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Kauthar Abdulalim (Founder of Blacksand Pictures)

Kauthar Abdulalim

Founder of Blacksand Pictures

Kauthar Abdulalim is an Australian-Muslim filmmaker with East-African and South-Asian heritage. She is the winner of the BMW Short Film Competition at the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and a graduate of Cinespace Inc.’s Story Lab initiative. Kauthar was awarded a one year ‘Social Change on Screen’ Writer’s Fellowship by Cinespace Inc. and the Australian government in 2019, and has received Screen Australia development funding for her comedy web-series, ‘Salma’s Season’. Kauthar has worked on feature documentary productions with the ABC & SBS in the capacities of an Impact Producer and Production Manager. She has founded her own independent production company, Blacksand Pictures, where she is developing an exciting slate of projects with both new and experienced creators. Her most recent online series ‘#MATCHED’ has been funded for production for season two by Screen Australia, Film Victoria and TikTok. Kauthar has a degree in Islamic Studies, is pursuing her Masters in Arts Management and continues to work as an Impact Producer in social justice filmmaking.

Alyce Adams (Investment and Development Manager at Screen Australia)

Alyce Adams

Investment and Development Manager at Screen Australia

Alyce Adams is an Investment and Development Manager at Screen Australia in the Online department. Her role includes managing development, production and completion funding for multiple online projects across YouTube, Facebook, ABC iView, SBS OnDemand, Netflix and Stan, as well as several VR projects that have been accepted into Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. Alyce deals with creators, writers, producers, platforms, broadcasters and other humans every day, using her years of experience working in the online sector to give guidance on the best way to create unique content that will reach a global audience.

Tony Ayres - ZOOM (Founder of Tony Ayres Productions)

Tony Ayres - ZOOM

Founder of Tony Ayres Productions

Tony Ayres is one of Australia’s most prolific and award-winning showrunners, writers and directors. He is one of the founding members of Matchbox Pictures. In 2018 Tony established his own production company Tony Ayres Productions (TAP), developing and producing feature films and television for global audiences and international marketplaces.

In 2021 Tony executive produced and co-wrote the hit Netflix miniseries Clickbait. Tony executive produced miniseries Fires, released in 2021 on ABC and ABC iview. Tony’s release have followed from the great success of Stateless, a 2020 miniseries starring Cate Blanchett, Tony executive produced and wrote. Tony was an executive producer on Creamerie, Wanted, Glitch and The Family Law, produced miniseries Barracuda and Seven Types of Ambiguity. Tony also executive produced Old School and The Devil’s Playground.

Tony created, executive produced Nowhere Boys and the telemovie, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows, its cinematic release in 2016. Internationally-acclaimed, winning the AACTA for Best Children’s Television Series, a Logie Award, a Prix Jeunesse International Award, and a nomination for a Children’s BAFTA Award. Tony’s other television credits include The Slap and its US remake, Underground: The Julian Assange Story, The Straits, and Saved.

Tony’s first feature film, Walking on Water, won the Teddy Award at Berlin in 2002, five AFI awards, while his second feature, The Home Song Stories, premiered at Berlin winning 24 Australian and international awards, including eight AFI Awards. His third feature, Cut Snake, premiered at Toronto Film Festival in 2014 and screened at Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Claudia Bailey (Filmmaker)

Claudia Bailey

Filmmaker

Claudia Bailey is an award-winning non-binary filmmaker whose work aims to empower queer youth. They were the 2019 recipient of the Young Australian Filmmaker of the Year Award and have since screened and picked up awards for their work all over the country. Claudia also works at the Australian Directors' Guild as their Digital and Events Coordinator.

Hawanatu Bangura (Founder of Mahawa Creative)

Hawanatu Bangura

Founder of Mahawa Creative

Hawanatu Bangura is a Sydney-based filmmaker whose work explores issues of identity, belonging, social justice, mental health and resilience. Her career has spanned over a decade as an award-winning director, writer and producer in various genres including dance, drama, documentary, animation and experimental film. Her film festival screenings include the Toronto International Film Festival Kids, the Pan African International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Montreal International Black Film Festival. Her award-winning film I am Black and Beautiful continues to resonate with audiences and recently streamed on SBS On Demand.

Having also been employed as a social worker since 2013, she has advocated for vulnerable people and worked in a range of areas such as youth homelessness, disability, domestic violence, mental health, early childhood development and seniors in residential aged care. A combination of grassroots work with marginalised communities and her lived experience as an Afro-Australian woman drives her to create compelling stories that explore social issues not usually covered by mainstream media.

Hawanatu is the founder of Mahawa Creative, a storytelling agency that crafts socially impactful videos for government and community organisations. It also facilitates a range of workshops for women and young people to enhance their self-worth and mental health . These Inner Essence workshops use creative self-expression activities and simple self-care tools in a safe environment, allowing people to share their stories and reconnect authentically with who they are.

Rosemary Blight (Founding Partner at Goalpost Pictures)

Rosemary Blight

Founding Partner at Goalpost Pictures

Rosemary Blight is a founding partner at Goalpost Pictures and one of Australia’s most experienced producers. She is currently in post-production on Benjamin Millepied’s CARMEN, a drama with music and dance, with original songs by Nicholas Britell, co-produced with Chapter 2 and starring Melissa Barrera, Paul Mescal and Rossy de Palma.

Her most recent credits include I AM WOMAN, the story of Australian international singing superstar Helen Reddy, directed by Unjoo Moon; and as Executive Producer on Universal’s THE INVISIBLE MAN, written and directed by Leigh Whannell and starring Elisabeth Moss; and Goalpost Television revisionist western NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN.

Rosemary is known for making distinctive film and television including TOP END WEDDING, co-written and starring Miranda Tapsell and directed by Wayne Blair; THE SAPPHIRES which premiered at Cannes; the internationally acclaimed drama series CLEVERMAN & FELONY, directed by Matthew Saville and starring Joel Edgerton & Tom Wilkinson. Rosemary Executive Produced Leigh Whannell's UPGRADE, co-produced with US independent production powerhouse Blumhouse; the screen adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s bestselling novel HOLDING THE MAN; THE TREE starring Charlotte Gainsbourg which was the closing night film at the Cannes Film Festival; and the Foxtel drama series FIGHTING SEASON.

Laurrie Brannigan–Onato (Development and Investment Executive, First Nation Department at Screen Australia)

Laurrie Brannigan–Onato

Development and Investment Executive, First Nation Department at Screen Australia

Laurrie is a proud Aboriginal-Pinoy-Irish, Bi+ and Gender Queer screen developer & producer who was raised on Darug Country in Sydney's West.

Laurrie has over four years’ experience working at Screen Australia as a Development and Investment Executive within the First Nation Department – this sees them assessing and managing a number of development and production projects, as well as, facilitating programs for talent development and engaging with and maintaining stakeholder relationships.

Laurrie sits across a number of advisory boards and committees with the hopes of elevating equitable standards across all areas of the screen industry. Laurrie has also produced and developed their own content, including several independent short films which screened both locally and internationally, as well as, developing their own scripted content. Laurrie also has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication: Media, Arts and Production (2013) from UTS and an Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting from AFTRS (2017).

Laurrie’s claim to fame is having won the North Sydney Art Prize in the adults’ category at age four in 1996. Laurrie worries they may have peaked too soon...

Charlotte Brigel (National/International Sale & Marketing, Business Manager at Byron Film Studios)

Charlotte Brigel

National/International Sale & Marketing, Business Manager at Byron Film Studios

Charlotte is a highly respected senior commercial and people executive, with impressive accolades that extend over 30 years in the field of media, sport, entertainment, film, environment, equality and health, and is specialised in the negotiation of entertainment and sport media rights, sponsorship, event management and production. Her role at Byron Studios is to leverage all National and International Marketing and Sales with continual growth.

Her proven record to deliver and exceed year on year growth, whilst building long-term business relationships and trust is what sets her apart. Charlotte has held roles such as; Vice President, Head of Sales and Operations for Endeavor (IMG) successfully growing business in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific through media rights sales and negotiations. International and national clients include; IOC, R&A, Wimbledon, USTA, Roland Garros, MotoGP, World Rugby, Tennis Australia, News Corp, Disney, Amazon, Netflix, Foxtel, Fox Sports, Seven, Nine, Ten, ABC, SBS, BBC, Stan and more.

Not only a reputable media and business professional with demonstrated success on our shores and abroad, Charlotte was a former professional tennis player, and voted as one of Australia’s 50 most influential Women in Sport - 2019.

