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.

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. 

JACK SHERIDAN

Deputy Chair
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.

ELLA MACINTYRE

Director
Chief Product Officer, Mighty Kingdom

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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.

TOM PHILLIPS

Director
Creative Director, We Made A Thing Studios

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Tom is an award winning filmmaker, co-founder and creative director of We Made A Thing Studios (‘Wemat’), with over a decade worth of experience in the film and creative industries. In addition, prior to that Tom came from a marketing and advertising background. Tom optioned his first feature script in 2014 and after a few years of screenwriting on contract for a handful of production companies before he co-founded ‘Wemat’ in 2017. ‘

 Wemat’ projects are unique and stand out in a crowd. High concept, genre and a global audience if the focus of their slate. Most notably they released the popular series Lucy and DiC in 2019 with the support of Screen Australia, SAFC and the AFF to over 4+ Million views online. 

In 2018 Tom was listed as a SPA ‘Ones to Watch’, and throughout the years have developed good relationships across industry, government funding bodies and government departments.  

 Since then in collaboration with UniSA, ‘Wemat’ have established Film Concept Lab, the largest short film/proof of concept fund in the state. Industry projects where students are attached to shadow and observe the process of concept to creation. One of those projects is currently in development with STAN and others certainly on the move. 

 ‘Wemat’ is currently near release of it’s first major video game (‘Box Knight’) and the team are continuing to grow their interactive and new media slate.

 

JOANNE NEAVE

Director
Consultant / Co-Founder, Inspirare Consulting

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Joanne is originally from the UK; she has recently moved to Adelaide with her husband and 9-year-old twins, after 10 years living in the USA.

Joanne has 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications in the Pharmaceutical Industry across the UK, European and USA market.

Joanne’s experience spans all aspects of the marketing spectrum from branding, PR and event management through strategic product story development and investor relations. 

Joanne co-founded and ran her own communications agency in the UK taking it to $3million before moving to the USA.

More recently Joanne has been involved with private equity in the US in identifying and assessing companies for investment.

In an earlier life Joanne worked for the ministry of defense taking military applications and establishing commercial opportunities across the globe.

JAMES MARSHALL

Director
Head of Studio, CDW Animation

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Starting as a freelance producer James worked with clients including PriceWaterhouseCoopers, CSIRO, Lynx Deodorant, and Yahoo!7, working on shows such as Sunrise, The X Factor (s1-4), Home and Away, My Kitchen Rules, House Rules, and various others. In 2014 James co-Founded Mudita Games, exclusive children’s game developer to the NRL, before moving into virtual reality development. As Senior Producer at Start VR, he managed various corporate contracts and original IP, including the Screen Australia supported project Awake: Episode One.

Awake premiered at South By Southwest Film Festival in 2018 before being invited to Cannes Film Festival Marche du Canne, and was nominated as Best VR Experience in the international VR Awards 2018.

James then took a position as Head of Learning and Development and helped

with the opening of Mill Film for Techniolor, before taking a role in the South Australian government as Business Development Manager for the Creative Industries, which saw the introduction of Australia’s first rebate for Games Development and various other projects.

James is currently balancing his roles as Managing Director of Golden Age Studios and as Head of Studio for CDW Studios.

Meet our Team

Mercury CX is located in the Lion Arts Centre, 13 Morphett Street, Adelaide.
We can be contacted by phone, + 61 8 8410 0979, or email, hello@mercurycx.org.

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.

PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

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.

SENIOR PROGRAMMER & PROJECTIONIST

SENIOR PROGRAMMER & PROJECTIONIST

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.

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.

PROJECT & EVENTS COORDINATOR

PROJECT & EVENTS COORDINATOR

Adelaide Xerri

Email: adelaide@mercurycx.org

With broad experience in events and festivals from Adelaide Fringe, WOMADelaide, FEAST Festival and AFF, Adelaide can almost do it all. She is the ultimate yes-man with a passion for the arts and not-for-profit sector.

PROGRAMMER & SOCIALS COORDINATOR

PROGRAMMER & SOCIALS COORDINATOR

Alex McKenzie

Email: alex@mercurycx.org

For Alex, an eclectic taste in film drives a passion for curation that sees Mercury Cinema’s programs to screen, all while coordinating a social feed that keeps audiences excited and brings them through the door.

MARKETING & DESIGN ASSISTANT

MARKETING & DESIGN ASSISTANT

Megan Keher

Email: megan@mercurycx.org

In her role as Graphic Designer, Megan has a passion for all things creative. She loves to visually communicate with those that connect with us, and is driven to make the strategies & visions of Mercury CX come to life.

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