MERCURY CX discovers, nurtures and promotes authentic and diverse voices, grows capability, fosters collaboration, enables entrepreneurship and forges pathways to audience.

We are a centre of excellence for talent escalation and story development.

Mercury CX (formerly Media Resource Centre) is a national centre of excellence and place to immerse in screen and story based in Adelaide, South Australia. A unique organization we champion and inspire passion for the ancient art of storytelling, through nurturing and illuminating the pathway for storytellers of the future, whilst cultivating and connecting audiences to stories that reflect our world not only as it is, but as it could be.

A vibrant and creative hub throughout the year we offer a wide range of opportunities for industry connection, cultural engagement and audience participation. We have two cinemas, a welcoming lounge bar with an array of specialty drinks and cocktail of the month.

Home to OzAsia film festival, the Gilded Edge and Cinematheque curated screening programs, Silver Screen, the South Australian Screen Awards, there is something for every age and taste.

Our annual Screenmakers Conference, Talent Labs, Workshops and Courses and Production Funding program are designed to fast track and upskill in all things screen and story. Our passion for talent and story development is always grounded in pragmatism; driving development of entrepreneurial skills and business capability to ensure competitiveness in the global market.

As a national centre for excellence, fostering diverse voices, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment, and cultivating authentic story is at the heart of all that we do.

OUR Board of Directors

Gena Ashwell

Chairperson
Company Director, Dancing Road Productions

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Gena Ashwell is a British/Australian creative producer, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. Gena started at Pinewood Studios UK working on iconic television shows including My Family, The Weakest Link, Only Fools and Horses and Survivor. She then took on a range of production roles, working for a variety of companies and talent. In between production work she produced and project managed international large-scale projects for companies such as BP, Accenture, Barclays Bank and Celgene, winning an excellence award for her work at Celgene. Attracted to creative entrepreneurship, she decided to focus on producing, gaining experience with a number of executive producers and producers on feature film projects across development, financing and sales, including 4321 with Emma Roberts for Universal. At just 24 she produced her first low budget feature film Bad Day, which GQ magazine called “the most superior Brit cop film in recent history” and which was selected for a range of festivals. She then produced Gridiron UK which sold to Screen Media in the US. On relocating to Australia, Gena partnered with one of Australia’s most experienced producers Helen Leake AM to form dancing road productions. Gena was selected for the South Australian Film Corporation’s “Gender Agenda” program to be mentored by one of the most experienced independent producers in the business, Cassian Elwes (Mudbound, Lawless, The Butler), based in his Los Angeles office. 
Back in Australia she undertook another mentorship with Angus Clunies Ross (Head of Sales for SONY Pictures Releasing). In 2018 she was selected by Screen Australia and Creative Content Australia as one of three mid-career producers to attend the 2018 International Movie Convention to meet with all the major international film studios. dancing road productions is an IP creation company and has built a strong international slate of projects and partners. 

Gail Fuller

Treasurer
Co-founder Rising Sun Pictures

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As Co-Founder of Rising Sun Pictures, Gail turned a love of art and technology into a film and television career that has spanned more than 25 years. 

Gail studied architecture at the University of Adelaide before joining Digital Arts Film and Television in 1992. Digital Arts were pioneers in the field of motion control technology and digital animation and provided Gail opportunities to develop business and film-making skills and knowledge.

With Digital Arts colleagues, Tony Clark and Wayne Lewis, Gail co-founded Rising Sun Pictures Pty Ltd in 1995.  Borne of the belief that the emerging field of visual effects would transform film-making in the coming years, Over 25 years, RSP has built an enviable international reputation in visual effects production for film and television. Today, RSP continues to grow in size and capability with approximately 200 people in Adelaide, and hundreds of alumni all over the globe.

Technology created within RSP to address issues of digital colour management and remote collaboration sparked the establishment of Cospective in 2000. Now the industry-standard software tool for remote review and approval of visual effects, CineSync has received an Academy Award and Emmy for technical achievement. 

In 2012, Gail co-founded RSP Education, dedicated to delivering the knowledge, skills and experience required to accelerate aspiring VFX artists into the workforce. RSP Education runs a range of programs from accredited under and post graduate courses (offered in partnership with University of SA) to short courses and secondary school programs. 

Gail enjoys supporting emerging entrepreneurs. From 2017, she has acted as an advisor and executive producer for We Made a Thing Studios, developing fresh, creative concepts and content for film, television, games and podcasts. 

Gail is an experienced Company Director and Board Member, having built a number of enterprises and serving on multiple Boards.  Gail joined Mercury CX Board in March 2019.

DAN THORSLAND

Director
Business Development Manager, College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Flinders University

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Dan has over 35 years in industry as a creative practitioner, first as a comic book writer/editor at DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics in the U.S., then transitioning to digital storytelling on his arrival in South Australia. From 2001 to 2019, Dan produced a large portfolio of video games and other digital projects for major brand partners such as Disney, Lucasfilm and LEGO. As part of the core team at game development powerhouse Mighty Kingdom, Dan worked to grow that studio from 12 to over 70 full time creatives, making the it the largest independent game development studio in Australia.

Dan now manages Flinders University’s motion capture and virtual production stage The Void. This multipurpose screen production stage is a collaboration space for any artist or researcher wishing to use motion capture, game engines and other digital imaging and visualisation technologies to empower their projects.

