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Australia’s Smart for a Girl: Roar Program Supports Entry-Level Female TV Writers

Smart for a Girl: Roar founders Alice Bell and Imogen Banks with the program applications: Screen Australia

Producer Imogen Banks and screenwriter Alice Bell have launched a new program for women starting out as television writers: Smart for a Girl: Roar. With financial support from Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (Adg) mentorship program, Banks and Bell will show 15 female screenwriters “how an idea is developed into a television series through the processes of a writers’ room,” per Screen Australia.

According to Banks and Bell — who have collaborated on series “Offspring” and “The Beautiful Lie” — they started Smart for a Girl: Roar “to address the lack of new female voices coming into the TV industry.” They originally planned to accept 12 writers into the program but increased the number of spots to 15 after receiving a whopping 935 applications.

“Reading the 935 submissions personally — yes, every single one — has shown us what we suspected when we set out to create the Smart For A Girl: Roar initiative: that there is a high level of untapped talent out there,” Bell stated. “Imogen and I feel privileged to be able to work with these emerging female screenwriters, guiding them into realizing their ideas creatively, but also exposing them to the television industry in a nurturing way.”

Alongside Smart for a Girl: Roar and Gender Matters, the last year has seen the launch of several other initiatives for women in the Australian entertainment industry. Screen Australia introduced Doco180 for documentary filmmakers, and the National Film Board announced its plans to increase the number of women in creatives roles in film.

Smart for a Girl: Roar’s workshops kick off today.

The projects accepted to the Smart for a Girl: Roar program and their creators are below. List and synopses courtesy of Screen Australia.

Unruly Girls from creator/writer Clare Young, shadow writer Ella Roby, and note-taker Lily Daubney. A mini-series inspired by the 1961 riot at the notorious Parramatta Girls Home, Unruly Girls follows a group of delinquent girls learning to kick against a corrupt system and fight to be their own kings.

ID from creator/writer Vanessa Gazy, shadow writer Zuleika Khan, and note-taker Katherine Sullivan. In this tense drama series a woman disappears, forcing her estranged, identical twin sister to revisit their murky history and accept that once again the lines between their identities are beginning to blur.

The Spoils from creator/writer Zoe Pepper, writer Anna Lindner, and note-taker Lili Owen. In this half-hour drama-comedy a woman chosen to pioneer a new planet wantonly hurls grenades into her life, telling everyone she knows what she really thinks of them — but when the mission is aborted she is forced to stay and piece her life back together.

Reconciliation Rescue from creator/writer Angelina Hurley, shadow writer Alisha Hnatjuk, and note-taker Matilda Ridgeway. This half-hour comedy series follows an Aboriginal woman who finds herself accidentally caught up in bringing the nation together.

Empath from creator/writer Ash Ricardo, shadow writer Imogen McCluskey, and note-taker Georgina Love. In this one-hour drama series a woman accidentally discovers that a revolutionary new medical device can read emotion, propelling her into a world of conspiracy, corruption, mass-manipulation, and the mysteries of neuroscience.

Australia’s Smart for a Girl: Roar Program Supports Entry-Level Female TV Writers was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Shane and Clayton Jacobson reteam for black comedy 'Sibling Rivalry'

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Shane Jacobson in 'Kenny', written and directed by brother Clayton. The two will join forces again on 'Sibling Rivalry'.

The brothers behind Kenny,.Shane and Clayton Jacobson, are set to reunite for a new film, black comedy Sibling Rivalry..

The feature is one of four film projects and seven television dramas supported by Screen Australia in its latest $8.8 million funding round..

The pair will co-star in the film, which revolves around two brothers who, with their mother at death.s door, go to extreme lengths to protect their inheritance.

Clayton will direct the film and produce along with Jason Byrne (Sucker, How to Talk Australians). The script has been penned by Jamie Browne (The Mule, Secret Daughter, Please Like Me), with Tait Brady (The BBQ, Little Acorns, Healing) and Julia Adams (Mako Mermaids,The Day My Butt Went Psycho) executive producing..

