Vanessa Alexander is an award-winning writer and producer, recently nominated for Best Comedy and Best New Series at the WGA Awards for her work on Tony MacNamara's series The Great (Hulu/Channel 4), which separately picked up three Golden Globe and two Emmy nominations. In addition to writing on season one and two, Vanessa also writes for the upcoming Netflix/MGM series Valhalla and has recently been made an Executive Producer on the series. She has also previously written on Tin Star for Sky Atlantic. Vanessa lives and works in Australia where, in the past, she has been nominated for an Australian Writers Guild Award (AWGIE) for Best Australian Television Drama Script for the comedy/drama series The Wrong Girl (Channel Ten) and written on Love Child (Channel 9). Vanessa was also a contributor in the writers rooms for Foxtel's The End and more recently on a number of new projects with Easy Tiger. In the more distant past, she spent a decade in New Zealand where she has won Best Drama Series, Best Comedy Script, Best Short Film, SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, Best Young Adult Series, as well as receiving multiple nominations for Best Drama Script and Best Director across more than one project. Her teen series Being Eve, which she made for Nickelodeon when she was only 29, won a Gold and Silver Medal at the NY Festivals and garnered her an International Emmy nomination. Vanessa is a diverse writer whose tone straddles comedy, action and drama, often favouring poorly-behaved but loveable female protagonists. She was recently announced as the lead writer/executive producer of a new Viacom CBS project about the life of Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi and is currently in negotiation about a first-look deal at the same media group. With five children, two ex-husbands, four sisters, a foster son and a father she once helped jump bail, Vanessa is rarely short of inspiration for a story.
Charlie Aspinwall is a director and co-founder of Ludo Studio, and is the Executive Producer of the Emmy® Award Winning animated series Bluey (ABC TV/BBC Studios). Charlie recently co-created and co-produced the animated series The Strange Chores (ABC TV), Executive Produced Robbie Hood (AACTA Winning/SBS TV) and CONTENT (Emmy® Nominated/AACTA Nominated/ABC TV). Aspinwall Produced and Executive Produced three series of the interactive animation series Doodles (2017 Emmy® Award Winning/ABC TV/NBCU), The Sketchy Show (Cartoon Network) and was Executive Producer on the multi-platform comedy series, #7 Days Later (2014 Emmy® Award Winning/ABC TV). Charlie has also directed and produced documentaries for National Geographic, The US History Channel and the BBC.
Tony Ayres is an award-winning Australian showrunner, writer and director, and is one of the founding members of internationally renowned Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, now owned by NBC Universal Studios. 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.
Tony was the showrunner on International Emmy and BAFTA nominated series, The Slap and an EP on its US remake. He co-created and was Executive Producer on multi-award winning series Glitch (3 seasons). He was also an executive producer on International Emmy nominated Wanted (3 seasons), and multi-award winning series The Devil’s Playground, Old School, Underground: The Julian Assange Story, and The Straits. He executive produced comedy series The Family Law (3 seasons), Bogan Pride and Maximum Choppage. He produced miniseries Barracuda and the multi-award winning Seven Types of Ambiguity. He directed the multi-award winning TV movie, Saved.
In children’s TV, Tony created and executive produced the International Emmy and BAFTA award winning Nowhere Boys and the telemovie based on the series, Nowhere Boys: The Book of Shadows. The series is internationally acclaimed, winning the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series, two Logies, three Kidscreen Awards, a Rockie, and a Prix Jeunesse Award.
In feature films, Tony directed Cut Snake (2015), The Home Song Stories (2007) winner of 24 international and Australian awards, and Walking on Water (2002), which premiered at the Berlinale. He also EP’d feature films Ali’s Wedding and Lou.
Currently Tony is the showrunner for upcoming US Netflix series Clickbait, and co-created and EP’d the Matchbox/ABC refugee detention centre drama Stateless alongside Cate Blanchett and Elise McCredie. Stateless stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Dominic West and Cate Blanchett. Netflix acquired the worldwide rights after its world premiere at the sixth edition of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Berlinale Series in 2020.
Jo Azzopardi joined Beyond in 2009 and is currently EVP Sales for Asia Pacific. Prior to that Jo worked at Southern Star for many years, across both Theatrical and TV distribution. Jo has also worked with Beyond’s Content team in London, working with local producers and sourcing content from ANZ. With Beyond Rights’ expanding catalogue, her focus is now sales into Australia, NZ & Asia.
Tyler Bern is Head of Content for Prime Video Australia and New Zealand. He has been at Amazon for 4 years in this role for 2 years and oversees Amazon’s content strategy for Prime Video in ANZ. Prior to Amazon, Tyler was working in Dish Network’s Programming group across a number of verticals including sports and premium content. Tyler has a MBA from Northwestern University and is a native of Chicago, Illinois.
Rosemary Blight is a founding partner of Goalpost Pictures and one of Australia’s most experienced producers. Rosemary’s credits include THE SAPPHIRES, which premiered at Cannes; TOP END WEDDING, co-written and starring Miranda Tapsell which premiered at Sundance, both films directed by Wayne Blair; I AM WOMAN, the story of Australian international singing superstar Helen Reddy, directed by Unjoo Moon and the internationally acclaimed drama series CLEVERMAN. Rosemary Executive Produced Leigh Whannell’s UPGRADE and the worldwide box office hit THE INVISIBLE MAN both co-produced with US independent production powerhouse Blumhouse. FELONY, directed by Matthew Saville and starring Joel Edgerton & Tom Wilkinson and the Julien Temple-directed opera THE ETERNITY MAN. She is the Executive Producer of HOLDING THE MAN; THE TREE starring Charlotte Gainsbourg which was the closing night film at the Cannes Film Festival; and the drama series FIGHTING SEASON.
Rosemary is Executive Producer of the drama series NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN for SBS & All3media.
Rosemary 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.
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.
Grainne has more than 20 years’ experience working in the creative industries; in addition to previous roles at Screen NSW and Arts NSW, she has worked in leadership positions in international cultural relations with the British Council, with arts organisations in Sydney and teaching design studies at tertiary level.
Peter has worked as an ABC and commercial broadcast journalist and producer and community Placemaker for most of his professional life. He has also owned and operated cinemas across three states, and worked for or consulted to local, state and federal government in the arts, screen and culture sectors.
He has lived in the Byron Shire for 12 years, returning in 2017 to take the producers position with the Brunswick Picture House. He is now freelance consulting in event, major arts and screen based activation.
