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Adg's Kingston Anderson on the price of Australia's brain drain

  • IF.com.au
Adg CEO Kingston Anderson..

Just as films like Lion and TV series such as Rake, The Kettering Incident, Top of the Lake and Cleverman are commanding the attention of the world, the Australian screen industry is in danger of losing its greatest set of assets — our directors.

Australian film and television directors are fleeing to Hollywood in ever-greater numbers; some of them vowing never to return. While their talent is applauded around the world, here at home our directors are battling for the respect and remuneration they deserve.

Late last year it was revealed that the television production company behind the remake of the iconic Australian story Picnic at Hanging Rock had decided to use a Canadian director for the series. When challenged by the Australian Directors Guild (Adg) about why this occurred, the producers said they could not find a suitable Australian candidate. This slap in the face to
See full article at IF.com.au »

Doc About “Muriel’s Wedding” Musical in the Works from Nel Minchin

“Muriel’s Wedding”

Somebody break out the Abba records. “Making Muriel,” a documentary following director P.J. Hogan as he adapts his beloved cult film “Muriel’s Wedding” into a musical, is headed our way. Screen Australia reports that Nel Minchin has signed on to direct and produce the project.

The 1994 film “Muriel’s Wedding” follows Muriel Heslop (Toni Collette), an eternal optimist whose two main passions are Abba and weddings. The only problem? Muriel is much more interested in getting married than she is in actual marriage. But her priorities begin to change when she meets the outgoing, sex positive Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths).

Minchin’s “Making Muriel” will “examine the enduring popularity of ‘Muriel’s Wedding,’ the origins of the story and characters, and how — 23 years after becoming a surprise box office hit — the uniquely Australian female protagonist Muriel Heslop will be reinterpreted for the stage,” the source writes.

Hogan wrote the book for “Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical.” The stage production will feature original music and lyrics from Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttal as well the classic Abba songs that anchored the film. Simon Phillips (“Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical”) is directing.

“Making Muriel” will feature archival footage and interviews with Hogan, the film’s producers Jocelyn Moorhouse (“The Dressmaker”) and Lynda House (“Ned Kelly”), and the musical cast. Additionally, it will depict the “full creative process” of making the musical up until its world premiere in Sydney this November.

ABC and Screen Australia are funding “Making Muriel.” “Hitting Home” collaborators Ivan O’Mahoney and Nial Fulton will produce and exec produce, respectively. ABC plans to air the doc in late 2017.

“‘Muriel’s Wedding’ is a quintessentially Australian story that launched the careers of Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, P.J. Hogan, and Jocelyn Moorhouse, and gifted us with countless one-liners that have become embedded in our cultural lexicon,” Liz Stevens, Senior Manager Documentary at Screen Australia, said in a statement. “Supporting Nel Minchin to make her solo-directing debut was a no-brainer for us and we know audiences will cherish the opportunity to reconnect with this classic story all over again.”

Minchin previously helmed “Matilda & Me” with Rhian Skirving. The 2016 doc follows lyricist Tim Minchin during rehearsals for “Matilda: The Musical.”

Doc About “Muriel’s Wedding” Musical in the Works from Nel Minchin 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 »

Tim Minchin's Outback animation 'Larrikins' cancelled at Dreamworks

Tim Minchin in last year's 'Matilda and Me'.

On March 5, a fresh post on Tim Minchin.s blog offered an ominous introduction to the man himself:.

.Composer and lyricist of musicals Groundhog Day and Matilda, Tim is also a pianist, singer, comedian, actor, and — until 2 days ago — a director..

In a personal message, Minchin went on: .I.ve recently been working in three different continents, missing my kids a lot, sleeping too little and not playing piano enough. And then a couple of days ago, the animated film to which I.ve dedicated the last four years of my life was shut down by the new studio execs..

That film was Larrikins, the outback-set feature Minchin joined as composer and lyricist in 2013 after sparking to a script from Harry Cripps (Paws, The Magic Pudding)..

The film.s icing comes in the wake of layoffs at Dreamworks, which was bought
See full article at IF.com.au »

Wift Nsw and Adg stage joint protest outside Fremantle's Sydney office

. Criticism over the hire of a Canadian director to shoot the.Picnic at Hanging Rock mini continues to mount, with Wift Nsw and the Adg staging a joint protest in front of Fremantle Media.s office in Sydney today. . Adg first levelled criticisms over Fremantle's decision to hire Canadian director Larysa Kondracki last week, with CEO Kingston Anderson stating.that Australian directors were .amazed and astonished at the choice of a foreign director to work on a classic.". . Kondracki, whose credits include The Whistleblower and eps of Better Call Saul, The Americans and Rogue, will shoot half of the series alongside Aussie Michael Rymer. . The guild has disputed that Kondracki.s 420 visa met the required Net Employment Test and said it understood no female television directors currently working in Australia were approached. . Today's protesters sat on a picnic rug in front of FremantleMedia's office, dressed in white period dresses and
See full article at IF.com.au »

The Lrm Interview: Teresa Palmer on Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge

When filmmaker Mel Gibson decided to tell the World War II story of Desmond Doss, a brave soldier who saved 75 of his company at the battle of Hacksaw Ridge in Okinawa, Japan, he made the choice to return home to Australia to do it. In doing so, he also ended up hiring some of Australia’s finest talent, including Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths.

