theresa cornelia

filmmaker, writer, performer,
podcaster, and graphic designer


THERESA CORNELIA is a Chinese-Indonesian filmmaker, writer, performer, podcaster, and graphic designer based in Melbourne, Australia.In 2016, she moved abroad to study at the University of Melbourne where she completed her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Marketing Communications degrees. It was there that she began writing, directing, and performing plays at her church while submitting short stories and poems to student publications.Her first screenplay was selected as a quarterfinalist in ScreenCraft Comedy Contest in 2020. That year, she was also part of the writers’ room for Cinespace’s “Urban Legends” Anthology Project.In 2021, Theresa was announced as part of Cinespace’s Package to Pitch program and her first short film, Subject 9412, placed 2nd in Cinespace's 123 Film Competition of that year. She also joined Footscray Community Arts' Behind the Screens initiative, which runs from 2021-2022.Following that, in 2022, Theresa was selected as part of Cinespace's Training Grounds program and AFTRS' Talent Camp in Victoria.Alongside her friend and collaborator, she is the creator, host, writer, and editor of a podcast series called Chindo Tea, where the two share their experiences as Chinese-Indonesians.Currently, Theresa is an arts administrator and social media coordinator volunteer at Cinespace.


Alternatively, you can contact Theresa directly at


Participant for The Ho-dyssey

Cohort of 2022

Cohort of 2021-2022

Stage One: Writers’ Seminar Participant for Portrait of You

Participant for The Human and the Android

Quarterfinalist for How to Cope After Spending 3 Years in Space


No Waiting Teasers /
The Hype Experimentals

Webseries | 2022
Director and translation editor
Teasers and bonus episodes to No Waiting, chronicling the day-to-day of the Hype Unit.

No Waiting

Webseries | 2022
Script supervisor and translation editor
Employees of a fictitious government ‘Hype Unit’ must use all the skills they have in their bureaucratic arsenal to hype the community up to get the jab - all the while working out of a vaccination clinic waiting room.

5km and 8pm

Short film | 2021
2nd editor and colourist
In the midst of Stage 4 Melbourne lockdown, two women from different backgrounds and ages have a second date after three months.

Subject 9412

Short film | 2021
Writer, director, editor, and actor (as Private Tei)
Upon an intergalactic exploration ship, a private volunteers to watch over a dangerous prisoner.

123 FILM COMPETITION (2021) — Short Film Category 2nd Place Winner
MAX3MIN (2022) — International Competition Official Selection

Podcast | 2021 - present
Creator, writer, producer, host, and editor
Get ready for Theresa and her friend/co-host—Livia—to spill the tea on their experiences as Chinese-Indonesians.

Hunt for the Four-Horned Unicorn

Parody | 2021
Writer, voice actor, and editor
A parody of Marvel Studios' Falcon and the Winter Soldier. To help his family out of a financial difficulty, retired hunter Sam Wilson must return to the dangerous world of hunting. Meanwhile, dreamer Bucky Barnes struggles to find a job but has his sights on becoming a hunter himself. Together, they hunt down the elusive four-horned unicorn—encountering allies and enemies along the way.

Our Stories @ Unimelb

Documentary | 2020
Editor, producer, and transcriber
Curious about the lives of University of Melbourne students? In this documentary, we follow Liang, Gargi, Vidit, and Flora—Faculty of Arts students—as they navigate their semester. They face challenges: managing their work-life balance to complete their final years and, most of all, learning to adjust to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No Time to Die
(From Essays)

Podcast | 2020
Creator, writer, co-host, and editor
As part of Life in Oz’s series of student podcasts, Theresa and her friend (Jesslyn) present a guide to writing essays! Each episode, the two hosts discuss a step in the essay writing process—while keeping the discussions under 7 minutes (hence, the name, get it?).Available under Life in Oz.

The Caesar Saga

Sketch series | 2020
Writer, voice actor, and editor
When the Gunarso household catches wind that Theresa ate her dead plant, Caesar, Theresa becomes ostracised from her friends. Just when Theresa thought she's alone, she meets a new friend—but something is amiss about him...

Podcast | 2020
Creator, writer, host, and editor
Where do you go when you have so many opinions, but you don't want to bother people with them? The Internet, of course! Here, Theresa reviews and rambles about films and television for that precise reason. (Yay to the power of the Internet!)


