The Industry Association for Australian Filmmakers and Performers in the U.S.

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  • Monday, September 26, 2016 1:30 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    Australians in Film Announce GatewayLA Script Submissions Open

    Last year’s winning script CARGO has just begun production in South Australia, with Martin Freeman in the lead

    Writer and director Yolanda Ramke on what the win meant for her

    GatewayLA 2016 from Australians in Film on Vimeo.

    Los Angeles - Submissions have opened for AiF’s GatewayLA, a program which gives screenwriters the chance to have their script not only seen by top industry professionals, but also awards them with a cash prize of $10,000 and a return Qantas flight to Los Angeles, plus other professional development prizes.

    The judges this year are Bonni Lee, Senior Vice President of Production at Village Roadshow Pictures, Jairo Alvarado, Manager at Circle of Confusion, Aïda Mashaka Croal, current writer and Supervising Producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Ben Lusthaus, a Creative Executive at Amy Pascal’s company Pascal Pictures, Paddy Murphy, Development Executive at Tobey Maguire’s Material, and Chris Dickie, the current Director of Development at Endemol Shine Studios.

    A testament to the success of the incentive, last year’s winning script CARGO is already in production, only 18 months after receiving the award. Writer Yolanda Ramke is co-directing with Ben Howling with Emmy and BAFTA award winning actor Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Black Panther, Sherlock, Fargo) in the lead role. 

    Yolanda has since reflected on the importance of GatewayLA in the success of project thus far:

    "The GatewayLA script prize couldn't have come at a more crucial time for me. I had a first draft under my belt, but like most emerging writers, I was juggling day jobs with late night writing sessions and struggling to make further progress. Not only did winning this award provide a significant confidence boost, but on a financial level it allowed me to dedicate the time I needed to complete the second draft of CARGO. It also generated some wonderful buzz around the project both at home and abroad. I was also fortunate enough to secure my first paid writing commission off the back of this accolade, and as a result now have a second screenplay in development.

    “GatewayLA is a groundbreaking initiative and an invaluable leg-up for up-and-coming screenwriters in Australia. I'm honoured to have been the inaugural recipient, and I'm genuinely excited for this year's winner and the opportunities this prize will afford them".

    Finalists will receive two months of complimentary hosting on The Black List, free evaluation of the scripts, phone meetings with the program judges and a copy of the latest version of Final Draft, the industry standard in screenwriting software.  The winner receives all this as well as $10,000 in cash and one Qantas ticket to Los Angeles.

    Submissions will close on 17th October at 5pm (PST),  please head to   for further details on how to enter.

    The Judges

    About Bonni Lee

    Bonni Lee has served has as an executive at MGM/UA, Warner Bros., as President of Robert Redford’s company Wildwood Entertainment and Geffen Pictures. She has worked on numerous films, including Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Lethal Weapon, The Accidental Tourist, A River Runs Through It, Interview With the Vampire and Joe’s Apartment.  When David Geffen created Dreamworks SKG with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Lee's company, Mighty Hula Pictures, developed TV and feature films under a production deal at the studio. Lee moved to the east coast for a few years and is now happily ensconced at Village Roadshow Pictures as Senior Vice President of Production, the company's titles includes Mad Max: Fury Road, The Lego Movie and the upcoming Passengers.

    About Aïda Mashaka Croal

    Canadian-born playwright and screenwriter, Aïda Mashaka Croal, received her BA from Stanford University and her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts. She won a Daytime Emmy while writing on her first TV show: ABC’s One Life to Live. She has since written for Syfy Sanctuary, Cartoon Network Star Wars: The Clone Wars, AMC Turn: Washington’s Spies, and Netflix Marvel’s Luke Cage.  She is currently a writer and Supervising Producer on Marvel’s Jessica Jones. 

    About Jairo Alvarado

    Jairo Alvarado started as a creative exec at Warner Bros. then went on to join 3 Arts Entertainment as a manager/producer. At Circle, he reps writer Brian Miller who sold pilots this season to Fox with Ryan Murphy; journalists/producers Joshua Bearman and Joshua Davis whose company EPIC has a first look deal with A&E Studios; American Dad and Community  writer Jordan Blum; NBC’s Taken writer Joy Loya; I Smile Back director Adam Salky,  and Tiller Russell writer on NBC’s Chicago PD. As a producer he now has projects set up at Netflix BBC America and Alcon Entertainment.   

    About Ben Lusthaus

    Ben Lusthaus is a Development Executive at Pascal Pictures, a film and TV production company run by producer Amy Pascal. Pascal Pictures is currently producing the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, as well as Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game. Ben previously worked at 20th Century Fox on movies such as Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and Gone Girl, and also worked in production on Black Swan in NYC. He is originally from Sydney, Australia. 

