Started in Television in 1995. Producer Our House, Burkes Backyard. Executive Producer Changing Rooms, Random Acts of Kindness. Co-Creator & Executive Producer Celebrity Overhaul, Celebrity Circus, Reno Rumble, The Chopping Block (USA and Australia), The Block.
Sarah Mayberry has written more than 220 episodes of Australia’s longest running serial drama, Neighbours, as well as co-creating teen drama series Karaoke High and consulting on television and film projects across Australia and New Zealand. Sarah recently produced her first feature film, Darklands, a taut psychological thriller starring Nadine Garner. Sarah is also the author of more than 40 novels for Harlequin-Mills and Boon and other publishers, and is the recipient of the prestigious Romance Book of the Year Award.
Beth Neate is the Head of Production and Development at the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and has overall responsibility for the SAFC’s screen funding programs.
Prior to joining SAFC, Beth was a founding producer of the ABC’s landmark digital production division, ABC OPEN where she produced hundreds of stories from the East Kimberley, WA. Beth has worked extensively as a writer, producer and production manager and was the UN Communications and Advocacy Advisor to the United Nations in Cambodia.
Sam Meikle is a highly experienced writer and creator with over 200 hours of produced credits across a broad range of television dramas, comedies, animation and web series. He has worked extensively in program development for many of Australia’s leading production houses, and he’s written and interviewed for documentary works. His short films have screened at festivals around the world and he’s been engaged to develop multiple feature film projects. Sam holds a Masters in screenwriting from the AFTRS (2000), he’s a graduate of the NIDA Playwrights’ Studio (2000), a recipient of a 2009 Australian Writers’ Guild/Arts NSW Mentorship, along with the 2014 Inscription Enderby Entertainment Scholarship. He was a member of the Screen Australia Talent USA delegation in 2018, the Scripted Ink/AWG Pathways Los Angeles delegation in 2019, and he has been nominated for 11 Australian Writers’ Guild Awards and won 4.
Most recently, Sam was a writer, an Executive Producer and co-showrunner of Wakefield for the ABC, Showtime and BBC Studios, and he is a co-creator and Executive Producer of MaveriX for the ABC and Netflix.
Thirteen years’ experience based in London working across production, development, financing and sales which included Producer credits on two feature films, before relocating to Australia. Mentored by producer Cassian Elwes (Lawless, The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club) based in his LA office. Selected by the Natalie Miller Brilliant Careers program for another mentorship with Angus Clunies-Ross (Head of Sales, Sony Pictures releasing). Chosen as one of three mid-career producers by Screen Australia and Creative Content Australia to attend and meet with all the major studios and exhibitors at the International Movie Convention. Chair of Mercury CX and Company Director with business partner Helen Leake AM of dancing road productions, which has developed a number of international partnerships and a strong feature film slate.
Samantha Lang is a filmmaker and visual artist who has worked in Australia, France and the US over the last 20 years. Her feature films ‘The Well’, ‘The Monkey’s Mask’ and ‘L’Idole’ screened at major international festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, and have received international recognition at the highest level, The Well competing at the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme D’Or. In Australia, her films have been awarded many times including – at the Australian Film Institute Awards and the Sydney Film Festival. In 2019 – her feature documentary “It all started with a stale sandwich’ competed in the DAF awards at SFF.
Most recently she has made two VR films ‘Prehistoric VR’ and ‘Anthropocene VR’ in collaboration with Erth Visual and Physical and supported by Create NSW. These VR films form part of her creative practice doctorate (PHD). Her areas of research include the eco-feminine, the post-human, environmental histories, geopoetics, the Anthropocene, and non-traditional forms of screenwriting. As well as being a creative practitioner, she has mentored, supervised and lectured emerging film directors in her capacity as Head of Directing at AFTRS (2010-2016), as well as at Create NSW and Screen Australia.
In 2017 Samantha was co-leader of HIVE lab at AIFF 2017 where she facilitated twelve arts practitioners to reimagine their creative projects as works for the screen.
In 2015 she was elected as President of the Australian Director’s Guild and in 2016 was on the taskforce at Screen Australia that rolled out the Gender Matters Initiative to redress gender and diversity imbalance in the sector. She is a creative production consultant for Screen Australia, Screen NSW, Screen Tasmania, has been on panels at Australian and International film festivals, including Jury Member at Edinburgh, South Korea, and filmmaker masterclasses at Stanford University. Currently Samantha works as Head of Development /Executive Producer at I AM THAT/See-Saw Films where she oversees a slate of film and limited TV series. Samantha’s personal projects include a screen adaptations of ‘Kill The Messenger’ by indigenous playwright, Nakkiah Lui (Brilliant Stories initiative), and an eco-film called ‘Brown Lake’
Georgia Woodward was appointed as a Development Producer at Southern Pictures through Screen Australia’s Enterprise People Program in 2021.
Georgia is an award-winning producer and content strategist. She has worked in production for factual, children’s, lifestyle, and reality programming for broadcasters such as Seven, ABC, and the Nine Network. She is the producer of the multi-award-winning short, Staying the Night (winner of the Audience Award for Best Short Film at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2019). She has also delivered multi-platform content and strategies for some of the top local and international brands including Qantas, Mattel, Salesforce, Seek, Oracle, and Amazon.
Georgia began working with data analytics in 2018, creating audience-first content strategies. Two years ago, she was approached by Charles Sturt University to deliver its content strategy across all its social media and communications platforms. In less than 12 months, Georgia’s content strategy drove the university’s ranking from #59 in audience reach and engagement to ranking #7 in Australia, consolidating its place in the top ten.
Georgia currently merges her storytelling skills and data analytics abilities across long-form broadcast content and multiplatform.