Katherine Brown (Development Coordinator at STAN)

Katherine Brown

Development Coordinator at STAN

Katherine Brown is the Development Coordinator for Stan, working across all of Stan’s Original scripted, entertainment and factual programming. Before working at Stan, Katherine held positions in acquisitions, production and development for the BBC and Universal Pictures in the UK, and Aquarius Films in Sydney.

Dr Belinda Burns (Chief Creative Officer at Screen Queensland)

Dr Belinda Burns

Chief Creative Officer at Screen Queensland

Belinda is a passionate advocate for the screen industry and the arts with a strong background in strategy development, marketing and communications, and leading creative teams. Prior to her appointment as Screen Queensland’s Chief Creative Officer in 2022, Belinda held the position of Head of Marketing and Communications since September 2020 .

As Director with the global PR network Citigate in London, Belinda spearheaded creative accounts for blue-chip financial corporations, and as General Manager for a social marketing consultancy within the Ogilvy Group she led numerous award-winning federal and state government behaviour change campaigns. Prior to joining Screen Queensland, Belinda was Director of Communications and Engagement at Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

Belinda holds an MA degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University in the UK, and a PhD in Writing from The University of Queensland, where she has lectured extensively and convened courses in creative writing (including screenwriting), literature and film studies. She is a published novelist and short fiction writer.

Krista Carpenter - via ZOOM (Co Founder of Fictional Entity)

Krista Carpenter - via ZOOM

Co Founder of Fictional Entity

Krista Carpenter has more than fifteen years experience in the entertainment industry having worked in both Los Angeles and Australia. In 2016, she co-founded, with partner Chris Deckard, the management company Fictional Entity. The boutique management company represents an international roster of writers, directors, producers and actors working in film and TV across all genres. With a collective background in agency representation, studio project development, international financing, and an extensive global network, partners Chris Deckard and Krista Carpenter provide clients with innovative career guidance, consistent and open communication, in-depth feedback, promotion to top industry players, and assistance in pitching and selling their projects. Fictional Entity works to build dynamic careers through a proactive holistic approach.

On the producing side, Fictional Entity recently sold an hour-long drama series to a major US network which is currently in development. Carpenter and Deckard serve as an Executive Producers on the the project.

From 2012-2015, Carpenter worked for ScreenWest as Director Development and Development Manager. In those positions, she worked to advance the state’s scripted and unscripted film and television industry through more than 30 programs and hundreds of grants annually. Carpenter created and spearheaded many innovative funds, and initiatives which administered millions of dollars and support to Western Australian writers, directors and producers.

Prior to moving to Australia, Carpenter was VP Feature Development for Producer Gary Foster at Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment (The Soloist, When in Rome, Community), which had a first look deal with Paramount Pictures.

Jenevieve Chang (Development Executive at Screen Australia)

Jenevieve Chang

Development Executive at Screen Australia

Jenevieve Chang has been a Development Executive at Screen Australia since 2018 and has assessed close to 400 story development applications in that time. She has led program initiatives such as The Kaleidoscope Project in partnership with ABC Kids, aimed at building capacity for making children’s content amongst culturally and linguistically diverse filmmakers. Jenevieve is currently serving as the Deputy Chair of Screen Australia’s Equity and Inclusion committee. Prior to Screen Australia, Jenevieve was Creative Executive at Arclight Films and Senior Course Manager at NIDA. As a performance-maker and story developer, she has worked for Felix Media, Griffin Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Malthouse Theatre, Australian Theatre for Young people and Monkey Baa Theatre. In the UK, Jenevieve has developed projects for the Young Vic and The National Theatre. Jenevieve’s memoir of dancing between cultures was published by Penguin Random House in 2017.

Belinda Chayko (Writer / Director)

Belinda Chayko

Writer / Director

Belinda Chayko is a writer and director for film and television. She was showrunner and co-creator of the six-part anthology Fires (ABC), covering the catastrophic bushfires of 2019/20. She was also showrunner and head writer of the mini-series Safe Harbour (SBS), winner of an International Emmy Award, among other awards. She co-wrote/story-produced Stateless (ABC), starring Cate Blanchett and Yvonne Strahovski. Co-creator of Foxtel’s Secret City (Series 1 and 2), she wrote for both series, and was one of the key writers on the ABC AWGIE award-winning series Barracuda.

She has written for Fighting Season, Old School, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Newton’s Law and wrote the AWGIE-winning screenplay for the SBS telemovie Saved. She has directed two feature films - Lou, starring John Hurt (which she also wrote and which was filmed in her home town of Murwillumbah) and City Loop, starring Sullivan Stapleton. Both films screened internationally at major festivals, including Toronto and Pusan.

Jiao Chen - via ZOOM (VP of Creative Development at Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Jiao Chen - via ZOOM

VP of Creative Development at Sony Pictures Entertainment

Jiao Chen serves as the VP of Creative Development at Sony Pictures Entertainment. At Sony, he worked on the studio’s recent hit movies including GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE, UNCHARTED and BAD BOYS FOR LIFE. Prior to joining Sony, he was a Creative Executive at Fox 2000 Pictures where he worked on the development of NEWS OF THE WORLD, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and played a key role in helping the studio secure the film rights to the NYT bestselling phenomenon CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE. Jiao began his career in Hollywood as an assistant to producer Dan Lin.

Jo Chichester (Manager of Screen in Screen, Sport & Events at ABC TV)

Jo Chichester

Manager of Screen in Screen, Sport & Events at ABC TV

Jo Chichester began her career as a radio announcer, reporter and producer at triple j, 702 Sydney and Radio National before moving to ABC TV in 2013. She has worked on a range of programs in Arts, Comedy and Entertainment including Sunday Arts, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, Kitchen Cabinet, At the Movies, and The Book Club.

As Executive Producer, ABC TV Arts, Jo commissioned a range of successful documentaries including Brilliant Creatures, Outback Choir, Stop Laughing This is Serious, Streets of Your Town, Child Prodigies, The Go-Betweens: Right Here, Stranded, and Spear.

Jo is currently Manager of Screen, in Screen, Sport & Events overseeing a slate of internal programs Gardening Australia, Back Roads, and Landline, with responsibility for developing new programs for TV and digital platforms across the ABC. Recently commissioned content includes Movin’ to the Country, Muster Dogs, Israel Folau, Harley & Katya, A League of Her Own. Previous commissions include The Australian Dream, Freeman, Brock: Over the Top, Capturing Cricket: Steve Waugh in India, and digital first content Strong Women and Chopsticks or Fork.

Dustin Clare (Director of Shelter)

Dustin Clare

Director of Shelter

Dustin Clare is known to audiences as an award-winning and internationally renowned Australian actor, recognised for his roles on TV in McLeod’s Daughters, Underbelly, Satisfaction, ANZAC Girls, Strikeback, Tidelands, Reef Break, Wolf Creek, Glitch, Rosehaven, Doctor Doctor, Eden and upcoming Surviving Summer. He is well known internationally for his starring role as Gannicus alongside Lucy Lawless and John Hannah in the US series Spartacus: War of the Damned, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and Spartacus: Vengeance. On the big screen, Dustin has made his mark in Fred Schepisi‘s The Eye of the Storm, action thriller Pacific Rim: Uprising, musical feature Goddess, opposite Ronan Keating and Magda Szubanski, and features Sunday and Seriously Red.

Dustin was named one of Screen Producers Australia’s emerging producers in 2015. He was a writer and producer on the feature Sunday (2014), served as an executive producer on In Bob We Trust (2013), A Fighting Season (2015), A Time for Making (2018), Fish Out of Water (2018) and a producer on The Meaning of Vanlife (2019). Dustin served as Executive Producer on Phillip Vaninni’s Inhabited (2021) and also Vaninni’s In the Name of Wild (2022).

For Shelter Originals he has produced or executive produced multiple titles including Inspired Architecture S1 & S2 (2020/21), Permanent Camping (2021), Architecture on the Edge (2021), Tiny Spaces (2022), Design Story (2022), Upcoming Mexity (2022), The Follies (2022), Here are the Arquitectas (2022).

Dustin is the director of global streaming service Shelter, showcasing the world’s largest collection of architecture, design films, and also heads up independent production, distribution and sales company Fighting Chance Films. Dustin is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). He lives with his wife Camille and three children in the Northern Rivers of NSW, Australia.

www.shelter.stream
www.fightingchancefilms.com

Warren Clarke (Head of Scripted Development at Fremantle Media)

Warren Clarke

Head of Scripted Development at Fremantle Media

Warren Clarke is the Head of Scripted Development at Fremantle Media Australia where he oversees the development and production of a broad slate of projects.
He is currently the Executive Producer of a number of shows including Netflix's Wellmania and Rock Island Mysteries for Nickelodeon.

