ONES TO WATCH 2017

Ones To Watch is a mentor program for emerging producers from around Australia who create content for big and small screens.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

We match each successful Ones To Watch participant with a leading, experienced screen industry producer, who provides expert one-on-one mentoring and career guidance.

This year's successful Ones To Watch applicants are:

Abi is currently working as a Development Executive at Midwinter Films. She is co-producing The Butterfly Tree, which will premiere at Melbourne International Film Festival in August of 2017. Prior to that, she worked as a digital producer at The Project Factory with clients including Channel 7, Sherlock: The Network, and Home and Away.

With over 20 years experience in entertainment, working in technical production, Abi’s career has spanned theatre, events, television commercials, television shows and feature films. She spent a number of years working in operations and business development, with clients including The Wolverine, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here, Where the Wild Things Are and Gods of Egypt. 

Abi holds a Masters in Screen Arts and Business, a Graduate Diploma in Producing from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and an honours degree from Victorian College of the Arts in Creative Arts. Abi’s research work has been published in Lumina and The Conversation. 

Ann Megalla is an emerging Producer, Director, and Writer for documentary and factual storytelling across film, television and multimedia platforms.

Ann has spent her formative years in television as a senior promotions producer for several broadcasters in Australia and UK including ABCTV, The National Geographic Channel, BBC UKTV (AUS) and ITV (UK). She received numerous PROMAX/BDA awards for her work.

Ann’s passion for documentary emphasizes her aspiration to tell real stories that portray the resilience of the human spirit for positive change.

Currently Ann is producing & directing her debut feature documentary NO TURNING BACKwith development funding from Screen Queensland. The documentary captures the stories and experience of forced migration and community outreach told through women’s voice.

Integrating her passion for travel and storytelling, Ann relocated to Lebanon with her family in 2012. In Beirut she produced a participatory multimedia project and exhibition LENS ON LIFE IN LEBANONaddressing social issues facing economic migrants and modern day slavery.

Subsequently in 2014, Ann produced, wrote, directed and edited an arts documentary web series RAFIK MAJZOUB MEMOIRS OF A SCREWprofiling the acclaimed Jordanian-Lebanese underground artist. Having gained wide attention online the series is set for release on the web festival circuit.

Ann is first gen Australian – Egyptian passionate about developing content that taps into subcultures with a vision to bring richness and diversity to our screens.

 

As an entrepreneur and creative leader Ben is known to ‘make things happen’ in the creative industry and produce content from the ground up. In 2014 Ben was a Producer on Arrowhead, an ambitious sci-fi that won best feature film at the SciFi Festival in 2015 as well as the AWG John Hinde Award for Best Sci-fi Feature. Ben has produced hours of content including 3 feature documentaries, 3 Television one-off dramas for Channel 7 and his film The Hustle was a 2013 Tropfest Finalist. Ben has a great talent for building creative teams with scarce resources yet a proven record of delivering great results. Ben completed his Masters & Postgraduate degree in Screen Business and Producing with AFTRS. He is a member of Screen Producers Australia and a driving force behind Indimax Productions.

Drew Macdonald is a filmmaker whose work crosses over from genre film and television to documentary. In 2016, he produced The Wanderers for ABC iview and was awarded a Screen Queensland business placement with the Emmy award-winning Hoodlum Entertainment; where he developed a one-hour drama series. He has also Associate Produced the AACTA award-winning feature documentary, Only The Dead, and completed a directing mentorship with Peter and Michael Spierig on Predestination. He has written, produced, and directed a number of award-winning short films, music videos, and online content and is currently focused on expanding a slate of feature and television projects. 

