Last week, AiF’s Creative Collective at Raleigh Studios played home away from home to a large group of Aussie creatives.
A delegation of 11 directors and 6 screenwriters were funded by Screen Australia to travel to LA to attend the program dubbed ‘Talent LA’. The screenwriter’s delegation was co-sponsored by the Australian Writers Guild (AWG) and Scripted Ink, and supported through Screen Australia’s Enterprise program.
Screen Australia curated a series of masterclasses, professional development activities from screen industry practitioners such as Bec Smith, David Michôd, Luke Davies, Meg LeFauve, Sheila Hanahan Taylor, Joan Scheckel and Judith Weston.
The week prior, 10 online creatives were funded by Screen Australia to attend Vidcon, the largest online video conference in the world. Those from Vidcon that could stay on also joined the group for some of the activities.
On Tuesday 27th June, Gday USA and Ausfilm joined with Screen Australia to invite the Palm Springs Shortfest Australian attendees to join some of the masterclasses. AiF and some of its LA based membership hosted all the different delegations for a very successful networking function that evening.
“The entire Talent LA program, from Vidcon to the program at the Creative Collective in LA, was about showcasing some of the most interesting screen creators working in Australia today – whether they are working in the online space, TV drama or making shorts and feature films – while at the same time providing them with real insights into the LA system and how it works,” said Richard Harris, Screen Australia’s Head of Business and Audience.
“Any future growth of the Australian production industry will be dependent on the global market, and with the rise of so many new players and platforms hungry for content there are massive international opportunities opening up for both Australian screen businesses and creatives. Screen Australia recognizes that it has an important role to play in providing a bridge between local talent and this burgeoning international sector, and supporting Australian stories to be told on the global stage.”
“We see Australians in Film, with its strong sense of community and support for creatives based in LA, as a key partner in broadening the opportunities for Australian talent, and look forward to building on the activities that we have successfully delivered over the past 18 months.”
Sydney-based filmmaker Claudia Pickering, who made the ultra-low budget feature film Frisky, said being a Talent LA delegate has been one of the best and most insightful experiences of her career to date.
“I feel like I’ve been lit on fire, in the best possible way!” Claudia said. “I’ve learnt such a huge amount and it’s been brilliant to meet and get to know the most epic group of fellow directors, that I feel completely humbled by.”
“Every session of the program has been beyond great,” she added. “Disney Animation writer Meg LeFauve (Inside Out) was incredible, particularly with her insights about our innate belief systems and the way we project them into our work and storytelling. It was such a primal experience that I know is going to impact my writing and the way I live my life,” Claudia said.
Nerida Moore, Screen Australia’s Senior Development Manager said that she was pleased by how well the program had gone. “The delegates hail from such a broad range of backgrounds and experience and it’s been wonderful to see them all collaborating, forming little hubs and supporting one another so genuinely this week. It will be exciting to see how the connections made this week, and the breadth and depth of knowledge shared, will unfold in the months and years to come.”
The 11 Australian directors included:
Sarah Bishop (Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am, Plus Ones)
Corrie Chen (Reg Makes Contact, Suicide and Me)
Victoria Cocks (Wasterlander Panda)
Beck Cole (Black Comedy, The Warriors, Redfern Now Series 2)
Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays, Time Machine)
Tim Marshall (Gorilla, Followers)
Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa, David Stratton: A Cinematic Life, Mountain)
Claudia Pickering (Frisky, Potluck)
Damien Power (Killing Ground, Peekaboo)
Luci Schroder (Slapper)
Nicholas Verso (Boys in the Trees, The Last Time I Saw Richard)
The 6 Australian screenwriters included:
Shelley Birse (Satisfaction, The Code)
Kristen Dunphy (The Principle, East West 101,)
Matt Ford (Hiding, Love Child)
Chris Lee (Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War)
Michael Miller (Pulse, Cleverman Series 1, Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door)
Sue Smith (Saving Mr Banks, Mabo, Brides of Christ)
Filmakers at Vidcon included:
Mark Bonanno, Broden Kelly and Zachary Ruane (Aunty Donna)
Julie Kalceff and Rosie Lourde (Starting From Now)
Theo and Nathan Saidden (Superwog)
Filmmakers at the Palm Springs International Shortfest included:
Miranda and Khrob Edmonds (Library of Love)
Mirrah Foulkes (Trespass)
Vanessa Gazy (Highway)
Jordy Pollock (A Short Film About Kissing)
Brad Sayers (Third World Man)
Christopher Sferrazza (Beast)
Andrew Shanks (Split Me)
Clare Sladden (Consent)
Cate Stewart (The Record – World’s Largest Family)