Creatives Justin Olstein and Sally Webster will benefit from an introduction to key Hollywood professionals as the recipients of the In Dreams fellowship for 2021.
Now in its second year, the initiative from producers Carmen Knox and Melissa Azizi is designed to create new opportunities for Australian screenwriting talent and expand diversity in Hollywood via the introduction of new storytelling perspectives.
Olstein and Webster will now embark on a story therapy teleseminar from official In Dreams sponsor, Jen Grisanti, before participating in a curated series of meetings.
The pair were chosen from a trio of finalists that had their scripts evaluated by a panel of Hollywood judges, including representatives from Greg Silverman’s Stampede, Verve Talent and Literary Agency, SK Global Entertainment and Good Fear Content.
A VCA graduate, Olstein is a writer/director whose feature film screenplay Shoshanna won the 2020 AWG Monte Miller Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay, and was also shortlisted for the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab.
His other projects include the 2010 AACTA-nominated short drama Adam’s Tallit and the 2014 feature documentary Curtain Call, which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival and was broadcast on SBS.
Olstein has also completed attachments on feature film Strangerland and the ABC mini-series Stories I Want To Tell You In Person, and is currently developing an episodic series titled Levi’s Golem.
Fellow winner Webster has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade, with experience as a segment and then series producer in Network 10’s children’s television unit.
Based in Canada, she is freelancing on unscripted television productions for broadcasters such as CNN, Discovery, and The History Channel, while also developing her own projects.
Webster and Olstein follow in the footsteps of inaugural winners Jessica Paine and Ramon Watkins, who have since made progress with their respective projects.
Paine had her YA sci-fi pilot The Replacements optioned by Kojo Studios and Stampede Ventures, while Watkins joined Impact Australia 2 to work on half-hour queer comedy Daddies.
Azizi said their achievements had been the “icing on the cake” of the fellowship’s first year.
“The first year of the fellowship was a success with many meetings set between the fellows, emails exchanged and connections formed,” she said.
“We look forward to what unfolds this year for our new fellows, Sally and Justin. Their voices are special and no doubt Hollywood will love them.”
Knox said the support of the initiative was becoming increasingly timely in the industry.
“At an especially important time to be supporting underrepresented talent, we’re excited to be introducing Sally and Justin’s voices to our network abroad.
“We’re thankful to our judges for supporting our efforts.”