Hannah Belanszky.

Writer and actor Hannah Belanszky will join Unless Pictures as the company’s playwright in residence over the next 12 months.

Belanszky is a Yuwaalaraay woman based in Brisbane, whose play don’t ask what the bird look like is due to premiere at Queensland Theatre next year, and was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award.

Belanszky also wrote and directed The Wives of Wolfgang, which went on to win Best Cabaret at Adelaide Fringe, with additional seasons at Fringe World Perth and Brisbane Powerhouse. Her other recent commissions include Heatwave for All Hallows’ School and Rising for Playlab, presented at Metro Arts in 2021. Her play Shadows in a Dress has had showings at QPAC, La Boite, Bleach Festival and Clancestry.

Previously Belanszky has worked as a notetaker in rooms for See-Saw FIlms, Buny Productions, Inkey Media and New Canvas. She is also a writer on Sanctuary, a series in development with Mad Dan Productions, executive produced and co-directed by Rachel Griffiths.

The residency program with Unless Pictures is run by the company’s development producer Sanja Simić. It’s designed to provide independent playwrights who have an interest in writing for screen the chance to undertake creative work, conduct research, build networks, and foster collaboration with filmmakers.

Simić said: “The program aims to initiate and support new approaches in producing, understanding, and developing screen based content for the Australian and international market, by encouraging artistic exploration and cross-artform collaboration.”

At Unless, Belansky will receive an annual stipend, office space, industry support, and the ability to observe a production company’s operations. She will also undertake notetaking in a story room with Bea Christian, Stuart Page, and Boyd Quakawoot.

Belanszky said she was thrilled to undertake the residency.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to gain insight into the workings of a production company and build industry connections while developing some of my own ideas for screen-based content.”

Belanszky joins the team following outgoing resident Maddie Nixon’s tenure as the inaugural playwright in residence, which was funded by the Screen Queensland Enterprise program.

Reflecting on her time at Unless, Nixon said the residency gave her space to carve out time and to work in a productive environment.

“The opportunity opened up doors to other collaborative relationships in the industry and further training opportunities in writing for screen.” The 2021-22 residency was funded by the Screen Queensland Enterprise Program.

Unless Pictures company director Meg O’Connell said the idea for the residency came from UK production company Dancing Ledge Productions.

“Our industry is particularly capable of thriving under the influence of new ideas,” O’Connell said.

“There are so many incredible playwrights in Queensland, who have the craft-sense and voice to transition to and make our screen stories richer. In form, in content, and in voice – we have a lot to learn from theatre – we’re delighted to continue this program into 22/23!”

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