Corrie Chen named inaugural recipient of Screen Presence Trailblazer Award

Corrie Chen (Image: Narelle Portanier)

Director Corrie Chen is the inaugural recipient of the Screen Presence Trailblazer Award, presented as part of the Screen Presence 24 showcase at Melbourne International Comedy Festival on the weekend.

Awarded by the Museum of Chinese Australian History, the prize is designed to acknowledge industry contributions from Asian-Australian creatives.

Chen, who appeared alongside Ra Chapman, Urvi Majumdar, and Todd Abbott in Screen Presence 24 session Deconstructing Comedy, said she was “incredibly grateful” for the honour.

“Screen is a cultural mirror, and it has shaped every aspect of how I have seen my identity,” she said.

“I have spent so much of my career trying to find a place of belonging, an award like this is a reminder of the power of a community that already exist to help me feel less alone. Don’t give up just because the mirror tells you nobody like you has ever done it. I’d also like to acknowledge the many, many other faces of change making incredible work that continue to inspire me every day, pulling me into a loud, creative Asian-Australian family I’m so happy to be a part of.”

Known for her work on Stan Original mini-series Bad Behaviour and SBS mini-series New Gold Mountain, Chen was named one of the Asian-Australian Leadership Awards 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians in 2020 and is a previous recipient of Film Victoria (now VicScreen)’s Greg Tepper award.

She completed The Artful Dodger for Disney+ starring David Thewlis and will soon be directing the crime comedy Good Cop / Bad Cop for The CW and Stan.

set on the frontiers of the Australian gold rush from the Chinese perspective – for which she won the ADG award for Best Direction in a miniseries. She was a director on last year’s Disney+ series The Artful Dodger and will soon helm crime comedy Good Cop / Bad Cop for The CW and Stan

Screen Presence curator Lisa Wang said Chen brought “recognition and understanding to the audience through her work, be it comedy or drama”.

“She represents for me all that is unique to those who spin their magic in front of, around and behind the camera,” she said.

The Museum of Chinese Australian History established Screen Presence to grow the representation of Asian Australians in the screen industry by creating, mentoring, and securing work for Asian Australians in the mainstream industry.