Clarke was Showrunner and Co-Creator of the critically acclaimed and ACTAA nominated ABC Series The Heights. An AWGIE nominated screenwriter, Warren has written on series including Mustangs FC, and Script Produced the ABC and Adelaide Festival collaboration with Back-to-Back Theatre Oddlands.

Prior to joining Fremantle, Warren was Development Executive at Matchbox Pictures (NBCUniversal), where he worked across projects including Foxtel’s award-winning political drama Secret City, Rebecca Gibney’s on-the-run series Wanted, and Channel Nine’s Hyde and Seek.

Genevieve Clay-Smith – via ZOOM (Co Founder of Bus Stop Films)

Genevieve Clay-Smith – via ZOOM

Co Founder of Bus Stop Films

Genevieve is a writer and director who has won over fifty awards, nationally and internationally, for writing, directing and producing inclusively made films. Her projects have been screened at the United Nations, various Oscar Qualifying film festivals, Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and have also been used as part of the Australian High School Curriculum. She is an advocate and international speaker on the topic of inclusion in the film industry.

She is the co-founder and former CEO of Bus Stop Films, a pioneering not for profit, which has conducted over 400 accessible film studies workshops for people with disability in Australia. She has travelled to Japan, America and Mongolia where she had taught and delivered inclusively made projects with and alongside local filmmakers with and without disability.

In 2015 she was named the NSW Young Australian of the Year for her pioneering efforts to create a more equitable film industry. Genevieve’s work has pioneered change in the film industry when it comes to authentic casting and inclusion in the filmmaking practice, evidenced in the 500 (and counting) employment and work experience placements on professional film sets for people with intellectual disability, she has helped facilitate through Bus Stop Films.

Esther Coleman-Hawkins (Co-Founder of Media Mentors)

Esther Coleman-Hawkins

Co-Founder of Media Mentors

Esther Coleman-Hawkins is Co-Founder of Media Mentors Australia - with a passion for building and nurturing terrific and sustainable careers in screen industries. She’s a gun Development Producer, Series Producer, Producer and a qualified careers counsellor. She loves story-telling and is excellent at it - having worked for production companies across the globe, delivering the excellent content that we all love watching and engaging with.

Lois Cook (Aboriginal Cultural Concepts)

Lois Cook

Aboriginal Cultural Concepts

Lois Kay Cook is the daughter of Lewis Cook, Elder and custodian of the Nyangbul Country in the Bundjalung Nation. Lois was raised at Cabbage Tree Island in her father’s country, his grandparents Bubba Jack and Susan Cook is recorded as surviving the Massacres of the 1800’s.

As a young girl growing up on Cabbage Tree Island, Lois developed a close relationship with her Grand Uncles and Aunties who passed on important cultural information and historical knowledge about her people who are the traditional owners of her country. Lois became strongly connected and aware of the importance of continuing to maintain the tradition of oral history.

Lois career in the arts includes Black Theatre and film, with roles in the ABC’ “1915”, and “Timeless Land”. In 1978, she was invited by the Principal Choreographer to join Sydney’s NAISDA (National Aboriginal and Islander Dance Association), she taught dance and culture on the Far North Coast and in the late 1989 she joined Bangara Dance Theatre Australia and became their Administrator/Tour Manager and Performer, performing in remote communities in NSW. From 1992 – 2002 she was the Managing Director of Goobah Goobah Koori Theatre Company for 10 years. Lois received a Dolphin Award in 1999 from the Far North Coast Entertainment Industry in recognition of her creative and cultural input within the Region.

Lois has blended this artistic focus with a career in supporting the needs of her people. In 1982 as State Branch Secretary of the National Aboriginal Conference Secretariat for the Northern Territory, she worked to facilitate political and social forums on issues such as mineral and gas line royalties, the formation of the National Aboriginal Broadcasting Association, Inter-Agency partnerships to solve health, housing, education, employment and social issues.

In the Northern Rivers Lois was involved in the formation of Local and Regional Aboriginal Land Councils and was a founding secretary. She worked as the Administrator for the Jali Local Aboriginal Council on Cabbage Tree Island. During that time, Lois again reconnected with her Grand Uncles who took on the role of educating her.

Lois was politically active expressing the Senior Custodian’s views on cultural and significant sites within her country. Upon gathering this information, Lois strengthened her passion for local Indigenous history and protection of our beautiful country. She has taught in schools, as a consultant she worked tirelessly protecting Aboriginal Sacred Sites of Significance, Community Development and Infrastructure programs. She has since studied Arts Law at UNSW and more recently completing a diploma in Community Development at Tranby Aboriginal College.

Lois has a Diploma in dance, Dramatic Arts, Diploma in Community Development and studied Arts /law to improve her knowledge and passion for cultural retention, maintenance and continuation.

Getting behind the camera is a recent passion for Lois. She sees it as a way to share more of her people’s stories, culture and raise debate about the issues that impact on them.
She is the producer of “Babe in the reeds” that won the 2015 Byron Bay International Film festival ‘ best local film.

Over the last 10 years Lois has successfully run her small business Aboriginal Cultural Concepts delivering cultural programs, workshops and heritage tours from Byron Bay to Ballina and the surrounds.

Tracey Corbin-Matchett (CEO of Bus Stop Films)

Tracey Corbin-Matchett

CEO of Bus Stop Films

Tracey is an industry leader with a passion for strategy and engagement wrapped in kindness. Having “boarded the bus” in 2018 before stepping into the driver’s seat as CEO in mid 2019, TCM as she is known to most, is leveraging her strong industry connections to use filmmaking and the film industry to raise the profile of people with disability on both sides of the camera. With more than 25 years` experience in diverse sectors, including small business education, social housing and domestic violence services. Tracey has led many projects seeking greater inclusion and diversity in the screen industry, including managing Women in Film and TV Australia – Raising Films Australia strategy, and previously working with Screen NSW on strategic initiatives including Screenability, to foster employment opportunities for people with disability in the screen sector and She Shoots opening pathways for women in camera and sound roles.

As a producer she has EP’d over 25 short films and produced many including the multi award winning “Groundhog Night”, as well as standouts “Filters”, “What Was It Like?” and Valiant.

Tracey is hard of hearing and is also a Director of Northcott and Deaf Sports Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Community Welfare (UWS) and a Diploma of Business (UTS). Tracey is an Includeability ambassador for disability employment with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Ellenor Cox (Executive Coach at Ellenor Cox Coaching)

Ellenor Cox

Executive Coach at Ellenor Cox Coaching

Ellenor Cox is an executive coach, high performance strategist, writer, business mentor and facilitator with 25 years CEO experience in the Creative Industries.

Her impeccable academic credits of a graduating 99.9 ATAR score and subsequent University Medal in Economics, Politics and Asian Studies led to a successful corporate marketing career at QANTAS. She then spent 25 years as an Emmy® and AACTA award winning film producer and co-founder and CEO of one of Australia’s most successful independent production companies.

Now with a Masters in Coaching, Ellenor is passionate about strategies for assisting clients achieve the optimal balance between high performance professional and personal self-development outcomes. She is also a highly experienced workshop facilitator and is regularly published in several industry magazines and digital news sites.

Ken Crouch (Chief Executive Officer at Screenworks)

Ken Crouch

Chief Executive Officer at Screenworks

While growing up in country NSW, the opportunity to pursue a career in the arts, screen or cultural industries was never really an option. Sadly, that hasn’t changed much over many decades which now drives me to get out of bed each day and to put blood, sweat and tears into creating more opportunities and jobs in regional Australia.

One month after starting at Screenworks, the Federal Government announced budget cuts which led to the loss of government funding for the organisation. Faced with the potential failure of the organisation, that situation kick-started my entrepreneurial journey to converting Screenworks from a small Northern Rivers-focused association to the national non-profit charity that it is today, delivering programs, initiatives and workshops in regional areas across every state and territory of Australia.

Since starting in 2014, Screenworks’ revenue and memberships have both grown by over 500%, it has delivered over 250 events across regional Australia attended by over 12,000 people. Screenworks is now Australia’s premier regional screen industry and talent development organisation recognised for the quality of its programs and workshops, along with the strong relationships and collaborations it builds with others in the screen industry.

Some of Ken’s greatest achievements at Screenworks include the creation of the Regional Screen In LA program – a two-month international internship providing unparalleled access to Hollywood for an undergraduate or recent graduate from regional Australia – and the Career Pathways Programs that provide tailored professional development opportunities for emerging regional practitioners in the screen industry.

In this role (and roles before this one), Ken has gained a reputation for creating and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse range of industry stakeholders including producers, broadcasters, industry guilds and funding bodies at state and federal levels. In fact, it’s only because of the mutually beneficial partnerships that he has created that so many opportunities for regional Australians have been created.