He is currently consulting with the Quad in Lismore, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast and The University of Queensland on screen projects. Most recently he has been developing new community based open space activation projects with business partner and Dashboard Animals Creative Director Arianna Bosi. They recently won the Arts Northern Rivers “Your Big Idea” with their InSideOut Lightbox activation in the Ocean Shores Shopping Center car park.
Peter was early to the magic of cinema being exposed to German Expressionist, and Soviet Socialist cinema alongside the cinema of Disney by the age of 6. Growing up in a community minded socially aware and engaged household has meant that Peter’s passion for great cinema and community have combined throughout his professional career. He is most at home in the grassroots of activity where collaborative cultural practice and community come together in celebration and engagement.
His years as a journalist have allowed him to develop his writing skills and he can turn his hand to the scripting of radio, short form screen as well as marketing copy. He also has a great passion for cooking and continues to enjoy radio and screen production.
Nha-Uyen Chau is the Founder and CEO of LGI Media (formerly Looking Glass International). Established in 2006, Nha-Uyen’s overall commitment to strengthening LGI’s presence within the international market has strategically shaped key relationships with both broadcasters and producers around the world. As the head of the company, not only does Nha-Uyen oversee the day to day operations of LGI as well as managing her own territory for distribution, she is passionate about developing new relationships and seeking out new talent to work with. Nha-Uyen actively works hands-on with producers to develop their ideas and find financing for their projects. Since LGI’s inception, she has successfully secured co-productions and presale with a number of international broadcasters including CBC (Canada), Discovery Channel, ARTE (France/ Germany), Viasat and NHK (Japan). Nha-Uyen’s broadcast clients include Netflix, Amazon, National Geographic, BBC and Discovery Channels.
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 and recently Doctor Doctor, Eden and Pieces of Her. 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 Seriously Red and Sunday, on which he was also a writer and producer.
Dustin was named one of Screen Producers Australia’s emerging producers of 2015, and his producing credits include documentaries The Meaning of Vanlife and Shelter’s original Inspired Architecture series, and as executive producer on Australian docs Fish Out of Water and In Bob We Trust, Canadian documentary A Time for Making and the US feature A Fighting Season.
Dustin is the director of global streaming service Shelter, focusing on home, architecture, design and lifestyle, and also heads up NSW Northern Rivers based independent production, distribution and sales company Fighting Chance Films. Dustin also serves as a member of the Equity Screen Committee and is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).
Lois Kay Cook is the daughter of Lewis Cook, Elder and custodian of the Nyangbul Language Group of the Bundjalung Nation. Lois was raised at Cabbage Tree Island in her father’s country. His grandparents Bubba Jack and Susan Cook raised Lewis Cook.
As a young girl growing up on Cabbage Tree Island, Lois developed a close relationship with her Grand Uncles who passed on important cultural knowledge and history 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), then taught dance and culture on the North Coast and in the late 1980s joined Bangara Dance Theatre Australia and became their Administrator/Tour Manager and Performer, performing in remote communities in NSW. From 1996 – 2002 she was the Managing Director of Goobah Goobah Koori Theatre Company. 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 hopes is the producer of “Babe in the reeds” that won the 2015 Byron Bay International Film festival ‘ best local film.
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 with six years as the State Manager of NSW Legal Aid’s Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program. 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.
Tracey is hard of hearing and is also a Director of Deaf Sports Australia. She holds a Bachelor of Community Welfare (UWS) and a Diploma of Business (UTS).
With more than three decades experience in the Australian production industry, Deb Cox has been responsible for creating and producing some of Australia’s most iconic screen content, as a highly talented creator, writer, and creative producer. Deb possesses a rare talent for creating intelligent stories grounded in great writing, rich characters and high production values.
With an aim to create and produce thought-provoking, entertaining content for both domestic and international audiences, Deb joined forces with Producer and Executive Producer Fiona Eagger to form Every Cloud Productions in 2009. Deb has gone on to co-create, co-produce and head the writing team on three series of international, award-winning, period drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Deb has worked as Executive Producer and Story Producer on Indigenous drama The Gods of Wheat Street; as well as co-created Newton’s Law, and youth short form series Deadlock, which was given the AACTA Award for the Best Online Series in 2018. Deb recently worked as Executive Producer and Co-Writer on Ms Fisher's MODern Murder Mysteries for the Seven Network; as Executive Producer and Writer of the highly anticipated feature film Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears, and as Creator and Head Writer for the reboot of the much-loved series SeaChange for the Nine Network.
Deb’s career began in the1980s at Crawford Productions in Melbourne. Her early freelance career included a stint as Project Officer for the Australian Film Commission and as Head of Drama for Artist Services, where she developed a range of feature film and television projects, including the ABC miniseries Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies, feature film Dead Letter Office.
As part of CoxKnight Productions, with Andrew Knight, Deb developed three series of SeaChange for the ABC; the drama series CrashBurn and the children’s series Worst Best Friends.
In 2006 she wrote one of Australia’s first long-run online narratives PS Trixi for Hoodlum Entertainment in Brisbane, then co-created, co-wrote and co-produced two series of East of Everything.
In 2015 Deb was awarded the Byron Bay International Film Festival Award for Contribution to the Northern Rivers Film Industry.
In 2016 Deb was jointly-awarded the Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry.
In July 2017 Deb was the joint-recipient of Film Victoria’s Screen Business Ventures funding, with Every Cloud Productions being named as one of eight companies to share in more than $2.7m to increase growth and output capacity, and showcase Australian talent to the world.
Deb, along with Fiona Eagger, was the joint recipient of an esteemed Screen Business Export award at the 2017 Screen Producers Australia Awards, receiving the award on behalf of Every Cloud Productions.
Deb has been a mentor under the Natalie Miller Fellowship Brilliant Careers program, has been a speaker and teacher on various programs for Northern Rivers Screenworks, the Byron Writer’s Festival and Victorian College of the Arts. She has been a judge for the Byron Bay Short Film Festival and her original works have been nominated and won numerous awards over the last three decades.
Ken is currently the CEO of Screenworks, a registered charity that provides screen-related development and networking opportunities, programs and initiatives that support people living in regional, rural and remote Australia.
An accomplished and entrepreneurial Chief Executive Officer with extensive knowledge and experience working with and in different levels of government. Over the past 7 years has established strong relationships and partnerships across the Australian screen industry and globally developing and delivering innovative programs and initiatives that strengthen the industry in regional, rural and remote Australia. Ken has a reputation for establishing and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse range of industry stakeholders including producers, broadcasters, industry guilds and funding bodies at state and federal levels. Creates mutually-beneficial partnerships that deliver jobs, economic benefits and production outcomes.
