Porchlight Films to end operations

Vincent Sheehan, Liz Watts and Anita Sheehan. 

After 23 years and a body of work that spans 15 features, five TV series, two docos and three shorts, Porchlight Films will cease operations as founding partners Vincent Sheehan, Liz Watts and Anita Sheehan move on to pursue new opportunities individually.

The company is best known internationally for producing three of David Michôd’s four features, including his Oscar-nominated debut, Animal Kingdom, as well as The Rover and Netflix’s The King.

Other notable film credits include Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang, Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene, Rachel Perkins’ Jasper Jones, Tony Krawitz’ Jewboy and Dead Europe, Daniel Nettheim’s The Hunter, Tony Ayres’ The Home Song Stories and Walking on Water, Cate Shortland’s Lore, Rowan Woods’ Little Fish and David Caesar’s Mullet. 

In television and episodic, the team have produced Foxtel drama The Kettering Incident, created by Vicki Madden and Vincent Sheehan; ABC comedy Laid from Marieke Hardy and Kirsty Fisher, and Nakkiah Lui’s Kiki and Kitty, also for the ABC.

Porchlight is also behind comedy/drama Operation Buffalo, written by Peter Duncan and currently airing on the ABC on Sunday evenings.

Vincent and Liz will continue to work on individual projects currently in development, while Anita, who has been managing director since 2015, to pursue other opportunities after a short break. Productions currently being financed will continue to be produced under the Porchlight banner into 2021 including Kitty Flanagan’s comedy series Entitled and Nakkiah Lui and Gabe Dowrick’s TV series Preppers.

The three partners will retain ownership of Jetty Distribution, which will continue to manage the ongoing rights in Porchlight’s catalogue.

The partners said: “We are indebted to our many brilliant and talented colleagues for their incredible contributions to Porchlight Films’ productions. We thank our very committed staff for their dedication and hard work, and we thank our many partners locally and internationally for their faith in the Porchlight brand. You have all contributed to Porchlight’s success and longevity.  We have loved working together for the past 23 years and remain enormously proud of our catalogue of work. As we all move into a new phase in our careers, individually, we hope to continue to work with you all long into the future.”

Long-time collaborator Michôd siad: “I feel incredibly lucky to have been taken into the Porchlight family. Liz, Vincent and Anita are brave and smart and tasteful, but most of all they are good eggs. Animal Kingdom would not have happened without them and so, of course, I will be forever grateful to them for everything that has happened for me since.”

Screen Producers Australia CEO Matthew Deaner paid tribute to the company, noting it has been one of the “most resilient, profilific and engaged” of the organisation’s members.
“We have enjoyed celebrating their success on the world stage and at home and I have no doubt Vincent, Liz and Anita will continue this legacy in their future endeavours.”