Screen Australia allocates more than $1.2 million in Enterprise funding

Bunya Productions’ Greer Simpkin and David Jowsey with Aaron Pedersen on the ‘Mystery Road’ set.

Screen Australia is backing Bunya Productions, Aunty Donna, Mememe Productions and Southern Pictures among the recipients of more than $1.2 million in funding in its latest Enterprise Business & Ideas and Enterprise People initiatives.

Bunya Productions (Sweet Country, Mystery Road) will receive funding to build a talent development network, develop Australian IP and extend the profile of its work overseas.

Comedy group Aunty Donna’s production company Haven’t You Done Well Productions will get support to help online creatives to develop and produce comedy projects and educate creators to ensure they retain the ownership of their projects.

“We were blown away with Bunya Productions’ innovative proposal. Bunya has a strong track record of creating stories for and about Australia that have also gained traction internationally,” said Screen Australia head of development Nerida Moore.

“It’s exciting to see them looking at how they can capitalise on their IP and strengthen their networks to take the business to a new level. We’re also pleased to see Aunty Donna, off the back of their own success, help emerging talent carve out a niche and make informed business decisions.”

Enterprise Business & Ideas major funding recipient

Bunya Productions will establish talent development incubators in Queensland and South Australia; capitalise on existing and build new IP; hire a development and production executive and a distribution and IP expansion consultant; and enhance their digital marketing to increase online engagement. The firm will also boost is international profile by bringing on Jenny Cooney as executive VP, Bunya Productions LA.

Enterprise Business & Ideas recipients – business plans and strategies

Haven’t You Done Well Productions will develop a strategic plan for its business model to shepherd other creators in the online space and across other platforms. It aims to assist new creatives to develop and produce distinctive Australian comedy projects and ensure that the ownership of a project is retained by the creator. The company will be mentored by comedian and producer Andy Lee.

The Cinematic Company will create an organisational strategy for its business which produces film screenings accompanied by live performances by acclaimed orchestras. Building on the success of feature documentary Mountain, which screened with a live performance from the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the company aims to use this formula and propel the business model by building a library of films and utilising an international circuit of orchestras.

Mememe Productions, creators of children’s TV series dirtgirlworld, will develop a business plan to help expand its IP. The company aims to build the dirtgirlworld story-verse and evolve it into long-form animated family feature films, as well as explore opportunities for exporting projects as international formats that can be localised to different areas.

Media Reconciliation Industry Network Group (RING) will undertake strategic planning and develop a sustainable business model, including diversifying its financial support. It will develop means of providing services for industry members to implement best practice Indigenous engagement policies; provide culturally safe working environments for Indigenous media practitioners; and assist with Indigenous industry placements.

Experienced colourist Angela Cerasi will engage marketing specialist Roxanne Grey and work with industry mentor Enzo Tedeschi to develop a sustainable model for her business Peachy Keen Colour. This will assist her in developing and engaging new regional colourist talent and work with more Australian and international content creators.

Southern Pictures will develop a strategic plan for its new offshoot, Southern Impact, which aims to curate and commission short-form documentary content that can be used by clients to communicate social impact campaigns and drive social change.

Haven’t You Done Well Productions.

The Enterprise People program provides up to $140,000 funding for individuals to take on professional development opportunities. “The placements provide an incredible opportunity for practitioners take advantage of a bespoke opportunity and advance their careers,” said Moore.

Enterprise People recipients – targeted placements

Writer/director Bjorn Stewart and producer Shaye Guillory will each undertake a placement at Los Angeles production company Rideback, where they will develop their professional skills through reading and evaluating feature film and TV scripts, participating in creative meetings and drafting pitch documents.

Enterprise People recipients – local and international career placements

Screenwriter and filmmaker Catherine Kelleher will advance her career as a development executive in a placement at Lingo Pictures, where she will be mentored by development producer Donna Chang.

Producer Diana Fisk will expand her producing skill set in a placement with Film Art Media, supervised by producer Sue Maslin.

Impact producer Georgia Quinn will undertake a placement at Together Films in London where she will work on the UK impact campaign for the release of Damon Gameau’s documentary 2040, as well as develop professional networks through attending key international events.

Filmmaker Katrina McGowan will be mentored by director Janine Hosking in a placement at independent documentary company iKandy Films.

(L-R) Shaye Guillory, Liliana Munoz, Bjorn Stewart.

Producer Liliana Munoz will work as associate producer in a placement with Seven Studios’ scripted comedy department, mentored by producer Linda Ujuk and head of comedy Michael Horrocks.

Filmmaker Miranda Nation took on a directing attachment with director Jocelyn Moorhouse on Matchbox Pictures’ ABC TV series Stateless, helping Nation to transition to long-form television as she works on her own series Aleph, which has received development funding from Screen Australia.

Director/producer Sierra Schrader has built her industry experience working alongside director Rachel Perkins on Blackfella Films’ ABC series Black B*tch.

Enterprise People recipients – professional development opportunities

Producer Leanne Tonkes will take part in Inside Pictures 2019, where she will attend sessions in LA and London with speakers from film financing, producing, sales, and talent management. She is one of only 20 film executives, and the only Australian, to be selected for the program this year.

Screenwriter Philip Denson attended Imagine Impact, a content accelerator program in LA which aims to cultivate storytellers and bring them together with producers. This enabled him to work with top screenwriters and showrunners to take his projects from idea stage to fully-realised stories, as well as develop strong international networks and understanding of marketplace needs.

Producer Robyn Kershaw will attend Trans-Atlantic Partners 2019, a training and networking program for experienced screen producers, where she will represent her slate of projects in development. Kershaw has secured one of only three places reserved for international producers outside of the EU, US and Canada.