A proven leader with experience building organisations by implementing forward-thinking commercial practices that deliver on strategic objectives set by governments and boards. Strongly focused on maintaining and enhancing organisational cultures by leading, managing and coaching high-performing teams.
With a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts – Production from NIDA, Ken has extensive experience in strategic business & events planning, preparing funding applications and governance of arts organisations and government. Ken is a member of the NSW Government’s Arts & Cultural Advisory Committee and regularly presents about managing internal innovation and change in business models used by arts, screen and cultural organisations.
Elle Curran is a partner of entertainment law firm, DWA Law where she advises a wide-range of clients in the media industry. Elle has held previous positions as Director of Legal and Business Affairs at Screen Producers Australia and Business Affairs Manager at the ABC. Elle’s areas of expertise include IP, financing, production agreements, distribution, talent representation and employment law.
Wes Dening is an award-winning producer and content creator with more than 15 years of production experience. Wes has developed, sold and produced original content for cable, broadcast, digital and OTT platforms and has extensive experience growing content businesses.
Prior to joining Eureka, Wes was the founder & president of WDE, an innovative production company that developed and produced an enviable slate of programs which are broadcasting in more than 55-countries worldwide. Wes was responsible for structuring all commercial agreements at WDE, with a focus on retaining and exploiting rights, while also overseeing creative & talent management and during his tenure Wes significantly increased revenue year-on-year.
During his time at WDE, Wes was the creative force and Executive Producer of Big Crazy Family Adventure at Travel Channel, The Flying Winemaker for Discovery Channel International TLC, and is currently broadcasting across Australia and Asia on Netflix. Wes also signed and created The Stafford Brothers for Fox8 Network.
In addition to his extensive production work, Wes contributes to multiple media panels and regularly distributes content focussing on thought leadership in the ever-changing media landscape.
In addition to being SQ's Chief Creative Officer,Jo Dillon is co-chair of the Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network (SDIN) alongside Benjamin Law. Jo has worked in Development & Production, overseeing investment in Australian and co-produced fiction and factual screen stories for all platforms, and the development of projects and creative talent. She has developed screen stories in Australia and the UK for more than ten years, most recently as a Development Executive for Screen Australia. In the UK, Jo was Head of Development at Emmy-winning production company Yipp Films, responsible for developing factual narratives for network television and establishing the company’s first drama slate. She worked in development for independent feature film producers including Ipso Facto Productions and Vita Nova Films, as a script and story consultant working on feature films, shorts and documentaries, and as an assessor for a number of UK investors and screen agencies.
Fiona Eagger is among Australia’s most experienced and successful television producers. With astute creative, entrepreneurial and production expertise, Fiona founded Every Cloud Productions in 2009 with Deb Cox and quickly cemented a reputation for high quality and popular TV drama. This included co-creating, producing & executive producing three seasons of the runaway international success, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which has sold to more than 170 territories around the world.
Other Every Cloud productions Fiona has steered include legal-drama Newton’s Law, indigenous series, The Gods of Wheat Street, AACTA-winning youth drama Deadlock, Mss Fisher spin-off, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, theatrical feature Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears, and ratings hit SeaChange. Most recently Fiona executive produced mystery drama, Eden, and comedy feature, A Sunburnt Christmas, for premium SVOD platform Stan.
Widely recognised as a industry leader Fiona has received numerous accolades including the Jill Robb Award for Service to the Victorian Screen industry, the Natalie Miller Fellowship for Women in Leadership, and Business Export award from Screen Producers Australia.
Andrena Finlay began her producing career in London with a 35mm short film, The Privilege, which won the 1984 BAFTA and the Bilbao Film Festival gold award for best short film.
From this start, she has built a sustainable industry career, spanning over three decades of entrepreneurial and creative independent producing.
She has made ten feature films, two telemovies and four short films, was Head of Producing at AFTRS and Drama Investment Manager at the Film Finance Corporation, the predecessor of Screen Australia. She has also raised two children.
Her present venture, Screen Arts Business Consulting (Screen ABC), combines her two professional passions, filmmaking and education. It offers emerging screen practitioners one-on-one mentoring as they shape and build their careers and projects; producer-focused short courses in feature film financing, budgeting, development and pitching; and two-hour interactive skills labs on all topics relevant to producing. www.screenabc.com
She has co-written a book with Sue Milliken – Producing For the Screen: a Handbook – intended to demystify the producer journey of taking a “lightbulb” idea and turning it into a finished project.
Veronica Fury is an Executive Producer, Producer and Principal of WildBear Entertainment with over 65 commissioned television series and feature documentaries to her name. Some of her prominent feature credits include the AACTA nominated biopic Brock: Over the Top, released by Universal Pictures, Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, commissioned by Netflix, and the upcoming feature documentary, Hating Peter Tatchell. Veronica’s recent television credits include the ongoing series Scottish Vets Down Under, commissioned by BBC Scotland and currently screening on ABC as well as Aussie Mega Mechanics and Demolition Down Under for Discovery and Network 10. Veronica has worked with nearly all the major television broadcasters both domestic and international from ABC to ZDF.
William is regarded as a solutions focussed entrepreneur with a strong vision and creative drive having founded multiple businesses over the years, most recently Byron Studios. With an expansive career spanning over 20 years, it began in 2000 at Adelaide’s Rising Sun Pictures. Over the years he has worked on the world’s most iconic films which include; The Harry Potter Series, The Lord of the Rings and Terminator 4 to name a few. With an undeniable passion for the industry, Will is constantly challenging existing methods in order to present forward thinking and alternative solutions. After many years in the industry working across Australia for studios such as Animal Logic and Fuel VFX, his industry knowledge and strategic vision enabled him to establish Cumulus Visual Effects (Byron Bay) in 2011, a leading multidisciplinary team spanning many facets of the industry. As a natural progression, in 2017 he founded Elements Post Production with partners Billy Wychgel and Gabrielle Joosten, and building on his reputation for producing high quality work he has continued to gain the respect of clients both at home in Australia and internationally. Creativity driven and solutions focussed Will won ‘Creative Artist of the Year - 2019’, and he is recognised for his integral role in Damon Gameau’s 2040 Documentary. This same entrepreneurial foresight has led him to build on the current infrastructure and establish a new global hub for the film and television industry here in the Northern Rivers. Byron Studios, situated in the location of choice to service the Australian and international film industry.