Michelle Cheng is the SBS Content Industry Diversity Manager for TV and Online content and the Co-Chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN). At SBS, Michelle is working to improve career pathways for diverse TV creatives, investigating international best practice for screen diversity and rolling out The Everyone Project at SBS, which aims to measure diversity on and offscreen on all commissioned productions.
Michelle has a background in TV presenting/writing, journalism and law (as an Australian solicitor). From 2016 to 2020, she worked with ITV Studios and Channel 7 as a television writer on the quiz show, The Chase Australia. In 2018, she was an ABC TV panellist on the quiz show Think Tank in over 75 episodes.
Michelle also has extensive experience as a journalist with by-lines in The Guardian, ABC, Yahoo News and the Daily Mail Australia. She also worked in world news as an Assistant Reporter/Researcher for the major Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, shooting stories on-location across the Australia Pacific region.
Most recently, she was a Media & Communications Advisor at Monash University. Outside of the media world, Michelle has experience as Curation Coordinator for TEDxMelbourne and as a Creative Writing Teacher at Laneway Learning.
Nathan Anderson’s dual expertise in film production and creative technology allow him a forward-looking approach to the evolving new media landscape. He brings a futurist mentality to the VR industry, embracing immersive technology as a tool for emotionally resonant narrative storytelling. After beginning his career in the film industry, Nathan followed the dotcom explosion in the late 90s, making a transition into digital.
He leveraged this tech startup background to dive into multiplatform digital development and transmedia content creation. Nathan has produced digital media content for all platforms, working with such top international brands and companies, such as Foxtel, Disney, Viacom, ABC, BBC and NBCUniversal.
Active in the VR industry since 2015, Nathan has Produced and EP’d over 50 XR projects including critically acclaimed and awarded projects such as Wentworth VR, Awake: Episode One and VR Noir.
Nathan is a member of the Producers Guild of America and is also a participant and advisor to Screen Producers Australia. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences and has graduated with a Masters by Research exploring interactive narrative from the Australian Film TV and Radio School (AFTRS)
Gillian has worked in both management and production roles during her extensive years in the screen industry. She is well regarded for her advocacy for Indigenous stories and mentoring of emerging filmmakers. Gill has worked with ADTRS, MetroScreen, SBS before moving to an Investment and Development Manager role in Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department for several years. In 2016 Gill Series Produced the first series of Family Rules, a 6 x 30 min Documentary TV Series for NITV, and in 2019 Nice Shorts an online sketch comedy series with Bunya Productions. Her collaboration with Bunya Productions follows on from a producing internship undertaken with them in 2017/18. Gillian started her own company Kalori Productions in 2018 which saw co-production on the documentary Black Divaz. Gill also develops and produces drama projects through Kalori, short film Ties That Bind had its world premiere at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival where it won the Event Cinema Award for Best Australian Short Screenplay. Gill is currently co-directing and co-producing a feature documentary KINDRED with key collaborator Adrian Russell Wills. They are also currently financing a feature Drama film developing Feature narrative, TV series Bio
Gillian has worked in both management and production roles during her extensive years in the screen industry. She is well regarded for her advocacy for Indigenous stories and mentoring of emerging filmmakers. Gill has worked with ADTRS, MetroScreen, SBS before moving to an Investment and Development Manager role in Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department for several years. In 2016 Gill Series Produced the first series of Family Rules, a 6 x 30 min Documentary TV Series for NITV, and in 2019 Nice Shorts an online sketch comedy series with Bunya Productions. Her collaboration with Bunya Productions follows on from a producing internship undertaken with them in 2017/18. Gillian started her own company Kalori Productions in 2018 which saw co-production on the documentary Black Divaz. Gill also develops and produces drama projects through Kalori, short film Ties That Bind had its world premiere at the 2019 Sydney Film Festival where it won the Event Cinema Award for Best Australian Short Screenplay. Currently Gill is co-directing snd co-producing a personal feature documentary Kindred with long time friend and key collaborator Adrian Russell Wills. Kalori Productions is collaborating again with Bunya Productions to produce a feature drama project written and directed by Adrian for production in 2022.
Jam is the Executive Producer and a Director at Monster Children Films. Our doors have been open for nearly 20 years. Monster Children Films is the natural progression of what started as a magazine and grew into a community of unrivalled creatives. With offices in Sydney and Los Angeles, we’ve taken this pony show worldwide.
1:1 PITCHES –WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Format: Features, Episodic, Web Series, Shorts, Documentary, Lifestyle/Entertainment, Branded Content
Ideas that are made for cultural entertainment. From environmental series to sports documentaries. Shorts about artists or films about humans and our natural world. Would love to develop ideas that tell a story of a subculture and how we can create an emotional connection for a wider audience. Personally I love humble human stories about people who are moving mountains or anything about the ocean. Anything with heart and soul.
We are pretty open in what we are looking for. Just anything with heart and soul.
Anton is the co-founder of creative industries companies Convergen, Jumpgate VR and Artisan Post Group. Working across infrastructure visualisation, film and television post-production, VR training and contemporary art projects, Anton has co-produced works that have been featured at the Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival and SxSW. In 2015, Anton worked with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra to produce what became the first virtual reality symphony concert in the world, and continues to support South Australian arts organisations to explore the potential of new technology. Anton also serves on the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board of South Australia, Adelaide Film Festival Board, ACE Open Board and University of Adelaide Creativity and Culture Advisory Board.
As part of the Netflix Australia & New Zealand content team, Nakul leads film and television licensing and co-productions for the market, and is a creative executive on the local originals slate. Before joining Netflix, Nakul was in Business & Legal Affairs at the ABC where he worked on commissioning, development, talent and acquisitions deals across scripted and factual/entertainment projects.
Susie is the Founder of Mercury Media Group – a multi-faceted media company covering global media and SVoD strategy, production and philanthropy.
