Producer Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Wild); writer/director Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral); Emmy award-winning production designer Deborah Riley (Game of Thrones) and President, Unscripted Television at Endemol Shine USA, Eden Gaha (Master Chef, The Biggest Loser) have chosen their mentees.
Designed to invest, support and catapult the careers of Australian talent,
Sarah Shaw, Josh Tanner, Felicity Abbott and Breanna Roe have been chosen to take part in the one year MentorLA program. The program acknowledges the extraordinary talent that Australia has and the potential it has to build a strong, commercially sustainable and internationally focused Australian screen industry.
President of AiF, Kate Marks said; "The response we have received from the Australian screen industry to the inaugural MentorLA has been extraordinary. It indicates there is a real need for investment in and support of practitioners at all levels of our industry."
"We are enormously grateful for the support of Screen Australia, to the high calibre of applicants and the generosity of the mentors, who are providing such invaluable knowledge and experience."
Screen Australia's Head of Business and Audience Richard Harris said: "The MentorLA program is a fantastic, potentially career-changing, initiative for Australian screen practitioners. It aligns with Screen Australia's engagement with and support of Australia's creative talent on the international stage."
"It has often been said that talent drives our business, and Screen Australia is incredibly proud to able to support these talented practitioners to be mentored by some of the best names working in Hollywood today."
Papandrea will mentor Melbourne based filmmaker Sarah Shaw, who has previously worked on films Balibo, Snowtown, Shopping and Partisan. Of this opportunity, Shaw said:
"Unofficial mentorships have been an invaluable part of my career trajectory to date, so I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity by AiF and Screen Australia to connect with Bruna through MentorLA. Bruna has had a remarkable few years, and I look forward to sharing, troubleshooting and learning from Bruna over the coming 12 months."
Along with her producing partner Anna McLeish, Shaw is currently working on Jed Kurzel's feature debut Ivan Lendl Never Learnt to Volley and the feature adaptation of Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro. Sarah's also producing a feature documentary, Lister: Adventure Painter with writer/director Eddie Martin (All This Mayhem).
Beattie's mentee is Josh Tanner, who has directed six shorts including the multiple award winner The Landing, which received a staggering 11 wins from various festivals.
"Being selected and offered the chance to work alongside Stuart with the Mentor LA program is a huge coup. It's both a validation of my past work and an incredible opportunity to be mentored by a filmmaker I greatly admire, who'll help guide me into the next stage of my career," Tanner said.
Tanner is currently working on a feature adaptation of The Landing and a supernatural horror titled Contact Lost.
Riley has chosen Felicity Abbott to be her mentee, who has worked as a Production Designer on Secret City with Emma Freeman, Redfern Now, Mabo and Bran Nue Dae with Rachel Perkins and Alex & Eve with Peter Andrikidis. For her work on the Brendan Cowell directed The Outlaw Michael Howe, she received an APDG Award. Abbott expressed her excitement for the mentorship placement, saying:
"It is a great privilege to be taking part in the inaugural Australians in Film Mentor LA program. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to focus on my continuous improvement as a designer during the mentorship with the very talented production designer Deborah Riley. I'm very grateful to AIF for creating this valuable initiative for production designers to continue their creative and professional growth."
Abbott's work will next been seen the film Chasing Satellites, directed by Jim Loach.
Gaha has chosen is Breanna Roe from Queensland to mentor. Roe has produced four of her own shorts, three of them award winning and has worked on Discovery Channel's Snake Sheila, the animated Disney Junior TV-series Minnie's Bow-Toons and the short documentary The 100+ Club for ABC TV.
"The MentorLA program is an incredible opportunity to work alongside an industry veteran who has successfully built up an international career. To be given such an experience at a formative time in my own career will be invaluable. I look forward to working with Eden as the respected and successful Producer he is, in both developing my slate and learning how to build my own networks and presence in both the US and Australian film scene. In creating the MentorLA program, Australians in Film and Screen Australia have provided a fantastic platform for emerging talent to break through and I can't wait to get stuck into the year!"
Roe's next project will be a challenge based adventure series Young, Wild and Almost Free, which follows four young Australians as they take their extra baggage on the road.
Read More about Deborah Riley
Read More About Eden Gaha