Claire has worked in the entertainment industry for over 16 years, beginning in the film department of Event/Greater Union by becoming a film programmer, where she gained knowledge, skills and contacts in the distribution, exhibition and film making community. With that experience she moved to Dendy Cinemas where she was the National Film, Content and Programming Manager, gaining a greater perspective of the independent landscape, whilst also becoming involved in the acquisitions process at Icon Films, eventually becoming Development and Film Acquisitions Manager in tandem with the Content Management for the cinema side of the business. In 2017 she was offered the role of General Manager of Content for Event Cinemas, the largest and most successful cinema chain in Australia and New Zealand, where she is focusing on supporting and nurturing Australian and local content, and expanding the film palettes of the Event audiences with interesting and engaging film and content outside of the broader commercial content offerings.
Steven Gardner has worked at Media Super/Print Super for 16 years and been in the superannuation industry for over 30 years. He has run the Queensland office of Media Super over that period and continues to support all sectors of the Industries they represent and helped it grow to the size it is today. He has been involved in the Screenworks partnership for a number of years.
Media Super is the $6.5 billion Industry Superannuation Fund for Media, Entertainment, Arts, Print and Creative workers. It is a profit to members fund that provides Insurance and Retirement benefits to members across all these industries and gives support to the industries through events like the one we are at today. It has low fees and consistent investment returns to all members across a number of investment options.
With over 30 years experience in content sales and marketing, Fiona has licensed content to a wide variety of platforms and market segments around the world.
Beginning at the government owned production studio Film Australia in 1989 as the Sales and Marketing Operations Manager, Fiona built the content sales catalogue across all genres for distribution into markets worldwide and in doing so built strong relationships with the independent production sector and content buyers. Fiona was also a staff elected director on the Film Australia Board from 1992 – 1996.
As Content Sales Manager at public broadcaster SBS from 1996, Fiona assessed the commercial potential of SBS’s content at every stage of production. She worked with producers to obtain production funding from the market, securing market interest to get content into production. During her time at SBS the sales catalogue, which had previously only represented local SBS productions, grew to represent Australian content commissioned outside SBS.
Fiona established her own consultancy business, Fi’sAbility, in 2009 and worked with producers to maximise commercial opportunities for their content, helping them with business plans and working in the market on their behalf.
In early 2011 Fiona joined John Caldon and Lyndey Milan to establish Flame Distribution, a specialist factual distributor, as its Content Sales & Acquisitions Director. Since that time Flame Distribution has grown to 20 staff and established sales offices in Sydney, Phillipines and London and with representation in USA, China, Italy, Spain and Latin America. Flame Distribution has moved into content development and funding and is part of the Flame Media Group which also manages a sound-controlled studio facility in Sydney and a stock footage library.
Flame currently represents over 4,000 hours of factual and documentary content from over 180 producers from around the world. Its sales staff attend nearly 30 trade fairs and conferences around the world each year as well as making territory trips to meet with buyers face to face in order to stay abreast of their content needs. Flame works in the TV, VOD, inflight, and educational markets and also assists producers in securing presales and commissions through initiatives like the Flame Coproduction Alliance and Flame Distribution Productions.
Fiona was a board member of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) from 2014 to 2020, serving as Co-Chair for 5 years. She is now a member of the AIDC Advisory Committee.
Julie Greene is currently working as a consultant to the Television and Theatrical industries in a variety of roles encompassing all of her skills from Commercial Director & Executive Producer to Creative Director & Writer.
She has worked in the television industry for over 25 years with many of the major networks both in Australia and around the world. After completing a Bachelor of Communications in 1993, she has worked consistently and successfully in the television and theatrical industries on several award-winning TV programs and live stage-shows. Her background combines experience in a number of television genres including Lifestyle, Reality, Documentary, Drama and Children’s Television. Julie has also produced and presented her own television series focusing on parenting on the Lifestyle Channel.
Since the birth of her son Jaya in 2000, Julie’s focus and passion has been in Children’s Television and Children’s Theatre. She worked as a Producer with Disney Channel Australia/New Zealand before being invited to produce and then Executive Produce the international hit Children’s TV Series, Hi-5.
Julie was with Hi-5 for 14 years and for 7 of those the series was nominated for 7 Logie Awards over 7 consecutive years for Most Outstanding Children’s Program – winning 3 times. This is a television industry award of the highest ranking. Hi-5 has also been nominated twice for Emmy awards for the US format, and it has had 4 successive Asia TV Award nominations winning in 2015 amongst other awards in the Asia region.
Julie is also an esteemed Juror for Children’s Television internationally on both the Asia TV Awards and the International Emmys.
Julie continues her career doing what she is passionate about – providing a level of excellence in inspiring, entertaining and educational programming and theatre for young children worldwide.
She also expanded her role working on the commercial aspects of selling and distributing TV shows and working on sponsorships for live theatre.
Sacha liaises with Federal and State Screen Agencies and industry stakeholders focussing on investment and partnership opportunities and diversity and inclusion initiatives in content and teams.
Sacha has worked in the broadcasting industry for more than 20 years. From 1995 to 2003, she worked at the BBC in several key roles in documentary departments including the flagship science series Horizon. In 2003, she joined the ABC as Line Producer within the Natural History Unit, before moving to the role of Production Executive in the Factual team. While at the ABC, she has worked across most of the commissioning genres, including Children’s, Factual, Indigenous, Sport, Events and Entertainment and Children's.
Chris Hilton is one of Australia’s most prolific and award-winning executive producers and producer/ directors who has made films across a broad spectrum of subjects for a large number of the world’s major broadcasters. Previously co-founder and CEO of the Essential Media Group and a founding partner and managing director of Hilton Cordell Productions, Chris has financed, executive produced or produced over 500 hours of content from feature films and television drama through feature docs, CGI driven series and lifestyle programming for broadcast clients including Disney, Fox, Discovery Networks, National Geographic (now Disney), Viacom, A&E Networks, PBS, BBC, Channel Four and Arté France as well as all Australian television networks.
Scripted highlights include the feature film Saving Mr Banks (Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson), comedy-drama Rake (5 seasons for ABC starring Richard Roxburgh and a US adaptation for Fox with Greg Kinnear) and crime series Jack Irish (3 telemovies and 2 seasons for ABC starring Guy Pierce). Unscripted highlights include Dealing with the Demon, Shadowplay, Dying to Leave, My Brother the Serial Killer, The Floating Brothel, The Grammar of Happiness and Living Universe.
Majhid Heath’s first short film, Brown Lips (2017), from writer/ director Nakkiah Lui, was nominated for numerous awards after screening both nationally and internationally. His second project, A Chance Affair (2018) from creator/writer Steven Oliver, screened on NITV/SBS On Demand. Majhid produced the Horror Anthology feature, Dark Place, for ABC and Screen Australia (2019) and also produced Arts TV Quiz show Faboriginal for NITV/SBS On Demand (2020). Majhid has produced a number of documentaries including feature, Le Champion (2019), and Power to the People – Love (2017), Cyber Dreaming (2014) and Message Stick – An Australian Storybook (2011) for ABC Television.