Susie has expertise in analysing and forecasting: subscriber trends, content strategies, audience behaviour, as well as advising on key growth drivers and M&A activity within the sector. The SVoD industry is a very dynamic direct-to-customer ecosystem which has experienced exponential growth over the past 12 months and is now at the forefront of the global entertainment industry.
Susie has an extensive background in theatrical distribution, having worked for 20th Century Fox (International Distribution), as well as ITV Studios Australia, Network TEN and NITV. Susie holds an MA Screen Business & Leadership from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, a Graduate Certificate in International Studies & a Graduate Certificate in US Politics from Sydney University
She advocates globally for Breast Cancer awareness and Animal Welfare
Christopher Gist has written, developed, commissioned or executive produced over 30 titles from features to series television to theatre. For ABC Television and Television New Zealand he commissioned and/or executive produced some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s highest rating dramas including Jack Irish (Guy Pearce), Old School (Sam Neill and Bryan Brown), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (Essie Davis), and Australia’s number one drama The Doctor Blake Mysteries. Chris wrote and produced short film The Op Shop which won multiple Australian and international film awards, and his feature Darklands is currently in post production.
Trained at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts Matthew Dabner started his film career working in the story department at Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions in Los Angeles.
Matthew returned to Australia to take up a position as the Head of Development for Alex Proyas at Mystery Clock Cinema. At Mystery Clock he developed I, ROBOT for Twentieth Century Fox and a telemovie for the SyFy channel.
Matthew’s credits as a screenwriter include the AFI-nominated contemporary noir, THE SQUARE, co-written with Joel Edgerton, directed by Nash Edgerton. THE SQUARE played in official competition at the Sydney Film Festival and was nominated for an AFI award for best original screenplay.
Matthew credits as a producer include CEDAR BOYS, an IF Award nominee for Best Film and Sydney Film Festival Audience Award winner.
Matthew has worked and consulted for a variety of screen funding agencies in Australia, including Screen Australia’s production investment division, advising management and the Board on feature film investments across the 2010 and 2011 slate.
In addition to being a screenwriter and producer Matthew is also a renowned script editor, assessor, development executive. Matthew is currently working as a Lecturer in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney, whilst completing his PhD at the University of South Australia.
Michelle Law is a writer with experience in journalism, screenwriting and playwriting.
She wrote the highly acclaimed play Single Asian Female – commissioned by La Boite Theatre Company – which earned 5-star reviews before transferring to a sold-out season at Belvoir St Theatre in 2018. The show returned to La Boite with Michelle performing in it, and toured to Melbourne. In 2021, Auckland Theatre Company staged an original production of the work. Her commissioned play Miss Peony will premiere at Belvoir Street Theatre in 2022.
Michelle co-created, co-wrote and starred in the series Homecoming Queens, the first web series commissioned by SBS On Demand. The series won Best Web Series at the Australian Writers Guild awards, Best Screenplay at Melbourne Web Fest, and Best Performance in a Comedy series at the Equity Ensemble Awards. It was also nominated for Best Online Video or Series at the AACTA Awards. As a screenwriter, Michelle has worked on shows for television networks such as the ABC, SBS, Fox8, Network 10, and The Nine Network. Some of her television credits include Get Krack!n (ABC), The Bureau of Magical Things (Network 10) and Rosehaven (ABC).
Michelle is also an advocate for social causes and has presented a TEDx talk, as well as being a prolific speaker about issues concerning intersectional feminism, cultural identity and race, and youth issues. She wrote the short documentary Suicide and Me (ABC2) which aimed to create more conversations about suicide prevention in Australia.
Beyond performance writing, Michelle is a successfully published author. In 2016, she won the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. She has written for many magazines, journals, and broadsheet newspapers including frankie magazine, The Griffith Review, and The Saturday Paper. Her stories and essays have been anthologised in books such as After Australia, Best Australian Comedy Writing, Destroying the Joint, Women of Letters, Growing up Asian in Australia, and more. In 2014, she co-wrote a comedy book called Sh*t Asian Mothers Say with her brother Benjamin Law.
Michelle is currently working on several theatre commissions, as well as feature and television projects. Her novel, Asian Girls Are Going Places, is published through Hardie Grant.
Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based screenwriter, author, journalist and presenter. His poignant, familial modern comedy play, Torch The Place, premiered at the Melbourne Theatre Company to great critical success at the beginning of 2020.
Benjamin’s most recent television credit is the SBS Drama series New Gold Mountain, currently in post-production. New Gold Mountain portrays the Australian Gold Rush through the perspective of Chinese miners. Other recent television credits include Network Ten’s drama Sisters and the two-part documentary Waltzing the Dragon, which considers the ‘sweet and sour’ China-Australia relationship (ABC). Benjamin both developed and presented the documentary alongside his larger-than-life mother. The television adaptation of his first book The Family Law was created and co-written by Ben. The first season of The Family Law was the most-watched program on SBS in 2016. The Family Law returned for two further seasons, winning two Equity Ensemble Awards for Best Comedy Ensemble and a Screen Producers Association Award for Best Comedy.
Ben was an associate producer on the documentary Deep Water: The Real Story, which details the gay hate crime epidemic that bloodied Sydney’s coastline in the 1980s and 90s. It was a companion piece to the Blackfella Films dramatized series Deep Water, starring Yael Stone and Noah Taylor.
Ben holds a PhD in television writing and cultural studies. He is a celebrated author, having written the books The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), both of which were nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. Ben co-authored the comedy Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his playwright / screenwriter / performer sister Michelle. Benjamin is a frequent contributor to Good Weekend (The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age), frankie and The Monthly. Ben has written for more than 50 publications, with the especially notable “Moral Panic 101” published in the Quarterly Essay.