Among the other projects funded
See full article at IF.com.au »

Alice Bell talks female screenwriters initiative Smart Like A Girl: Roar

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Alice Bell.

Prolific screenwriter Alice Bell has an enviable list of credits: The Slap, Puberty Blues, The Beautiful Lie. She speaks to If about life as a scribe and her latest project — a collaboration with producer Imogen Banks which aims to mentor young female writers through the process of developing a TV series through to network pitch. ..

Congrats on the funding through Gender Matters for Smart Like A Girl: Roar. Why did you want to set up this program?.

Imogen and I are often approached by young writers asking how to become a screenwriter for television and the answer is: there.s no clear path. It.s a frustrating thing. You could be a note-taker in a story room but that doesn.t mean you.ll necessarily get to write an episode. You could write your own web series or a pilot, but then you.re competing with experienced writers and the world,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Alice Bell talks female writers initiative Smart Like A Girl: Roar

  • IF.com.au
Prolific screenwriter Alice Bell has an enviable list of credits: The Slap, Puberty Blues, The Beautiful Lie. She speaks to If about life as a scribe and her latest project — a collaboration with producer Imogen Banks which aims to mentor young female writers through the process of developing a TV series through to network pitch. ..

Congrats on the funding through Gender Matters for Smart Like A Girl: Roar. Why did you want to set up this program?.

Imogen and I are often approached by young writers asking how to become a screenwriter for television and the answer is: there.s no clear path. It.s a frustrating thing. You could be a note-taker in a story room but that doesn.t mean you.ll necessarily get to write an episode. You could write your own web series or a pilot, but then you.re competing with experienced writers and the world,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Gender Matters: Screen Australia pledges $3 million to female-helmed projects

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The 58 recipients of Screen Australia's Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories and Brilliant Careers.funding, designed to address.the gender imbalance.in the screen industry, have been unveiled..

$3 million.will be shared.among 45 female-helmed film, TV and online projects and 13 career boosting initiatives. The announcement marked the largest cohort of projects funded in a single.day in Screen Australia's history. ..

Screen Australia started the Gender Matters program.late last year in response to the industry.s gender inequity.in key creative roles..In film, women make up around 32 per cent of producers, 23 per cent of writers and 16 per cent of directors. .

Screen Australia chief operating officer Fiona Cameron said Gender Matters was unashamedly providing .express lane. access to female business ideas and stories...

.The funding boost provided by Screen Australia has been a game-changer, providing the industry with an opportunity to get behind some very commercial and creative prospects. It.s now time for action,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Deluxe launch new sound mixing suites in South Melbourne

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Ddp Studios general manager.Caroline Pitcher with senior colourist, Brett Manson.

.

Deluxe.s Ddp Studios in South Melbourne has opened new sound mixing suites with associated sound edit and design suites..

Ddp Studios is a national business, with facilities based in Sydney and Melbourne offering complete integration with data Management, picture, sound post and VFX.

The Ddp Sound Melbourne team is led by sound designer, Paul Pirola, and includes experienced senior mixer Andrew Neil.

Ddp Melbourne.s sound team have completed works on International and Australian films such as, Truth (Cate Blanchett), local thriller The Pack, Oddball, 2:22, and independent film Pawno. They are currently working on Science Fiction Volume 1 for Shane Abbess.

Other recent television credits include Hunters, a highly conceptual television series for the NBCUniversal and Syfy cable network, produced by The Walking Dead.s Gale Anne Hurd..

Also, The Beautiful Lie, a major television series shot and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Deluxe launches new sound mixing suites in South Melbourne

  • IF.com.au
Ddp Studios general manager.Caroline Pitcher with senior colourist, Brett Manson.

.

Deluxe.s Ddp Studios in South Melbourne has opened new sound mixing suites with associated sound edit and design suites..

Ddp Studios is a national business, with facilities based in Sydney and Melbourne offering complete integration with data Management, picture, sound post and VFX.

The Ddp Sound Melbourne team is led by sound designer, Paul Pirola, and includes experienced senior mixer Andrew Neil.

