SPA announces UK Connect delegates

The Australian delegates for the UK Connect market. Top from left is Alice Wilson, Jo Austin, Emma Fitzsimons. Middle row from left are Tracey Vieira, Kate Butler, and Catherine Nebauer. Bottom row from left are Claire Tonkin, Rosemary Blight, Tracey Corbin-Matchett, and Lisa Scott.

Screen Producers Australia has announced the UK and Australian companies that will participate in UK Connect, an initiative designed to help producers from both territories secure international partners and financing.

Delivered in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), the program consists of ten Australian and ten UK-based film and television producers participating in a full day of events focused on doing business and unlocking additional funding with UK counterparts, including exclusive talks, networking, and bespoke 1-1 meetings on the day before the official opening of Screen Forever.

The ten Australian production companies seeking co-production partners who have been selected to participate in UK Connect are Bus Stop Films, Candid Films, CJZ, Goalpost Pictures, Highview Productions, Hoodlum Entertainment, KOJO Studios, Northern Pictures, Princess Pictures, and Rhapsody Films.

Visiting Australia to take part in the initiative are UK companies Agile Films, Buccaneer, Caravan Media, Footprint Films, Hurricane Films, Little Monk Pictures, Modern Films, Saffron Cherry Productions, Taletime Pictures, and Three Tables Productions.

The BFI has also selected four UK sales agents to join buyers at the SPA Connect market: Altitude Film Sales, AMP, Film Seekers, and MetFilm Sales.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said the organisation had been overwhelmed by the calibre of applications to the program.

“When assessing the applications, considering the slates and market-readiness of projects and the potential to be structured as UK-Australia co-productions, we are excited about and hopeful the initiative will forge new invaluable partnerships, and help finance future co-production projects,” he said.

“All ten Australian production companies are from the SPA membership, and we are delighted to be able to provide such an important international opportunity to some of Australia’s most prolific and renowned storytellers at Screen Forever 37.”

As part of Screen Forever, members of the UK-based producer delegation will participate in programmed sessions, discussing how UK production companies are safeguarding their place in a rapidly evolving global marketplace, the state of global demand for independent feature film, and the ability of streamers to keep up with supply and demand for innovative content.

BFI head of international and industry policy Agnieszka Moody described attending Screen Forever as a “rare and invaluable business opportunity”.

“With our close cultural ties, original storytelling success on both continents, and the revised co-production treaty between our two countries coming into force soon with a potential to reinvent and reinvigorate co-production post-pandemic, this promises for being a fruitful venture for both our industries,” she said.

Screen Forever 37 will take place on the Gold Coast May 3-5, followed by an online global market across May 9-10.