Craig is Dean of Research (Creative) at the University of South Australia. He is the author, co-author and editor of 15 books, including Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives (2020), The Doctoral Experience: Student Stories from the Creative Arts and Humanities (2019), Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches (2nd ed.) (2019) and Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry (2018). Craig is also a screenwriter, script consultant and script editor.
As Head of Children’s Libbie is responsible for the Content Strategy for ABC Originals, Co-Productions and Commissioned content across the ABC’s two dedicated children’s channels, ABCME (6-12yrs) and ABC KIDS (2-6yrs). As a member of the ABC’s TV & Radio leadership team, she contributes to the ABC’s audiences, production and business strategy by building high quality and distinctive programming, across all the Children’s distribution channels delivering the #1 Australian Children’s entertainment network.
With 40+ internal creative staff, as Creative Leader she sets the bar for creative excellence, innovation and nurtures teams to deliver ambitious, unique and compelling stories that are world class. Driving new partnerships and valuing long standing creative alliances, her tenure positions the ABC as a trusted partner enabling Australian content to thrive in Australia and succeed in the global marketplace.
Tracey Robertson is the Chief Executive Officer of Hoodlum, an Emmy® and BAFTA Award winning Entertainment Company. As CEO, Tracey oversees Hoodlum Television, connecting with networks and studios to produce scripted content in Australia, the United States, and the UK.
Hoodlum is currently working with ABC Australia and Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap Entertainment to produce SHAKESPEARE NOW, a ten-part series updating the work of Shakespeare using all-female writers and directors. Also announced is feature film NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAIN based on the multi award-winning book from Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani who chronicled his harrowing experiences in the tome No Friend But The Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.
Hoodlum is currently facilitating the second series of ABC Signature / Amazon series THE WILDS which is currently in production. Past projects include of Seasons 1 and 2 of SECRETS AND LIES, a 10-part series for ABC Network starring Juliette Lewis, based on Hoodlum’s Australian 6-part series and TIDELANDS, an 8-part series for Netflix. Robertson is a member of BAFTA, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). She was recently recognized as an outstanding alumnus and made an Adjunct Professor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology.
Susannah is a Lecturer of Game Design and Digital Media at the University of South Australia. She is currently completing her PhD in game design and her research interests focus on video games and digital media for education and social change. Susannah is involved with several projects in this area, including ‘Hannah’ – an interactive narrative game that helps family and friends provide support to those experiencing Domestic Violence.
Susannah is committed to promoting diversity in the games industry and is an International Women in Games Ambassador. As an Ambassador she helps to support and encourage women and girls in understanding the games industry and the opportunities there are within it.
Sheila is a producer with a background in entertainment law. She has worked as a producer with Matchbox Pictures since 2015, producing the award-winning feature film Ali’s Wedding (2017, Madman Entertainment), which won awards at all the major Australian film festivals before being acquired by Netflix. She also produced the acclaimed ABC series Stateless (2020) for Matchbox Pictures and Cate Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films, which won 13 AACTA Awards. Most recently, she produced alongside Co-Curious the feature anthology HERE OUT WEST to be released in early 2022. Sheila has worked across the Matchbox Pictures’ features slate as development producer and currently has a slate of high-end television series in development with Matchbox. She has previously worked in development at Scott Free, Ridley Scott’s London-based production company, and also as a Development Executive for Create NSW and Screen Australia. She is a company director of the boutique film production company Emerald Productions, established in 2009, a company that works with some of Australia’s most exciting emerging writers and directors, with a particular focus on telling ground-breaking diverse stories.
A writer, producer and executive producer for a many national and international companies, among them Crawford Productions, PBL Productions, Taffner Ramsay, Beyond International and Granada, Peter began his career writing and producing for television classics such as Cop Shop, The Sullivans, The Flying Doctors, The Comedy Company and Acropolis Now. He produced the inaugural Comedy Festival Charity Gala in 1992 and created The World Comedy Tour in 2000. He also produced The 34th Annual TV Week Logies, and he has created or co-created a number of series, among them Skirts, The Comedy Sale! The Agency, Parties, FAQ, and The Big Wig for Sky1 in the UK. Working with Caroline Aherne of The Royle Family, he co-created, co-wrote and produced the BBC2 comedy series, Dossa and Joe. Other credits include the Network Ten production, Unreal TV, a sitcom Sit Down, Shut Up, as well as the tonight show, The Big Schmooze and a number of other productions at thecomedychannel for Foxtel, and script editing on the Lindy Chamberlain mini-series, Through My Eyes and the feature Perfect Victim. Peter has taught at a number of universities in screen business, creative industries and producing. He is currently Head of Screen Business and Producing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
Paul is CoFounder & CEO of Distribution business Madman Entertainment. Madman has offices in Melbourne, Auckland & Berlin representing rights across all distribution channels. Executive Produced 20+ Feature & Documentaries films. Founder of Production companies Third Man Films Pty Ltd, Madman Production Company Pty Ltd and Subscription VoD platform DocPlay. Currently holds Board Positions Australian Centre Moving Image (ACMI), Co-Chair Australian International Documentary Conference (ACMI) and President Australian Independent Distributors Association (AIDA).
Nick has spent his entire working life in the cinema industry. Nick commenced with Dendy Icon in 2008, and has had several roles within the organisation including Head of Cinemas. He has also been the Operation Manager of the Sydney Film Festival and worked for Hoyts Cinemas for a decade. Nick is also currently serving on the board of Independent Cinemas Australia, the peak industry group for Independent Cinemas and is the Vice President of the Australian Independent Distributors Association.
