Screen Australia and AiF name recipients for industry development programs

Vanessa Alexander, Jon Bell, and Elise McCredie.

Screen Australia and Australians in Film (AiF) have announced the participants for the Talent Gateway and the Global Producers Exchange, both designed to connect Australian creatives with key US decision-makers.

The delegates chosen for the Talent Gateway program are Vanessa Alexander, Jon Bell, and Samuel Van Grinsven, as well as teams Alice Foulcher and Gregory Erdstein, and Naomi Higgins and Humyara Mahbub.

Each participant or team will receive a grant of up to $20,000 to enable them to take part in the initiative, which runs from this month until June 2022. Funding is also available to develop, refine and market the IP on their slate that receives positive interest, in order to quickly engage international partners.

A total of 12 delegates from six production companies will take part in Global Producers Exchange, a scripted development lab that features a series of roundtables and masterclasses with key US-based decision-makers and mentors. 

The recipients comprise Blackfella Films’ Darren Dale and Erin Bretherton; Causeway Films’ Kristina Ceyton and Samantha Jennings; Closer Productions’ Bec Summerton and Sophie Hyde; GoodThing’s Nick Batzias and Virginia Whitwell; Jungle Entertainment’s Jason Burrows and Chloe Rickard, and Wooden Horse’s Jude Troy and Matt Okine.

Each of the six teams will receive a grant of up to $60,000 to enable them to take part in the program, which will run from October 2021 to June 2022.

Erin Bretherton and Darren Dale from Blackfella Films.

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said the agency looked forward to supporting the successful applicants as they continued to build on their careers.

“We received a high volume of applications and this reflects both the breadth of talent we have in Australia and the appetite from Australian screenwriters, directors, and producers to connect with the epicenter of the global screen market – Hollywood – and build their reputations internationally,” he said.

The new programs come after the AiF and Screen Australia partnered on talent development program Untapped earlier in the year, receiving more than 700 applications from emerging Australian screenwriters and directors.

AiF executive director Peter Ritchie said the thirst for entertaining and quality content continued unabated internationally.

“The excitement of finding a new voice, series or film is what motivates us all at AiF, and we are thrilled to be working with Screen Australia, and all our national, state and territory partners, in delivering these programs to connect leading Australian screen creatives and the US industry,” he said.

Supporting partners for the programs include Screen NSW, Film Victoria, South Australian Film Corporation, and Scripted Ink, while the industry partners are Australian Directors’ Guild, Australian Writers’ Guild, Screen Producers Australia, Screen Canberra, Screen Queensland, Screen Tasmania, Screen Territory, Screenwest and Screenworks.