    About Paddy Murphy

    Paddy joined the development team at Tobey Maguire’s Material in early 2013 after meeting him on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby where he worked for the director’s longtime producer and Music Supervisor, Anton Monsted. Before joining Bazmark, Paddy worked for another of the director’s longtime producers and collaborators, Paul Watters. Early on at Material he worked closely with Maguire’s producing partner Matthew Plouffe on Edward Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice starring Maguire as American chess icon Bobby Fischer. Paddy has continued to work closely with Plouffe on Material’s development slate including Z for Zachariah starring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine and Chiwetel Ejiofor and The 5th Wave starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber. The company is producing bestselling author Greg Iles’ trilogy Natchez Burning with Sony Pictures TV. Material is an independently financed company based in Los Angeles.

    About Chris Dickie

    Chris Dickie is currently the Director of Development, Endemol Shine Studios.  He joined Endemol in 2011 as Coordinator of Development and over the past five years has overseen the development and production of multiple series, including the long-running AMC drama Hell on Wheels, Kingdom (Audience Network), Low Winter Sun(AMC), Red Widow (ABC) and the upcoming I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime).  He previously worked in Drama Development at 20th Century Fox Television Studios and prior to that got his start at ICM in 2007. 


    Australians in Film is a Los Angeles based film, television and digital content non-profit foundation with a mission to connect the Australian industry to the international market. Founded in May 2001, AiF serves as the industry guild for Australian entertainment professionals in Los Angeles, holding regular screenings, career development programs, seminars and labs, and currently has over 600 members. For more information on AiF, please visit 


    Final Draft, a Cast & Crew Company, has published Final Draft® software – the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world – for 25 years. Final Draft automatically paginates and formats your script to industry standards, allowing writers to focus on what they do best – writing scripts. Used by such industry giants as J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and Aaron Sorkin, Final Draft software is the professional’s choice and the entertainment industry standard. Final Draft also offers the Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, making creativity truly portable. To learn more about Final Draft and its products and services, visit:

  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 9:21 PM | Anonymous

    Ed Oxenbould is set to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan in Paul Dano's coming-of-age drama Wildlife

    Dano, a Golden Globes and BAFTA nominated actor, will make his directorial debut on the feature, helming from a script he penned with Zoe Kazan (Olive Kitteridge).

    Dano and Kazan adapted the script from Richard Ford's 1990 novel of the same name, which follows the story Joe Brinson (Oxenbould), a teenager who witnesses his parent's marriage fall apart after his mother's infidelity. 

    Congrats, Ed! 

  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    Margot Robbie is set to host the season premiere of NBC's long-running sketch comedy and variety show, Saturday Night Live

    The Aussie star will take to the stage on Saturday, October 1 to officially usher in SNL's 42nd season.

    Two-time Grammy Award winner and Oscar nominee The Weekend will return for the second time as musical guest. 

    Previous Australian hosts include Chris Hemsworth (who has hosted twice in 2015), Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson.

    Australians in Film honored Robbie with the AiF Breakthrough Award at a star-studded ceremony in 2014. Check out photos taken at the exclusive event here

    Watch Hugh Jackman host SNL

    Watch Chris Hemsworth host SNL

    Watch Russell Crowe host SNL

    Watch Mel Gibson host SNL

    Congrats, Margot! 

  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 8:18 PM | Anonymous

    Elizabeth Debicki has joined the voice cast of Sony's upcoming hybrid live action and animation family film Peter Rabbit.

    The in-demand star, whose career skyrocketed after her breakout role in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, joins British entertainer James Corden and fellow Australian Rose Byrne on the cast. 

    Based on Beatrix Potter's classic children's stories, Corden has been set to voice the lead role of Peter, and Byrne will star in the live-action female lead role of Bea. No word yet on who Elizabeth Debicki will voice.

    Annie director Will Gluck is on board to helm and produce.

    Also producing is AiF member and Animal Logic Entertainment CEO Zareh Nalbandian. 

    The story will be brought to life by NSW’s world class animation and visual FX production house Animal Logic and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

    The production was secured for NSW thanks to the support of the NSW Government and the Made in NSW fund. According to Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grand, Peter Rabbit will create jobs for 55 local actors and more than 600 crew. 

    Animation production is now under way at Animal Logic and live-action filming will commence in January 2017.

    Animal Logic is a long-time supporter and sponsor of AiF, co-hosting the Village Roadshow Entertainment Group and Animal Logic Entertainment Internship for early career film business professionals. More information on our internship can be found here

    AiF honored Debicki with the Breakthrough Award at a special ceremony in 2015. Check out pictures from the exclusive event here

    Read more about Peter Rabbit:

    Made in NSW incentive attracts Peter Rabbit

  • Sunday, September 25, 2016 7:44 PM | Anonymous

    Photo credit: Jen Lowery / Splash News

    Aden Young is set to lead the cast of USA Network's period drama pilot Damnation

    Created by Tony Tost (Longmire), the series is described as an historical drama set in the American heartland in the 1930s.