Jack Sheridan

Director
Legal Advisor & Director, Laneway Pictures

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Jack Sheridan is a director and legal advisor. He has a unique understanding of the film industry with extensive experience running a production company (Laneway Pictures) and advising small to medium businesses and creatives as a commercial lawyer. Jack’s legal expertise includes entertainment law, intellectual property (trade marks, copyright, designs, patents), IT (web, privacy, social media, new technologies), contract law and corporate governance.

Jack attained First Class Honours in both Law and Film, with prizes in intellectual property and big data surveillance law after studying in Australia and the USA. He has worked at top-tier and boutique law firms (Fisher Jeffries (Dentons); NDA Law; Jankus Legal) and provides legal services within the government.

Jack started out in camera department. He was awarded the SAFC’s Filmmaker of the Future Award for directing his third short film, Day Dreams. Since then, he has directed many dramatic and commissioned works and won a number of awards for his films, which have screened nationally and internationally, including at the Sydney Opera House, and at the Vancouver, San Diego and Edinburgh International Film Festivals. Jack’s last short, Injury Time, stars Australian icon David Field. Jack was nominated for Best Director at the Australian Director’s Guild Awards for his work. The film is captured in real-time in one continuous shot, and demonstrates his fascination with high-concept thrillers.

Jack is developing a slate of feature projects. He is a member of the Law Society of South Australia, the Australian Director’s Guild, and the Australian Film Institute.

Alison Wotherspoon

Director
Producer, Shining Catalina Productions Pty Ltd

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After graduating from UNSW Alison worked in film and television at the BBC, Film Australia, ABC, and SBS, studied Producing at AFTRS and worked as an independent producer in Sydney. In 1997 Alison moved to Adelaide to teach Screen Production at Flinders University. While at Flinders she was Head of Screen and Media, Teaching Program Director of Creative Arts and became an Associate Professor in 2017. While at Flinders Alison continued to produce, write and direct evidenced based, educational, non-broadcast documentaries, docudramas and commercials on subjects ranging from bullying, refugees, ASD, Alzheimer’s to learning Italian. Her Creative Practice PhD “From Evidence to Screen ” produced a model for documentary production funding through university and non-screen funding agencies. Her educational resource Come into My World, about Alzheimer’s was nominated for an ATOM award in 2009. Alison has taught internationally at Butler University, Indianapolis, CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong), HK Academy of Performing Arts and FAMU, Prague. Alison returned to independent producing in 2019 and established Shining Catalina Productions Pty Ltd with internationally renowned documentary director Anne Tsoulis. Alison and Anne currently have a slate of documentary projects in development. Alison is on the board of the Mercury CX, a member of SPA (Screen Producers Australia), a corresponding member of CILECT (Centre Internationale de Liaison des Ecoles de Cinema et de Television), the secretary of Adelaide Swords Club, and is currently working as an as an independent producer and academic consultant. Alison also enjoys epee fencing in her spare time.

Meet our Team

The Mercury CX is located in the Lion Arts Centre, 13 Morphett Street, Adelaide.
We can be contacted by phone, + 61 8 8410 0979, or fax, + 61 8 8410 1787, or email Alternatively, you can contact any of our team members directly:

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)

Karena Slaninka

Email: karena@mercurycx.org

As CEO of Mercury CX, Karena brings a career-long commitment to developing and sharing stories,  creating pathways for creatives and entrepreneurs into sustainable careers, elevating talent.

DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

Kelly Schilling

Email: kelly@mercurycx.org

As Mercury CX Development Executive, Screenwriter, director and screen educator Kelly combines first-hand current industry experience and a depth of professional development skills to supporting emerging filmmakers.

PROGRAMS MANAGER

PROGRAMS MANAGER

Diana Ward

Email: diana@mercurycx.org

Producer of award-winning shorts, music videos and documentaries, Diana brings global marketplace and production experience along with a passion for elevating early career filmmakers to her role as Program Manager.

Marketing, Events & Partnerships Manager

Marketing, Events & Partnerships Manager

Taren Hocking

Email: taren@mercurycx.org

Our queen of marketing, shaping unforgettable events and building strategic partnerships, Taren brings experience as an entrepreneur as well as a commitment to delivering value for the next generation of screen creatives.

COMMUNICATION & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

COMMUNICATION & ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

Jonathan Champ

Email: jonathan@mercurycx.org

With decades of experience helping member-based organisations create community, Jonathan is working to help Mercury CX members connect and collaborate.

OPERATIONS MANAGER

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Cathy Reid

Email: cathy@mercurycx.org

With a breadth of experience in the performing arts sector, Cathy creates the environment for our screenings, functions and private hires to be an exceptional experience in a venue like no other.

SENIOR PROJECTIONIST & PROGRAMMER

SENIOR PROJECTIONIST & PROGRAMMER

Ryder Grindle

Email: ryder@mercurycx.org

Take a true cinephile and apply the technical skills to bring the sharpest image to screen in any format, and you have our lead projectionist and technical specialist, Ryder.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Julia Light

Email: Julia@mercurycx.org

Combining her experience as a short filmmaker with a deep understanding of all that Mercury CX delivers and a love of alternative cinema, Julia coordinates member services and our creative facilities.

MCX Casuals, Volunteers and Interns

The range of activities delivered by Mercury CX would not be possible without our valued casual team members, our volunteers for key programs and interns delivering on major events. 

OUR MAJOR PARTNERS

WE ARE GRATEFUL TO OUR MAJOR PARTNERS SUPPORTING EXCELLENCE IN STORY