CONFERENCE PROGRAM

SEPTEMBER 10 -11

PITCH  ///  LEARN  ///  CONNECT

100% ONLINE + INTERACTIVE

PROGRAM DOWNLOAD  |  HOPIN USER GUIDE

For its seventh edition, the national MCX Screenmakers Conference program of panel sessions, case studies, in focus presentations and insightful conversations will be held online over two jam-packed days on 10 and 11 September, making it accessible to delegates from across the country.

The impressive line-up of national and international industry speakers and presenters include LA based screenwriters and producers Lorien McKenna and Meg Lefauve from The Screenwriting Life podcast, a trip through storytelling and activism with Benjamin Law and Michelle Law, and we’re especially thrilled to host an in-conversation with the co-founders of Hoodlum Entertainment, tracing their journey from producing online show Fat Cow Motel in 1999, to being one of Australia’s most successful production companies producing content for the global marketplace to having an office at the Walt Disney studios in Hollywood.

Program highlights include creative sessions such as the exploration of the ‘dark art of development’, craft sessions on narrative writing for games, a case study of the ABC hit TV series Aftertaste with the team from Closer Productions, and business sessions including how to maximise the monetisation of your intellectual property.

MCX Conference – 10, 11 September – $55

 CONFERENCE PROGRAM

DAY 1

FRIDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

9.00 - 9.05am • WELCOME TO COUNTRY
9.05 - 9.10am • HELLO
9.10 - 9.15am • OFFICIAL OPENING • HON. DAVID PISONI MP
9.15 - 10.00am • STATE OF PLAY • PANEL

Presented in partnership with Media Super

Sharing industry insights, pressure points and exciting career opportunities in the screen industry.

Facilitator: Karena Slaninka

SAMANTHA LANG

Filmmaker, Director, Producer, Writer, President of the ADG

MATTHEW DEANER

CEO of Screen Producers Australia

TONY LAWRENCE

Executive Director/ COO/ Director of Mighty Kingdom /IGEA

MICHELLE RAE

Equity Director at MEAA

   

SAM MEIKLE

Writer/Producer at Australian Writers Guild

 

KARENA SLANINKA

CEO at Mercury CX

   
10.05 - 10.45am • RECIPE FOR A HIT SHOW • CASE STUDY

An exploration of Closer Production’s unique approach to creating and showrunning the ABC hit series Aftertaste.

Facilitator: Beth Neate

JULIE DE FINA

Creator/ Writer/ EP at Closer Productions

MATTHEW BATE

Director of Closer Productions

 

MATT VESELY

Development Manager at Closer Productions

REBECCA SUMMERTON

Producer at Closer Productions

     

BETH NEATE

Head of Production and Development at SAFC

     
10.45 - 11.00am • NETWORKING / BREAK

Continue connecting with Chat, hang out in the virtual Foyer or try our Speed Networking feature and meet your next collaborator

11.00 - 11.45am • THE DARK ART OF TV DEVELOPMENT • IN CONVERSATION

Everyone has a great idea for a TV show, but what does it take to turn that idea into a successful series?

Facilitator: Kirsty Stark

KIRSTY STARK

Producer at Epic Films

 

MELISSA LEE SPEYER

Development Executive at Screen Australia

 

TANYA PHEGAN

Head of Scripted at Guesswork

TRACEY VIEIRA

Chief Content Officer Hoodlum

   
   
11.50 - 12.45pm • STREAM DREAMS • PANEL

So you want to make a bingeable series for a streamer? Find out what they are looking for and how you pitch to them.

Facilitator: Kate Croser

AMANDA DUTHIE

Head of Scripted at Stan

NAKUL LEGHA

Content Acquisitions & Originals at Netflix

RUFUS RICHARDSON

Documentary Executive at Madman Entertainment, Manager of Doc Play

LIBBIE DOHERTY

Head, Children’s Content at ABC

MARSHALL HEALD

Director, TV and Online Content SBS

KATE CROSER

CEO, South Australian Film Corporation

12.45 - 1.30pm • LUNCH PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MEDIA SUPER

Grab yourself a bite and join Mercury CX’s Jonathan Champ in the virtual foyer over lunch and find your next co-creator (This session will be in Zoom) 

1.30 - 2.30pm • THE POWER AND THE PASSION • MEET THE DISTRIBUTORS • PANEL

Creators need audiences. Distributors know audiences – discover current and upcoming trends in the Australian and global feature film and documentary market.