    Young will play Seth Davenport, a man masquerading as a small-town Iowa preacher in the hope of starting a full-blown insurrection against the status quo. 

    Joining Young on the cast are Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), who is set to play Creely Turner, a deadly mercenary; Sarah Jones (Alcatraz) who will portray Amelia Davenport - 'a preacher's wife' and Christopher Heyerdahl (Hell on Wheels) is cast as Don Berryman, a local sheriff tasked with controlling the bootlegging and prostitution rackets in his jurisdiction.

    Scottish film director David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water, Starred up) is on board to helm the pilot.

    Young was born in Toronto, Canada, to an American father and Australian mother, and immigrated with his family to Australia when he was 10. He is best known for his breakout role as Daniel Holden in SundanceTV's first original series Rectify.

    Congrats, Aden!

  • Tuesday, September 20, 2016 8:10 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    Tim Minchin will host the annual awards presentation at NeueHouse Hollywood

    on Wednesday, October 19, 2016

    HOLLYWOOD, CA – SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 - The Fifth Annual Australians in Film Awards (AiF) and Benefit Dinner has set musician/actor/comedian/director Tim Minchin as host for the celebration event on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood (6121 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90028).

    Initial honorees include Suicide Squad actor Jai Courtney and acclaimed filmmaker Garth Davis, who will receive the FOXTEL Breakthrough Awards at the gala event next month. The FOXTEL Breakthrough Award recognizes and celebrates rising Australian talent in the entertainment industry. Previous FOXTEL Breakthrough Awards honorees include fellow Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie, Liam Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Debicki, Jacki Weaver, Teresa Palmer, Joel Edgerton, James Wan and Ryan Kwanten.

    “The AiF Awards began as the Breakthrough Awards in 2005. It was a very intimate affair in Beverly Hills where we honoured Melissa George and Robert Luketic. The awards and the organization have grown considerably since then, and this year is going to be another terrific year with Tim Minchin hosting at the old CBS broadcasting studios – which is now the gorgeous new club, NeueHouse Hollywood,” said Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film.

    Marks continued, “Jai and Garth are worthy honorees of the FOXTEL Breakthrough Award. Both are incredibly talented and in demand, both internationally and in Australia. We look forward to celebrating their achievements. We are also excited to welcome back FOXTEL as a Title Sponsor of the AiF Awards this year. Along with their premier content, this award further exemplifies their commitment to supporting Australian talent.”

    Jai Courtney began his career on Australian TV shows Packed to the Rafters and All Saints, before being cast in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. He went on to star in Jack Reacher alongside Tom Cruise and Werner Herzog and A Good Day to Die Hard with Bruce Willis. His other acting credits include: Felony with Joel Edgerton, Divergent alongside Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet; Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie; The Water Diviner directed by Russell Crowe; Terminator: Genisys; and Suicide Squad. Upcoming Jai stars in Man Down with Shia LaBeouf and The Exception which premiered this month at the Toronto Film Festival.

    Filmmaker Garth Davis just made his directorial debut to great fanfare and critical and audience acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival with The Weinstein Company’s LION. Additionally, he is an Emmy nominated television director (Top of the Lake) and began his career in commercials, where he made a significant name for himself. LION, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, was shot in Australia and India. Davis is currently in production on Mary Magdalene for The Weinstein Company and Universal Pictures International, starring Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor. 

    The multi-talented Tim Minchin is currently directing his first feature for DreamWorks, Larrikins and whose new musical Groundhog Day has just opened to rave reviews at the Old Vic in London.

    The AiF Awards and Benefit  Dinner is aimed at supporting the organization’s mission to usher Australian filmmakers into the international market and to provide educational and career development programs including the establishment of the new creative work sharing space, Charlie’s in Hollywood.

    Australians in Film proudly acknowledge the wonderful support of the Title Sponsors of the 2016 AiF Awards: Ausfilm, Village Roadshow, FOXTEL and Fox Studios Australia.

    For Event Sponsorships, Congratulatory Advertising, and Individual Tickets (prices start at $100), please contact Lauran Huff at or phone 310-201-5033 ext 33.

  • Sunday, September 18, 2016 8:42 PM | Anonymous

    Photo credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

    Ben Mendelsohn has taken home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at this year's Emmy Awards in Hollywood. 

    The Melbourne-born actor took home the gong for his role as the black sheep son, Danny Rayburn, on Netflix Original Series Bloodline.

    He beat out Game of Thrones' Kit Harrington and Peter Dinklage, House of Cards' Michael Kelly, John Voight for Ray Donovan and Jonathan Banks for Better Call Saul.

