Management Team


Natasha Gadd is the current CEO/Creative Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference with a passion for documentary and factual storytelling spanning two decades. She was most recently AIDC’s Partnerships and Industry Development Manager, where she oversaw the industry development  program that unlocked over 1.4 million in project and professional development funding for AIDC delegates across a 3-year period. In 2005, she co-founded Daybreak Films, a Melbourne based production company committed to creating independent and engaging screen content. Natasha’s debut feature documentary, Words From the City was nominated for five AFI Awards and her follow up feature, Murundak: Songs of Freedom, received the Grand Prix – FIFO, Best Documentary – Valladolid International Film Festival, and the United Nations Association of Australia Media Peace Award. She has also made a number of short documentaries for SBS, ABC and Foxtel, including Anatomy: Muscle, for which she received an Australian Directors Guild Best Director award. Natasha has held leadership positions across a number of leading Australian screen organisations including Cinema Programs and Public Programs Manager at the Australian Center for the Moving Image, Festival Director of the REAL: Life on Film festival and board member of the National Film and Sound Archive. 

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Alex has worked in Program, Event, Marketing and General Manager roles with Open Channel Melbourne International Film Festival, Twentieth Century Fox, Cinema Nova, Lumiere Cinemas, and most recently, Palace Cinemas. He is the founder of Melbourne Filmoteca: Spanish, Latin American & Portuguese Film Group; as well as the Melbourne Latin American Film Festival (2004-2007).

At Open Channel he developed a suite of professional and project development programs for emerging screen practitioners including the inaugural Generation Next Documentary Conference, regular discussion panels and networking sessions; and production initiatives delivered in collaboration with Screen Australia, Film Victoria, local government, philanthropic and other partners.

A Canberra native, Alex completed a Bachelor of Arts (Art History & Curatorship) at the Australian National University, before moving to Melbourne and completing Honours in Cinema Studies at La Trobe University.

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Lauren Valmadre

Lauren is an avid non-fiction fan and film industry professional with extensive experience across programming, international sales and distribution both within Australia and overseas. Beginning her career in film festival programming, Lauren most notably held the role of Program Director at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, as well as programming for the Shadow Electric Outdoor Cinema and running her own film residency at state-of-the-art performance space, Howler. She then moved to Copenhagen, Denmark for three years to work with International Sales Agent LevelK as their Sales & Acquisitions Manager, handling both world sales for their slate and specialising in documentary acquisitions. During her time in the Nordics, Lauren was a tutor for the prestigious international documentary program Dok.incubator, selected as part of the ‘Rising Stars of Nordic Sales and Distributors’ for the 2020 Helsinki International Film Festival and was a member of the Danish Film Academy. Upon her return to Australia, Lauren worked in distribution for Umbrella Entertainment, handling both the monthly digital releases and world sales of classic Australian cinema. Lauren was the former Conference Programmer of AIDC in 2022 and is thrilled to be continuing her work supporting the development of dynamic Australian non-fiction stories and bringing them to global audiences in her role as Industry Manager.

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Joany began her career in the dance music working across nightclubs, dance parties and KISS FM radio in Melbourne. She moved into television production in London working on dance culture TV following DJs around the world and fitted in a stint at Cartoon Network. Returning to Melbourne, she started at Lonely Planet Television as production manager and ultimately Head of Production on travel series and shortform content for Discovery, National Geographic and corporate partners. One of the original founders of Chemical Media, Joany went on to Line Produce and Production Manage for some of Victoria’s strongest TV and feature documentary producers – Renegade Films (Aftermath, People’s Republic of Mallacoota), Genepool Productions (Carbon) and General Strike/Matchbox Pictures (Freeman and The Giants). She joins the AIDC 2023 team straight off delivering Who The Bloody Hell Are We? to SBS for Chemical Media.

