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Screen Australia announces final Enterprise program

Screen Australia has announced funding to industry companies to explore new ideas and business models, and to develop projects and emerging talent.

Six companies and five individuals will share in $2.5 million under the final round of Enterprise Industry and People program.

The six successful Enterprise Industry applicants’ proposals are:

The Australian Writers’ Guild will create an extension of Scripted Ink., The Writers Room Project, offering an opportunity for up to 20 experienced and emerging writers from their acclaimed Pathways Program to develop their skills and maximise the market potential of their TV drama projects;

Brisbane-based kids’ content specialists Like A Photon Creative are being funded for a series of writers rooms designed to develop content for their slate (targeting the particularly challenging tween market), create a long-term marketing strategy, and enhance their team;

The highly experienced content producers at Lingo Pictures, Helen Bowden and Jason Stephens, will use the funding to create Australian IP from the ground up with a focus on attracting international pre-sales, enabling co-productions and non-traditional equity investment;

Independent distributor Madman Entertainment are launching VoD service ‘Docplay’ in December 2016, a destination hub for Australian and International documentary content with a revenue-share model for filmmakers. They will use this funding to acquire and curate quality independent Australian documentaries for the platform;

Film and television production company Revlover will capitalise on their relationship with sister company, internationally award-winning TV commercials production company Revolver, to explore the acknowledged opportunity for brand association at the development stage of content creation;

And documentary specialists Stranger Than Fiction Films (STFF) headed up by Jennifer Peedom and Joanne McGowan will use this funding to investigate the international market potential of immersive giant screen films, using the release of their film Mountain in June 2017 as a launch pad.

Jennifer Peedom, STFF, said: “We are so pleased to have received this support from Screen Australia, which will enable us to expand and explore international partnerships across our slate including feature documentaries and the growing giant screen market.”

The five successful Enterprise People placements are:

Comedy writer Tristan Baumber will expand on his credits at Aquarius Films where he will be mentored by creative partners Angie Fielder, Cecilia Ritchie and Polly Staniford (Lion, Berlin Syndrome, Wish You Were Here), and highly-respected script executive Greg Waters (Dance Academy, Secret City);

Penny Harrold will join Vicki Madden at Tasmanian-based company Sweet Potato Films (SPF) in the role of Creative Producer, giving her exposure to the industry and the opportunity to assist SPF to capitalise on the phenomenal success of The Kettering Incident;

Producer Lisa Hoppe will be mentored on all aspects of producing by leading children’s animation content maker Avrill Stark (The Deep, Santa’s Apprentice) at A Stark Production with a view to seeing her achieve broadcast producing credits;

Producer Melissa Johnston will undergo a placement at film and TV production house Ruby Entertainment where she will be mentored by principal Stephen Luby (The Secret River, Crackerjack), focusing on the company’s development slate, online content and her own projects;

And producer Jessica Mitchell will be mentored by Western Australia-based film and TV production company WBMC’s Janelle Landers (Son of a Gun) where she will work across the company’s development slate and attend domestic and international festivals and markets.

Penny Harrold said: “I am so thrilled to have been given this opportunity to acquire on-the-job experience, gain credits and further develop my career working with Vicki Madden at Sweet Potato Films.”

Vicki Madden, SPF, said: “Enterprise People funding will allow me to employ talented upcoming producer Penny Harrold with whom Sweet Potato Films has a long association. This is invaluable at a time when the company has seen recent success and will allow us the opportunity to produce a slate that is sustainable and internationally focused. A win for SPF and the Tasmanian screen sector!”

A further two Enterprise Industry projects have received conditional funding and will be announced at a later stage pending approval.

Screen Australia advises Enterprise Industry and People has come to the end of the intended three year cycle and will now be reviewed with the aid of industry consultation. A new program and focus will be revealed in 2017.

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