From July 26 – 28, screen makers from across Australia gathered at Adelaide’s iconic Mercury Cinema for the 2019 Screen Makers Conference (SMC) and Screen Makers Lab.

ABC iview and the Media Resource Centre’s initiative Pitch-o-rama saw Anna Lindner winning the $10,000 prize to support the development of her project ‘The Dash’ while also receiving assistance from an ABC TV commissioning team to help progress the idea. The Dash follows the daily lives of two friends working for a quiet suburban funeral home. The monotony of adult life and collecting the dead leads them to playing CSI style detectives determined to solve the mystery surrounding each death.

SAFC CEO, Courtney Gibson, announced that the SAFC would contribute an additional $5,000 for development funding to be split between two SA projects. $2,500 was awarded to Tommy Eyers for ‘ExParentment’ and Nelya Valamanesh for ‘Five Rules to Being a F*ckgurl’.

The sold-out Screen Makers Conference saw a number of panels discussing some of the biggest issues and opportunities in the industry today. The conference was highlighted by an in conversation with Mortal Kombat Producer, E. Bennett Walsh who spoke with Head of Production, Development, Attraction and Studios at South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Amanda Duthie, ahead of the largest film production in SA’s history. Gaelle Mellis, Alistair Baldwin, Courtney Gibson and Fiona Tuomy discussed the importance of not using disability as a metaphor, while Dan Thorsland, Anna Hodge, Justin Wight, Marty Pepper and Anton Andreacchio explored the opportunities arising in the digital economy through VFX, games, VR and AR.

The new day and initiative, the Screen Makers Lab on July 28 saw emerging screen makers gather to learn the fine art of creating and developing a studio-based entertainment show. Attendees heard from some of the biggest names in television with representatives from ABC, SBS, Nine Network, Fremantle, CJZ and more presenting.

Opened by South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall with the Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni also in attendance, the Screen Makers Conference began on a particularly positive note with the announcement of new funding, from the South Australian Government’s Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund (RCSF). These funds will help ensure the Screen Makers Conference future until 2021, as well as the introduction of deep dive labs.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is proud to have provided $255,000 to secure the Screen Makers Conference here in South Australia for the next three years so it can continue to grow this state’s reputation in the Australian screen and creative industries. The Premier and I look forward to seeing the Screen Makers Conference go from strength to strength in coming years,” said Minister Pisoni.

Media Resource Centre Director, Gail Kovatseff was extremely proud to expand the conference and further cement its status as the key Australian event for emerging creatives.

“Overall this has been our most successful and largest conference to date, hosting the in-conversation with E. Bennett Walsh. Expanding the conference to an extra day for the Screen Makers Lab has been a rewarding experience, not only for our team but for every emerging creator who can learn and benefit from these new opportunities. It’s an exciting time for Adelaide’s screen industry and we’re thrilled to help guide the way for future leading practitioners. We are particularly grateful to the SA Government’s for investing in the conference in recognition of its value to the national screen sector’s ecology, and as an event, which is attracting 40% of its delegates from interstate,” said Gail Kovatseff.

The ongoing work of the Media Resource Centre is made possible by support of the South Australian Film Corporation.

Author: Against the Grane Publicity