    This is Mendelsohn's second nomination in this category, he was nominated in the 2015 Emmys for the same role. 

    Fans are eagerly awaiting the next installment of the series, which Netflix recently announced will be its last. Season 3 will unfold over 10 episodes and will be released on the streaming giant in the first half of 2017.

    Watch Mendelsohn's deserving performance in seasons 1 and 2 of Bloodline now:


    From the Creators of Damages, Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community. But when the black sheep son comes home for the 45th anniversary of his parents’ hotel, he threatens to expose the Rayburns’ dark secrets and shameful past, pushing his siblings to the limits of family loyalty. 

    Season 1 trailer

    Season 2 Trailer

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 9:06 PM | Anonymous

    New Line Cinema has released the first trailer for Annabelle 2, the sequel to 2014 horror flick Annabelle.

    The film stars AiF Ambassadors Miranda Otto and Anthony LaPaglia and is produced by Peter Safran and James Wan.

    Centering on a dollmaker and his wife, the story begins several years after the tragic death of their little girl. The couple welcomes a nun and girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, but their lives are turned upside down when they become he target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.

    Lights Out director David F. Sandberg is helming from a script by Gary Dauberman, who also penned the first installment.

    Annabelle 2 is scheduled to be in theaters May 19, 2017.

    AiF Awarded Wan with the Breakthrough Award in 2006 after his success as a writer and director on Saw.

    In 2014, AiF awarded LaPaglia with the Orry-Kelly International Award for his support of Australians working in film and television in Los Angeles. The award is named after costume designer Orry George Kelly, one of the first Australians to succeed in Hollywood.

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    AiF member Ansuya Nathan has joined the cast of Anthony Maras' drama Hotel Mumbai. 

    The cast includes fellow Australian and 2014 Heath Ledger Scholarship finalist Tilda Cobham-Hervey (52 Tuesdays, The Kettering Incident) and international heavyweights Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Social Network) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion).

    The story centers on the 2008 devastating armed siege by terrorists on the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel in Mumbai, India.

    South Australian-born Maras, whose short films have won multiple awards locally and internationally, is making his feature film debut on the multi-million dollar project. 

    Filming recently wrapped in Maras' home town of Adelaide and will pick up again in October on location in Mumbai.

    Nathan plays Manisha, a doctor and hotel guest who is trapped in the hotel when the siege begins.

    "Hotel Mumbai is a powerful and timely story - a reminder of our common humanity in the face of terror," said Nathan. Adding, "It is an honor to be cast alongside these actors and to work with such a passionate team of filmmakers. I can't wait for the Mumbai leg of the shoot!"

    Backed by Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation, the production injected millions into the SA economy, and employed more than 350 heads of department, cast, crew and extras. 

    Maras transformed Adelaide Studios into the interiors of the exclusive high class hotel.

    Based on two-time Emmy-nominated Australian documentary Surviving Mumbai, Maras adapted the script with Sydney-based Scottish screenwriter and novelist, John Collee.

    Collee's previous projects include Master and Commander, Happy Feet, Son of a Gun and Australia's current contender for the Foreign-Language Oscar Tanna). He is also co-founder of Australian production company Hopscotch Features.

    The Weinsten Company picked up the U.S. and U.K rights to the film at the Cannes market in May.

    Congrats, Ansuya!

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016 5:17 PM | Anonymous

    Jason Clarke has joined Dame Helen Mirren on the cast on the cast of the Spierig-brothers' supernatural thriller Winchester

    The Oscar- Golden Globe- Emmy- BAFTA winning actress will play Sarah Winchester, the millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune, who following the sudden deaths of her husband and child, believed she was haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the Winchester repeating rifle.

    She threw herself into the 24-hour a day, seven days a week construction of an enormous 160-room mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price (Clarke) is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all.

    The brothers are helming from a script they wrote together with Tom Vaughn (Unstoppable). 

    Filming will begin early next year at Melbourne's Docklands Studios and surrounds, before heading to shoot on location at Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.

    This news comes on the heels of Clarke also joining Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgard in James Kent's WWII drama The Aftermath.

    Adapted from a novel by Rhidian Brook, by frequent writing partners Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse (Race, Edge of Tomorrow 2), the story is set in post-war Germany in 1946, and follows Rachael Morgan (Knightley) and a her husband, British colonel Lewis Morgan (Skarsgard). Tensions arise when Lewis decides to share their home with its previous owners, a German widower (Clarke) and his troubled daughter.

    Congrats, Jason, Michael and Peter. 

    Read more about Winchester:

    Dame Helen Mirren boards The Spierig Brothers thriller "Winchester"

Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #B211, Bronson Bldg 
Hollywood, CA 90038

Phone: 323 433 1464



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