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Film heavyweights head West for CinefestOZ Industry Program

Film heavyweights head West for CinefestOZ Industry Program 1

Robert Connolly – director and writer of The Dry and this year’s CinefestOZ Film Prize Jury Chair and US producer Debbie Liebling of South Park, Bridesmaids and PEN15 fame headline the 2023 Industry Program, which kicks off Thursday August 31 in Busselton, Western Australia, as part of the 16th annual CinefestOZ Film Festival (August 29 – September 3).
Connolly and Liebling will be joined by Alison Hurbert-Burns – Executive Director BINGE; Julie Eckersley – Head of Scripted SBS; Katherine Brown – Development Executive STAN and Daniel Schultz- Producer / Head of Finance & Strategy LUDO STUDIOS.
The two-day program, which features presentations, discussion panels and workshops will focus on learning from respected industry leaders and spotlighting creative successes for future growth.
CinefestOZ CEO Cassandra Jordan said “Our guests have all achieved significant success within the screen industry and we are fortunate that they are available to share their time and knowledge as part of our program.”

“Running in tandem with the CinefestOZ film festival, the Industry Program also provides interstate and international delegates the opportunity to meet our local filmmakers and scope the destination for potential future film locations and productions, and experience WA hospitality.”

Ahead of the official Industry Program CinefestOZ will also co-host with Curtin University the Entrepreneurial Skills for Screen Business workshop with special guest Daniel Schultz, one of the strategic minds behind Ludo Studio’s global phenomenon ‘Bluey’ on Wednesday 30 August.

Wednesday 30th August:

Workshop: Entrepreneurial Skills for Screen Business workshop with special guest Ludo Studios’ Head Finance and Strategy, Daniel Schultz. Developed by Curtin University’s Commercialisation team, the workshop work will be facilitated by Innovation Cluster’s Tash Teakle. 

The opportunity is proudly supported by LotterywestSpacecubed and the Innovation Society Initiative to help build a smart, innovative and creative WA together.
For more information

Thursday 31st of August:
US International Guest Speaker: Debbie Leibling;
Influential film and television producer and studio executive Debbie Liebling is renowned for her pivotal role in the development and realization of the cultural phenomenon South Park. She also served as the President of Production at Universal Pictures, overseeing the creation of hit films like Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, and TED. Since her time at Universal, Liebling’s impressive portfolio has continued to grow and includes her new film JULES, which has its Australian premiere at CinefestOZ and stars Sir Ben Kingsley and, PEN15, and 65. She has also collaborated with acclaimed figures in the industry, such as Ben Stiller and Sam Raimi. Debbie Liebling’s contributions span a remarkable spectrum of successful productions, cementing her reputation as a visionary within the entertainment landscape.  
Followed by Q & A; Host: Miley Tunnecliffe. Supported by US Consul Perth
Empowering Creativity: A Conversation with Julie Eckersley, Head of Scripted at SBS
Join us for an enlightening panel session featuring Julie Eckersley, recently honoured as Commissioner of the Year at this year’s Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Awards. With a dedicated commitment to nurturing our creative industry, Julie strives to bring Australian stories to life on screen and empower artists to create exceptional dramas. Don’t miss this chance to gain insights from a seasoned industry leader on SBS’s commissioning priorities and learn how to make your pitch stand out in a competitive landscape.  
Host: Melissa Kelly. In attendance: SBS/NITV Julie Eckersley, Head of Scripted
Meet the Streamer – STAN:  Join us for an exclusive session with Katherine Brown, the Development Associate for Stan, overseeing all of Stan’s Original scripted, entertainment, and factual programming. Gain valuable insights as she shares what Stan is actively seeking and the key factors that can get your projects considered by their prestigious platform.
In Attendance: Katherine Brown

The Power of a Good Narrative – Our expert panel explores the empowering role of film and television in advocacy and social change as Australia approaches the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum.
Host: Jodie Bell

In Conversation with Jury Chair – Robert Connolly, Arenamedia Robert is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and best-known filmmakers with an international career spanning 30 years. His films include Blueback starring Mia Wasikowska, the box office hit Paper Planes with Sam Worthington, Balibo starring Oscar Isaac and Anthony LaPaglia and the compendium feature film The Turning with Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne. Most recently Robert wrote and directed The Dry based on Jane Harper’s best-seller and starring Eric Bana. In television, he directed the International Emmy-nominated The Slap and Barracuda for NBC Universal and Deep State for Fox Network Group, starring Mark Strong. As a producer and executive producer Robert’s credits include The Boys, Romulus My Father, The Warriors, Gallipoli and Chasing Asylum.

Friday 1st of September:
Meet the Streamer – BINGE: Meet the Streamer. Discover how BINGE has driven growth since its inception, gain insights into what is shaping their commissioning decisions, and learn how the streaming service is captivating audiences through compelling Australian storytelling. Host: Kelvin Munro In attendance: Executive Director Alison Hurbert-Burns.

Sustaining Success: Navigating Profitability The screen industry offers a roller-coaster journey through a world of creativity and commerce, holding boundless potential, yet achieving sustainable profits remains a challenge. Join these enduring producers and businesses as they delve into a discussion about the evolving challenges, breakthroughs, and strategies that lead to lasting growth and industry longevity. What does the future hold for sustainable success?
Host: CEO Matthew Deaner -Screen Producers Australia

The Future of Feature Docs: Survival or Revival? In an era where streaming has revolutionised content consumption, this panel takes a deep dive into the future of feature-length documentaries. Drawing insights from the recent box office record-breakers, our esteemed speakers will navigate the shifting landscape, addressing questions of survival, resurgence, and the ongoing relevance and feasibility of these narratives.
Host: Julia Redwood In attendance: Rachel Ward, Richard Todd

The Twelve Case Study. Join the team behind the acclaimed series “The Twelve” as they discuss their insights and experiences in making the first series a resounding success. With the second series being the biggest-ever production in WA, discover the state’s allure as a filming destination and gain a sneak peek into the promising future of Australian drama in Western Australia.

About the 2023 Industry Program
The Industry Program, has been developed by CinefestOZ in partnership with the recently formed Industry Program Steering Committee and comprises industry leaders Jodie Bell – Producer at Ramu Productions; Tracey Corbin – Matchett – CEO at Bus Stop Films; James Grandison – Producer & Line Producer at Arenamedia; Francesca Hope – Producer & Managing Director at Siamese; Melissa Kelly – Producer and Company Founder at Factor 30 Films; Aidan O’Bryan- CEO at WBMC; Julia Redwood – Managing Director at Prospero Productions and Emma Fletcher – Production Designer.
With their extensive experience, this group guarantees a comprehensive and well-rounded perspective, ensuring the program not only reflects the latest trends and challenges in the industry but also provides a platform for meaningful discussions and valuable insights.
Industry Cinepass:
Industry Cinepass PLUS 3 General Screenings:
The Full Festival Program is live with tickets available via the CinefestOZ app and on the website.
The CinefestOZ Industry Program is supported by City of Busselton, Lotterywest, Screenwest, South West Development Commission, The United States Consulate Perth, Private Properties, Business Events Perth, Spacecubed & Innovation Society Initiative. 

CinefestOZ would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land we live and work on and pay our respect to the Elders past, present and future.

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