Georgina Isles has worked continuously in the film and television industry since 2004. Georgina worked for Western Australia’s Great Western Entertainment, rising quickly through the ranks to production coordinator and providing assistance to the producer in television development. Georgina produced her first short film in 2008 and began coordinating feature films while continuing to work in development on her own project and for other producers. After a stint on Neighbours, Georgina returned to WA to work as Production Manager on a number of high profile projects (Breath, OtherLife, Looking For Grace). Concurrently she has produced a number of award-winning shorts that have played festivals internationally and across Australia. In 2015, Georgina was selected as one of WA’s top emerging producers and subsequently supported to attend the Marche du Film in Cannes. Georgina has a variety of projects on her development slate, including features; television comedy; and documentary, all of which explore issues and ideas relevant to the current socio-political climate. A passionate advocate for diversity and gender equality on screen and across the screen industry, Georgina was recently elected president of the new Western Australian chapter of WIFT.

Hawanatu Bangura is an Afro-Australian writer, director and producer. Through the years Hawanatu has developed an impeccable eye for storytelling, which has excelled her filmmaking craft. Hawanatu has written and directed six short films in various genres including dance, experimental, drama, documentary, and animation. Her films have been screened both in Australia and internationally at film festivals including Legacy Film Festival (United Kingdom), Shaan-E-Awadh International Film Festival (India), Adelaide Kids Film Festival, African Film festival Australia and International Pan African Film Festival (Cannes). Her film Money Tree a short animation about a boy who wants to become rich by planting a stolen coin was nominated for best animation at Montreal International Black Film Festival (Canada).

Hawanatu’s films are driven by her values, so themes of social justice, empowerment, identity, peace, hope and wisdom are strong throughout her work. The stories in her films are universal, resonating with audiences far and wide. Hawanatu is passionate about using her films as a platform to raise consciousness about social issues, and giving a voice to the voiceless while empowering them to stand strong in society. 

When Joel was younger, his parents used to tell him not to watch so many movies. His response: “I’m researching for my career”. As it turns out, he was telling the truth. Cut to many years later, and Joel is now an award winning producer, writer and director with a passion for making ambitious projects that inspire the imagination and resonate with audiences emotionally.

Based in both Melbourne and Sydney, Joel comes from a background in advertising and production and his work as a freelance producer/director has seen him create content for brands such as BUPA, Australia Post and RACV. Joel recently graduated from a Masters of Communication at RMIT, finishing with honours, and has also had training through a number of Industry initiatives, including a Film Victoria funded attachment with the late oscar winning director Anthony Minghella on his civil war epic Cold Mountain. 

Joel moves between producing, directing and creating and this versatility is reflected through a breadth of experience in both film and television. He directed on Season 3 of the kids TV show ‘The Saddle Club’ and was also a producer’s attachment. More recently, Joel was background director and producer’s assistant on the Sony feature film Spin Out. He has also made a host of diverse, high-end short films that have screened both locally and worldwide, from the large-scale kids adventure film ‘Gravediggers’ to the Tropfest finalist film Here Today. His Raw Nerve finalist film, Dinner for Three, screened on the ABC and Joel has just completed his latest short film, Rehab, with producer Ben Whimpey and Indimax productions. Ben and Joel are currently working on a few new projects together, one of which is a high-end web-series based on Joel’s Hp and Genero.com Future Finalist short-film, the sci-fi drama Processed. 

Joel is currently the creative director at Sherpa Projects, a digital production outfit and sister company to TVC production house SO Productions. He also runs his own company, Screen Invaders, and is developing a slate of exciting projects for film, TV and on-line platforms. 

Jonathon has been in the storytelling game since he was fourteen; twenty years on he’s an experienced story and communications consultant, producer, director and business owner/manager.

Starting out as an actor, Jonathon worked on a number of TV shows and stage productions in both Australia and the UK before completing a Film Victoria funded Directors Attachment on Neighbours in 2009.

He has since directed over sixty episodes of Neighbours, as well as a number of short film, online, advertising and documentary projects. This has included a number of scripted and/or factual education and social advocacy pieces, which has culminated in a particular interest in stories that have, well, something to say.

Jonathon currently owns and operates Crankyfish, a strategic communications and content production company, which also develops and produces original screen projects.

Jonathon’s recent producing credits include the Screen Australia funded web series Footballer Wants A Wife, a comedy exploring the fabricated and absurd world of reality TV; Belong, a factual short film exploring the lives of two disadvantaged young people; and How do You Talk To Yourself, a scripted short exploring the effects of negative self-talk.

