Ludo Studio assistant producer Jessica Magro will develop her slate under the guidance of Maximo Entertainment founder Liliana Muñoz after being selected for this year’s Screen Australia Internship.
An initiative of Screen Australia and Screen Producers Australia, the $10,000 opportunity is offered to participants of the latter’s Ones to Watch program, with Magro forming part of the 2021 cohort.
The Samoan-Maltese-Australian already has experience working on the award-winning animated children’s series Bluey, while also creating her own projects at Purple Carrot Entertainment.
They include The Alexander Ball documentary for SBS premiering 2022 and the drama-comedy series DIVA, which recently received development funding through the SBS/Screen Australia Digital Originals initiative.
As part of the Screen Australia internship, she will receive assistance in coming up with a business plan and strategy for Purple Carrot Entertainment, as well as guidance in making her drama slate market-ready.
Magro said she was looking forward to continuing her momentum from the Ones to Watch program.
“Being selected as a Ones to Watch Producer of 2021 has been truly amazing,” she said.
“From being introduced to the incredibly talented Ones To Watch cohort, whom I lean on to this day, to attending my first ever Screen Forever where I connected with creatives I am currently collaborating with, to learning from some of Australia’s most respected industry experts.
“I have left this program feeling empowered with the knowledge, confidence and support to continue building my company Purple Carrot Entertainment, striving towards my career goals and breaking down barriers along the way.”
She will benefit from the experience that comes with producing programs, such as the AACTA award-winning comedy series All My Friends Are Racist.
A former Ones to Watch participant herself, Muñoz said she understood how important it was to receive recognition from industry peers and be given “that big break which can make all the difference”.
“Jessica is a rare find,” she said.
“She’s ambitious and kind, and already a leader in the new generation of Australian producers.
“She offers impactful storytelling and produces with a diverse lens which is essential if we are to expand our cultural reach beyond Australia. I can’t wait for us to get started.”
Previous recipients of the internship have included Ljudan Michaelis-Thorpe (2020), Rachel Higgins (2019), Yingna Lu (2016), and Bridget Callow-Wright (2015).
Both Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason and SPA CEO Matthew Deaner offered their congratulations to Magro, whom Mason said was proving to be an “incredibly proficient producer in both scripted and documentary projects”.
Deaner said The Ones To Watch program continued to play an integral role in identifying high-potential producing talent in Australia.
“SPA welcomed a collaboration with Screen Australia once again to offer a talented producer the opportunity to further their learnings from the Ones To Watch program and build on their skill set and develop a slate of projects to take to market,” he said.