Screen Forever speakers Stephen Woolley, Kerry Ehrin, Erika North, Elizabeth Karlsen and Cathy Payne.

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) has launched the 2022 Screen Forever program ahead of the event later this month.

More than 150 speakers will feature across 54 sessions as part of the three-day conference, which will be held in-person on the Gold Coast from March 28 – 30, with a digitally-focused market component, SPA Connect, to take place on March 31 – April 1.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said Screen Forever, now in its 36th year, was the mainstay for screen business in Australia.

“Our program has been created purposely for Australian content creators to connect with buyers, financiers, and producers locally, and globally,” he said.

“Our domestic and global marketplace generates over $100 million in deals on the floor annually, and after near two and a half years of online connecting, we’re excited to be able to bring everyone back together in person and to help drive our industry forward to its next phase.

“We look forward to welcoming familiar faces, along with those first-timers to Screen Forever and our 2022 program launch today reveals just how many great opportunities are in store for these delegates.”

Delegates will be able to hear what decision makers from the ABC, Foxtel Group, Nine, 10 ViacomCBS, and SBS are after in the Meet the Buyers session. Similarly, Meet The Streamers will consist of executives from Binge, Netflix, Paramount Australia, and New Zealand, Prime Video and Stan discussing what’s new in the streaming space and what trends are impacting their commissioning decisions.

There will also be a Meet the Funders session in which representatives from every state screen agency, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation (ACTF) and Screen Australia will share the strategies that drive their investment decisions and outline their priority areas for future projects and international distribution.

Sessions examining industry issues include Streaming Rights, which address commercial and industrial agreements; and The Importance of Partnerships and Co-Productions, designed to focus on successful Australian production and marketplace partnerships and how these collaborations provide stability and value.

Elsewhere, diversity will be explored in An Inclusive Room, a discussion on how screen stories from marginalised industry professionals often face systematic barriers in the writer’s room. Meanwhile, The Frontrunners: She’s Calling the Shots will take a look at the balance of power and gender equity across the industry with a panel of women paving the way from Australia, the US and UK.

International markets will also be used for comparison in Self Determination in First Nations Filmmaking, for which Indigenous filmmakers from Canada, the US, and New Zealand will outline a framework of collaboration, rather than a consultation, to support the rights of Indigenous peoples to control their intellectual and cultural property.

In The Transatlantic Hybrid, delegates will hear about how Australian television has started adopting elements of foreign creative processes for productions and how production and development processes from the US and UK are merging into a new model.

Among the biggest stories to come out of the US recently was the tragic death of Halyna Hutchins onset, with many questioning who was to blame. For The Buck Stops Where?, a panel of industry experts will discuss who is liable when it all goes wrong and what measures are in place in Australia to help prevent tragedies ongoing.

Emerging creatives will get to share their views in The New Wave of Aussie Talent, explaining what it’s like to be part of a progressive group creating unique content, the challenges they face, and what opportunities budding creatives can look forward to in their careers.     

What it means for production companies to strike gold with wacky formats is the foundation for a series of sessions, including Digging for Treasure and What’s The Secret to Stripped Reality Television.

A place where Australian production companies have enjoyed large amounts of success is in children’s television. The Crazy Fun Craft and Business of Kids Content looks at why and how Australia has become so prolific at producing world-class children’s content. Age Appropriate – Creating YA Content of Relevance follows this train of thought and tackles the 14-18-year-old age bracket who have outgrown children’s content, and why there is often a lack of young adult or teen content in the Australian market.

A wider appraisal of the industry is on the agenda for Brave New World Pt.2, with a group of screen industry professionals to a fresh perspective on new opportunities and the upsides of the new environment.

Find out more information about the program here.

More details about the accompanying SPA Connect market will be released shortly.

SPA has also confirmed a final, limited number of Gold Coast tickets have been released and are now on sale. Find out more information here.

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