Go behind-the-scenes and find out more about the judges of the 2021 SCINEMA International Science Film Festival and the co-founders of SCINEMA.

Meet the 2021 SCINEMA Judges

Alan Duffy

Alan Duffy

Swinburne University of Technology astrophysicist and Lead Scientist of the Royal Institution of Australia, Associate Professor Duffy’s research involves creating model universes on supercomputers to understand how galaxies form and grow within vast halos of invisible dark matter. He is also Program Leader of SpaceTech Applications at Swinburne’s Data Science Research Institute bringing together astrophysics and space industries to create new opportunities for Australia in space. When not exploring simulated universes, you can find him explaining science in this one on ABC Breakfast TV, Ten’s The Project and ABC Radio.

Kirsten Banks

Kirsten Banks is a Wiradjuri astrophysicist who loves to share her passion for space and astronomy in fun and creative ways. You may have seen a few of her quirky space TikTok videos. As a PhD candidate at UNSW, she studies in the fields of galactic archaeology and asteroseismology as she uncovers information about the history and formation of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Caitlin Vass

South Australian student Caitlin Vass won the inaugural SCINEMA Junior award category with her short film Animal Therapy in 2020. The film explored how animals affect mental health in humans. Its use of hand drawn animations and voiceover helped convey her message in a clever way. She believes using video is a fun way to experiment with storytelling. Since winning SCINEMA Junior, Caitlin has continued to advocate for things she believes in. Last year she went onto enter the work into the Oliphant Science Awards and received the year 7/8 encouragement award in Multimedia. She was also invited by her school as a Year 7 student to present to the Year 6 cohort about her journey of research, creating a film and an accompany art piece (a painting) – including her SCINEMA experience. More importantly, the film has raised awareness and discussions of how animals can help people.

Casey Harrigan

Casey is a filmmaker with more than a decade of experience in concept development and production. She has previously worked for Network 10 and the Nine Network producing documentary, children’s, and science television, as well as for Australia’s Science Channel as a content creator, video producer, and contributing editor. She is currently the Production Manager for The Social Deck (www.thesocialdeck.com.au) where she specialises in visual communication of complex topics, and she continues to freelance through her business Tame Fox Productions for broadcasters and production companies on television and film projects. Casey lives and works on the Sunshine Coast and when she’s not behind the camera or in an edit suite, she loves swimming, paddle-boarding, and hiking.

Lee Constable

Lee Constable (@Constababble) is a TV and online presenter and live-streamer with a focus on STEM. She hosted the Australian Science TV show Scope and appeared on Totally Wild, Toasted TV and Studio10. In 2019, Lee published her first book, How to Save the Whole Stinkin’ Planet, and in 2018 was part of the largest all-female expedition to Antarctica. As the founder of Co-Lab: Science Meets Street Art, Lee brings together street artists and scientists to create live science-inspired street art for the public. Her past gigs include Questacon Science Circus in remote Australia, founding, producing and hosting youth social justice and sustainability radio show/podcast, SoapBox, and giving night-time nature tours as an Education Ranger. 

Meet the SCINEMA Founders

Damian Harris

Damian is a Founding Director of SCINEMA International Film Festival launching the inaugural event in Canberra in 2000. He has worked to install a passion for science across his career, working in science education with Questacon and later with CSIRO in Far North Queensland. Within CSIRO, Damian worked at the Queensland Centre for Advanced Technology communicating their exciting research to industry and government partners. Damian is now the Sciences Marketing and Engagement Manager for Griffith University on the Gold Coast.

Cris Kennedy

Cris Kennedy

As a cultural critic, writer and long-time innovator of community arts and community engagement projects, Cris Kennedy has built a large network and experience in communication for science and the arts. Along with Damian Harris, Cris worked as the Co-Director of SCINEMA, growing the Festival to 400 locations annually across Australia and smaller international appearances in England, New Zealand and India from 2000 to 2015. Cris is currently the Director of Visitor Experience at Parliament House in Canberra.

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