Jennie Hughes joined Screen Territory at the end of August 2018. Since joining Jennie has lead the roll-out of stimulus programs delivering 82% of the Screen Industry Development Plan 2018-2020 in 12 months, including the $1.480 mill Enterprise Program, implementation of Reel Scout and establishment of “Centralised” joint initiative with SAFC, Screen Australia, ABC, NITV, AFTRS and Documentary Australia Foundation. Prior to joining Screen Territory Jennie was CEO New York Film Academy; COO Screen Queensland (securing San Andreas and Unbroken to film in the state); 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 which was subsequently invested in $100 million of Australian screen production. She was Paramount Pictures’ licensing agent and Executive Producer of award-winning feature films “Gettin’ Square” and “Dirty Deeds”. Jennie has participated in screen industry reviews and was appointed by the Australian Government as Chair of their Investment Committee, Strategic Industry Leaders Group on Digital Content. She is a former Chair of the SBS Gender Equality Group and former Board member of the Australian Film Institute/AACTA and the Central Coast Arts Centre.
Hayley Johnson is a Producer who specialises in the development of drama, features and documentary. Hayley joined the film industry working for Blackfella Films and was later a Development and Investment Manager at Screen Australia where she oversaw projects including children’s series Little J & Big Cuz, gay rom-com A Chance Affair, Nakkiah Lui’s Kiki & Kitty and Carry the Flag. After joining Noble Savage Pictures in 2018, Hayley produced Dark Place, an anthology horror entirely written, directed and produced by Aboriginal filmmakers. The film went on to travel at acclaimed film festivals including Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne Film Festival and FrightFest. In 2019, Hayley along with her producing partner Majhid Heath, produced the first ever Aboriginal game show for NITV and SBS OnDemand called Faboriginal.
Mike Jones is Head of Content and Development at Every Cloud Productions where he oversees a diverse slate of screen drama projects. He is an experienced script producer, story editor, and writer whose work has garnered numerous accolades including Emmy, AWG, SPA, & ADG awards. For Every Cloud he story-produced the AACTA-winning youth drama series ‘Deadlock’ and was co-producer of hit comedy feature, ‘A Sunburnt Christmas’. Prior to joining Every Cloud Mike worked with companies including the ABC, PrincessPictures, WarnerBros, SweetPotatoFilms, and Jungle. He lead script development of much-loved comic-drama series ‘F*cking Adelaide’ and Emmy nominated ‘Wrong Kind of Black’, and collaborated on celebrated supernatural TV dramas ‘The Gloaming’ and ‘The Kettering Incident’. Other script development collaborations include horror series ‘Deadhouse Dark’ and horror-comedy ‘Over and Out’, both selected for CannesSeries, as well as award-winning short films ‘Rebooted’ and ‘The Hitchhiker’. Mike is co-creator and writer of forthcoming 13-part supernatural mystery drama, The Orchard, for Amazon/Audible staring Eric Bana, previously served as a development executive to ScreenAustralia, and lectured in story and writing at the Australian Film TV & Radio School.
Rick is a screenwriter, creator, producer, showrunner and scripted executive, often named among The Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Most Influential People in Australian TV’.
From 2013-2020, Rick was ABC Head of Comedy, overseeing some 100 scripted titles across TV, iView, online and podcast - among them 20 internationally co-produced TV seasons - which to date have earned 75 AACTA nominations, including an unprecedented sweep of every Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Performance nomination at the 2019 Awards.
ABC titles overseen by Rick include 2020 BAFTA nominee Frayed (with SkyOne/HBO Max), The Letdown (with Netflix), International Emmy nominee Please Like Me, Rosehaven (with Amazon, Sundance/AMC), Utopia, The Katering Show, Get Krackin’, Superwog (with YouTube), Ronny Chieng: International Student (with Comedy Central USA) and Indigenous drama Wrong Kind of Black, for which Rick shared a 2019 International Emmy nomination.
Before ABC, Rick ran scripted at Quail TV (now EQ Media) in Sydney/Los Angeles. His own multi award-winning credits include creator/writer/producer of ABC satires At Home with Julia and Wednesday Night Fever, and head writer of Nine’s long-running Comedy Inc: The Late Shift.
Rick’s first screenplay, political comedy The Honourable Wally Norman, produced by Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech), opened the 2003 Sydney Film Festival.
He has developed pilots for BBC and 20th Century Fox/Imagine Television.
Previously a lawyer, Rick was Associate to Justice Mary Gaudron at the High Court of Australia.
Since leaving ABC, Rick has returned to screenwriting/producing, developing international TV and feature dramas and comedies with a number of co-producers.
Bus Stop’s COO & Producer Dianna La Grassa has over 10 years of experience in the education sector, an MBA graduate, is a NIDA trained actress and emerging Film Producer. As a woman living with disability and understanding that the Arts and Entertainment industry can sometimes be a hard nut to crack, through Bus Stop Films Dianna is able to fully utilise her skill set and give back to an industry she loves.
Natalie started her career as an actress, both in film and onstage but then moved into distribution in London. After working there for a year, Natalie moved to Australia and managed local offices working across Asia, Australia & New Zealand.
In 2008 Natalie started as the Sales Manager for ABC Commercial and after 12 months secured the position of Manager, Content Sales and managed the merger of all commercial departments within ABC Commercial.
During Natalie’s time as Manager, Content Sales, along with achieving annual budgets, the focus was on refreshing the catalogue with premium titles across each genre and investing in blue-chip projects. For the Lifestyle genre ABC Commercial commissioned Thai Street Food with David Thompson and The Flying Winemaker. The Children’s catalogue grew to include A Cautionary Tail, narrated by Cate Blanchett, The WotWots by Weta Workshop, Series 2 of the animated Bananas in Pyjamas and the beautiful Adventures of Figaro Pho. The Factual genre was supported by high profile docos such as Search for the Ocean’s Super Predator and just recently, Shark Girl and the first ABC Commercial commissioned feature documentary, Stop At Nothing, which remains one of Netflix’s Top 5 sports documentaries.