Nathan Mayfield is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy and BAFTA Award Winning Production Company. Hoodlum operates their offices in Brisbane, Australia and in Los Angeles, developing feature film and television drama projects for the international marketplace. Mayfield has been the creative force behind Hoodlum’s multiplatform, television series and feature film work. He has worked alongside his co-founder Tracey Robertson to expand the business across the globe and across many different mediums. In 2017, Nathan produced the feature film AUSTRALIA DAY for Foxtel, released theatrically through Icon Film Distribution and launched a VR documentary, INSIDE MANUS, for SBS. Hoodlum’s TIDELANDS, an 8-part series for Netflix, was Netflix’s first original TV series for the territory, and launched globally in December 2018. Hoodlum is currently in production on the second season of FIVE BEDROOMS, an 8-part series for Network Ten, distributed by NBCUniversal Global Distribution, and has finished airing the third season of HARROW, a 10-part series with ABC Australia and ABC Studios International. HARROW was ABCSI’s first scripted production outside of the US and both seasons are currently streaming on Hulu in the US.
Michela Carattini is an Intimacy Coordinator (IC) and Company Director at Key Intimate Scenes (KIS). Her IC screen credits include “Nine Perfect Strangers”, “Blaze”, “Le Prelude”, “Learning the Curvature of the Earth” and “This River.” She co-created and co-instructed the first Intimacy Coordination Workshop for Directors at AFTRS, was a member of the panel which drafted MEAA’s Australian Intimacy Guidelines for Stage & Screen, and created the first Australia-specific training curriculum for ICs. She has been a expert speaker/interviewee on Intimacy Coordination for IF Magazine, Cinema Femme Magazine, ABC News, WIFT, SFAA, and co-founded the Australasian Intimacy Coordination Network.
Lorien McKenna has written for studios, streamers, and indie films including Hulu, NBC, and Disney. A former Story Manager at Pixar Animation Studios, McKenna worked on UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, and THE GOOD DINOSAUR. She was also the Associate Producer for Paramount Animation’s WONDER PARK and the Co-EP for CURIOUS GEORGE. She is a Script Editor for Screen Australia and Screen Queensland and is a mentor and judge for the Cinestory Foundation. After getting her MFA in Playwriting, she founded Guilty Theater and taught playwriting, Shakespeare and Theater at St. Mary’s College of California.
Meg LeFauve is an Oscar-nominated writer and Peabody award-winning producer. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for co-writing the script for Pixar’s INSIDE OUT, she also wrote the script for THE GOOD DINOSAUR which was nominated for a Golden Globe. LeFauve also received a “story by” credit on the live action CAPTAIN MARVEL movie.
LeFauve has worked as a mentor for Meryl Streep’s writer’s lab, the Sundance Creative Producer Lab, and is a Board Member and returning participant at CineStory Script Sessions. LeFauve has taught at AFI and served as co-chair of the Graduate Producers Program at UCLA’s School of Film and Television, where she taught master level story and development classes for over seven years.
She began her film career as a producer and President of Egg Pictures, Jodie Foster’s film company. During that time, LeFauve produced films that were nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and was awarded a Peabody for Jane Anderson’s Showtime film, THE BABY DANCE.
Ken Wong is an artist and game developer. He is best known for his work on 2014’s ‘Monument Valley’ and 2018’s Florence, both recipients of BAFTA Game Awards and the Apple Design Award. His work has been exhibited at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, ACMI, Seoul Museum and Somerset House. Born and raised in Adelaide, Ken has spent 20 years developing games around the world, from Hong Kong to Shanghai to London. In 2016 he founded Mountains, a studio from which to continue pushing at the boundaries of interactive design and storytelling.
1:1 PITCHES –WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We are looking for any pitches related to games content.
My expertise is only really in games, so I don’t think my feedback would be valuable on anything that isn’t interactive
Julie De Fina is the co-creator, executive producer and writer of the critically acclaimed ABC comedy series Aftertaste. Starring Erik Thompson and Rachel Griffiths the series was produced by Closer Productions. She has worked as a writer on projects for companies including ABC, Channel 7, Essential Media, Fremantle, Bunya and Endemol. In 2015 Julie was the co-creator and writer of the comedy pilot “Fully Famous”, which was optioned by Kapital Entertainment. In 2018 she co-created a half hour comedy “Something Old” which was optioned by Kronicle Media. Julie studied film and theatre at UNSW before continuing her training at The Second City in LA. She is currently in development on a number of her own projects.
Julian Cress has worked as a television producer for 30 years starting in 1988 on Beyond 2000. His background is in investigative journalism and he was a senior producer at 60 Minutes for a decade before moving into reality television as co-creator of The Block in 2003. He has worked for all three commercial networks and been Executive Producer of 17 series of The Block winning 5 Logie awards along the way. Working alongside business partner David Barbour, he is a co-creator of several other successful formats both in Australia and the US. Julian is also the founder and managing editor of online content site themotorists.com.au, e-commerce site theblockshop.com.au, charity app shout and a founding investor in influencer marketing app tribe digital.
With a career that covers Film, TV, Online, VFX, VR, Game development, Animation, and a brief stint in state government, James is now helping CDW Studios expand into Animation and Games Production. He is also Managing Director of Golden Age Studios and serves on various advisory panels and boards across education and industry advocacy groups.
Previous roles include Head of Learning and Development for Technicolor, Senior Producer at Start VR, Transmedia Producer for Yahoo!7, Chief Creative Officer at Mudita Games, and various others.
Ian founded 113 Partners in 2012. 113 Partners is a strategic advisory firm that that assists businesses in the creative industries to grow, seek investment, and realise their value. They are strategic advisers to Australia’s most cutting edge creative businesses and bring a wealth of insights, access to strategic partnerships, and on the ground experience to his clients.
Ian is an experienced, hands-on media expert who has had senior executive roles in both public and private businesses including COO of the branded content business Brand New Media and COO of the television production company Freehand Productions.