Outside of Screenworks, Ken has been on non-profit executive boards and advisory groups, and has also mentored many others to help them achieve their success. He has consulted with business leaders and helped provide strategic plans and visions for industries and small businesses in the film & TV sector. He’s also guilty of spending too much time with his dogs.

Darren Dale (Company Director of Blackfella Films)

Darren Dale

Company Director of Blackfella Films

Darren has been a company director of Blackfella Films, Australia's premier Indigenous production company, since 2000. In 2008 Darren, together with Rachel Perkins, produced the landmark multi-platform history series First Australians for SBS which received many accolades including AFI, TV Week Logie, AWGIE and Australian Director’s Guild Awards. In 2011, Darren produced the feature documentary The Tall Man which premiered at the 2011 Adelaide Film Festival and screened at TIFF and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and received the inaugural Walkley Award for Documentary.

In 2012 Darren and Miranda Dear produced the ABC telemovie Mabo, followed by two seasons and a telemovie of the ground breaking drama series Redfern Now in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning UK writer Jimmy McGovern.

In 2014 Darren produced the acclaimed First Contact for SBS. He has also produced the SBS ‘big science’ series DNA Nation, How ‘Mad’ Are You? which explores mental health in Australia, a second season of First Contact and three seasons of
the award winning Filthy Rich & Homeless.

In 2016 Darren produced, with Miranda Dear, the drama series Deep Water accompanied by the feature documentary Deep Water: The Real Story and a multiplatform project for SBS investigating gay hate murders in Sydney. The feature documentary In My Own Words for NITV premiered at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival.

Darren was Executive Producer on the 14 x half hour ABC3 teen drama series Ready for This, winner of the 2015 AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series and the 2016 TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Children’s Program. Completed in 2019 was the AACTA Award winning Best Television Drama Total Control for the ABC. Produced with Miranda Dear, it premiered at TIFF and was awarded the 2020 MIPCOM Diversify TV’s Excellence Award for Representation of Race and Ethnicity (Scripted), and the Bronze Award for Entertainment Program (Drama) at the 2021 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.

In 2020 Darren completed the third and final season of Filthy Rich t & Homeless which won the 2021 BANFF World Media Festival International Rockie Award for Best Docuseries and the Gold Award for Documentary (Social Issues) at the 2021 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, and also for SBS the major observational series Addicted Australia. For the ABC Darren produced, with Jacob Hickey, the documentary Maralinga Tjarutja which won the 2020 AACTA Award for Best Direction in Nonfiction Television and the Silver Award for Documentary (Human Rights) at the 2021 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.

In 2021, Darren produced for the ABC a second season of Total Control, the feature documentary Step into Paradise about iconic fashion designers Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson and Books That Made Us - a 3 part factual series about Australian literature. Currently in production is an adaptation of Bruce Pascoe’s book
Dark Emu and factual series First Weapons for the ABC, and for SBS the historical series First Wars about the nation’s frontier conflicts.

Darren is a Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. He currently serves on the board of ACMI, the Sydney Film Festival and the Sydney Festival. He was on the board of Screen NSW from 2011 to 2015, the Council of the Australian Film Television and Radio School from 2012 to 2018, with a term as Deputy Chair from 2014 to 2018. In 2012 he was the recipient of the prestigious AFTRS Honorary Degree.

Arka Das (Actor and Filmmaker)

Arka Das

Actor and Filmmaker

Arka is an AWGIE award nominated writer for his recent work on anthology feature film, Here Out West, which opened the prestigious Sydney Film Festival in 2021. Following that he has co-created & directed short documentary series 8 Nights Out West, an exploration of food and culture in Western Sydney which is set for release on ABC TV in 2022.

As a filmmaker, Arka has short films, web-series and short documentaries under his belt. His first project The Casuals which he co-created in 2014 was syndicated for streaming in the US. Arka's short documentary film Phoenix screened at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Dungog Shorts and was also a finalist at Focus on Abilities Film Festival in 2016.

Most recently he wrote and directed Khana Khazana, a short film exploring the dark side of migrant labour, which won the jury prize for Best Film at Made in the West Film Festival 2020 while also taking out the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards. It also screened at Flickerfest and St Kilda film festivals in Australia and internationally in Los Angeles and Toronto. Arka is currently in early development with Co-Curious for his debut feature film Khana, assisted by Screen Australia.

Arka’s acting work includes award-winning theatre, film and television credits, with his debut stage performance in Animals Out of Paper at the Ensemble Theatre garnering a Best Newcomer nomination at the Sydney Theatre Awards. Arka’s upcoming television work includes the highly anticipated Apple TV series Shantaram and Nine Network/STAN original series, Bali 2022. Previously Arka has also starred in a leading role on ABC's critically acclaimed drama Pulse alongside other notable roles in The Code, Janet King, Nine Network’s Bite Club and Top of the Lake: China Girl, directed by Academy Award nominated Jane Campion.

Arka’s feature film credits include the Academy-Award nominated, Lion, Disney’s live-action Mulan, a leading role in critically acclaimed anthology feature Here Out West which opened the coveted Sydney Film Festival in 2021. Arka’s other film roles include romantic comedy UnINDIAN, Joe Cinque’s Consolation, Down Under and The Jim Henson Company’s upcoming adaptation, The Portable Door set for release on STAN and on SKY UK.

Monica Davidson (Founder of Creative Plus Business)

Monica Davidson

Founder of Creative Plus Business

Monica Davidson is an award-winning expert on the creative industries, who began her professional life as a freelance journalist, performer and filmmaker. After informally helping hundreds of creatives to develop their business skills, Monica consolidated her experience with a Masters degree in Screen Arts and Business from AFTRS. Shortly after she was appointed as Australia’s first Creative Industries Business Advisor by the NSW Department of Industry. In 2016 Monica founded the social enterprise Creative Plus Business, an organisation dedicated to educating creative people about small business skills.

Monica is the Australian author of Freelancing for Dummies, and a renowned teacher and speaker. She was named as one of the Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for her work in the creative industries in 2014, and in 2019 Monica won the QUT Creative Enterprise Australia award for being a Creative Trailblazer, "an individual who creates enterprises and opportunities and who advocates, mentors, donates, educates and advises within Australia’s creative economy." In 2020 Monica was a recipient of the prestigious AMP Tomorrow Fund to help develop more programs to assist creative start-ups. Monica also continues her work as a filmmaker and writer, releasing her feature documentary Handbag with LGBTQ+ streaming service OUTtv in 2021.

Annabel Davis (CEO of Co-Curious)

Annabel Davis

CEO of Co-Curious

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 worldfirst development opportunities to Australian writers. Annabel has also worked as a Script Department Manager across a number of Australian and international drama productions.

Stephanie Dower (Producer & Editor at Dower Productions)

Stephanie Dower

Producer & Editor at Dower Productions

Stephanie Dower is a screen producer, writer, and editor having worked across short films, TVCs and online content, and has a strong passion for reframing how people with disabilities are portrayed in popular media. Stephanie is currently developing a slate of engaging and progressive projects through her production company, Dower Productions. Notable projects include factual series Carry On, which was selected for the Pitch FACTory at AIDC 2019 and coming-of-age feature film Seeing Scout, recent recipient of the Attagirl production prize.

Stephanie is also a co-host of Attitude Foundation’s ReFramed Podcast and is known to speak regularly on matters of accessibility and inclusion, having recently been appointed to Screen Queensland’s newly formed Equity and Diversity Taskforce.

Anusha Duray (Acquisitions Manager at NITV)

Anusha Duray

Acquisitions Manager at NITV

Anusha Duray is the Acquisitions Manager for National Indigenous Television (NITV), as well as a skilled producer.

She was the Executive Producer for the series The Whole Table starring Miranda Tapsell, Rhoda Roberts and Taika Waititi and Producer of The Wake an interactive film installation which premiered late last year at Tandanya National Indigenous Art Gallery. She is a recipient of the Chief Executive Women in Leadership Scholarship. Anusha is a current member of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Taskforce, The Oceanian TV Symposium and The Aboriginal Women’s Consultation Network. She is a proud cinephile.

Amanda Duthie via ZOOM (Head Of Scripted at Stan.)

Amanda Duthie via ZOOM

Head Of Scripted at Stan.

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.

Denise Eriksen (Co-Founder of Media Mentors)

Denise Eriksen

Co-Founder of Media Mentors

Denise Eriksen is Co-Founder of Media Mentors Australia, devoted to building and nurturing terrific and sustainable careers in screen industries. She had a long career in screen business as a researcher, producer, Executive Producer, Head of Production and Development at SBS, Head of Factual at the ABC and Head of Current Affairs. She has also been a journalist - and worked for a year in production catering making desserts. Because she could.