Natalie left the ABC at the end of September 2013 to form Escapade Media, a niche company that focuses on distribution of smart content from across the globe as well as offering the market place a development service that takes the project through its entire life cycle. Natalie is responsible for running Escapade and overseas global sales. Escapade Media has strategic partnerships with producers, production companies and creatives to develop, co-produce and sell content globally. Escapade works with flexible finance models and secures pre-sales or other forms of finance to close budget deficits such as Slice with Adam Richman produced by Intuitive Content, Crash Test World with Kari Byron and Alantown starring Guy Pearce and Jacqueline Mckenzie. Natalie has secured various Executive Producer roles across non-scripted projects such as feature documentary Stop At Nothing, Chasing Chaos and In Your Dreams and lifestyle series Food.Sail.Love. In the scripted genre the projects include series Art of Killing, The Best Kind of Beautiful, and Comedy series Alantown.
Emma Madison is a screen industry executive with more than 15 years experience in royalty distribution. During her time at Screenrights she has overseen payment of more than $300 million in royalties to companies and screen practitioners in Australia and around the world.
In her current role as Head of New Business & 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. She also oversees Screenrights' Disbursement Service, its new Residuals Service and secondary royalty collections from overseas.
Screenrights is a non-profit membership organisation that provides rights and royalty management services to the screen industry. It facilitates access to screen content through simple licensing solutions for teachers in education, administrators in government, and home viewers with subscription TV – and makes royalty payments to its members for the programs audiences love.
Kris has worked throughout Australia and the UK as a producer, production accountant, financial controller, finance manager and change/transformation specialist for various statutory authorities, education and entertainment entities including the areas of music, theatre, TV, and film. Her portfolio of work spans companies such as Queensland Theatre Company, Inspired Movies, Shed Productions, Winnah Films, Coote/Hayes, Village Roadshow, Revolution Studios, Blue Star Pictures, Columbia Tristar Pictures, Foresight Films and Warner Bros. She also has worked in the music industry for Clear Channel Entertainment/Live Nation UK on major festival events and concerts in the UK that have included international artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica and Pavarotti.
Kris is passionate about producing quality entertainment of all avenues via the optimal utilization of artistic talent, business/operational management and technology. She has been a longstanding supporter of Australian creative and education industries industries; offering consulting services, in business and marketing, to an array of creative entities, helping them to actualise their commercial potential.
Kate Marks was appointed as Ausfilm's CEO in October 2019. As CEO, Kate leads the Ausfilm team in Australia and the USA and is responsible for developing international market strategies to ensure Australia is a globally competitive production location for
international film and television projects.
Prior to Kate’s appointment as CEO, she was Ausfilm’s Los Angeles based Executive Vice President of International Production, responsible for connecting Ausfilm members to international filmmakers and working closely with US development, finance, physical and post / vfx to help them bring their productions to Australia.
Kate also held the position of President of the Board of Australians in Film (AiF) for four years in Los Angeles. AiF is a Los Angeles based non-profit film, television and digital content foundation that supports, develops and promotes Australian screen talent and
culture in the United States. Prior to Ausfilm, Kate worked with Film Victoria.
Cate McQuillen and her partner Hewey Eustace are mememe productions, creating ‘out there’ content for the instalife generation.
These changemakers have produced the visually distinctive animation series dirtgirlworld and the nature driven live action series Get Grubby TV for the ABC and 128 countries around the globe.
Big believers in the power of a story, this hothouse of innovation has scooped up awards, including an Emmy, AFI, green Globe, ADG and SPAA digital producer and the prestigious NSW Service to the Community award in 2017.
Que Minh Luu is Netflix's first Director of Originals in Australia, responsible for commissioning local originals for the world's leading streaming entertainment service. Before joining Netflix, Que was an executive producer working across scripted drama, comedy and digital content at the ABC, most recently on Retrograde, The Heights, Frayed, Content, and Diary Of An Uber Driver. Prior to her current role she worked in development at Matchbox Pictures where she co-created The Heights, and as an independent produced a diverse range of award-winning work across radio/podcasting as well live and digital platforms including co-writing and producing the geo-locative historical drama Ghosts of Biloela, for which she won an AWGIE. In a former life she had an established career as a film editor.
Sam Moor is a Producer originally from the UK and has over 25 years’ experience in organising people & things. The majority of her career was with BBC & Independent Production companies in London. Working across many production roles in most genres such as Children’s, Entertainment, Comedy, Live Events & Drama. Her passion is for well-run and happy productions with a great story to tell. Sam moved to Australia with her family in 2012 and initially worked in Documentary & Factual production until teaming up with Ludo Studio in 2017 to work on Bluey.
Ivan is the co-founder of and executive producer at In Films, a Sydney and Southern Highlands based production company that focuses on feature documentaries and investigative television series. In Films' projects tend to concentrate on social justice issues or the arts. Sometimes both at the same time. The company's projects include Firestarter - The Story of Bangarra (2020 AACTA Best Documentary), Revelation (2020 Walkley Documentary Award), Hitting Home (2016 Walkley & AACTA for Best Documentary), Matilda & Me (2017 AACTA nominee) and The Queen & Zak Grieve (2018 Kennedy Award). Ivan received the 2013 AACTA for Best Documentary Series and the 2012 ADG Award for Best Direction in a Documentary Series for his work on the SBS refugee series ‘Go Back To Where You Came From.’ He has directed and produced films for HBO, BBC, ARTE, Channel 4, PBS, Al Jazeera & Discovery Channel. A former lawyer and UN peacekeeper in Bosnia, he holds degrees in international law (Leiden) and journalism (Columbia). Ivan’s other acclaimed projects include Baghdad High, about teenagers in Iraq (HBO); ‘How To Plan a Revolution,’ following democracy activists in Azerbaijan (BBC) and ‘Surviving Hunger,’ a film on famine in Ethiopia (CNN). His 4 Corners film ‘Code of Silence received’ the 2009 Sports Journalism Walkley. Screened at major festivals (Tribeca, Sheffield, Adelaide, Sydney), Ivan’s other gongs include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Prix Europa, two Rose d’Ors and a Golden Nymph.
Chris Oliver-Taylor started his career at the BBC in London, before emigrating to Australia in 2000. He worked in various senior production roles at ABC TV before becoming Head of Production in 2005 and then Head of Business and Operations in 2008.
In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures. During this period, Matchbox produced a highly acclaimed slate of programming, garnering numerous Australian and international awards. Chris’ Executive Producer credits include THE SLAP (NBC/ABC Australia), THE HEIGHTS (ABC Australia), GLITCH (Netflix/ABC Australia) and WANTED (Netflix/Seven Network Australia). Chris was also the Lead Executive in Australia for CAMP (NBC) and HUNTERS (Syfy).
In 2018, Chris was appointed Fremantle’s CEO Asia Pacific. Chris leads Production right across the region with a focus on Australia, New Zealand, India and Indonesia. Chris also holds a position on the Fremantle Global Operating Board.