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Chris Harms
Marketing & Communications Manager

Chris is a media, communications and marketing professional with extensive experience in the media, arts and not-for-profit sectors. As Marketing & Communications Manager for AIDC, he is responsible for brand management, audience development, market positioning, communications strategy and APAC region engagement. He has also worked as Industry Programmer and CrossCurrents International Fund assessor for the Hot Docs Industry conference in Toronto, Canada, and has research interests in documentary marketplace and pitching forum dynamics. His prior experience includes three years as Marketing Manager for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, a tenure that included the event’s most successful staging in 30 years in 2014, teaching in arts and creative management for the University of Melbourne, editing a weekly music, arts, and film magazine, and freelancing in music and entertainment marketing. He studied screen production and writing at Griffith University and QUT – resulting in a short documentary about the auto towing industry and a Channel [V] Clip of the Week music video – and holds a Master of Global Media Communication degree from the University of Melbourne.

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Originally from Perth, Sam moved to Melbourne in 2014 and found herself drawn to creative organisations, festivals and communities. For the past six years she has been working in design studios in management roles, using her finance and organisational skills to oversee projects and people. Sam moved to London in 2018 and spent the last couple of years working with a studio that placed art and design schemes into hospitals around London. Since returning to Melbourne she has been focused on finding a creative organisation that she feels is again making a positive impact both culturally and socially and is very happy to have found a home with the AIDC team.

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2024 Event Staff

Alice McShane

Alice McShane is a seasoned film programmer and arts professional. She came to AIDC from Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, where she served as Program Manager from 2019 until 2022. She has worked with screen organisations across Australia including SXSW Sydney, MIFF, ACMI, and is a board member of the Melbourne Women in Film Festival – a culmination of her efforts and dedication to the festival sector. Alice has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Screen Studies from the University of Melbourne. She is a passionate advocate for the power of nonfiction storytelling and ethical filmmaking, and is thrilled to be returning to the AIDC team as 2024 Conference Programmer. She is excited to be collaborating with industry leaders to champion the sector, celebrate craft, and pay tribute to the change-making power of storytelling.

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Laurrie Mansfield
First Nations Producer

Developer, facilitator and producer for the screen arts, Laurrie Mansfield (née Brannigan-Onato) returns for a second year as First Nations Producer at AIDC 2024. Laurrie is a proud Aboriginal-Filipino-Irish and Bi+ / Gender Queer individual who has worked with leading organisations both locally and globally, including Screen Australia (First Nations, Enterprise, Content, Online), Netflix (Production and ANZ Grow Creative), Australians in Film (AiF), Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), Arts Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.), Screen NSW, Curious Works, Screenworks and Sydney Film Festival. Presently, Laurrie splits their time between producing at GARUWA, the 100% Aboriginal-owned, multidisciplinary creative agency, and freelancing as an assessor, developer, facilitator, programmer, and emerging writer.

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Melanie began her career at Mushroom Records before setting up Australia’s premier electronic music touring and events agency Agent MAD which she creatively directed for 10 years before moving to Paris to undertake the role of head of business development for an online streaming service. Since returning from Paris, Melanie has focused on program and event management across music and fashion festivals and screen sector conferences and awards events including Stereosonic, The Australian Music Prize, So Frenchy So Chic in The Park, AIDC, The ADG Awards, M/FW, MIFF and Frame Documentary.

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Jahlia Solomon
Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Upon returning to Australia from Berlin in 2020, Jahlia has worked across the film, fashion, and publishing landscape at RUSSH magazine, The Leadership documentary, and Long Story Short Agency in design and communications. Hailing from Byron Bay, she moved to Sydney to study Communications (Creative Writing) at The University of Technology, Sydney in 2015. She was then drawn to Berlin, Germany to pursue a Design degree and found herself working in the fast-paced startup landscape while freelancing in (and soaking up) the vibrant music scene on the side. Having moved to Melbourne at the start of the year, she is excited to be working with AIDC to platform innovative nonfiction storytelling.