He uses his in-depth commercial experience to assist creative businesses to plan robust and achievable strategies to achieve domestic and international growth, financial stability, sustainable resourcing, and streamlined operations. He has advised many of Australia’s top television production, broadcast, music, design, advertising, media and entertainment companies as well as working directly with several government agencies.
Ian sits on numerous advisory boards and has a passion for all things digital.
With a career that spans 30 years in international TV content sales and marketing, Fiona Gilroy joined the late John Caldon and Lyndey Milan in 2011 to establish Flame Distribution, a specialist factual distributor.
With a catalogue consisting 4,000 hours of factual and documentary content from over 180 producers worldwide, Fiona spearheads all aspects of the international distribution activities across the Sydney, London and New York offices. This also includes assisting producers in securing presales and commissions through initiatives like the Flame Coproduction Alliance and Flame Distribution Productions. Flame also works in TV, VOD, inflight and educational markets.
Prior to Flame she ran her own consultancy working with producers to maximize commercial opportunities for their content. Throughout the course of her career key positions included Content Sales Manager for public broadcaster SBS, and Sales & Marketing Operations Manager for Film Australia. She was also staff elected director on the Film Australia Board (1992 – 1996).
Fiona has served as board member of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) from 2014 to 2020, (Co-Chair for 5 yrs during this period), and was a member of the Advisory Committee for the 2021 conference.
Ella McIntyre has over 10 years entertainment industry and IP management experience, ranging from television and films to video games. She started her career in Film and Television, transitioning to the games industry in 2013 in a marketing role, quickly transitioning to product development and design. One of Mighty Kingdom’s first employees she has shipped more than 10 titles in 6 years. As a member of the Mighty Kingdom executive team, Ella oversees new product development and steers the company’s product vision.
Edwina is responsible for assessing and developing all Australian and NZ projects for theatrical release. Prior to this she ran programming and strategy for ABC2 then ABC COMEDY across television and iview. Edwina was previously a Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer for ABC Factual and Documentaries, and spent a number of years with the Specialist Factual Department at Channel Four UK. She began her career working with writers, directors, designers and actors at talent agencies including William Morris Agency UK (now WME), Curtis Brown UK, and HLA Australia. Recently released and upcoming Australian titles include THE DRY, PENGUIN BLOOM, GO!, MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS, RAMS, THE DROVER’S WIFE: THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON, BLUEBACK, SERIOUSLY RED and UNBREAKABLE: THE JELENA DOKIC STORY. Roadshow is currently expanding its development slate through early development and co-production opportunities with a number of Australian and NZ producers. Upcoming cinema releases include Go!, Rams, Miss Fisher And The Crypt Of Tears and The Dry.
1:1 PITCHES –WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We’re looking for stories with broad appeal for wide theatrical release.
Diana Ward has produced award-winning short films and feature docs, including documentary “Roller Dreams”. Proud of her Australian-Chinese-Malaysian heritage, Diana is most interested in stories about belonging, change and diaspora. Diana is a Film Independent Fellow, recipient of the Amazon Studios Visionary Filmmaker Fellowship and current Programs Manager at Mercury CX.
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 Atari, LucasArts, Disney and LEGO.
At Flinders Dan manages Flinder University’s motion capture and virtual production stage The Void. This stage has hosted over a number of private industry partner collaborations in the past year, including both of the Epic Game funded Unreal Short Films shot in SA. The Void is the focal point of Flinders acclaimed screen and performance education programs aligning with state-of-the-art industry technology to explore the future of immersive culture and narrative.
Cheryl L. Bedford, a NAACP Image Award Nominee for “Dark Girls” and Baltimore native, holds a BFA from NYU’s TSOA and MFA in Producing from AFI. She is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. As a Production Manager, Line Producer, and Producer, Cheryl has worked on countless film/tv/digital projects, including 17 Independent Features. Ms. Bedford served as CFO and Supervising Producer for a boutique studio. She was the first Chair of Diversity Development and a Producing Instructor at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California. As Chair, Ms. Bedford developed the Diversity Series, the Industry Lab (creating a bridge from school to work), among other initiatives. She has also taught The Art of Line Producing at UCLA Extension in Westwood, CA. Ms. Bedford formed her own company, Cheryl L. Bedford Productions, in January of 2001. In her spare time, she judges film festivals.
Ms. Bedford is the founder of Women of Color Unite (WOCU), a 501(c)(3), which purpose is to help WOC get Hired, their projects Funded and their content Distributed. From the members of WOCU, Cheryl created The JTC List. The JTC List is a database of 4000+ Women of Color above & below the line in Entertainment, which is being shared throughout the Industry. Never again will someone be able to say, they can’t find any WOC for any job above or below the line. The list is named after her mother, Joan Theresa Curtis, an activist, warrior and Ms. Bedford’s biggest fan, who passed away in 2016.
Rufus is responsible for the management of Madman’s documentary VOD platform DocPlay. Rufus has a background in film theory and criticism and has worked as a producer, story consultant, script editor, location scout and assistant director. He spent several years in the Netherlands as a journalist/editor and in communications/PR for the Dutch Film Fund. Prior to Madman, he lived in New Zealand where he worked for the New Zealand Film Commission and Doc Edge International Documentary Film Festival. He is a passionate advocate for documentary as a vehicle for social change and social justice and has a particular interest in environmental and music documentaries. Rufus is a graduate of the Australian National University and AFTRS.