Facilitator: Jennie Hughes

EDWINA WADDY

Australian Production Executive at Roadshow Films

FIONA GILROY

Content Sales & Acquisitions Director of Flame Distribution

 

GREG DENNING

Head of Sales, Acquisitions and Development at StudioCanal

JONATHAN PAGE

Owner at Bonsai Films

NICK HAYES

Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Icon Film Distribution

PAUL WIEGARD

CEO and Founder of Madman Entertainment

 

 

JENNIE HUGHES

Director of Screen Territory

2.35 - 2.55pm • THE FUTURE IS NOW • DATA DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT • IN FOCUS

An exploration of how data can be used to define your audience and inform what gets made.

GEORGIA WOODWARD

Development Producers at Southern Pictures

3.00 - 3.15pm • NETWORKING / BREAK

Continue connecting with Chat, hang out in the virtual Foyer or try our Speed Networking feature and meet your next collaborator

3.15 - 4.00pm • LEVEL UP YOUR STORY • PANEL

Games is a multi-billion dollar industry and narrative games are rising in popularity and attracting loyal audiences. So what kinds of narratives work well in games and what do you need to consider in translating your story to a game?

Facilitator: James Marshall

KEN WONG

 

Creative Director of Mountains Studio

SUSANNAH EMERY

 

Lecturer – Game Design and Digital Media at University of South Australia

ELLA MACINTYRE

 

Chief Product Officer at Mighty Kingdom

 

 

JAMES MARSHALL

Head of Studios at CDW Studios

 

 

4.05 - 4.50pm • SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT • WHAT DOES TALENT HAVE TO DO WITH IT? • IN CONVERSATION

Presented in partnership with UniSA

How do we as a nation develop screenwriting talent? What opportunities, initiatives and funding are available to emerging voices and perspectives? Or are doors firmly closed? This discussion teases out some of the issues facing the industry when it comes to nurturing writing talent, and how script development practices and opportunities might respond to help create a future of fresh, distinctive voices for a thriving industry.

Facilitator: Craig Batty

CRAIG BATTY

Dean of Research (Creative) at University of South Australia

MATTHEW DABNER

Lecturer in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney

 

CHRISTOPHER GIST

Writer and Producer

 

SARAH MAYBERRY

Writer

 
4.50 - 5.00pm • DAY WRAP UP
5.00 - 6.00pm • HAPPY HOUR PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SCREEN TERRITORY

Presented in Partnership with Screen Territory 

Crack one open and join Mercury CX’s Jonathan Champ in the virtual foyer to download the hottest takes of the day and meet makers and shakers from across the country.  (This session will be in Zoom) 

 CONFERENCE PROGRAM

DAY 2

SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 

9.00 - 9.10am • WELCOME DAY 2
9.10 - 10.10am • CREATIVE OUTLAWS - CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO • IN CONVERSATION

A conversation between writers and siblings Benjamin Law (The Family Law, Waltzing the Dragon) and Michelle Law (Homecoming Queens) on each other’s journey into writing, their unique point of view and fighting for authenticity, what obstacles they have had to overcome and of course, what their parents (and each other) think of their career choice. Find out what’s next for this talented brother and sister.

Facilitator: Michelle Cheng

MICHELLE CHENG

Content Industry Diversity Manger at SBS

MICHELLE LAW

Writer/Screenwriter

BENJAMIN LAW

Writer/Screenwriter

10.15 - 10.35am • ANALYSING AFTERTASTE - ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN STORY ANALYSIS • IN FOCUS

We all read scripts differently, through the lens of our own experiences. But are stories purely subjective? The fields of linguistics, computer science, and artificial intelligence all collide to grapple with this question, and whether words can be interpreted as data points. This talk provides an introduction into the frontiers of data science in storytelling, including applications to story arcs, character profiles and a case study on the recent Closer Productions series Aftertaste.

ANTON ANDREACCHIO

Co-founder of  Convergen, Jumpgate VR and Artisan Post Group

 

10.40 - 11.00am • NETWORKING / BREAK

Continue connecting with Chat, hang out in the virtual Foyer or try our Speed Networking feature and meet your next collaborator

11.00 - 11.55am • DIVERSITY MEANS BIG BUSINESS • PANEL

Is it good deeds or good business to be inclusive? We are starting to see more diversity on Australian screens, but behind the camera is another story. A 2021 McKinsey report in the USA found that $10 Billion in revenue is left on the table annually by not increasing Black representation in film and TV. Hear from the game changers who are navigating new pathways to support under-represented talent.