Hollie Fifer (Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society)

Hollie Fifer

Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society

Hollie is currently the Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society and Director of the arts not-for-profit Schoolhouse Studios in Melbourne, Australia.

As a documentary filmmaker, Hollie’s films have screened at festivals and broadcasted within Australia and internationally. THE OPPOSITION is Hollie’s debut feature documentary produced by Media Stockade that world premiered at Hot Docs and IDFA in 2016 before winning the Grand Prize at FIFO, screening at the UN Human Rights Council, winning Best Documentary Feature at the Oz Flix Independent Film Awards and screening in over 35 countries. Hollie’s latest short film UNBALANCED recently premiered on Australian newspapers The Age/Sydney Morning Herald’s Vox Dox series.

Hollie serves on the Board of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) and the Castlemaine Documentary Festival (CDoc). In her previous work she has been a freelance tutor in Documentary Directing at NIDA and AFTRS, Co-Director of The Artists Guild and selected for MECCA Shark Island M-Power Program.

Ben Franklin MP (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Arts and Regional Youth at NSW Government)

Ben Franklin MP

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Arts and Regional Youth at NSW Government

Ben Franklin is New South Wales Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, the Arts and Regional Youth.

Ben is a Nationals Member of the NSW Legislative Council and has been based on the NSW Far North Coast in Bundjalung Country since his election to Parliament in 2015.

Ben grew up at Barham on the Murray River, where his parents were teachers. At school he was a keen debater, and won a scholarship to complete his Higher School Certificate in Sydney. His hobbies include bush walking in our local national parks, playing squash and spending time with family and friends on the beach in summer.

In 2000, Ben participated in the Walk for Reconciliation, joining approximately 250,000 others across the Sydney Harbour Bridge in solidarity to support meaningful reconciliation between Australia’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Prior to being elected to the Legislative Council in 2015, Ben held a range of roles in Government and Not for Profit sectors. He is passionate about our regional towns and making sure they have access to employment, cultural and educational opportunities.
In 2016, Ben was on the Upper House Inquiry into Repatriations for the Stolen Generations in NSW and as a result we have the most generous scheme in the country. This is something the Minister was proud to be involved in but recognises we still have a long way to go.

In January 2017, Ben was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW. In May 2019, Ben was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts.
In December 2021 Ben was appointed Minister Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Regional Youth.
Ben is deeply passionate about his portfolio responsibilities and works tirelessly to advance the people of New South Wales interests.

Sofya Gollan (Sector Investment Manager at Screen NSW)

Sofya Gollan

Sector Investment Manager at Screen NSW

For Screen NSW Sofya works across all funded genres in development and production finance as well as managing initiatives with public broadcasters, agencies and festivals. Sofya is adept in project management from assessment to delivery, working in close consultation with stakeholders, including filmmakers, local and international broadcasters, state and federal film funding agencies and philanthropic investors. Coming from a background as an award-winning screenwriter, playwright, producer and developer she is highly experienced in storytelling genres and platforms, leveraging 20+ years’ experience in content creation and advocating for diversity inclusion, implementing real change in cultural practice and diverse representation on screen. Sofya also identifies as a creative with disability (Deaf), whose range of accomplished films and plays have been informed by that lived experience. As such, she is a leader in the design and delivery of disability-led screen programs and works in leadership roles across the screen, arts and disability sector.

Shaun Grant - via ZOOM (Screenwriter)

Shaun Grant - via ZOOM

Screenwriter

Shaun Grant is a highly acclaimed screenwriter whose films have premiered at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. Recently, Shaun won his sixth AWGIE Award (Australian Writer’s Guild Award) and third AACTA Award (Australian Academy Award) for the feature film, Nitram. Nitram is Shaun’s sixth film and was selected for Main Competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where it went on to claim the Best Actor prize. Prior to this, Shaun had his films, Penguin Bloom and True History of the Kelly Gang, both premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2020 and 2019 respectively. Other films of Shaun’s include; Berlin Syndrome, Jasper Jones and his debut film, Snowtown. In television, Shaun has written for several shows such as, Deadline Gallipoli, Janet King and Killing Time. Most recently, Shaun wrote the finale of Netflix’s Mindhunter for which he, and the show’s writing team, received a Writer’s Guild of America nomination for Best Drama.

Lana Greenhalgh (Commissioning Editor, Drama at Foxtel)

Lana Greenhalgh

Commissioning Editor, Drama at Foxtel

Lana began working with Foxtel in 2015 after leaving a career in the talent management industry to pursue her passion for television drama. She began as Scripted Production Coordinator working across Foxtel’s scripted production and development slate including Wentworth, A Place To Call Home, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Australia Day, Secret City: Under the Eagle, Lambs of God, The End and Upright.

Lana was promoted to Commissioning Editor, Drama for the Foxtel Group in 2021 where she works on the procurement, development, and production of all Foxtel Group scripted commissions. She most recently oversaw production as Executive Producer on the first BINGE Original series, Love Me and will act as an Executive Producer on Season 2 of Upright.

Cody Greenwood (Founder/Producer of Rush Films)

Cody Greenwood

Founder/Producer of Rush Films

Cody Greenwood’s feature documentary Under the Volcano premiered at SXSW and was nominated for the Documentary Australian Foundation Award for Best Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. The film is being distributed globally by Universal Pictures and tells the story of the Beatles producer Sir George Martin’s Caribbean recording studio.

Greenwood also produced Frances Elliott’s and Samantha Marlowe’s documentary Girl Like You, which premiered on the ABC and was recognised won Best Documentary at the WA Screen Culture Awards.

Named one of Screen Producer’s Australia’s One To Watch in 2018, Greenwood is the founder of Rush Films. Her credits also include short films Sparkles, Tooly, Abduction and Mystic Pines.

In 2020 she was accepted into the narrative feature lab Attagurl, to develop Zoe Pepper’s feature film Fads and Miracles, and in 2021 named a recipient of Screenwest’s Breaking the Celluloid Ceiling, being mentored by Liz Watts.

Kyas Hepworth (Head of Commissioning & Programming,NITV at Special Broadcasting Services, SBS)

Kyas Hepworth

Head of Commissioning & Programming,NITV at Special Broadcasting Services, SBS

Kyas Hepworth is a cisgender Bundjalung woman who has spent her career working in the screen and creative arts sector. As the Head of Commissioning and Programming for NITV, Kyas drives the creative direction of NITV’s distinctive offering across commissioned and acquired content, and oversees NITV’s programming and scheduling to bring it to audiences.

Kyas is responsible for the development and delivery of NITV’s acclaimed commissioned content slate which sees the channel work with Australia’s Indigenous production sector across factual, scripted and children’s programming. This includes award winning children’s animation, Little J & Big Cuz, the captivating documentary series The Beach from Warwick Thornton, impactful feature documentary Incarceration Nation and NITV’s first non-children’s drama series, True Colours, coming in 2022.

Kyas is passionate about bringing unique and diverse stories to the screen and has worked alongside and supported leading and emerging Indigenous practitioners for more than a decade. Her extensive experience in the sector also includes working across feature films, documentaries, television series and shorts.

Jennie Hughes VIA ZOOM (Director of Screen Territory)

Jennie Hughes VIA ZOOM

Director of Screen Territory

Jennie Hughes joined Screen Territory in August 2018 and has guided the agency through a
period of significant growth and change. Since joining Jennie has lead the roll-out of a range
of stimulus programs including the $1.480 mill Enterprise Program, secured additional funding for the agency and overseen record levels of production including in 2021 three high end scripted series spanning Maverix for the ABC and Netflix, True Colours for SBS and Barrumbi Kids for NITV and ACTF along with observational documentaries Outback Ringer Series 2 for the ABC and Matt Wrights Wild Territory for Nine Network and Netflix. Prior to joining Screen Territory Jennie held senior positions at SBS; CEO New York Film Academy; COO Screen Queensland; Festival Director, Brisbane International Film Festival; Executive Director Open Channel; Head of Programming Ovation Channel and Executive VP Macquarie Filmed Investments where she managed three funds totalling $65.2 million. Jennie is an experienced financier and her company International Film Group held financing partnerships with the UK’s Ingenious and Royal Bank of Scotland. Jennie has participated in screen industry reviews and was appointed by the Australian Government as Chair of the Investment Committee for the Strategic Industry Leaders Group review of Digital Content. She was Chair of the SBS Gender Equality Group and was a Board member of the Australian Film Institute/AACTA and the Central Coast Arts Centre. She is currently a member of Ausfilm’s Workforce Capacity Working Group.