Chris is currently a Board member of Film Victoria, AFTRS and MediaRing, and former Board member and Deputy Chair of Screenrights and President of Screen Producer’s Australia.
Lois Randall is an award winning Screen Producer with a passion for distinctive voices and stories. Most recently she was Co-producer on the Dollhouse/RKP feature SERIOUSLY RED (now in post). In 2019 she was Producer of the 8 episode drama series SEACHANGE, an ITV and ECP co-production that premiered on Nine as the highest rating TV drama for the year. Through her company Magpie Pictures she was Producer and EP of the internationally acclaimed 13 episode live-action children’s series GRACE BESIDE ME, that has screened on NITV, ABC, CBC and Disney, and awarded Children’s Series of the Year at the 2018 SPA Awards. She was also Producer of THE GODS OF WHEAT STREET, Miniseries of the Year, 2014 SPA Awards, and a Development EP on the 2018 AACTA Award winning web series DEADLOCK, both ECP Productions for ABC. Lois has also produced several acclaimed short films, and previous credits include line producing the ABC drama series EAST OF EVERYTHING and John Weiley’s Imax documentary feature SOLARMAX. Lois is a creative producer with a background in arts development. She has a Masters of Fine Arts degree (COFA/UNSW), and BA Communications (UTS).
Head of First Nations Programming, Sydney Opera House,
Creative Director Parrtjima Festival, Alice Springs
Festival Director, Boomerang Festival
Associate artist: Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA)
Vivid Opera House Sails Projection, Creative Director
Events Consultant /creative : Imagination Australia.
A Widjabul 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. Rhoda was the founder and Festival Director of the Dreaming Festivals (1995-2009).
As an actor/producer and director, she continues to work as a consultant, is a sought after speaker and performer in theatre, film, television and radio. She was the Co Founder the Aboriginal National Theater Trust and Creative Director, for the Awakening Segment Sydney Olympic Games 2000 Opening Ceremony. Rugby World Cup 2003, Athens handover ceremony, The opening ceremony of the Musee Du Quay Branley, Paris, Japan Expo, World Youth Day events, Artistic Director of Sydney Dreaming Festival and Australia Day events where she developed and directed the Woggan ma Gule annual ceremony for ten years.
Ruby Schmidt is a screen practitioner and producer from Brisbane with a background in factual and scripted content. Ruby completed a Bachelor of Laws in 2013 before spending two years as a Development Executive at Carbon Creative, working across a diverse slate of projects including 32 part NRL studio show ‘League Nation Live’ (NITV), and ‘Sesame Street Season 47’ interstitials. While at Carbon Ruby also spent time working on a range of advertising campaigns for various State and Federal Government agencies.
Ruby has worked as a Line Producer on the four-part NITV/FranceTV series ‘Elements’ (2018) for WildBear Entertainment and was the Production Manager on the MIFF/Netflix feature documentary ‘Iron Fists and Kung-Fu Kicks’ (2019). Ruby is currently Associate Producer on feature documentary 'Brock: Over the Top’ for Universal and ABC.
Ruby is also the founder and principal of Toy Shop Entertainment – a production company based in Brisbane. In 2020 Ruby produced 'Belonging' a half hour LGBTQI documentary for Screen Australia and Ten Play which premiered at Mardi Gras in February. The film was awarded best Documentary short at Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Toy Shop Entertainment is currently in development on a number of projects including 'Zaroville: Curse of the Fried Chicken' an Indigenous comedy series co-created by and starring Ian Zaro and written by Bjorn Stewart and Kodie Bedford – developed with support from Screen Australia. Ruby is also currently financing documentary feature ‘General Hercules’ with director Brodie Poole.
Daniel Schultz is a multi-award winning producer having worked across feature films, documentary, television series and short films. Daniel has been involved in projects awarded with International Emmys, AACTAs and a Logie. Since 2016 he has worked at Ludo Studio (Doodles, Bluey, The Strange Chores) as Finance & Business Affairs Manager, receiving Screen Australia Enterprise People funding in 2018 and in 2019 Ludo Studio was awarded the SPA Business of the Year Award. Daniel also produced the Sitges Award winning short film Post Mortem Mary in 2017 and was Associate Producer of the Rose D'or winning and International Emmy nominated series Content and the AACTA Award and SPA Award winning series Robbie Hood in 2019.
Pallavi Sharda’s filmography includes Bollywood and International feature films and television series including, TOM & JERRY (2021), Gurinder Chadha’s BEECHAM HOUSE (ITV/Ten/Netflix, 2020), TRIANGLE (Disney, 2019), BEGUM JAAN (2017), Oscar nominated LION (2016), HAWAIZAADA (2015), BESHARAM (2013), and Aussie film SAVE YOUR LEGS (2013). In Australia she recently starred alongside Rebel Wilson and David Wenham in LES NORTON (ABC) and reprised the leading role in ABC’s lockdown comedy RETROGRADE.
An honours graduate from the University of Melbourne Law, Arts and Languages schools, Pallavi is an advocate for the promotion of Australia-India relations, strengthening intercultural links, Asia literacy and enhancing multicultural representation on Australian screens. Pallavi has been an Ambassador of Melbourne’s Human Rights Art and Film Festival and continues to lend her voice to causes at the intersection of Human Rights, cross-cultural communication and women’s empowerment. In India, Pallavi advocates for sustainable fashion and social entrepreneurship models of development.
Her upcoming releases include UK drama THE ONE (Netflix), Warner Bros’ live action film TOM AND JERRY and Audible scripted comedy SLUSHY written and directed by Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan. Pallavi’s memoir on cross-cultural living is due for release in 2022.
Penny is a Member of the Maramanindji people, from the Northern Territory. 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. At AFTRS, Penny produced two documentaries - Roger and A Change of Heart. A Change of Heart was nominated for a Dendy Award and played at several International film festivals including IDFA. Between 2004 and 2005 Penny worked in the Indigenous Programs Unit at the ABC, where she produced and directed for series 6 and 7 of Message Sticks. Penny’s ABC stories Leila Murray and the Long Grassers were nominated for Human Rights awards. Penny also produced the ABC’s highly successful Yarning Up series 1 and 2 and was a part of the Screen Australia Indigenous Department’s Producers Initiative in 2011. She produced a series of shorts called The Forgotten Ones in 2010, directed by prisoners from the NT, and before beginning her role at Screen Australia, Penny was working as a Senior Programmer for NITV, National Indigenous Television, a division of SBS.