Additionally, Jonathon recently initiated a development and mentorship program with the Victorian College of the Arts. In it, he identifies a screenwriting graduate film and television project that has aligned values to develop into… A real life boy.

Joshua Gilbert is a West Australian producer currently working with Beyond West, the WA arm of the Beyond International group. He is the Producer on the NITV and AFL Media funded multi platform documentary series A Team of Champions. His latest short film We Were Here is a winner of four 2016 WA Screen Awards including Best Short Drama and Best Direction. In 2015 after a brief stint in the remote town of Karratha to work on Red Dog: True Blue he travelled to Los Angeles to intern with Arclight Films at the American Film Market. In early 2014, Joshua took up a position at the state funding body Screenwest where he provided support to and administered the Drama and Documentary Production Investment funds. Joshua has contributed to the production of documentaries for SBS, Nine Network, National Geographic, Channel 7, NITV and PBS. Joshua graduated with a Bachelor of Business and a Masters of Professional Communications from the WA Screen Academy in 2012 and was the recipient of the schools Outstanding Achievement in Producing Award. Joshua is a founding member of Gamechangers Collective, a group of passionate individuals who have formed to represent and celebrate the vibrant culture of developing and mid-career filmmakers in WA. You will always find Joshua wearing a suit, a three piece during the week and a wetsuit on the weekends.

Kate Paul is a dedicated and enthusiastic Creative Producer based out of Brisbane, Queensland. Kate has a keen interest in writing and developing fresh content that resonates with audiences across the globe under her independent production arm, KP Production.

Recently Kate has delivered her first factual series Am I Perfect? to UK Distributor, Passion Distribution. The 6-part social experiment series is an entertaining yet heart-wrenching take on the pressures women are subjected to by the media to look a certain way.

Currently Kate is working on a factual format series she has written and developed for the ABC and Screen Queensland to be delivered at the end of they year. 

Kate has worked alongside award-winning Producers at Seven Network, Essential Media & Entertainment and currently, WildBear Entertainment; where she has developed a skillset capable of developing/selling interesting concepts right through to delivery.

Predominately working within Factual Entertainment, Kate is now developing content both in and outside of that genre.

Michael O'Neill is a multi-disciplinary filmmaker from Tasmania, Australia. He has a passion for character driven stories and creates both original and commissioned content for the screen as a producer and director.

Michael has an Advanced Diploma in Producing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (2015) and has since developed his craft through travelling the world. In 2014 Michael's short film 'No Good Deed' won the Sony Europe PROduction Awards and the film was subsequently selected to screen at Somerset House, London, as part of the Sony Global Photography Awards. In 2016 Michael created ‘MVISUALS’ a production company through which he produces branded screen content for a variety of commercial clients. Notably having produced multiple national TV campaigns and worked with clients across Australia, Europe, India and the USA. In the same year Michael was an Associate Producer on Episode 3 of the ABC documentary series 'The Wanderers'.

Michael’s most recent project was the multi-platform comedy series 'Australia's Best Street Racer’, created as part of Screen Australia and Screen Tasmania's #ComedyConcentrate initiative. On which he served as Producer, Co Director and Co Writer alongside comedian Dylan Hesp. Michael has a follow up series currently in development, a co production with One Stone Pictures titled‘Big Fish’.

Nicole Miller is an Adelaide-based producer and director, with an interest spanning across all areas of the filmmaking process. Since graduating from Flinders University in 2012, Nicole has worked at 57 Films across a range of corporate promotional campaigns and content, television commercials and factual creative projects.

In 2016, Nicole produced/directed The AFL Show for the Port Adelaide Football Club, a 25-episode series introducing football to a Chinese audience, which broadcast on CCTV5+ to audiences across China. Nicole also produced/directed the pilot program Power Dreaming, exploring the power of football, the programs run by the PAFC, education and role models in driving a positive change for Indigenous youth in Australia, which aired locally on Channel 7.