Susie Jones (Creative Executive at Netflix)

Susie Jones

Creative Executive at Netflix

Susie Jones joined Netflix ANZ in 2021 as a Creative Executive working across local scripted and unscripted content. Susie began her career in the BBC Comedy department in London, before returning to Australia where she spent more than 15 years as a freelance creative producer and director for a range of content across SBS, ABC, Network Ten, Nine, Seven Network, and the Discovery Channel. Susie spent 6 years working at Matchbox Pictures as a Development Executive and just prior to joining Netflix had a 6 year stint at SBS as Commissioning Editor for Documentaries and the Head of Entertainment and Food.

Julie Kalceff (Writer, Director, Producer)

Julie Kalceff

Writer, Director, Producer

Julie Kalceff is an Emmy award-winning Australian writer, director and producer best known for writing, directing and co-producing the television series First Day. This ground-breaking story of a 12 year-old transgender girl starting middle school was the first Australian series to star a transgender actor in the lead role. It sold to multiple territories worldwide including Hulu (US) and CBBC (UK). In 2021, the series won the International Emmy Award for Best Kids Live Action Series. That same year, First Day won the Rose d’Or, and a GLAAD Media Award (Children and Youth) which honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQIA+ community and the issues that affect their lives. The second season of First Day was released in March, 2022 and is available on Hulu in the US and ABC iView in Australia.
In 2020, Julie was part of a "powerhouse female directing team" that spearheaded the feature film anthology drama Here Out West.
Julie first gained international attention when she created, wrote, directed and produced the global hit digital drama series Starting From Now. Attracting critical and popular acclaim, it is one of the most watched web series in the world - amassing over 190 million views in 230 countries. The series also sold to and played on broadcast television in Australia.

Meg LeFauve - ZOOM from LA (Writer)

Meg LeFauve - ZOOM from LA

Writer

An Oscar Nominated writer, Meg LeFauve won an Annie Award for writing Pixar’s blockbuster “Inside Out.” She also wrote Pixar’s Golden Globe nominated film “The Good Dinosaur” and was a writer on Marvel’s “Captain Marvel.” She recently adapted the classic book “My Father’s Dragon” for Netflix and Cartoon Saloon, which will be released in 2022.

She began her career running Jodie Foster’s Egg Pictures, developing and producing films nominated for an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Spirit Award and she won a Peabody Award. A world wide consultant, she has taught at AFI and UCLA Graduate Film School, and is a returning mentor at Meryl Streep’s writer’s lab, the Sundance Creative Labs and is a mentor and Board Member of the CineStory Script Sessions.

David Lutley (Manager, Education & Seminars at Media Super)

David Lutley

Manager, Education & Seminars at Media Super

David manages the Education & Seminars Team who present to Media Super/Cbus members, employers, and partners nationally, building their knowledge of superannuation and keeping them up to date with any changes. His experience spans across superannuation, financial advice, and investment banking. He’s qualified in Building Management, Business and Financial Planning and his focus is to support his team to facilitate education and help simplify a complex topic for everyone to understand.

Emma Madison (Head of Commercial & Industry Services at Screenrights)

Emma Madison

Head of Commercial & Industry Services at Screenrights

Emma Madison is a screen industry executive with deep experience in rights management and royalty distribution. She works at the intersection between screen business and technology. Emma is developing a range of new solutions for the industry to help navigate recoupment of investment and understand the financial performance of content in an increasingly fragmented market.

Emma has an MBA(x) in Tech and is a recipient of The Anita Prabhu Women Leaders in Business Award by the AGSM, Australia’s leading business school.

Tracey Mair (Director of Tracey Mair Publicity)

Tracey Mair

Director of Tracey Mair Publicity

Tracey Mair has been one of Australia’s leading film and television communications specialists for almost three decades. Tracey has extensive strategic communications, issues management, marketing and PR experience across the screen sector, including in film and television production, film distribution and television broadcast. She has provided strategic advice to various screen organisations, including Screen Australia, Screen NSW, SPA and the ADG, and production companies including Goalpost Pictures, See-Saw Films and Screentime.

Tracey has acted as unit publicist on dozens of Australian and international film and television productions and has managed the national PR campaigns for high-profile Australian and international feature films, including – most recently – The Power of the Dog, Lion, Ride Like a Girl and I Am Woman and TV shows such as Warwick Thornton’s The Beach and New Gold Mountain.

Tracey grew up in country Victoria and, after establishing her business in Sydney and several years in Byron Bay where she raised her family, is now back in the Northern Rivers, in East Ballina.

Marissa McDowell (Commissioning Editor at NITV)

Marissa McDowell

Commissioning Editor at NITV

Marissa is a Wiradjuri woman currently employed by SBS as the Commissioning Editor for NITV. She was previously a creative producer and director for a number of short documentaries commissioned by NITV and other First Nation organisations, museums and art galleries. She is the chair for Us Mob Writers and a member on the Minister’s Creative Council for the ACT Government.
Marissa is passionate about working with the film industry to share creatively ambitious and diverse First Nations stories that have global appeal.

Lorien McKenna - ZOOM from LA (Writer)

Lorien McKenna - ZOOM from LA

Writer

Lorien McKenna was the showrunner for TAB TIME, a 1⁄2 hour YouTube series produced by Kids At Play. She is currently in development with Viacom/Mindshow with an adult animated comedy. She has written and developed projects with Hulu, NBC, Netflix, and Disney.

A former Pixar Story Manager, McKenna worked on features UP, BRAVE, INSIDE OUT, and THE GOOD DINOSAUR. Previously, she served as the Co-EP for Hulu’s CURIOUS GEORGE and was the Associate Producer for Paramount Animation's WONDER PARK. She also wrote HOW TO SET A FIRE AND WHY, based on the book of the same name by Jesse Ball, for Straight Up Films.

Lorien started her career as a playwright in the Bay Area where she founded Guilty Theater, and taught playwriting, Shakespeare, and theater at St. Mary’s College of California where she received her BA in English/Performing Arts and an MFA in Playwriting.

Lorien co-hosts the podcast THE SCREENWRITING LIFE WITH MEG LEFAUVE AND LORIEN MCKENNA and lives in Los Angeles.

Ashley McLeod (Producer at ACM Films)

Ashley McLeod

Producer at ACM Films

Ashley’s film career has provided him with solid grounding and extensive experience. From his first big break as a sound recordist on multi award winning Burke’s Backyard through to developing and writing a feature film screenplay while establishing his locations company, when he sold it to move into producing, it was positioned as Australia’s leading location company. Ashley has encountered almost every imaginable scenario through his rise to producing. It is with this wealth of knowledge and production experience that sets Ashley apart.

Ashley has produced over 2000 TVCs for national and international brands. In 2019 Ashley produced his first feature film which was sold to Netflix as a Netflix Original and streamed in 2020. Sweet River had a theatrical release across America in April 2021 and has won numerous awards at international film festivals. Ash has a number of projects in development, is currently in pre-production on BIG RED, a comedy horror genre film.

Kylie Munnich (Chief Executive Officer at Screen Queensland)

Kylie Munnich

Chief Executive Officer at Screen Queensland

Kylie Munnich was appointed CEO of Screen Queensland in October 2019 and has more than 25 years’ experience in film and TV distribution, development and financing.

Prior to joining Screen Queensland, Kylie worked as Scripted Sales and Co-Production Executive for Seven Studios, Senior Vice President for Distribution Asia Pacific for Sonar Entertainment and Director of Drama & Comedy for Sky Vision in London.

Kylie worked at Sony Pictures Television from 2005 – 2014 running distribution for ANZ. Then in 2011 she moved to London to become Senior Vice President UK, Ireland and Africa.
Previous companies Kylie has worked for include MGM International Television and Filmbank Distributors Ltd.

Rachel Okine - via ZOOM (Head of Features & Development Executive at Stan)

Rachel Okine - via ZOOM

Head of Features & Development Executive at Stan

Rachel Okine is the Head of Features & Development Executive for Stan, Australia’s leading national streaming service. After starting her career in acquisitions at FilmFour, Rachel was the first employee of Hopscotch, later becoming the Acquisitions Executive for eOne ANZ and Head of Development for Hopscotch Features. Rachel moved back to Europe in 2015 to become Paris-based VP of International Production and Acquisitions for Studiocanal; and was subsequently appointed VP of International Acquisitions for STX. Returning to Australia in 2020, Rachel was appointed Managing Director of Academy Award-nominated production company Aquarius Films to strategically lead its film and TV operations.