Ddp Melbourne.s sound team have completed works on International and Australian films such as, Truth (Cate Blanchett), local thriller The Pack, Oddball, 2:22, and independent film Pawno. They are currently working on Science Fiction Volume 1 for Shane Abbess.

Other recent television credits include Hunters, a highly conceptual television series for the NBCUniversal and Syfy cable network, produced by The Walking Dead.s Gale Anne Hurd..

Also, The Beautiful Lie, a major television series shot and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aftrs unveils emerging film talent at 2015 graduation

  • IF.com.au
The Australian Film Television and Radio School has unleashed a new crop of talent on the industry with the 2015 Graduation Ceremony. . .

A highlight of the ceremony was the awarding of the Aftrs. Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts) to broadcaster, commentator and filmmaker Phillip Adams.

Adams played a key role in the revival of the Australian film industry in the 1970s. .

He was the author of a 1969 report that led to legislation by Prime Minister Gorton in 1970 for an Australian Film and Television Development Corporation (later the Australian Film Commission) and the Experimental Film Fund as well as the eventual creation of an Australian national film School (now Aftrs). Phillip was one of the original members of council for the interim School.

The Dressmaker producer Sue Maslin present the degree. .

Maslin is a graduate of the Aftrs Masters of Screen Arts & Business degree.

Graduates include Imogen Banks, one of the producers
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Australia reveals $5 million plan to tackle gender diversity

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Screen Australia is investing $5 million over three years to address the gender imbalance in the Australian film industry.

The screen funding body has unveiled a five point plan which includes an immediate $3 million allocation of .jump start. funding to get female-led projects production-ready within two years, and a further $2 million of support for placements, distribution incentives, marketing and industry networking.

This also includes a goal to have production funding targeted at teams that are at least 50 per cent female by the end of 2018..

The plan follows the Australian Directors Guild's commitment to have women fill 50 per cent of the attachments and for 75 per cent of the attachemnts to reflect both gender and cultural diversity..

According to Screen Australia, the imbalance is most notable in tradtional film with 32 per cent of women working as producers, 23 per cent as writers and only 16 per cent as directors..

"Screen Australia film production funding is provided to producers,
See full article at IF.com.au »

John Edwards returns to his indie roots

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After 27 years with the Southern Star Group and now Endemol Shine Australia, John Edwards is going solo.

Edwards, who will reactivate his banner Rough Diamond Entertainment, describes the split as entirely amicable.

He will continue as a creative consultant for the sixth season of Offspring with producer Imogen Banks and the production team, and will work with Endemol Shine on a number of other scripted projects.

Banks and Mimi Butler transferred to Endemol Shine from the former Southern Star Endemol.

Endemol Shine CEOs Mark and Carl Fennessy said, .John Edwards is a true industry legend and one of the finest producers in the country. John leaves us on the very best of terms..

Edwards tells If, .This is very happy, very amicable. I have nothing but the highest regard for Mark and Carl: they are exceptional producers. This is a personal and business decision.

.The time has come for me
See full article at IF.com.au »

Offspring's key cast confirmed for sixth season, says Beautiful Lie producer

Imogen Banks discusses Offspring’s unexpected return and her new show, The Beautiful Lie, which transplants Anna Karenina into Melbourne high society

Eddie Perfect on Offspring, a show made by, and about, women

Bringing the Offspring family back to the table has been a “complicated process”, says the drama’s co-creator Imogen Banks, who confirms to Guardian Australia that all the show’s key cast has been signed for a season return.

When the show’s fifth season finale aired in August 2014, it felt like a series wrap-up. Storylines were neatly tied up and protagonist Nina Proudman (played by Asher Keddie) delivered a curtain-dropping line to her one-year-old daughter: “Yes, Zoe, this is your family. And it’s always going to be like this.”

Related: Eddie Perfect on Offspring, a show made by, and about, strong women

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The return of Offspring- minus its co-creator

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Offspring co-creator Debra Oswald hopes fans will enjoy the sixth season on Network Ten next year - but she won.t be part of it.

The network confirmed on Sunday that Asher Keddie will return as Dr Nina Proudman, with Kat Stewart as her sister Billie.

