Screenworks announces participants for Career Pathways programs

Top row (L-R) are and Tamika Bowditch-Clarke, Charlie Clausen, Holly Trenaman, Karen Jackson, and Michelle La. Middle row (L-R) are Garth Edwards, Kara Lee Chandler, Duncan Ragg, and Ben Southwell. Bottom row (from left) are Tamera Simpson, Oumi Karenga Hewitt, Joshua Koske and Shontell Ketchell.

Screenworks has revealed the 15 regional practitioners that will take part in its Inside the Writers Room, Director Pathways program, Regional Producer Elevator program, and Screen Composing Mentorship for 2024.

Of the five screenwriters selected for Inside the Writers’ Room, Charlie Clausen from Bangalow, Holly Trenaman from Woonona, and Tamika Bowditch-Clarke from Newcastle comprise the regional NSW writers, while Karen Jackson from Cairns and Michelle La from Mareeba are the regional Queensland writers. They will be supported to travel to observe a writer’s room at one of the partner production companies, which this year include BBC Studios Productions, Easy Tiger Productions, Hoodlum Entertainment, Jungle Entertainment, and Unless Pictures.

For the Director Pathways program, Mittagong’s Kara Lee Chandler and Wollongong’s Duncan Ragg have been selected from regional NSW, along with Ben Southwell from Townsville and Garth Edwards from Innisfail in regional Queensland. Each will receive $3,500 to implement their career development goals and attend Screenworks’ 2024 Regional to Global Screen Forum. They will also be supported by the Australian Directors’ Guild through advice and industry introductions.

Oumi Karenga Hewitt from Griffith and Joshua Koske from Googong join Shontell Ketchell and Tamera Simpson, both based in Cairns, as the four regional producers selected for Screenworks’ Regional Producer Elevator program. They will each receive $3,500 to support their professional development and also attend the Screenworks Regional to Global Screen Forum in 2024, as well as Screen Forever 38 on the Gold Coast.

Artemis Bishop from South Australia and Emma Waters from Tasmania have been selected for the Screen Composing Mentorship, through which they will receive mentoring from Bryony Marks and Adam Gock, respectively. Each of the participants will receive a bursary of $3000 to aid them in advancing their screen composing careers.

The selection panels for all the programs were made up of representatives from program partners, industry bodies, guilds, and independent assessors.

Screenworks CEO Lisa O’Meara said the organisation continued to be impressed by the volume and calibre of the applications for the programs.

“Since they were first introduced in 2015, we’ve seen how these programs can change the participant’s careers, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the 2024 recipients use these opportunities to make an impact in the industry,” she said.

Screen Queensland and Screen NSW have funded this year’s Career Pathways Programs to support regional practitioners in their states, while the Director Pathways Program is supported by the Australian Directors’ Guild, and Screen Producers Australia supports the Regional Producer Elevator Program. The Screen Composing Mentorship is backed by APRA AMCOS with assistance from the Australian Guild Of Screen Composers.

Screen NSW head Kyas Hepworth said her organisation was dedicated to supporting its emerging talent across the state.

“[The Career Pathways programs] are an exciting opportunity for the seven NSW practitioners across the producing, directing, and writing pathways programs – and we wish them every success,” she said.