Another one of the film’s Australian cast is actress Teresa Palmer, who was able to break into Hollywood earlier in her career with roles in Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the young adult films I Am Number Four and Warm Bodies.

In Hacksaw Ridge, she plays Dorothy Schutte, the eventual wife of Andrew Garfield’s Desmond Doss. She’s a nurse Desmond meets and falls for, and whose work inspires him to go to war as a combat medic, while sticking to his
See full article at LRM Online »

Foxtel green lights Picnic at Hanging Rock series

  • IF.com.au
Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

Foxtel has commissioned what it has called a .trailblazing re-imagining. of Picnic at Hanging Rock as a TV series.

Like Peter Weir's classic film, the six-part drama will be based on the 1967 novel by Joan Lindsay, following the mysterious disappearances of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine.s Day 1900 and the far-reaching aftermath.

FremantleMedia Australia is set to produce, with funding secured through Screen Australia.

Foxtel head of drama Penny Win said Foxtel was .very proud. to bring the series to viewers.

.Like many others, I am a fan of the 1975 Australian film which was pivotal in establishing the modern Australian film industry. This series, based on the classic novel, will take viewers on a new and in depth journey into this incredibly iconic Australian story.

.Our aim is to provide a rich and diverse slate of Australian drama for our
See full article at IF.com.au »

Foxtel's Penny Win on what she's commissioning and Wentworth s5

Penny Win.

As commissioning editor of Drama for Foxtel Networks, Penny Win developed hits like Wentworth, now Foxtel.s longest running drama. Elevated to Head of Drama in 2014, Win now oversees the entire slate, including this year.s much-hyped The Kettering Incident. If catches up with her to talk about the state of Aussie TV and what she.s got in development.

The general quality of Aussie TV drama seems a lot better than it was ten years ago. Why?

First off, television.s cyclical. Ten years ago drama was over and reality was king and people were weeping into their cups. And then comedy was dead a while ago and that came back. The truth of it is that television.s changed so much in the last ten years and even five years. Even the last twelve months. There.s a lot more scripted drama because there.s a
See full article at IF.com.au »

CEO Neil Peplow on Aftrs' remit and the return of discipline-specific MAs

Aftrs CEO Neil Peplow.

Aftrs' new five-year strategy was shaped by what the school calls the most comprehensive and up-to-date national industry skills survey ever undertaken. The report was supplied by Screen Audience Research Australia (Sara) who undertook nationwide research, consulting with more than 500 Australian practitioners.

The survey found skills gaps in the areas of screen business, new technologies, and script coverage, among others. Sara CEO Peter Drinkwater pointed out that "the industry is rapidly changing: tighter budgets and greater time pressures mean less acceptance of failure. The role of training is therefore paramount, with 90 percent of the industry wanting access to more training opportunities in the future..

On the eve of the report's unveiling earlier this month, If sat down with Aftrs CEO Neil Peplow to discuss the school.s five year strategic plan and its focus on outreach, talent development and industry training.

Coming in to Aftrs around nine months ago,
See full article at IF.com.au »

If talks to the director, producer and star of Tiff-bound oater Goldstone

  • IF.com.au
Jacki Weaver and Ivan Sen on the Goldstone set.

Ivan Sen.s.Goldstone opened the 2016 Sydney Film Festival before Transmisison released it nationally on July 7, and will make its international premiere at Tiff next month.

The film reunites Sen and his longtime producing partner David Jowsey with actor Aaron Pederson, who reprises the role of Outback detective Jay Swan, first seen in Sen.s 2013 feature Mystery Road.

.He.s a guy from an Indigenous background who.s defending and upholding white law, which has been in conflict with the white establishment for such a long time,. says Sen.

.He.s very divisive, no matter where he goes. He.s loaded with all kinds of political, social connotations. The situations you could put him in and have something quite deep and meaningful come out [of] his experiences are endless..

Goldstone revisits Swan after the loss of his daughter, whose death occurred at
See full article at IF.com.au »

Bryan Brown leads Kriv Stenders' Australia Day, shooting Aug 22 in Brisbane

Kriv Stenders.

Kriv Stenders is set to direct new feature Australia Day, produced by Foxtel and Hoodlum, led by Bryan Brown and written by Stephen M. Irwin (Secrets & Lies).