.Nina.s story and the story of her daughter Zoe, sister Billie, brother Jimmy, mother Geraldine and all her other family and friends is far from over,. Ten said.

However Oswald posted on Facebook, .I'm happy with where we took the story by the end of series 5 of Offspring. For that reason, I've chosen not to be part of season 6. I hope fans enjoy the new series..

Oswald created Offspring with John Edwards and Imogen Banks and worked on the drama for all five seasons. Banks and Edwards, who will produce the sixth season, an Endemol Shine Australia production, are assembling the creative team.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Study reveals most pirates feel uneasy

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Four out of five people who download screen content illegally feel nervous or guilty about their behaviour and acknowledge they are doing the wrong thing.

Only 20% of pirates dismiss the legality or ethics of the practice and say they are determined to continue despite any attempted government interventions.

That.s according to a ground-breaking survey commissioned by ScreenFutures, a new association of producers, directors, distributors and researchers dedicated to researching and debating issues affecting the Australian screen industry.

Their report, Content You Love: reframing piracy for a sustainable creative industry, was launched at Aftrs on August 13.

Market researcher Screen Audience Research Australia (Sara) conducted the survey which found about 33% of people had illegally downloaded movies and TV shows.

Sara then interviewed more than 900 people across the age spectrum who acknowledged they had pirated content to gauge their attitudes and motivations.

The chief attraction was that .it.s free. (20 per cent
See full article at IF.com.au »

Endemol Shine Australia makes a raft of senior appointments

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Global content creator, producer and distributor, Endemol Shine Group, has made a raft of senior appointments to coincide with the formal launch its Australian arm.

Endemol Shine Australia, now the largest television production house in the country, will bring together Shine Australia and Endemol Australia..

It will be will be led by chief executives, Mark and Carl Fennessy, as announced in May.

Peter Newman will leading the unscripted content team as managing director, unscripted content.

Newman was promoted from his current Shine Australia role as director of programming, where he oversaw major formats such as MasterChef, The Bachelor, Gogglebox, The Biggest Loser, Shark Tank and Australia's Next Top Model.

Margaret Bashfield has been promoted to the role of supervising executive producer, unscripted content. She will report to Peter Newman.

Endemol Shine Australia will bring together Australian drama producers, John Edwards (Offspring, Puberty Blues, Love My Way), Imogen Banks (Offspring, Puberty Blues) and Mimi Butler (Rush,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Lament for the decline in 13-part dramas

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The co-creator of Offspring has deplored the decline of the 13-episode Australian drama and criticised the shift to shorter-run .puzzle. dramas. .I feel quite sad that the 13-parter seems to be fading in Australia,. Debra Oswald said in an interview for the Swinburne Institute for Social Research.s report TV 2025: Reconsidering small screen media in Australia by Jock Given, Michael Brealey and Cathy Gray.

.People now just seem to just want six or eight,. said Oswald, who created Offspring with John Edwards and Imogen Banks and worked on the 13-part show for all five seasons.

However two networks dispute that view.. Angus Ross, Seven Network Director of Programming, tells If: .It.s a matter of finding the right format for the story being told. The suggestion that the 13-part series is dead is premature in my view..

Andy Ryan, co-head of drama at the Nine Network says, "The 13-parter
See full article at IF.com.au »

Lament for the demise of 13-part dramas

  • IF.com.au
The co-creator of Offspring has deplored the disappearance of the 13-episode Australian drama and criticised the shift to shorter-run .puzzle. dramas. .I feel quite sad that the 13-parter seems to be fading in Australia,. Debra Oswald said in an interview for the Swinburne Institute for Social Research.s report TV 2025: Reconsidering small screen media in Australia by Jock Given, Michael Brealey and Cathy Gray.

.People now just seem to just want six or eight,. said Oswald, who created Offspring with John Edwards and Imogen Banks and worked on the 13-part show for all five seasons.

.Twenty years ago I would have thought, oh what a treat to get to do a six-parter, because it was seen as more high quality and authorial or something. I can see the joys of that, the chance to develop characters over time.