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Board of Directors


Kate Pappas is an executive producer at WildBear Entertainment, co-chair of AIDC and treasurer on the Management Committee for Sustainable Screens Australia. She has built a successful career producing close to 60 hours of internationally recognised science, wildlife and history documentaries. She cut her teeth in London in the wonderful world of kids’ science and has since worked across a diverse and award-winning documentary slate. Recent credits include factual series’ Wildlifers! (ABC Kids); Stuff the British Stole (ABC/CBC); A Dog’s World with Tony Armstrong (ABC); and the feature documentaries Playing With Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story (Disney+/NatGeo); Carbon: An Unauthorised Biography (ABC/CBC); Westwind: Djalu’s Legacy (NiTV/MIFF) and animated short Love Letters To Our Trees. Kate is a passionate advocate for a planet-first approach to making content.

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Paul Wiegard co-founded Madman Entertainment, a leading independent distribution and rights management company for film and television with offices in Melbourne, Auckland & Berlin, in 1996. Madman operates an integrated business structure established on four key commercial pillars: Theatrical Distribution, Physical Media (DVD & Blu Ray), Digital and Ancillary sales. It has 80-plus staff and a turnover of $45 million per annum. Among his many achievements, Paul has executive produced 20+ feature and documentary films. Additionally he is responsible for establishing DocPlay, a dedicated documentary streaming VoD platform.

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Marco Angele

Marco is a Principal at Marshalls + Dent + Wilmoth lawyers, specialising in commercial, media and entertainment law. His expertise includes commercial contracting and procurement, transactions, fundraising and intellectual property. Marco advises clients predominantly from the technology, media and entertainment industries. Recently, he has acted for leading television and film production companies, media content distributors, festivals and hospitality venues.

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Producer of the 2017 Academy Award-nominated Tanna, Carolyn has worked as EP, line producer and producer on many acclaimed documentaries and dramas, including The Last Goldfish, which premiered in the documentary competition at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival, and A Sense of Self, A Law Unto Himself, Madhattan, Stumbling in Hillary’s Footsteps, First Footprints, Are You My Mother, Son of a Lion and many others. Carolyn trained in producing at AFTRS. Prior to joining the film and TV industry, she had a business career including five years in finance with Macquarie Bank. She is based in Adelaide and has a slate of new documentary projects in development.

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Andrew is an award-winning Creative Producer with 15+ years’ experience in film and television production. Andrew recently returned to producing after working as Investment / Development Manager, Documentary at Screen Australia. Previously, Andrew worked for broadcasters and production companies including SBS Television, BBC, Channel 4, PolyGram Films, Nickelodeon, Foxtel, Endemol and Essential Media & Entertainment where he gained invaluable experience in development, production, marketing and distribution. As a Producer of both drama and documentary he has experience in managing and guiding projects and creative teams from development to delivery and marketing.

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Bernadine Lim

Bernadine Lim is the Senior Commissioning Editor of Factual at SBS Australia, and was the former Head of Documentary at Screen Australia and Executive Producer of the award-winning SBS Dateline. Bernadine has over 20 years’ experience directing and producing a range of unscripted content in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Her previous projects cross science, history, factual entertainment, observational documentary, journalism, reality shows, live studio, and long format current affairs.  She has several awards including Gold and Silver from the New York Festivals and an Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts award for Best Direction in a Documentary. Bernadine also spent five years as Executive Producer of SBS Dateline commissioning over 100 films which received multiple awards including a Walkley and BAFTA.

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Kelrick Martin

Kelrick is a Ngarluma man from Broome WA, and in 1998 was the inaugural presenter of ABC TV’s Message Stick. In 2002 he completed his Masters in Documentary Writing and Directing at AFTRS, and in 2007 returned to WA to become NITV’s Commissioning Editor. He formed Spear Point Productions in 2010 – credits include the multiple 2015 AACTA Award nominee Prison Songs. Kelrick was also the Indigenous Manager for Screenwest before joining the ABC as Head of Indigenous in 2016. His commissions at ABC include Black Comedy, Maralinga Tjarutja, and popular award-winning drama Total Control.