Due to start shooting in Brisbane on August 22, the film will also star Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires, The Gods of Wheat Street), Sean Keenan (Lockie Leonard, Glitch), Matthew Le Nevez (The Kettering Incident, Offspring), Jenny Wu, Daniel Webber, Elias Anton, Isabelle Cornish and Phoenix Raei..

Speaking to If, Foxtel's Head of Drama Penny Win described the feature, set in Brisbane over 12 hours, as "the other side of Australia Day".

"It.s been with us for two or three years, long before the current topical discussion of racism in Australia. It.s showing Australia Day from the other side. It.s about an Australian farmer, a Chinese illegal immigrant, a Persian family and an Indigenous girl. The structure of it is very like [2004 Oscar winner] Crash.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Screen Australia allocates over $1.4 million to four documentary projects

Media Stockade's 2015 documentary The Surgery Ship.

Screen Australia has allocated more than $1.4 million to four projects under its Documentary Broadcast Program..

.We.re really pleased to support this strong slate of projects from high quality Australian story tellers,. said Screen Australia's Senior Manager for Documentary Liz Stevens.

.Most of these documentaries come with solid international finance attached which gives both Australian and international audiences a chance to broaden their understanding of the world through this diverse group of programs..

Funded projects include Media Stockade.s The Surgery Ship Series, an eight-parter for National Geographic and Sbs, based on Media Stockade founder Madeleine Hetherton's 2015 doc The Surgery Ship.

Also for National Geographic is Jade.s Quest from Jade Productions and executive producer Daryl Talbot, a journey to the top of the world with a 14-year-old who sets out to inspire young girls to chase their dreams.

Northern Pictures. Outback is
See full article at IF.com.au »

Colin Friels joins Jessica Mauboy in The Secret Daughter as filming begins

Jessica Mauboy.

Channel Seven's The Secret Daughter, starring Jessica Mauboy, has begun filming in Sydney and country Nsw.

Mauboy leads the cast as Billie Carter, a part-time country pub singer whose life changes forever after a chance meeting with wealthy city hotelier Jack Norton, played by Colin Friels.

The drama will also star Bonnie Sveen (Home and Away), Matthew Levett (A Place To Call Home, Devil.s Playground), David Field (Catching Milat, No Activity), Rachel Gordon (Winter, The Moodys, Blue Heelers), Salvatore Coco (The Principal, Catching Milat) and Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons, The Shannara Chronicles).

Supporting cast members include former Miss World Australia Erin Holland, Jr Reyne (Neighbours), Libby Asciak (Here Come The Habibs), Johnny Boxer (Fat Pizza vs Housos), Terry Serio (Janet King), Waapa graduate Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Jeremy Ambrum (Cleverman, Mabo) and Amanda Muggleton (City Homicide, Prisoner).

.Seven is the home of Australian drama and we.re immensely
See full article at IF.com.au »

Harry Cripps on writing Larrikins for Tim Minchin and Dreamworks

At Screen Australia's Family Film Forum at Sydney's Uts, screenwriter Harry Cripps discussed writing feature animation Larrikins for Dreamworks.

The studio was looking for an Australian story - to do for Australia what Kung Fu Panda.had done for China, according to Cripps.

The scribe came onboard after six of his pilot scipts for the American marketplace had gone nowhere.

Cripps started work on Larrikins in 2011. The film's third in-progress screening will take place in June, and the finished product will be released in 2018.

In the video above, he talks about his writing approach, his early experiences in the Australian film industry on features such as Paws, and the pitching system that exists in the American system - which has "nothing to do with how good a writer you are".

Cripps discusses his work on Kung Fu Panda 3, which was brief and left him in tears, and teases what we can expect in Larrikins.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Essie Davis in the running for Gold Logie as the ABC rack up record nominations

Essie Davis as.Miss Fisher.

ABC TV has received a record thirty-three nominations — the most of any network — for this year.s Logie Awards, to be held May 8.

Essie Davis, star of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, is in the running for big prize, the Gold Logie.

Davis is also nominated for the Best Actress and Most Outstanding Actress awards.

The Doctor Blake Mysteries star Craig McLachlan is up against Please Like Me's Josh Thomas for the Best Actor award.

Other ABC acting nominees include Patrick Brammall (Glitch), Sarah Snook (The Beautiful Lie), Deborah Mailman (Redfern Now: Promise Me), Tim Minchin (The Secret River), Emily Barclay (Glitch) and Rarriwuy Hick (Redfern Now: Promise Me).

In the entertainment and comedy categories, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, Utopia, Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell, Please Like Me and Gruen all picked up nominations..

Sarah Ferguson's Hitting Home and The Killing Season will
See full article at IF.com.au »

Breath producer on Simon Baker tears and Tim Winton's "extraordinary" novel

Producer Mark Johnson.