Tracey is the Chief Content Officer for Emmy® and BAFTA Award winning film and television production company Hoodlum. Hoodlum operates between Australia, the US and the UK, and has a first-look deal with Disney’s ABC Studios. Prior to Hoodlum Tracey was the CEO of Screen Queensland where she led the organisation through significant cultural change and growth from February 2014 to August 2019. Tracey was named in the 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and is the 2016 Telstra Queensland Businesswoman of the Year. Tracey moved to Los Angeles in 2004 where for the next 10-years she took on senior roles at Ausfilm, the industry-government partnership that connects the international screen industry with Australia’s incentives, talent and facilities. Since returning Tracey has launched initiatives for the industry including the first feature film with an SVOD company, a partnership with YouTube, a development partnership with Stan, Australia’s first VR series witha broadcaster and led significant cultural change within the organisation. Tracey also introduced the organisations first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategic Plan and a Gender Equity Policy to drive change both behind and in front of the screen.
Tanya Phegan is an Australian based Film and Television Producer and Senior Media Executive.
Tanya is the Co-Creator and Producer of OPERATION BUFFALO (Porchlight Films, 2020) a six-part drama series for ABC Australia. The series won Best Comedy Award at the Berlin TV Series Festival, 2020.
Tanya worked for over a decade in the UK and US in international development, production and acquisitions. In the UK she held roles at Universal Pictures, BBC Films and DNA Films/Fox Searchlight. She developed projects with the UK’s top creative talent, working on films including THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, 28 WEEKS LATER, DREDD, THE HISTORY BOYS, NEVER LET ME GO, SUNSHINE, NOTES ON A SCANDAL, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD and 360°. In the US, Tanya curated ‘Your Film Festival’ with YouTube/Scott Free with the winner creating a new work produced by Ridley Scott and Michael Fassbender.
Tanya is currently the Head of Scripted at Guesswork Television and is responsible for overseeing the development and production of Guesswork’s scripted slate.
1:1 PITCHES –WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
Format: Features, Episodic and Documentary
Looking for comedy, not looking for straight drama
Kirsty Stark is a television producer based in Adelaide, South Australia, and the owner of independent production company Epic Films.
She has worked in the film industry since 2007, initially as a freelance camera assistant and cinematographer before moving into production in 2012.
Kirsty’s recent work includes producing the acclaimed children’s series First Day,winner of multiple international awards including a Kidscreen Award and aRose d’Or.She alsoco-produced the 13x AACTA award-winning Stateless with Matchbox Pictures, now screening internationally on Netflix. Her other credits as Producer include Goober, Unboxed and Wastelander Panda: Exilefor ABC iview,First Dayfor ABC ME and the feature filmA Month of Sundays.
Kirsty has presented at SXSW and TEDxAdelaide, and received multiple awards for her work. Epic Films was named the Screen Producers Australia “Breakthrough Business of the Year” in 2016.
Rebecca is a producer and is co-owner of the award-winning screen production company Closer Productions. Her feature film credits include break out low budget feature 52 TUESDAYS, which won the directing award for World Cinema at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at Berlinale, and feature documentary SAM KLEMKE’S TIME MACHINE which premiered at Sundance and in Official Selection at HotDocs and Rotterdam. Her most recent feature, ANIMALS, is an official Irish/Australian co-production based on the acclaimed novel, which premiered at Sundance 2019.
For television, Rebecca has made numerous documentaries including Dendy Award-winning I WANT TO DANCE BETTER AT PARTIES and 3-part Arts series HANNAH GADSBY’S OZ. Her television drama credits include the 6-part online series F*!#ING ADELAIDE, which premiered at Series Mania and was the most watched ABC iView Original in 2018. She also produced THE HUNTING, a 4 x 1 hour drama series which premiered on SBS Television in August 2019 and was SBS’ most successful commissioned drama ever. Rebecca recently completed AFTERTASTE a new 6 x 30 comedy drama for the ABC which premiered on ABC TV in February 2021. Rebecca also sits on the Board of the South Australian Film Corporation.
Matt Vesely is a South Australian writer/director. He works with award winning creative collective Closer Productions. Often combining his love of science fiction with a sincere view of human relationships, Matt has directed a number of successful shorts and worked as a writer across TV & film.
Matt has worked in writers’ rooms with Closer Productions, Matchbox Pictures, Bunya Productions, the ABC and SBS. He was a part of the writing team for the ABC’s flagship iView series, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi WASTELANDER PANDA, and wrote an episode and was a staff writer across the entirety of Closer’s award-winning comic drama for ABC, FUCKING ADELAIDE. In 2014, Matt was the recipient of the Colin Thiele Scholarship for Creative Writing. In 2018, his feature script OVERHEATER – a dystopian romantic comedy – was shortlisted for the Australian Writer’s Guild’s John Hinde Award for best unproduced science fiction screenplay.
Matt works as Closer’s Development Manager under the mentorship of Sophie Hyde and Rebecca Summerton, and was the script producer for Closer’s 4 part series THE HUNTING (SBS), starring Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh. In 2021, he script produced and wrote for Closer’s comedy series AFTERTASTE (ABC), starring Erik Thomson.
Matt continues to lead Closer’s writers’ rooms and develop his own television projects, including a series based on OVERHEATER, supported by Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation. SYSTEM ERROR, his new proof of concept short for OVERHEATER, was selected to have its world premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
Matthew Bate is a multi-award winning writer, director and producer. His 2011 feature Shut Up Little Man! premiered in competition at the Sundance Film festival before screening theatrically across the U.S and being bought by Netflix. His follow up feature Sam Klemke’s Time Machine premiered at the 2015 Sundance New Frontiers Program, winning Doc Aviv’s Artistic Spirit Award and an AWGIE for best screenplay. In 2013 Mathew wrote and directed the Dendy Award winning film I Want to Dance Better At Parties. Matthew’s Virtual Reality work Summation of Force, made with Magnum Photographer Trent Parke, was selected for Sundance’s New Frontier Program and won the inaugural VR Award at the ‘Imagine Film Festival’ Amsterdam. In 2020 Matthew was a co-creator, co-writer and co-producer of the comedy TV Series Aftertaste, starring Rachel Griffiths and Erik Thomson. Matthew is the co-founder of the South Australian film company Closer Productions.
