City of Adelaide and Mercury CX name inaugural Hothouse Creative Residents

Back row L-R: Craig Jackson, Sally Hardy, Dylan Coleman, Mentor Ruth Estelle, Aimee Knight. Front Row L-R: Karena Slanenka, CEO Mercury CX, City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor. (Photo: Mercury CX)

Emerging screenwriters Dylan Coleman and Sally Hardy, producer Craig Jackson and cinema programmer Aimee Knight are the inaugural creatives to participate in the City of Adelaide and Mercury CX’s Hothouse Creative Residencies.

Each will undertake a 12-week residency to focus on specific works in a supportive environment surrounded by resources and mentors.

The flexible program allows for each participant to draw on both the resources of Mercury CX as well as mentoring and industry connections to further their projects. In addition to mentoring and access to Mercury CX facilities, the residency program included the 2021 MCX Screenmakers Conference,

In announcing the recipients, Mercury CX CEO Karena Slaninka said there was an excellent response to the program in its first year.

“Transitioning from one area of creative industries to another, or seeking to elevate one’s career, can benefit from mentoring, structure, and a supportive environment in which to achieve creative outcomes to set goals and to develop craft and contacts. Hothouse facilitates that while providing resources and the structure to be able to work toward a specific creative outcome.

“Hothouse is a unique initiative in supporting artists and creatives who are developing and advancing in their creative practice is an important part of our vision for Mercury CX to be a national centre of excellence for story.”

Coleman said the appeal of the program was in the idea of the ‘hothouse’. “As the word suggests, Mercury CX provides an opportunity to grow quickly and to develop the skills in a warm supportive environment that might otherwise take years or even decades to reach. The alchemists of old turned mercury to gold, that’s the chemistry at work here.”


DYLAN COLEMAN – Screenwriting 

Award-winning novelist, First Nations academic and social justice activist, Dylan Coleman is working on a screenplay adaptation of a novel manuscript that won the black&write Writing Fellowship, to be published in the near future. 

SALLY HARDY – Screenwriting 

Award-winning playwright and children’s author Sally Hardy is working on an adaptation of her play Night Light scheduled to be performed in 2023. 

CRAIG JACKSON – Producing 

Transitioning from a career as a cinematographer to producing, Craig Jackson is developing a factual television series, whilst also producing one of this year’s Mercury CX Quicksilver production fund short films. 

AIMEE KNIGHT – Cinema Programming & Projection 

Film critic and The Big Issue’s small screens editor Aimee Knight brings an understanding of contemporary cinema to the programmer and projection residency and is currently programming the final session of Adelaide Cinematheque for 2021 with a focus on ‘difficult women’.