Nicole was recently selected for the Access@AIDC Internship to undergo a 4-week paid internship with Pulse Films in London where she worked across a number of projects in development.

Currently, Nicole is working as associate producer for Series 2 of Chef Exchange (QTV, CCTV), recently completing the first block of shooting in China and is in development on a factual television series in development with the South Australian Film Corporation. Outside of factual, she has a strong interest in narrative storytelling and comedy and is involved in the Comedy Incubator program, developing a pilot for Princess Pictures. 

Nicole seeks to continuously gain experience and improve her craft to be able to tell unique stories, across both factual and drama, that contribute to the landscape of Australian stories.

 

Paul Andersen is a creative producer with a passion for imaginative, ambitious screen stories.  

Paul produced the short comedy TRAGIC LOVE (dir. Gary Eck), which was awarded at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival.  He produced and directed the short psychological thriller THE VISITOR, which premiered at MIFF and won multiple awards at film festivals across the USA.  He also produced a short comedy IMAGINARY FRIEND in New York City, post-producing in Los Angeles and at Skywalker Ranch. 

In television, Paul produced and directed the first season of teen adventure-comedy series BERTRAM POPPINGSTOCK, which screened on ABC ME.  He also co-created a high-end drama series for Fremantlemedia Australia, currently in development.

Paul is the recipient of an Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for a short film he co-wrote and directed (DEPARTURE LOUNGE, social shorts best comedy).  He has also won an AWGIE for best original drama (NIGHT SWIMMING, ABC radio drama).  Paul is an alumni of MIFF’s Accelerator lab, and the prestigious éQuinoxe international project development lab. 

Prior to producing, Paul was founder and director of Launchpad, a film studio in Sydney that fostered a diverse production community with dozens of stage & screen professionals.  The studio also sponsored Popcorn Taxi, Queer Screen & the inaugural IF Awards. 

Paul is CEO of production company Script to Screen Pty Ltd, where he develops film and television with spectacle, thrills, and heart, for local and international audiences.  He welcomes collaborations with writers and fellow producers to deliver world-class genre and comedy.  www.scripttoscreen.com.au

Rebecca Ingram has worked in the Australian film industry in various creative production and office roles, where her first job was at Metro Screen supporting emerging filmmakers. Several years ago she moved into writing and developing cutting edge TV Series, where she attracted mainstream interest.

Her crime thriller ‘Dog Box’ was recently shortlisted for AWG’s prestigious ‘Prime Time TV Series’ competition and she was awarded the ADG’s Metro Screen Fellowship to take it to the Stowe Story Lab in the USA in September 2017. Rebecca recently received a Creative Producers Attachment from Screen NSW to work on ‘Every Cloud Production’ series ‘Deadlock‘ (ABC iView) which is currently in production.

Rebecca is currently in early development on several exciting and diverse TV and web series. She identifies as a creative producer by combining her distinct creative ideas with a strong vision forward.

 

Ross Howden is an Australian film producer with an extensive background in the film, television and digital media sectors concentrating on film sales, distribution and finance.  He has strong expertise in digital technology having worked in strategic planning and partnership roles within Foxtel and senior digital project management roles with Apple within the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ross has studied film overseas and at AFTRS where he completed a Diploma in Producing. This led to the production of a number of lower budget feature films. Following an exploratory period in Silicon Valley embracing virtual reality processes, Ross returned to Australia and created the VR Content Labs at Fox Studios and is now concentrating on longer form VR immersive content in addition to producing feature films and has an episodic TV series in development.

Sal Balharrie creates great work with great people. She grew up on a sheep farm and wrote stories in a peppercorn tree but it was at her first company, Blueboat, where as Creative Director, she lead teams to crystallise multiplatform, brand experience. As an author of books for kids and in writing and directing short films for commercial clients, the next logical step lead Sal to the VCA/Melbourne University and a Masters of Screenwriting. From here, Sal allowed herself to follow a dream and focus 24/7 on carving out a career, creating fresh and brilliant content for screen. That’s her story so far.