Simonne Overend - via ZOOM (Executive Producer)

Simonne Overend - via ZOOM

Executive Producer

Simonne Overend is an Executive Producer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly EQ Media's Vice President of Scripted Television for the US. Prior to joining EQ Media, Simonne held roles in film and television development, production and distribution in Australia, Singapore and Paris and London. She has worked in development for a range of companies, including Essential Media & Entertainment, RGM Artist Group, BBC4, IWC Media, December Films and Village Roadshow. Simonne is Executive Producer of Troppo and board member of Australians in Film.

Vonne Patiag (Co-Founder of In-Between Pictures)

Vonne Patiag

Co-Founder of In-Between Pictures

Vonne Patiag is an AACTA, AWGIE and SPA Award nominated filmmaker based in Western Sydney. He is the co-founder of In-Between Pictures, a production company dedicated to producing nuanced and diverse stories for film, television and online. He co-wrote and associate produced on Australia’s first prime time Filipino TV series The Unusual Suspects (SBS) for Aquarius Films and anthology feature film Here Out West (ABC) for Emerald Productions & Co-Curious (released theatrically in February 2022). He also show-ran and directed Halal Gurls (ABC) and directed and wrote Tomgirl (SBS), a 10-minute short that serves as a proof-of-concept for the upcoming feature. He was awarded the Spirit Of The West award by Made In The West Film Festival for his impact on promoting inclusive filmmaking practices in the Australian film industry.

Michael Pontin (Producer at See Pictures)

Michael Pontin

Producer at See Pictures

Michael is a feature film producer with See Pictures. Michael produced the feature films: JUNE AGAIN (Noni Hazlehurst), which was released in 2021 and won the AACTA for Best Score, LONG STORY SHORT (Rafe Spall) for writer/director Josh Lawson, released in 2021 in Australia by Studio Canal and in Nth America by Paramount, 1% which premiered at TIFF and was released in Nth America by A24, OTHERLIFE for writer/director Ben C Lucas, STANDING UP FOR SUNNY for writer/director Steve Vidler which won the 'Best Indie Film’ AACTA in 2020, and the short film MARTHA THE MONSTER (Rose Byrne) for blacklist winning writer/director Chris Weekes.

Michael was a Co-Producer on feature film THE LITTLE DEATH which premiered at TIFF and won the audience award at SxSW, an Associate Producer on BACKTRACK (Adrien Brody, Sam Neill), and Executive Producer on GO! (Richard Roxburgh) released by Village Roadshow in Australia and available worldwide on Netflix.

Peter Ritchie - via ZOOM (Executive Director of Australians in Film)

Peter Ritchie - via ZOOM

Executive Director of Australians in Film

Peter Ritchie is Executive Director of leading Los Angeles based member organization Australians in Film. During his six-year tenure, Peter established AiF’s creative co-working space Charlie’s at Raleigh Studios and devised Untapped, a professional development program for underrepresented and undiscovered Australian filmmakers. Among his other achievements include Charlie’s Industry Labs, Mentor LA, AiF Upload, and he helped create Talent Gateway and Global Producers Exchange alongside Jennifer Kushner and Screen Australia.

As a former publicist, Peter has represented Oscar and Emmy award winning actors, leading production companies and television shows working for 20th Century Fox International Television Distribution, Jungle Entertainment, ABCTV and the Nine Network.

Rhoda Roberts AO

Rhoda Roberts AO

A Widjabul /Wia:bal woman from the Bundjalung territories, Rhoda is an experienced, motivated and versatile arts executive with a diverse range of international and national industry practice within commercial, community and non-profit organisations, festivals and events. The former Head Of First Nations Programming at Sydney Opera House, Rhoda is currently the Curator: Parrtjima Festival, Alice Springs, Festival Director, Boomerang Dreaming Festival, the First Nations Creative Director for the Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), First Nations Consultant NIDA , The Elder in Residence SBS TV, and she is the newly appointed Arts Ambassador for Voyages Indigenous Tourism.

A practicing weaver as well as an actor/producer and director, she continues to work across the creative industries and is a sought-after consultant, speaker and performer in theatre, film, television, and radio.

Tracey Robertson (CEO & Co-Founder of Hoodlum Entertainment)

Tracey Robertson

CEO & Co-Founder of Hoodlum Entertainment

Tracey Robertson is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy® and BAFTA Award winning Entertainment Company. As CEO, Robertson leads strategy and market engagement with partners, networks and studios to produce scripted content globally.

Most recently, Robertson produced the feature film CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM, a Stan exclusive premiering at the end of 2021 and was Executive Producer on a comedy feature for Netflix. Past projects include three seasons of FIVE BEDROOMS, an 8-part drama on Paramount Plus in Australia and Peacock in the US and TIDELANDS, Netflix's first original 8-part series for the territory. Robertson also produced three seasons of HARROW with ABC Australia and ABCSI. HARROW was ABCSI’s first scripted production outside of the US and is currently streaming on Hulu.

Hoodlum has focused over the last two years on expanding its global slate across scripted and unscripted television and feature film with productions currently in development with partners including ABC Signature, Fox, Peacock, Stan, Netflix, CBS International and A&E amongst others.

Currently, Hoodlum is set to deliver two feature films for SVODs; with the second series of ABC Signature / Amazon series THE WILDS in post-production and ABC’s cutting edge series ALL MY FRIENDS ARE RACIST streaming on ABC TV + iview. Also announced is Hoodlum’s collaboration with ABC Australia and Margot Robbie's LuckyChap Entertainment to develop SHAKESPEARE NOW, reinterpreting the work of Shakespeare using all-female writers and directors.

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 recognized as an outstanding alumnus and is an Adjunct Professor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology.

Bobby Romia (Senior Investment Manager at Screen NSW)

Bobby Romia

Senior Investment Manager at Screen NSW

Bobby Romia is a screen executive, producer, screenwriter and former broadcaster with a Master of Arts in Screenwriting at AFTRS. He currently works as a Senior Investment Manager at Screen NSW. Prior to this, he held producer and commissioning supervisor positions at SBS Australia and NITV across a slate of scripted, entertainment and documentary productions which included Deep Water, The Family Law, Eurovision, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, The Logan Project, Living Black and Awaken. As a freelancer, he worked in scripted television drama productions such as Network Nine’s Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Underbelly: Files Telemovies, Underbelly: Razor, and projects from Hopscotch Films/Eone Entertainment and Screentime New Zealand.

Alex Sangston - via ZOOM (CEO of Screen Tasmania)

Alex Sangston - via ZOOM

CEO of Screen Tasmania

Alex Sangston has headed up Screen Tasmania since February 2016; luckily enough joining the team just in time for the releases of Lion, The Kettering Incident and Rosehaven. Tasmanian screen production has continued to steadlkiy improve its scope, scale and capacity to now be capable of hosting projects like Deadloch and Bay of Fires.

Before moving back to Tassie (as a born and bred Tasmanian), Alex was at Screen Australia, running the Producer Offset and Co-production Unit from the agency’s inception in July 2008. In that role, Alex was responsible for certifying films for the producer offset and approving projects as Official Co-productions.

Alex has also worked at the Commonwealth Arts Department in Canberra on international screen production policy and programs, and in broadcasting and online content policy.

Lisa Shaunessy (Partner at Arcadia)

Lisa Shaunessy

Partner at Arcadia

Since Co-Founding Australian production and distribution company ARCADIA, Lisa has built a track record of consistent commercial and critical hits.

In 2020 Lisa was the lead producer on sci-fi thriller 2067 (XYZ/RLJE Films/Netflix), starring Oscar-nominee Kodi Smit-McPhee. 2067 set the record for an Australian film on Netflix (ANZ), and was a global commercial success - reaching No 2 on iTunes in North America. 2067 was nominated for AACTA, ADG, SPA, APDG, AEAF, ACS and ATOM Awards in 2021.

Recently, Lisa produced SXSW 2022 breakout hit SISSY, starring The Bold Type's Aisha Dee. Ahead of its World Premiere, Sissy sold to Shudder in a multi-territory deal.

Lisa is currently in post on mystery sci-fi thriller IN VITRO starring SUCCESSION'S Ashley Zukerman. Previously Lisa produced Sundance hit KILLING GROUND (IFC, 2017), streaming hit THE FURIES (Shudder/StudioCanal, 2019); AACTA award-winning series HIPSTERS (SBS, 2015); BLACK & WHITE & SEX (IFF Rotterdam 2013) and ASC award-winning doc SLAMMIN' SAM (Foxtel, 2013).

Lisa is based at ARCADIA STUDIOS headquarters in Orange, regional NSW.