Facilitator: Diana Ward

ANNABEL DAVIS

CEO of Co-Curious

CHERYL L. BEDFORD

Founder/ Producer/ Educator/ Activist Women of Color Unite

SHEILA JAYADEV

Producer at Emerald Productions

 

GILLIAN MOODY 

Company Director/Producer of Kalori Productions

 

 DIANA WARD

Programs Manager at Mercury CX

 

 

12.00 - 12.55pm • LIVE FROM LA • THE SCREENWRITING LIFE PODCAST • IN CONVERSATION

LA-based writers Meg LeFauve (Captain Marvel, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur) and Lorien McKenna (Inside Out, Up and Brave) will record a special episode of their hit podcast, The Screenwriting Life live from Screenmakers 2021, presenting a unique chance for delegates to deep-dive into both the craft and the business of writing and answering questions on how emerging writers can navigate between championing creativity and getting the gig.

Facilitator: Jonathan Champ

LORIEN MCKENNA

Screenwriter and Co-host of The Screenwriting Life podcast

 

MEG LEFAUVE

Screenwriter and Co-host of The Screenwriting Life podcast

JONATHAN CHAMP

Communication and Engagment Manager at Mercury CX

1.00 - 1.30pm • LUNCH PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MEDIA SUPER

Grab yourself a bite and join Mercury CX’s Jonathan Champ in the virtual foyer over lunch and find your next co-creator (This session will be in Zoom) 

1.30 - 1.50pm • UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL • LESSONS FROM AN INTIMACY COORDINATOR • IN FOCUS
Lessons from an Intimacy Coordinator – revealing insights for directors, actors and producers navigating the delicate art of intimacy on set.

MICHELA CARATTINI

Coordinator (IC) and Company Director at Key Intimate Scenes (KIS)

1.55 - 2.40pm • MAKING A BUCK • CASE STUDY

The many and varied ways in which to exploit your IP. Using a 360 model to value your intellectual property with the creators of the hit megalith The Block.

Facilitator: Ian Murray

 

JULIAN CRESS

Producer and Co-creator of The Block

DAVID BARBOUR 

Producer and Co-creator of The Block

IAN MURRAY

CEO of 113 Partners

2.40 - 2.55pm • NETWORKING / BREAK

Continue connecting with Chat, hang out in the virtual Foyer or try our Speed Networking feature and meet your next collaborator

2.55 - 3.40pm • THE CHANGING CREATIVE ECONOMY • PANEL
Presented in partnership with AFTRS

Thinking outside and inside the box when financing your ideas. An exploration of alternative platforms, pathways to audiences and creative financing models.

Facilitator: Peter Herbert – AFTRS

Nathan Anderson
PETER HERBERT

Head of Screen Business at Australian Film Television and Radio School

SUSIE HAMMILL

Founder of Mercury Media Group

NATHAN ANDERSON

CEO and Executive Producer at New Canvas

JAM HASSAN

Executive Producer at Monster Children Films

GENA ASHWELL

Company Director/Producer of Dancing Road Productions

3.45 - 4.30pm • FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW, HOODLUM ENTERTAINMENT • IN CONVERSATION

From Fat Cow Motel in 2003 to Harrow, Five Bedrooms and having an office at Walt Disney Studios in Hollywood, Hoodlum has gone from Brissy production company to Emmy® and BAFTA Award-winning global powerhouse.

Facilitator: Karena Slaninka

TRACEY ROBERTSON

Co-founder of Hoodlum Entertainment

NATHAN MAYFIELD

Co-founder of Hoodlum Entertainment

KARENA SLANINKA

CEO of Mercury CX

4.30 - 4.45pm • HANLON LARSEN PRESENTATION

 

KARENA SLANINKA

CEO of Mercury CX

DAN THORSLAND

Business Development Manager at Flinders University

PETER HANLON

Chair of SAFC

4.45 - 5.00pm • CONFERENCE CLOSE

This is a dynamic industry. Times and sessions and speakers are subject to change. The online agenda will be up to date throughout the conference.