Today finds Sal Creative Producer, Writer, Director and founder of Naked Emperor. Currently Sal has a number of original concepts in development here in Australia, China, the UK and the US – from kids animation to the world of YA angst; from travel and lifestyle inclusive of product extensions and VR - all pivot around multi-platform, multilingual, rich engagement.

Sal thrives around optimistic people; believes true collaboration sits at the heart of success and bios make her cringe, ever so slightly. Though today is a sensational day and this next chapter promises to be very exciting.

Tess Meyer is a writer and producer working across feature film, television, online, and VR with some of the most exciting creatives in Australia, the US and Europe. Her career path has been tailored to both creative and production roles in live-action and animated projects. As well as writing and producing her own award-winning short films which have screened internationally, Tess collaborates in creative development with teams on a broad range of formats and genres. From children’s entertainment to teen drama and right into horror, Tess has a reputation for building diverse characters with distinctive voices and tackling challenging production goals with creative solutions. 

For the past four years Tess has worked at Flying Bark Productions on international co-productions of comedy and drama series including Heidi, The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill, as well as feature film Maya 2. Her role as Development Producer has Tess collaborating with internationally renowned studios to create inspiring stories for episodic and feature film projects. Tess sees the projects from initial ideas through pitching, scripting, design, through to market and into production. Her latest independent project, feature film and online series Skinford, is set for release this year.

Tina A.Wake is a Screenwriter/Producer/Director who has written over 50 feature screenplays, numerous TV pilots, web series and short films across all genres.

Tina is a Fashion Designer and Journalist by trade.  In her twenties she travelled around the world for over 7 years where she taught English in Japan and found a real lack of teaching resources for absolute beginners. 

Tina is a mum and is passionate about kids, specifically how fast they learn through fun and play.  Tina has combined her filmmaking, teaching experience, fashion design and singing to create a niche, English teaching educational TV series for children aimed at the Asian market. 

The show has 50 original songs, textbooks, puppets, cultural insights, an app and books engaging children and teachers in learning English through fun and play.

Tina is passionate, highly motivated with a real zest for life, and wants to bring the world closer together through language in her educational kids series.

Tom has been producing commercials and online content since 2011, after getting his start as a runner on a Mazda commercial in Brisbane and learning from there. In 2014 he line produced a Russian feature film in Bali and fell in love with long form. In 2015 he produced The Fo-Fo Figgily Show, for which he also wrote 8 episodes, and took it to a world premiere at Mipcom in Cannes that same year. In 2016 he started directing, serving as series director on This Is Me on ABC Me and shooting his first short film, Mr Brisbane. Now in Sydney, Tom is a producer at Photoplay Films and studying a Graduate Certificate in Directing at AFTRS, while developing projects in TV and film.

WHAT'S NEXT?

After connecting participants with their screen industry mentor, the program provides Ones To Watch with ongoing touchpoints to the industry and unparalleled career opportunities. These include exclusive opportunities at the SCREEN FOREVER conference and access to exclusive industry initiatives. Find out more about previous Ones To Watch initiatives:

The popular SBS Kickstart initiative gave Ones To Watch the exclusive opportunity to pitch an original production concept for broadcast on an SBS channel, providing a winning pitch a budget for towards development and commissioning.

A joint partnership initiative between Screen Producers Australia and Screen Australia, the Screen Internship gave Ones To Watch participants the exclusive opportunity to apply for $20,000 to work with a host company from any country, including Australia, and for any screen content type.

In 2016, the Screen Queensland Indigenous Program Partner initiative was launched to nurture and encourage emerging indigenous producers by providing real opportunities for career development and further business opportunities. Three indigenous producers were selected from Queensland as 2016 Ones To Watch.

GOVERNANCE

The Ones To Watch Program Goes Like This…

SCREEN PRODUCERS AUSTRALIA

  • Selects talented emerging producers;
  • Individually matches them with an accomplished mentor from the production industry;
  • Applications to the exclusive initiaives and pitching opportunities open exclusively Ones To Watch;
  • Promotes and connects them with key screen professionals;
  • Supports them to network and pitch their projects at the SCREEN FOREVER Conference in Melbourne, 14-16 November 2017.
So... Who Are We Looking For?

