence, the private sector and the arts Brooke strongly believes looking after people is the greatest asset to capability. The most rewarding part of her work is supporting ADF Members and their families through the delivery of Transition Coaching and Support programs that assist in transition back to civilian life following service to our country.

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