Isabel is a Producer at See Pictures, joining in 2017. While at the company she has produced Josh Lawson’s second feature LONG STORY SHORT (Rafe Spall, Zahra Newman), Daniel Askill's (the direction behind Sia’s iconic Chandelier music video) debut feature LUNACY, and JUNE AGAIN (Noni Hazlehurst, Claudia Karvan, Stephen Curry) from director JJ Winlove. She has also worked across BREATH, SWINGING SAFARI and 1% with See Pictures.
Previously, she has spent time working in TV Commercials, co-ordinating more than 100 shoots throughout Australia for clients such as L’oreal Paris, RACQ, Farmer’s Union and Choice Hotel. Isabel’s short form work has found success internationally, with her multi-award winning web-series TWO WEEKS and short documentary GOKANOSHO: LOST IN TIME playing at dozens of festivals apiece. She holds a BA in Film and Screen Media from Griffith Film school, where she became the first student to have two graduate films selected to represent the university at Cannes Film Festival in 2015.
Jackie Turnure is a triple Emmy award winning Impact Producer with over 15 years experience producing impact campaigns for producers and production companies, connecting their films and television shows with audiences who care about the issues that lie at the heart of their work.
Jackie’s documentary impact projects include the women in STEMM feature doc, THE LEADERSHIP, migrant documentary, ROSEMARY'S WAY, adult survivors of childhood trauma doc and podcast, GHOSTHUNTER, 3 part ocean series, AUSTRALIA'S OCEAN ODYSSEY, mens' mental health series, MAN UP, and asylum seeker feature film, SANCTUARY. Her drama impact projects include detention centre series STATELESS, social housing television series, THE HEIGHTS, modern slavery feature BUOYANCY, Muslim comedy feature ALI’S WEDDING, and Indigenous feature film, SWEET COUNTRY.
Before returning to Australia in 2015, Jackie headed up the Los Angeles office of Think Jam, a digital marketing agency for major entertainment clients including Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Lionsgate, MGM and Twentieth Century Fox.
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.
Liz Watts is an independent producer based in Sydney. Liz setup Spirit Pictures in August 2020. In 1997 she founded production company Porchlight Films with Vincent Sheehan and Anita Sheehan. In June 2020, the directors parted ways but maintained their distribution entity Jetty Distribution for ongoing rights in their catalogue.
Liz is currently in pre production on 6-part comedy series, Preppers, created by Nakkiah Lui and Gabe Dowrick for ABC TV, and is Executive Producing Fires, a 6-part anthology with showrunner/ EP Belinda Chayko and Executive Producers Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm for TAP. Other Executive Producer credits include 6-part Peter Duncan created series Operation Buffalo which screened recently on ABC TV in Australia, and 6-part series Stateless for ABC TV and Netflix internationally.
In 2019, Liz produced David Michôd’s feature, The King, partnering with Plan B, starring Timothée Chalamet for Netflix Originals, and Justin Kurzel’s feature True History of the Kelly Gang, starring George MacKay, Nicholas Hoult, Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam and Russell Crowe.
Liz’s credits include Producer of Mary Magdalene (2018), starring Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix with See-Saw Films, Executive Producer on the 5 season US series adaptation of Animal Kingdom for TNT and Producer of the ABC TV comedy series with creator Nakkiah Lui, Kiki and Kitty.
Liz also produced The Rover (2014, feature Director David Michôd), Lore (2012, feature Director Cate Shortland), Dead Europe (2012 feature, Director Tony Krawitz,) with See Saw Films, two seasons of comedy Laid (2011-2) TV series, Animal Kingdom (2010, feature Director David Michôd), The Home Song Stories (2007, feature, Director Tony Ayres), Little Fish (2005, feature, Director Rowan Woods), Jewboy (2005, Director Tony Krawitz) and Walking On Water, (2002, feature, Director Tony Ayres).
Her other Executive Producer credits include The Kettering Incident (2015, TV series), Jasper Jones (2017, Director Rachel Perkins) and The Hunter (2011, Director Daniel Nettheim).
Liz’s industry work includes board member of Sydney Film Festival (2005 - 2008); vice president of the Metro Screen board (2005-2011); Board member of the SAFC (2013- 2018). Watts was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011, and has served on various industry awards and juries, including the Berlin Film Festival 2016 Generation Jury and the Sydney Film Festival 2015 International Competition Jury. Liz is a member of the Producers branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Over a 25 year career, Virginia has become a highly experienced producer of factual and scripted content. Hailing from the UK, she has worked on numerous productions all over the world. Her extensive production experience includes projects for Warner Bros, HBO, Lucasfilm, EON, 20th Century Fox and Universal. She is the Head of Production and Partner at Good Thing Productions and has produced many projects including AACTA-winning documentary THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM, 2040, ALL FOR ONE and BELOW. She is currently producing feature comedy NUDE TUESDAY, an official NZ-Australian co-production with Firefly Films and the Justin Kurzel feature NITRAM.
A former Australian reporter for international industry publication Variety, Mark Woods is the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) Industry Director. In this role he manages the film co-financing event 37ºSouth Market and emerging director workshop Accelerator Lab as well as serving as Executive Producer of MIFF Premiere Fund, whose 85+ projects include BRAN NUE DAE, BUOYANCY, EMO THE MUSICAL, H IS FOR HAPPINESS, PAPER PLANES and THE TURNING. Woods previous roles include former CEO of Australian content attraction agency Ausfilm, former CEO of Screen Ireland and previous Head of Acquisitions & Investment at Showtime Australia, where he backed more than 30 Australian films including Golden Globe-nominated RABBIT PROOF FENCE and the Cannes-selected JAPANESE STORY as well as acquiring more than 100 completed international films annually.
Georgia Woodward is an award-winning producer and content strategist. She has worked in production for factual, children’s, lifestyle and reality programming for broadcasters such as Seven, ABC, and the Nine Network. She is the producer of the multi award winning short, Staying the Night (Winner of the Audience Award for Best Short Film at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2019). She has also delivered multi-platform content and strategies for some of the top local and international brands including Qantas, Mattel, Salesforce, Seek, Oracle, and Amazon.
Georgia began working with data analytics in 2018, creating audience-first content strategies. Two years ago, she was approached by Charles Sturt University to deliver its content strategy across all its social media and communications platforms. In less than 12 months, Georgia’s content strategy drove the university's ranking from #59 in audience reach and engagement to ranking #7 in Australia, consolidating its place in the top ten. Georgia is now the Head of Content Strategy, and a co-founder of Foreseeable, a company that supports commercial storytellers to apply data insights to the development, production and distribution of screen content, from ideation to delivery, across all genres and platforms.