EMERGING PRODUCERS

  • With up to 4 years of continuous and recent experience as a producer in a professional capacity;
  • Have at least one and no more than three credits as a producer on a short film, feature film, television drama or comedy series, non-fiction television series or web series, that has been broadcast, theatrically released or selected for a prestigious film festival listed here (please contact us if your festival is not listed), or at least one and no more than three credits on a multiplatform project (for example, with two feature credits and two television credits you would be eligible for the program, however four feature credits would render you ineligible);
  • Have at least one project to develop during the Ones To Watch program;
  • Have not previously been selected for the Ones To Watch program.
  • Note: If you are part of a team you will need to apply as individuals.
What You Get
  • One-on-one mentorship by an established producer or screen industry executive;
  • The opportunity to apply for exclusive industry initiatives available only to Ones To Watch;
  • Promotion of you and your project to our industry database and at SCREEN FOREVER;
  • Heavily discounted registration to SCREEN FOREVER. You will need to pay for your return travel to Melbourne and accommodation, food and personal expenses;
  • Priority access to Roundtable bookings at SCREEN FOREVER;
  • Connections with industry professionals at SCREEN FOREVER.
Assessment Criteria
  • Quality of the applicant’s project submission;
  • Relevance of the project to the applicant’s experience;
  • The potential for the project to be completed;
  • Evidence of a strategic approach to the applicant’s career and project development;
  • The Ones To Watch program offers the applicant opportunities they previously have not had access to;
  • Screen Producers Australia will also endeavour to, where possible, include a participant from each state/territory.

Applications will be assessed by Screen Producers Australia and an external Selection Committee. Applicants may be contacted during the process to clarify or provide further details of their application. Participants selected for the 2017 Ones To Watch program are chosen at the discretion of Screen Producers Australia and the Selection Committee. Screen Producers Australia are under no obligation to discuss the final decision.

What Do Our Ones To Watch Alumni Think?

"Ones To Watch has opened up doors that would've been hard to pry open otherwise. I am perpetually grateful that Ones To watch has the tenacity to look to the future of the film industry and emerging practitioners are able to get that next leg up that can be so ruthlessly hard in this game. Given a chance to get ahead, the capacity to shine is so much greater. I am also impressed and encouraged that the program seeks from the far reaches of Australia, ensuring all a fair go."

"I would have been completely lost and overwhelmed attending the Conference for the first time if I wasn't part of the program. Plus it gives you something to make you stand out - introducing yourself to people as a Ones To Watch really seemed to have an impact."

"Being part of the Ones To Watch initiative was an accelerated development opportunity that allowed me to develop my projects with the guidance and connections of the best minds in the industry. It was an invaluable experience of which I continue to reap powerful results both domestically and globally."

"The Ones To Watch programme facilitated incredible career opportunities. It offered very specific focused support for my feature film (then in financing, and now in post) 'The Butterfly Tree'. The mentorship I received through the programme from Porchlight Films’ Vincent Sheehan was a real privilege and provided fantastic creative producing advice, as well as a wealth of very specific and useful financing knowledge for the film."

"Ones to Watch program helped me to really consider what my career goals were, and how I could capitalise on the skills I had forged over the years to reach these goals. Being matched with a mentor was like being given a torch in an underground tunnel; I no longer needed to 'wing' it through projects, I could learn about the pitfalls before falling from somebody who is wiser. Ones to Watch was immensely fruitful for me, and I am so grateful."

Find out more about last year's participants here.

Ones To Watch Sponsors

Ones To Watch Major Partner

SBS

Ones To Watch Indigenous Program Partner

O2W ScreenQLD

Ones To Watch Government Partners

ScreenAustralia    ScreenNSW  O2W ScreenWst3

Ones To Watch Supporting Partners

Screenrights ProductionBook FinalDraft FilmFinances