Twelve female creators will attend a four-day intensive workshop hosted by Bunya Productions, and taught by internationally renowned US writer/producer Raelle Tucker (Sacred Lies, True Blood) and Canadian director Jeremy Podeswa (Game of Thrones, The Handmaid’s Tale). The Engendered Masterclass will run 17-20 December and provide participants with the extraordinary opportunity to workshop one of their active projects directly with Tucker and Podeswa.
The Masterclass was financed as part of the $1.882 million in Brilliant Careers funding dispersed to 13 organisations to deliver business and skills-growth opportunities for Australian female creators.
Greer Simpkin is a Producer and the Head of Television at Bunya Productions and is running the Engendered program. Bunya Productions have just come off an incredible year where they managed to take out both the Best Film (Sweet Country) and the Best Drama Series (Mystery Road) at the AACTA Awards, in addition to a swathe of international accolades and sales for both titles.
“Genre is what is really cutting through on TV at the moment, so the Engendered Masterclass funded by Screen Australia represents a tremendous opportunity for female creators,” said Greer Simpkin. “Jeremy and Raelle are masters of delivering premium genre, and furthermore when you think of the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale and Sacred Lies, they have made dramas that have proven the creative and commercial worth of female-led storytelling.”
“The 12 Australian creators selected for the Engendered Masterclass are at the point of their career when they are ready to be inspired by the best, so they can quickly take advantage of this time in our industry where the demand for new voices and new perspectives is unprecedented.”
The recipients are:
- Niki Aken: A prolific writer for television, Aken has worked on ANZAC Girls, Janet King and Underbelly: Badness. Aken script-produced Foxtel’s forthcoming dramedy Upright, and co-wrote SBS’ new drama The Hunt.
- Huna Amweero and Taylor Litton-Strain: Producer of hit web series Jade of Death, Litton-Strain is joined by the writer of season two Amweero. Litton-Strain was named as a 2018 One’s to Watch by Screen Producers Australia. Amweero is currently working on Del Kathryn Barton’s drama Puff.
- Corrie Chen and Michelle Law: This creative team have been working together since 2011, most recently as the co-creator (Law) and director (Chen) of SBS On Demand comedy Homecoming Queens. Chen directed on Mustangs FC and Sisters. Law wrote for Get Krack!n season two.
- Rebecca Ingram and Michele Lee: Created by Ingram and co-written with Lee, Secret Threads was a Dame Changer: Mentor to Market finalist this year. Lee has an extensive career writing for the theatre, whilst Ingram’s crime thriller Dog Box was an AWG Prime Time finalist.
- Jub Clerc: Clerc is a writer/director of both drama and documentary, including having been one of the directors of The Turning. She started her career in theatre, having been an original cast member of Bran Nue Dae, and went on to write her own works including The Fever and the Fret. Clerc currently has a feature in development with Arenamedia.
- Margaret Morgan: Having written on some of Australia’s most beloved dramas including Water Rats and GP, Morgan is now a best-selling novelist. The Australian deemed her debut novel The Second Cure released this year as “absorbing, enjoyable and thought-provoking.”
- Jen Peedom: BAFTA-nominee Peedom is one of Australia’s most celebrated documentary makers, behind the hits Sherpa and Mountain. Peedom is workshopping her first foray into drama.
- Eliza Reilly and Hannah Reilly: The sister creative duo behind comedy Sheilas and documentary series Growing Up Gracefully, the Reillys are some of Australia’s most sought-after new talents.
Of their selection, Eliza and Hannah said, “We’re so lucky to be able to learn from the best as a part of Screen Australia’s mission to empower women in television. We’ve always wanted to have an excuse to hang out with incredible lady storytellers in the Kangaroo Valley and gosh darn it Bunya Productions have delivered!”
Screen Australia’s Head of Development Nerida Moore added, “We are thrilled that Gender Matters continues to provide real-world career experiences for female creators, to help get their stories onto the screen. As flagged earlier this year when we released our Gender Matters KPI tracking data, we are seeing signs of improvement in the utilisation of female talent, but sustained change will take a sustained effort from the industry as a whole.”
A backgrounder on Gender Matters can be found here