Screen Australia unveils recipients for BTL: Next Step

Screen Australia has announced the recipients of placement opportunities through the BTL: Next Step initiative.

Screen Australia has selected 14 recipients to undergo placements at 12 host companies as part of the next phase of its BTL: Next Step initiative.

Designed to help mid-career practitioners gain a credit in the roles of line producer, production manager, location manager, and post-production supervisor, the program formed part of a suite of industry development initiatives announced by the agency in April alongside the Production Crew Skills Training Fund and the Transferable Skills and Returning Crew Training Fund.

Screen Australia head of industry development Ken Crouch said the latest group of recipients had already commenced their placements.

“Screen Australia’s Industry Development initiatives, including BTL: Next Step, Skills Development Fund, and the Transferable Skills and Returning Crew Training Fund have all received an overwhelming response from the industry,” he said.

“We are thrilled to support the growth of the Australian screen workforce and to support screen production companies in their training initiatives. Since its launch earlier this year, these programs have allocated almost $2 million, providing training and skills development to over 350 individuals. It is crucial that we continue to support the development of below-the-line roles to ensure we are addressing the evolving needs of the industry.”

The recipients of the latest round (which closed on Thursday, November 23) will be announced in the coming months. Production companies are invited to apply to host placements for BTL Next Step Stage 1, with applications to close at 5pm AEDT on Thursday, January 18.

The BTL Next Step recipients are:

Arkeena Zepur Mouradian (NSW): A production manager with a background in screen and sound production and film studies. She recently worked as a production manager on the documentary feature, Married to the Music for London-based production company Rebel Republic Films and has worked on productions supported by Sundance and presented by IDFA and HotDocs. Mouradian will undertake her placement with WildBear Entertainment as a Post Production Supervisor in Canberra, ACT.

Cat Sanders (SA): Has production and post-production experience on award-winning television broadcasting shows, feature film and episodic, including visual effects production on Marvel Studios’ feature film Ant-Man and The Wasp – Quantamania and TV series adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Sanders has a placement as a visual effects production manager at ModelFarm Studios in Adelaide, SA.

Chloe Taylor (VIC): A television production coordinator with four years’ experience in television production with a number of production companies including Warner Brothers and Werner Film Productions. Taylor is undertaking a junior studio production manager placement with EndemolShine in Melbourne, VIC.

Deborah French (NSW): An international TV producer and production manager who has developed a number of award-winning productions through from start to finish. French is currently undertaking her placement with Cheeky Little Media as a line producer in Sydney, NSW.

Jeremy Woodcock (NSW): Starting in the film industry in South Australia working out of SAFC with Triptych Pictures, Woodcock is an experienced practitioner in overseeing production management, providing technical support and building client relationships. Woodcock gained experience working in technical roles with gear houses, becoming a post coordinator in the commercial space, and then as an assistant producer with Imagination. Woodcock is undertaking his placement with Cutting Edge Post as a post production supervisor in Sydney, NSW.

John Macdonald (QLD): An experienced production manager who has worked on projects such as Scarygirl, Combat Wombat 2, and The Sloth Lane. He has worked at Like a Photon Creative as a production manager and the head of production at Robot Films. Macdonald is currently undertaking his placement with Like a Photon Creative as a line producer in Brisbane, QLD.

Karen Illesca (NSW): Currently working as a creative freelancer moving between Media Project Management and creative industry opportunities while developing a series of projects in partnership with Phillippa Webb at 2Kats Productions. Illesca is known for Whirld web series, Shot Open and Invisible. Illesca will be undertaking her placement with Jungle Entertainment as a location manager in Adelaide, SA.

Laura Faulkner (VIC): An experienced producer, production manager, and production accountant, Faulkner is known for Blacklight, A Perfect Pairing, and Shayda. Faulkner is undertaking her placement with Werner Film Productions as a line producer on The Newsreader in Melbourne.

Melisa Daly (SA): Throughout her career in production, Daly alternates between various positions including production coordinator, facilities manager, extras coordinator, Covid coordinator and producer’s assistant. Daly continues to develop her slate and produce projects through her production company Kickass Chick Flicks, which she founded in 2018 together with writer/director Johan Bosma. Daly is undertaking her placement as a production manager with Ludo Holdings in Alice Springs.

Nicole Acworth (ACT): Acworth has gained experience on several acclaimed productions as a post coordinator including Harrow and Tidelands for Hoodlum Entertainment. Her skills in post-production have recently earned her pivotal roles as post supervisor for NBCUniversal’s Joe Vs Carole, Jaggi Entertainment’s A Royal in Paradise, and the second season of Rock Island Mysteries. Acworth will be undertaking her placement as post-production supervisor for WildBear Entertainment in Canberra.

Sarah Brims (WA): An experienced production coordinator with experience on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant and The Lego Ninjago Movie. Brims’ career includes roles at Animal Logic, Moving Picture Company (London), and most recently as a production manager for Guru Productions. She is currently undertaking her placement with Prospero Productions as a production manager in Perth.

Semih Özköseoglu (NSW): A skilled mid-career post-production professional with a career that has developed over the past 10 years from assistant editor to visual effects editor. His experience includes post-production supervisor on the feature film Three Thousand Years of Longing for Kennedy Miller Mitchell. Özköseoglu is undertaking a role at Magpie Pictures as post-production Supervisor on Swift Street in Melbourne.

Tasha Trebeck (SA): An experienced producer and editor, Trebeck is known for Talk to Me, Unleash, and First Day. She is undertaking a placement as a location manager with Ludo Holdings in Alice Springs.

Xanthe Heubel (NSW): An experienced costume designer for film, television, and theatre, Heubel has been nominated for AACTA Awards for The Twelve, The Commons, Riot, and The Outlaw Michael Howe. In 2019. Her recent work includes The Artful Dodger and Ten Pound Poms. Heubel is undertaking a placement with Easy Tiger Productions as a production manager in Perth.