.With a 13-part series, or even the old 26-part, you can
See full article at IF.com.au »

Classy cast for ABC TV’s The Beautiful Lie

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Sarah Snook, Benedict Samuel and Rodger Corser head the cast in The Beautiful Lie, a contemporary re-imagining of Leo Tolstoy.s classic novel Anna Karenina. Directed by Glendyn Ivin and Peter Salmon and produced by Endemol Australia.s John Edwards and Imogen Banks, the 6-part ABC drama starts shooting in Melbourne next week. Scripted by Alice Bell (Puberty Blues, The Slap, Rush) and Jonathan Gavin (Party Tricks, Offspring, Mr & Mrs Murder), the series is billed as a sprawling saga of adultery, scandal, manners and mayhem involving three enmeshed families across three generations The supporting cast includes Celia Pacquola, Daniel Henshall, Sophie Lowe, Alexander England, Catherine McClements, Dan Wyllie and Gina Riley. The protagonists are Anna (Snook) and her husband Xander (Corser), who is 15 years her senior. Both are former tennis professionals. Anna manages to juggle career and family until her brother Kingsley (Henshall) is caught philandering and she is called on to intervene.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Director moves from war to love

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After immersing himself in WW1 as the director of the Nine Network.s Gallipoli, Glendyn Ivin is looking forward to exploring myriad forms of love.

Ivin has just started pre-production on The Beautiful Lie, a contemporary re-imagining of Leo Tolstoy.s classic novel Anna Karenina.

While the tone and setting could not be further apart, Ivin sees a common element: .Both are emotionally driven..

Commissioned by the ABC, the 6-part series is the director.s fourth collaboration with Endemol Australia.s John Edwards and Imogen Banks. Their first was Offspring, followed by Puberty Blues and Gallipoli.

Scripted by Alice Bell, Jonathan Gavin and Blake Ayshford, the drama is billed as a sprawling saga of adultery, scandal, manners and mayhem involving three enmeshed families across three generations.

Ivin hasn.t read the novel but he.s seen two earlier versions: Joe Wright.s 2012 film Anna Karenina, which starred Keira Knightley and
See full article at IF.com.au »

Stan streams entire Gallipoli series

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In a bold move, the Nine Network released all seven episodes of Gallipoli on its half-owned streaming service Stan following the drama.s Monday night premiere on Nine.

And in another twist in the on-demand turf battle, EzyFlix.tv has started selling a season pass to Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, which launched on Stan on Monday night.

Produced by Endemol Australia.s John Edwards, Imogen Banks and Rob Connolly and directed by Glendyn Ivin, Gallipoli follows 17-year-old Thomas .Tolly. Johnson ( Kodi Smit-McPhee) who lies about his age to join his brother Bevan in the Great War.

The cast includes Harry Greenwood, Lachy Hulme, Matt Nable, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor, Lincoln Lewis, James Callis, Grant Bowler, Anthony Hayes, Justine Clarke, Damon Gameau, Ashleigh Cummings, Gracie Gilbert, Dan Wyllie, Sam Parsonson, Tom Budge, John Bach, Nicholas Hope and James Stewart.

The premiere of Gallipoli drew 1.1 million viewers in the five capital cities and 1.51 million nationally,
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aussie writer to ply his trade in the UK

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Aacta-award winner Blake Ayshford believes writers in the UK are more valued than they are in Australia.

That.s one reason why the screenwriter is heading to the UK in a few months to pursue the opportunity to work on an eclectic bunch of projects set in Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Not that Ayshford, whose credits include The Code, Devil.s Playground, An Accidental Soldier, The Straits and Crownies, is turning his back on Oz.

He intends to work part-time in the UK while juggling several Australian projects including adaptations of two popular Australian novels for the ABC. He's written an episode of The Beautiful Lie, a modern retelling of Tolstoy.s Anna Karenina to be produced by Endemol Australia.s John Edwards and Imogen Banks for the public broadcaster.

Ayshford, who won an Aacta award as one of the producers of Devil.s Playground, shared with
See full article at IF.com.au »
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