Four of the industry’s leading practitioners were honoured at Film Victoria’s Screen Leader Awards yesterday evening, which also served as a farewell for outgoing CEO Jenni Tosi.

Filmmaker and director of Arenamedia Robert Connolly earned the John Howie award in recognition of his projects, as well as leadership and service to industry.

Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Indian Film Festival of Melbourne director and director of distribution company Mind Blowing Films/Mind Blowing World, took home the Jill Robb Award for her contribution to the industry and for fostering cultural collaboration.

The Fred Schepisi Award was presented to director Kate Dennis for her contribution to directing. Dennis has recently worked on ABC TV/ABC Studios International’s Harrow, and her extensive other credits include The Alice, The Secret Life of Us, Love My Way, Offspring, Rush, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Time of Our Lives, Rake, Party Tricks and Secrets and Lies. She has also worked on US dramas Glow, I’m Dying Up Here, Preacher and The Mindy Project, and her recent work on The Handmaid’s Tale, saw her receive an Emmy nomination.

The Jan Sardi Award was presented to screenwriter and script editor, Kris Mrksa whose credits include The Secret Life of Us, Underbelly, The Slap, Glitch, Time of Our Lives, Devil’s Dust, Nowhere Boys, Janet King, The King, and Requiem, a-six part drama commissioned by the BBC and Netflix which will screen in 2018.

CEO Jenni Tosi congratulated the award recipients. “These awards are our way of acknowledging four highly talented creatives who have all played a significant role in enhancing Victoria’s reputation as a vibrant creative and cultural hub, where great content is made.”

“We’re incredibly lucky to have such a huge pool of talent working here in Victoria and we look forward to them continuing to lead, inspire and achieve success in 2018.”

Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley and Film Victoria President Ian Robertson also used the event to pay tribute Tosi’s achievements as CEO.

Reflecting on her time at the organisation, Tosi said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to work at Film Victoria and see the Victorian screen industry strengthen its position over the past 10 years. In particular my time as CEO role has been immensely rewarding. My sincere thanks to the Board and fantastic team at Film Victoria and to the many production partners, collaborators, writers, directors, producers, technicians, businesses, state and federal government colleagues who have helped contribute to Victoria’s success. It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with all of you and I look forward to continue serving the industry in other ways in the future.”

Tosi, who wraps with Film Victoria December 15, will be succeeded by Caroline Pitcher.

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