Penny Smallacombe (Manager, Grow Creative at Netflix)

Penny Smallacombe

Manager, Grow Creative at Netflix

Penny is a Member of the Maramanindji people, from the Northern Territory in Australia. She has completed a cadetship with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and has a Masters of Arts (Documentary Producing) from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. Between 2004 and 2005 Penny worked in the Indigenous Programs Unit at the ABC. She was selected for Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department’s Producers Initiative in 2011, and also worked as a Senior Programmer for NITV, National Indigenous Television, a division of SBS. Most recently Head of the First Nations Department at Screen Australia, Penny managed the department for 6 years overseeing a large slate of successful film and television including Total Control, Spear, She Who Must Be Loved, Sweet Country, We Don’t Need a Map, Grace Beside Me and Little J and Big Cuz. She also created numerous special initiatives which have provided development opportunities for some of Australia’s newest rising writing, directing and producing talents. In June 2021 she took on a new role as a Producer at Bunya Productions. In May 2022, Penny Smallacombe joined Netflix ANZ as the manager of its Grow Creative program.

Mitch Stanley (Producer at No Coincidence Media)

Mitch Stanley

Producer at No Coincidence Media

After eight years in legal finance, Mitch pursued a career as a Producer and went on to line produce the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s series “Move It Mob Style”, which was broadcast on NITV and ABC3. He had later completed a six month Producer Attachment with Screen NSW under the guidance of Tanya Chambers.

Upon wrapping with Screen NSW he later produced Colour Theory with Richard Bell, an eight part documentary series which has since received pick of the weeks in The Australian, The Herald and outstanding reviews in Melbourne’s The Age. Following the success of the first series, series two, three and four have been broadcast on NITV and SBS. Mitchell also wrote and produced the critically acclaimed and three time AACTA nominated documentary, Servant or Slave, garnering the highest audience viewership to date for National Indigenous Television, winning the audience award at the Harlem International and Antenna Documentary film festivals and available on Amazon Prime.

Mitchell recently produced Warwick Thornton’s documentary television series, The Beach, which premiered on SBS in 2020 and A24 in the USA, due to deliver the first official international Indigenous co production feature film, We Are Still Here, he’s in development on a psychological horror feature The Moogai with first time director Jon Bell and Causeway Films (The Babadook, Cargo) where the short film as a proof of concept with the same title has won several festival awards including best horror at SXSW and best short at Melbourne International Film Festival, as well as period drama feature film, Ruby Moonlight, with director Beck Cole and Arena Media (The Dry, Romulus My Father).

Davey Thompson via ZOOM (PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE – FIRST PEOPLES LEAD at VICSCREEN)

Davey Thompson via ZOOM

PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE – FIRST PEOPLES LEAD at VICSCREEN

Davey is a Bidjara, Wakka Wakka and Gubbi Gubbi producer, writer and actor currently working at Film Victoria as the First Peoples’ Production Executive.

He’s previously worked various production roles with Guesswork Television, Princess Pictures, Screen Australia and the ABC, as well as being a recipient of Film Victoria’s Screen Development Internship. He’s also worked for Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Circus Oz and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. To top it all off, Davey also plays Casey in All My Friends Are Racist. Not bad for a boy from Barcaldine, hey?

Tracey Vieira (Chief Content Officer at Hoodlum)

Tracey Vieira

Chief Content Officer at Hoodlum

Tracey Vieira 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.

Vieira joined Hoodlum in September 2019 after five years as CEO of Screen Queensland and works across Hoodlum’s development and market slates.

Since joining Hoodlum, Vieira has worked on expanding Hoodlum’s global slate across scripted and unscripted television and feature film with productions currently in development with partners including ABC Signature, Fox, Peacock, Stan, Netflix, CBS International and A&E amongst others.

She produced a romantic comedy feature A Perfect Pairing for Netflix global to be released in May 2022 and produced Christmas on the Farm for Stan which was released in December 2021.

She is currently in development for a factual series with ABC.

Vieira graduated from QUT with a B Ed. majoring in Film & Media. She worked in events, including roles at Queensland Events Corporation. She was Executive Manager - Locations & International Production with the Pacific Film and Television Commission.

Vieira 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.

Vieira was named in the 2018 Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and is the 2016 Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year. As CEO of Screen Queensland, she delivered $1.1 billion in direct production expenditure over her tenure.

Vieira currently Chairs the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and is a Director of Home of the Arts (HOTA) Gold Coast and Chair of Griffith Film School’s Advisory Board. She is an external Advisor to US based Australians in Film and President of Screen Producers Australia.

Adele Vuko (Skit Box)

Adele Vuko

Skit Box

Adele Vuko is an actress, writer, director and producer. She is one-third of the comedy trio Skit Box, who have achieved over 100 million hits online for viral videos including parody music video Activewear (80 million views across Facebook and YouTube) and I Got That Flow (30 million views across Facebook and YouTube). Skit Box’s 2016 sketch television series Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, which Adele co-created, co-wrote and co-directed, screened on ABC and SEESO. The pilot episode of Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am was commissioned through ABC iView’s Fresh Blood initiative.

Most recently Adele wrote an episode for the six-part mini-series Love Me, produced by Warner Bros. International Television Australia in association with Aquarius Films for Binge. She also performed in the ABC comedy series, At Home Alone Together, which was nominated for an AACTA award for Best Comedy Series in 2020. Adele co–created and co–wrote the web series Over and Out which was nominated at the 2019 AACTA Awards for Best Online Drama or Comedy. The series also won Best Comedy Series at 2019 Rio WebFest, going on to win Best Director at the 2019 London Short Film Festival. The web-series is in development for a television adaptation which Adele co-created, wrote and will perform in.

Adele directed the second series of Squinters, produced by Jungle. The series, which aired on ABC, was nominated for Best Comedy Series Production at the 2019 SPA Awards. Adele additionally co-wrote on the first series. Adele hosted Foxtel’s comedy series The Slot. She also performed in the series with Skit Box. The series screened on FOX8 and featured prominent Australian Youtube stars and comedians.

She and the other members of Skit Box directed an episode each of their original comedy webseries Skit Box: The Series, which received funding through Skip Ahead and is available to view on Youtube. Each member starred in the series.

Adele has trained at NIDA and ATYP in Sydney, and at The Acting Corps in Los Angeles. She starred on-screen in television series including Sando for Jungle, Underbelly: Razor, Soul Mates II, Deadbeat Dads, sketch comedy shows The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting and This is Littleton. In film, Adele featured in the Australian Not Suitable For Children and appeared as the lead in the 2014 comedy feature Me and My Mates vs the Zombie Apocalypse. Adele has a number of feature and television projects in development, including a feature adaptation of her critically acclaimed short film, The Hitchhiker.

Ivan Vukusic (Awards and Industry Development Manager at AACTA)

Ivan Vukusic

Awards and Industry Development Manager at AACTA

Ivan Vukusic is the Manager of the AACTA Awards. He has over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry, including roles at Festival Mushroom Records, Walt Disney Studios and Umbrella Entertainment. He has an Associate Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing and has studied Script Assessment under Tim Pye at AFTRS. In 2013 he took a Short and Sharp winning pitch to the national Screen Forever final. Through his extensive experience in theatrical acquisition and distribution, and as a regular attendee of MIFF's 37 South, he has seen many feature film pitches. In 2018 he helped develop and launch AACTA Pitch - an initiative that provides emerging creatives with an opportunity to pitch to some of Australia's leading television, film and online executives. Across 3 separate strands, AACTA Pitch has provided a platform for ideas in web series, short film and high concept drama.

Malinda Wink (Global Director of Good Pitch)

Malinda Wink

Global Director of Good Pitch

Malinda Wink was Executive Director of Good Pitch Australia and Shark Island Institute from 2013-2019. She also currently serves as Deputy Chair of The Caledonia Foundation and Board of The Reichstein Foundation.

Malinda’s professional experience spans senior roles within the corporate, political, philanthropic and NGO sectors. Malinda has been the recipient of a number of scholarships including the Jeanne Sauvé Fellowship at McGill University (2006-2007), and most recently, the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship from the European Commission (2010-2012) where she completed a double Masters in Public Policy & International Development (Democracy and Governance) with distinction.

Malinda has advised on business and strategic planning for a number of production and distribution companies including Madman, Hopscotch, Transmission, and Revlover. She has served as a mentor for pitch and impact workshops including Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, GP South East Asia, GP Miami, GP Colombia, Dokumenter Yogyakarta, an impact consultant at the International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA), on the jury of Festival International du Film documentaire Océanien (FIFO), Hawaiian International Film Festival, Antenna and Environment Film Festivals, and a number of advisory boards including the Social Enterprise World Forum and AIDC.

Malinda is Executive Producer of a number of projects including The Final Quarter and 2040: The Regeneration.