A court-appointed support group for recovering internet trolls, the sisterhood of patrons in an African-Australian hairdressing salon, and the sibling rivalry of three Pacific Islander sisters is turned on its head after the introduction of a family heirloom with supernatural powers – these were just some of the stories pitched in the final Produce Perfect session on Thursday 5 April.
The Pitch Session was the culmination of eight weeks of skills training and professional development for this dynamic group of 14 emerging screen content producers from Western Sydney.
Over the course of the Produce Perfect, participants heard from leaders in the field of creating screen businesses, Intellectual Property, Industry Advocacy and Finance Plans and Budgets. The skills and techniques of pitching ideas were front and centre through the course, with industry stalwart John Gregory (Freehand Productions) providing support and guidance to this group, the next wave of content makers who will influence what we see of ourselves on screen in the near future.
A panel of industry reps joined us for the final session to hear projects pitched and provide their feedback and industry insights. The panel included Sarah Christie (Development Executive, Goalpost Pictures), Brennan Wrenn (Head of Programming & Acquisitions, SBS Movies), Nicky Ruscoe (Development Producer for ABC TV, Factual), Lisa Duff (Investment Manager, Production Investment, Screen Australia), and Ashlee Sang (Sponsorship and Marketing Manager, SPA).
Congratulations to the three participants who were awarded support with applications to SPA’s coveted Ones To Watch program: Rachael Belle Myers for the TV comedy/drama Trolls Anonymous; Marie Chanel for the web series drama 10th Night; and Donita Hulme for TV series Wanderers.
Therese Chen received the AFTRS sponsored short course prize for her TV documentary pitch for Femme Fatales: Seen & (Un) Heard.
Marie Chanel (10thNight) and Donita Hulme (Wanders) also have follow up meetings with SBS Scripted and Online, organised by Brennan Wrenn. The emerging producers of the two documentary projects, Therese Chen (Femme Fatales)and Nilendra Fonseka (1996: The Greatest Underdog Story Never Told) have follow up meetings with Nicky Ruscoe at ABC, while Lisa Duff will take a meeting with emerging producers Dulce Aguilar and Angela Pezzano for their drama feature (Who Knew).
“It was a privilege to be a judge of the Produce Perfect Pitches. The central theme of all of the stories was the rich cultural diversity of life in Western Sydney demonstrated through the predominantly personal stories and experiences of passionate and creative teams. Not only did the night offer a window into the lives of a culturally diverse group of creative film makers, it was a chance to engage with the characters and experiences of Australian stories that are seldom told, from tales of an African-Australian hairdressing salon to a Pacific Islander ghost story set in an aged care facility. Whilst some were in early stages of development, the pitches showcased the potential of what Western Sydney has to offer to a vibrant and culturally diverse Australian film and television industry.”
– Lisa Duff, Investment Manager, Screen Australia
Keep your eyes peeled for these faces, you may just see their series on your screens in the near future!
Words: Barry Gamba
Read more about Produce Perfect 2018 here: https://ice.org.au/project/produce-perfect-2018/