Play | 2019
Writer, co-director, and actor (as Risi)
Dissatisfied with her life, Priscilla seeks escapism using a V-R game, only to find out it's not all it's cracked up to be.Produced and performed as part of Emmanuel Baptist Church's Christmas Celebration on 17th November.

Podcast and YouTube channel | 2019
Creator, writer, host, and editor
A weekly series created by Theresa and her friend, Huimin Leong, where they do things they simply think are fun.


Rescue the Villagers!

Short story | 2021
Published in Aniko Press Issue 3
A group of villagers has been taken hostage by some ruffians and the Wizard has chosen you to rescue them. The choices you make from here on out will affect your adventure. Do you have what it takes, to rescue the villagers?


Poetry and microfictions | 2021 - presentA page where Theresa and her friend and fellow writer, Jesslyn, alternate between sharing their writing pieces, all under 150 words.

The Time Ripper

Poetry | 2021
Published in Myriad vol. 4
A planet slowly descends into doomsday while a mysterious machine is being operated.

5 Steps to Mend a Broken Heart

Poetry | 2021
Published in Perspektif vol. 15
Are you broken-hearted? Well, Venus Aphrodisia has so kindly provided these simple steps to mend it!

The Travelling Mountain

Short story | 2019
Published in Myriad vol. 3
A space explorer lands on a planet where its three factions fight for and exploit a mountain that can travel between areas.


Short fiction piece | 2019
Published in Myriad vol. 3
A girl sends a publisher an excerpt of her grandfather’s book about Gorontalo slang.

The Janusian Way

Short story | 2019
Published in Perspektif vol. 12
After the Fountain of Youth—an important part of a coming-of-age ritual in Planet Janus—becomes destroyed, Qi grapples with the fact that his generation will be the first to experience death.

Philosophical Action

Poetry | 2019
Published in Perspektif vol. 10
Performed by Theresa on Perspektif's Poetry Night
Two friends talk about what they would do if they become God.

Sweet Christmas! Luke's Back!

TV review | 2018
Published in Myriad vol. 2
A review of the second season of Marvel’s Luke Cage.

The Green Field

Poetry | 2018
Published in Perspektif vol. 9
A tree contemplates life as the green field the tree lives in becomes destroyed to make way for an apartment complex.


Aniko Press Issue 3: Interview with Theresa Gunarso

(5 December, 2021) “…while I am fortunate enough to be an introvert who is fine with staying at home, during the lockdown, I sometimes yearned to go outside on my own adventure—which led me to writing a lot of escapist stories to cope.”Next up in our Issue 3 contributor interviews is writer, filmmaker and performer Theresa Gunarso! Theresa speaks to us about escapism, the joys and challenges of filmmaking and her love of sci fi.

Introducing the New Cohort of Footscray Community Arts' Behind the Screens Program

(16 September, 2021) Introducing the new cohort of emerging filmmakers joining the Behind the Screens program!Alice Gilbert, Ames Choucair, Feifei Liao, Jackie Dixon, Jenn Tran, Llewellyn Michael Bates, Natal Jimma, Rama Luksiarto, Senuri Chandrani, Theresa Gunarso, Tinaye Nyathi, Vimbai Viviene Nenzou.Facilitated by filmmaker and journalist, Santilla Chingaipe, Behind the Screens is a capacity building program for filmmakers underrepresented in the industry. Presented in partnership with Film Victoria, this program will support participants to develop their skills in an open, supportive and collaborative learning environment.

"Subject 9412" Awarded Second Place in 123 Film Competition

(3 July, 2021) Congratulations to the winners of our 123 Film Competition! As Youth Week 2021 comes to an end, we’re pleased to announce the winning entries that show the creativity and initiative of Victorian youth.Short Film Category
1st place - Hayden Flynn (Dartboard)
2nd place - Theresa Gunarso (Subject 9412)
3rd place - Talha Sarrac (Diversity in a Galaxy Far, Far Away)

Cinespace Inc's Package to Pitch Participants Unveiled

(27 January, 2021) Fifteen Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) practitioners are set to participate in Cinespace Inc’s Package to Pitch program, an online masterclass on pitching into the market.Selected by a culturally diverse panel, they include: Amal Awad, Alan Nguyen, Ana Tiwary, Orson Dijle, Serah Nathan, Karl Fernando, Eliza Matengu, Vonne Patiag, Theresa Gunarso, Jeremy Nguyen, Divya Vaman, Kim Ho, Michelle Ny, Sam Calafiore and Eva Justine Torkkola. Each has a pilot TV script they’re ready to pitch.