Fred Schepisi, Deborra-lee Furness, Simon Baker confirmed for Australian International Screen Forum

Simon Baker.

A retrospective marking the 35 year anniversary of Fred Schepisi’s A Cry in the Dark and appearances from Deborra-lee Furness and Simon Baker headline this month’s Australian International Screen Forum (AISF).

The industry-focused event will be held at New York’s Lincoln Center from March 25-29 and includes the usual mix of screenings, seminars, roundtables, keynote conversations, masterclasses, and educational activities to showcase Australian film, television, and digital content in the US.

Schepisi will be on hand for a Q&A and masterclass following the screening of his 1988 film, known as Evil Angels in Australia, which features Meryl Streep as a mother whose child is killed in a dingo attack in the Australian Outback, leading her to fight for her innocence when she is accused of murder.

Also on the screening program is a preview of Robert Connolly’s Force of Nature: The Dry 2 ahead of its US release via IFC Films in May, featuring Furness. Baker will discuss his lead role in Ivan Sen’s Limbo as part of the Screentalks line-up, which also includes conversations about the business of creative producing with Paramount Global content strategy and acquisitions SVP Rob O’Neill, and another on story development in AI with Othelia co-founder Joe Couch.

Offering insights as part of this year’s industry talks are former New York Film Festival director Kent Jones, AMC Film Group head and IFC Films president Scott Shooman, Frankfurt Kurnit entertainment attorney Alan Sacks, Archer Gray production president Anne Carey, Nomadland producer Mollye Asher, and producer and former head of content at Cinereach Caroline Kaplan.

The forum will also welcome Cinetic’s Alec Ring, Killer Film’s Claire Edelman, Sony’s Seth Horowitz, TV screenwriter Lara Shapiro, former Topic President and SVP at HBO Films Maria Zuckerman, and A24 TV executive Eloise Lyton.

AISF chairman Chris Beale described the forum as a “beacon for cultural exchange and industry innovation” that “set the stage for future collaborations and the advancement of cinema on a global scale”.

AISF executive director Michael Kelleher agreed, noting the fifth iteration of the event was a testament to the “vibrant” collaboration between Australian screen arts and the international film community.

“This year’s lineup of speakers and screenings underscores our commitment to showcasing exceptional talent and fostering meaningful discussions within the industry,” he said.

As with previous years, the forum will include delegates from Screen Australia’s Talent USA: New York development program, who will have the opportunity to participate in professional development and networking opportunities with the support of an international mentor.

Screen Australia CEO Deirdre Brennan described the forum as a “unique cultural exchange” that nurtured new connections and empowered storytellers on a global platform.

“The outstanding Talent USA New York group will hear directly from television and feature film leaders,” she said.

“I am particularly excited that Australian trailblazers such as Fred Schepisi, Deborra Lee Furness, and Simon Baker will be on hand to share their experiences with this year’s attendees.”