SPA announces international guests for Screen Forever 2024

Phil Hunt, Ava Mustos and Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia.

Screen Producers Australia has unveiled the first international guests for next year’s Screen Forever conference, with Head Gear Films founder and CEO Phil Hunt, Red Arrow Studios International’s Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia, and Fifth Season’s Ava Mustos confirmed to attend.

Having established Head Gear Films, a financier of independent film, TV, and games projects, in 2002, Hunt has since helped bring productions like Churchill, You Won’t Be Alone, The Kill Room and Talk To Me to audiences internationally.

He said he was looking forward to returning to Screen Forever for the first time in more than a decade to spend time with Australian film and television business professionals.

“I’ve now executive produced and financed over 100 movies in Australia, including many global hits like Talk To Me,” he said.

“It’s a country that is very dear to me, with some incredible talent, wonderful people, and beautiful culture. It feels like my second home.”

Hunt will be joined by Ibarguengoytia, who is the vice president of scripted acquisitions and co-productions at Red Arrow Studios International, a global TV distributor and a subsidiary of Seven.One Studios.

Based in Germany, he oversees all scripted development and acquisition activities, working directly with production companies and creatives, with the aim of packaging, co-financing, and co-producing projects.

Ibarguengoytia, who will meet with delegates at next year’s conference as part of the SPA Connect Market sessions, said he had been delighted by Red Arrow’s recent collaborations with Australian talent, including Australian Gangster, Bad Mothers, Squinters, Summer Love, and While the Men are Away.

“While these connections have flourished from a distance, I’m thrilled to be attending Screen Forever 38, eagerly seeking to deepen these ties and forge new collaborations that will bring an array of captivating stories to audiences worldwide,” he said.

Attendees can also hear from and pitch to Mustos, associate director of acquisitions at Fifth Season, a company whose content slate features Severance, Best Interests, Tokyo Vice, and Nine Perfect Strangers, as well as Australian titles The Twelve, Strife, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, One Night, and Wolf Like Me.

Having attended the conference earlier this year, she was keen to continue exploring opportunities with new and existing partners.

“The last edition of Screen Forever was a great experience and I had so many productive and engaging conversations, as well as being presented with an array of unique local projects,” she said.

“At Fifth Season, we have a robust slate of premium, fresh, and talent-driven Australian-rooted content that is ideal for global audiences – including some exciting upcoming projects that we are deficit financing or co-producing with international partners – and Screen Forever provides an ideal springboard for unearthing these type of collaboration opportunities.”

Screen Forever will be held on the Gold Coast from March 19 – 21, with financing opportunities available through the SPA Connect Market, to be held March 26-27.