Sophie Harper joins Screen Canberra

Sophie Harper.

Former Screen Australia and Australian Film Commission executive Sophie Harper has joined Screen Canberra as senior manager, overseeing the $5 million CBR Screen Fund.

Launched last year, the fund has given conditional approval to five projects with $610,000 in combined funding.

The first three were writer-director Tony D’Aquino’s debut feature The Furies, Kim Beamish’s feature documentary Family and the Blackfella Films/ABC drama series Black B*tch.

The latest beneficiaries are WildBear Entertainment’s Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks, a feature doc which profiles the filmmaker Shaw Brothers who paved the way for the boom of the Kung fu film movement; and Scarlet Five Films’ One Eight Zero.

The latter is a female-driven drama/romance/thriller from rookie writer-director Denai Gracie, which centres on an elite show jump rider whose world is upended when her leg is amputated after a car accident.

The plot follows the character’s path to regain her self-worth and to continue pursuing the sport she loves, interspersed with a love story.

Local investors in Canberra are backing the production, which is out to cast, and there are advanced negotiations with a prominent LA-based sales agent.

It is producer Andrew Marriott’s follow-up to The Furies, produced with Lisa Shaunessy. “It’s a feel-good story aimed at a young adult audience,” he tells IF.

Harper spent six years teaching at the European Film School in Denmark and three years as its vice principal before returning home to Canberra. She has produced the podcast series Not By Accident, which has had more than 1.3 million downloads.

Screen Canberra CEO Monica Penders said: “Sophie brings a vast array of experiences to Screen Canberra – from high level governance and research to education and administration, all in the screen industry space. She is also highly creative. All skills and experience that we need to assist in our growth.”

Applications for the fourth round of the CBR Screen Fund close on May 6, the assessment committee is due to meet on June 6 and applicants will be advised of the outcome shortly afterwards.