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Hollie is currently the Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society and Director of the arts not-for-profit Schoolhouse Studios in Melbourne.

As a documentary filmmaker, Hollie’s films have screened at festivals and broadcasted within Australia and internationally. The Opposition is Hollie’s debut feature documentary produced by Media Stockade that world premiered at Hot Docs and IDFA in 2016 before winning the Grand Prize at FIFO, screening at the UN Human Rights Council, winning Best Documentary Feature at the Oz Flix Independent Film Awards and screening in over 35 countries. Hollie’s latest short film Unbalanced recently premiered on Australian newspapers The Age/Sydney Morning Herald’s Vox Dox series.

Hollie on the Board of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) and the Castlemaine Documentary Festival (CDoc). In her previous work she has been a freelance tutor in Documentary Directing at NIDA and AFTRS, Co-Director of The Artists Guild, selected for MECCA Shark Island M-Power Program and Doc Society’s Global Impact Producers Squad.

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Paul Williams

Paul Damien Williams is the Documentary Executive at Screenwest, the screen industry agency for Western Australia, where he oversees development and production of a slate of great diversity including titles Aussie Gold Hunters Hunters (DISCOVERY), the Every Family Has a Secret series (SBS) and Ningaloo (ABC). He is also responsible for initiatives for the emerging sector. As a filmmaker Williams wrote and directed the critically acclaimed feature-length documentary Gurrumul about the blind, Indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. Gurrumul won the Asia Pacific Screen Academy Best Feature Documentary, the AACTA Best Feature Documentary, and the 2018 Australian Directors Guild Best Direction in a Feature Documentary, among many other festival, guild and critical awards. With over 20 years in the industry, Williams brings his experience as an editor, writer, director and producer to the AIDC Board.

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Josie is a creative non-scripted specialist who has worked across documentary, factual and entertainment in both commissioning and production roles.  Josie is currently the Head of Unscripted at Fremantle Media Australia and has previously held the roles of Head of Unscripted at the ABC and Head of Production and Development for Foxtel. Josie has commissioned and editorially overseen a diverse slate of many award winning and successful productions including, the International Emmy Award-winning Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds, multi-award-winning Love on the Spectrum, Walkley award-winning Revelation as well as Fight for Planet A, Logie-award winning War on Waste, Shaun Micallef’s On The Sauce, Miriam Margoyles Almost Australian, Australia’s Ocean Odyssey, Back in Time for Dinner, the Spicks and Specks Reunion Specials, Home Alone Together, Reputation Rehab, Love it or List it, The Good Cop, Sam Neill’s The Pacific,  Archibald 100 with Rachel Griffiths and Back to Nature with Aaron Pedersen and Holly Ringland.

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Douglas has been actively working in the film and television industry for over 25 years, including series producing and directing multiple series for ABC, SBS and NITV. Douglas is passionate about bringing First Nation stories to the forefront and has worked tirelessly to connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners to make this a reality. He established the film and video production unit Double Wire Productions in 2000, and has produced and written dramas that have screened at film festivals around the world. His award-winning feature documentary Ella, featuring Ballet Dancer Ella Havelka as the first Indigenous dancer to make the Australian Ballet Company, premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2016 and has screened nationally and internationally. His VR experience A Thin Black Line featured in the 2018 Adelaide Biennial and was also showcased at AIDC 2018. Douglas’ latest feature documentary Alick and Albert is an intriguing film following the friendship of acclaimed artist Alick Tipoti and (H.S.H) Prince Albert II of Monaco. The documentary gives a profound look at the power of art to connect individuals, forge friendships and initiate change. Douglas was the Content Director for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program at Screen Queensland between 2017 and 2021, project managing feature films and award winning television / streaming series in both factual and scripted drama, with a focus on escalating new Black talent. Douglas Watkin continues to strive bringing our Mob’s stories and voices to heard both nationally and on the world stage.

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