Screenworks expands Regional Screen in LA program to include below-the-line crew

Chanel Bowen (centre) with Tracey Vieira and Ken Crouch.

Screenworks is encouraging regional film practitioners to think about how Hollywood could assist them in their industry journey as part of an expanded Regional Screen in LA program.

Now in its third year, the Australians in Film-supported initiative consists of a four-week Los Angeles residency for emerging film industry professionals that demonstrate potential and passion in their area of expertise.

Whereas the previous versions of the professional development opportunity catered to screenwriters and producers, respectively, the 2022 iteration is open to both above and below-the-line roles.

Screenworks has also moved to provide a more customised experience for the successful recipient, asking applicants to provide a two-minute video pitch that details what they would like to achieve during the four weeks and how that will support their career goals.

CEO Ken Crouch believes a “much better outcome” will be achieved through broadening the criteria and in seeing who “really wants to pursue an opportunity in Hollywood where they can gain skills and experience and bring them back to Australia”.

“Australians in Film (AiF) have a big range of connections and networks in Hollywood, as do we, and it will really be about tailor-making the opportunity to the successful recipient,” he said.

“Understanding what it is that an individual really wants to get out of it and how it will help their careers really drives us to think about our connections, networks, and relationships in how we best achieve that outcome for the recipient.”

The successful recipient will receive a return economy airfare to Los Angeles, in addition to regional flights/transport in Australia, plus support with preparation in the lead-up to the residency.

AiF will provide support and access while working in Los Angeles for four weeks, plus pre-recommendations, LA industry support, and networking.

Earlier this year, Chanel Bowen was officially announced as the program’s second recipient, with the Dunsborough resident to complete a two-month internship with Animal Logic starting in October.

AiF executive director Peter Ritchie said the program was an example of the “vital and impressive career pathways” Screenworks had created for regional screen professionals.

“AiF is again excited to be working with Ken, [Screenworks industry development manager] Jeanie Davison, and the entire Screenworks team in delivering this incredible international opportunity for a passionate and motivated screen creative,” he said.

The Regional Screen in LA program is one of several initiatives Screenworks is delivering alongside industry partners, with the organisation also involved in the Regional Crew Development Program, the Yellow Water Development Lab, and the North Queensland Regional Program.

Crouch said the screen body was committed to helping provide ongoing work for professional skilled practitioners that keep them in the regions.

“Everyone I know who lives regionally and is a professional in this industry would much rather sleep in their own beds and work as locally as possible,” he said.

“I think that’s just the nature of being a human being, but in regional areas, and in some metropolitan areas as well, sometimes there are gaps. You do need to look outside of your locale to be able to ensure you have ongoing work that can keep putting food on your table and support the people you are responsible for.”

Applications for the Regional Screen in LA program will close at 5pm on Friday, September 23. Find out more details on how to apply here.