In her role as CEO at Co-Curious, Annabel has been instrumental in designing, implementing and delivering a number of industry development programs. This includes the Behind Closed Doors program which resulted in feature film anthology, Here Out West, which she produced with Sheila Jayadev from Emerald Productions and Bree-Anne Sykes. She has extensive screen industry experience and a successful history in creating proposals for key arts and film funding bodies. From 2017-2018 she was the Partnerships Manager with CuriousWorks and prior to CuriousWorks, Annabel spent seven years with the Australian Writers’ Guild, where she played a key part in developing their Pathways Program. She also helped lead the establishment of Scripted Ink, which provides world first development opportunities to Australian writers. Annabel has also worked as a Script Department Manager across a number of Australian and international drama products.
Michelle Rae is the Equity Director for Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). MEAA is the union that represents Performers, crew and media workers. As the head of Equity Michelle is responsible for ensuring Performers voices are heard.
Matthew Deaner is the Chief Executive Officer of Screen Producers Australia, a national organisation that unites the screen industry to campaign for a healthy commercial environment. Screen Producer’s Australia supports the interests of businesses, large and small, in their production of feature films, television programs, interactive content and games across all genres and formats.
Matthew oversees all aspects of Screen Producers Australia’s advocacy work, industrial negotiations, events and operational issues. He also works closely with our Council to set the strategic direction of the organisation as well as identify and execute new business development opportunities. Matthew brings a wealth of knowledge to Screen Producers Australia with his experience as a lawyer in both Sydney and London and in senior policy and strategy positions with Screen Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.
In July 2015 Matthew was appointed to the board of Media Super as an employer-representative director, nominated by Screen Producers Australia.
Greg Denning has almost 30 years in the entertainment industry, across both Exhibition and Distribution businesses, and is one of the most highly respected film executives in this territory. He has worked across Sales, Programming, Marketing, Acquisitions and Development. He has released nearly 500 films Theatrically and Programmed many more! Since 2013 Greg has been with independent powerhouse STUDIOCANAL, as Head of Sales & Acquisitions and Development Manager. In that time, he initiated the STUDIOCANAL CULTIVATOR DEVELOPMENT FUND which currently has three local feature films in development.
Before STUDIOCANAL, Greg spent eleven years at Icon Film Distribution (since its inception), firstly as Head of Sales, and subsequently General Manager Theatrical. In that period he helped grow the company from 5 to 40 staff, oversaw the release of over 200 films theatrically, and was a key part of the acquisitions process too.
Prior to Icon, he spent 13 years with Hoyts Cinemas in the cinema exhibition business, in both Marketing and Programming roles.
Greg has released over 500 Theatrical films across all genres and scale including international titles like PADDINGTON 1 & 2, KNIVES OUT, HEREDITARY, DEATH AT A FUNERAL, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, CRASH, THE IRON LADY, BOMBSHELL, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY & POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, JOHN WICK 2 & 3, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and Australian productions like BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE, KNOWING, LITTLE FISH, ORANGES & SUNSHINE, WYRMWOOD and DANCE ACADEMY THE MOVIE.
Greg typically reads, assesses & values over 120 film scripts per year.
1:1 PITCHES –WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
We are looking for mostly features, nothing micro-budget
Mercury CX CEO Karena Slaninka has an extensive background working in Australia and the UK in television, documentary and screen industry development, including almost a decade as head of Screen Tasmania.
As a creative producer, script developer and senior executive, Karena is known as a creative and transformative force, with distinctive vision and strong leadership skills. She blends business and producing skills with strong creative flair, having produced or worked on hundreds of hours of television. As an industry executive she has facilitated approximately $300 million worth of production on feature films and TV series.
Nationally, she has extensive experience in revitalising key industry organisations including the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) where as Chair of the Board and Acting CEO, she rebuilt the flagging organisation and reimagined it as the commercially robust and internationally renowned organisation it is today.
Her passion for creative development of authentic and diverse stories has been a common thread through her roles since her time as a Senior Development and Production Executive at Screen NSW and as a creator and producer.
In her position as the Head of Screen Tasmania she effectively kick-started the sector in the state, driving industry development and facilitating finance for the production of local shows such as the ABC’s Rosehaven and the multi-award winning The Kettering Incident, whilst attracting Hollywood productions including Dreamworks’ Light Between Oceans, and The Hunter starring Willem Dafoe.
Amanda Duthie is Stan’s Head of Scripted, overseeing all of Stan’s Original scripted, entertainment and factual slate; and has over 20 years in the creative arts and television industry. Prior to her position at Stan, Amanda was Acting Head of Drama at SBS, plus also served as Executive Producer across many commissioned titles, such as New Gold Mountain and The Unusual Suspects. Before her time at SBS, Amanda was the Head of Production, Development and Studios at the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), where she oversaw investment slate which included, I Am Woman, The Hunting, First Day, Operation Buffalo and Stateless. She was also the Creative Director/CEO of the Adelaide Film Festival for seven years, leading both the festival and its investment fund; supporting 58 projects, which included award winning documentaries, VR, features including Sweet Country, Charlie’s Country, Hotel Mumbai, I Am Mother, Top End Wedding, 52 Tuesdays, Ali’s Wedding, Tender, She Who Must Be Loved and Cargo. Amanda Duthie held various roles at the ABC over her eight years with the public broadcaster, including Head of Arts and Entertainment, along with Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor Arts, Entertainment and Comedy. During her tenure at ABC, she commissioned numerous award-winning and popular programs.