American producer Mark Johnson.has landed in Wa and is in the thick of pre-production on the film adaptation of Tim Winton's Breath, to be directed by Simon Baker.

"I've now done three films in Australia - one on the Gold Coast, one in Cairns and one in Melbourne, but I'd never been to Western Australia, and I actually got to know it through the works of Tim Winton", Johnson said..

"Winton describes it with such love and respect and is so protective of the land that I felt like I had already known it"..

The vast majority of the shoot will take place in the coastal town of Denmark, which Johnson is "in awe of", and the producer is already excited about the communal atmosphere.

"I have to say, and it's been a long time since I've experienced this - the entire town is behind this film.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Breath producer on Simon Baker tears and Tim Winton's

Producer Mark Johnson.

American producer Mark Johnson.has landed in Wa and is in the thick of pre-production on the film adaptation of Tim Winton's Breath, to be directed by Simon Baker.

"I've now done three films in Australia - one on the Gold Coast, one in Cairns and one in Melbourne, but I'd never been to Western Australia, and I actually got to know it through the works of Tim Winton", Johnson said..

"Winton describes it with such love and respect and is so protective of the land that I felt like I had already known it"..

The vast majority of the shoot will take place in the coastal town of Denmark, which Johnson is "in awe of", and the producer is already excited about the communal atmosphere.

"I have to say, and it's been a long time since I've experienced this - the entire town is behind this film.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Breath producer on Simon Baker tears and Tim Winton's "extraordinary" book

Producer Mark Johnson.

American producer Mark Johnson.has landed in Wa and is in the thick of pre-production on the film adaptation of Tim Winton's Breath, to be directed by Simon Baker.

"I've now done three films in Australia - one on the Gold Coast, one in Cairns and one in Melbourne, but I'd never been to Western Australia, and I actually got to know it through the works of Tim Winton", Johnson said..

"Winton describes it with such love and respect and is so protective of the land that I felt like I had already known it"..

The vast majority of the shoot will take place in the coastal town of Denmark, which Johnson is "in awe of", and the producer is already excited about the communal atmosphere.

"I have to say, and it's been a long time since I've experienced this - the entire town is behind this film.
See full article at IF.com.au »

Mark Coles Smith heads to Cannes in Genna Chanelle Hayes short Wurinyan

Rising stars Mark Coles Smith and Genna Hayes will screen their short film, Wurinyan, as part of Cannes' Festival Corner..

Shot entirely in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, the short, which runs at 34 minutes, also stars Christine Anu, Rarriwuy Hick and Peter Mochrie.

Wurinyan was directed by Hayes, executive produced by John McGrath and Paul Ralph and shot by Dop Rupert Brown.

Hayes, who has just returned from South America after starring in Venezuelan thriller Infection, said she was excited to share this Australian story with an international audience..

.This was a passion project for many of us involved, and to access a global audience at the most prestigious film festival in the world and spread awareness about these issues is incredible,. she said..

Last Cab to Darwin's Coles Smith said he was drawn to the project "as it not only raises awareness about important social issues, but also offers hope
See full article at IF.com.au »

Damien Power talks debut feature Killing Ground

Aaron Glenane and Aaron Pedersen in Killing Ground.

Writer-director Damien Power describes the writing process on his thriller, Killing Ground, in one word: "long".

"I was working with producer Joe Weatherstone on another script. With that project we went to the then-afc's IndiVision lab, which was a workshop for low-budget features: a million or less. It's a workshop so we kind of pulled it apart, and I don't think we ever really put those pieces back together again"..

"But while I was in that process I had an idea for something that I thought we could make quickly and cheaply. And then eight years later, I got to make it" (laughs)..

Power's debut feature stars Aaron Pedersen, Harriet Dyer, Ian Meadows, Aaron Glenane, Maya Strange, and Tiarnie Coupland, and was inspired by an image that floated into the filmmaker's head: of an orange tent in the bush, abandoned.

The production
See full article at IF.com.au »

ABC's iview takes top spot in free-to-air streaming for 2015

ABC iview has maintained its pole position as the most used free-to-air internet TV site in 2015..

ABC iview hit a new record in November with more than 40 million program plays (which is more than double the program plays from the same time last year) and had over 2 million visitors to its site and apps each month.

Total ABC prime-time share was stable year-on-year at 14.3 per cent, and ABC TV remained the leading daytime network, according to a company statement.

The ABC Kids iview app, launched in March, had over half a million downloads.

ABC Television director, Richard Finlayson, said the national broadcaster went into the year acknowledging that audience viewing habits were shifting..

"We had to reflect this in our programming, delivery platforms and the way in which we reported on audiences, and I.m delighted with the results on all fronts,. he said.

.Our success is testament to the
See full article at IF.com.au »
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