With industry leaders from across Australia and the world, there's never been a bigger MCX Screenmakers line-up.
From keynotes to panels, the screen leaders of today will be sharing insights, experience and case studies to inform and inspire.
With the return of the MCX Marketplace, there will be producers, distributors, networks and more. Whether it's a 1:1 pitch or creating a new connection at one of the networking breaks, you'll connect at MCX Screenmakers.
And with Flinders University Meet the Market roundtables and UniSA Career Makers mentors, get up close with industry leaders to learn about shaping your project, considering audiences, and get the inside story on getting your story on screen.
Watch for our latest speaker announcements.
Dr. Pieter Aquilia is a scriptwriter, script editor and director, who has combined her creative practice with a career in academia. Formerly an Associate Dean and Associate Arts Professor for NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, she was also Associate Professor and Head of Program at UNSW Asia and University of Newcastle. Pieter completed her Doctor of Creative Arts in Scriptwriting at University of Technology Sydney in 2000. Her research publications cover International Television Drama, the Globalization of Screen Education, Ethnic and Gender Representation on Screen, and the Media in Asia. Dr. Aquilla graduated from the BA Program at the Australian Film Television and Radio School in 1988.
Gena Ashwell is a British/Australian creative producer, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. Gena started at Pinewood Studios UK working on iconic television shows including My Family, The Weakest Link, Only Fools and Horses and Survivor. She then took on a range of production roles, working for a variety of companies and talent. In between production work she produced and project managed international large-scale projects for companies such as BP, Accenture, Barclays Bank and Celgene, winning an excellence award for her work at Celgene. Attracted to creative entrepreneurship, she decided to focus on producing, gaining experience with a number of executive producers and producers on feature film projects across development, financing and sales, including 4321 with Emma Roberts for Universal. At just 24 she produced her first low budget feature film Bad Day, which GQ magazine called “the most superior Brit cop film in recent history” and which was selected for a range of festivals. She then produced Gridiron UK which sold to Screen Media in the US. On relocating to Australia, Gena partnered with one of Australia’s most experienced producers Helen Leake AM to form dancing road productions.
Gena was selected for the South Australian Film Corporation’s Gender Agenda program to be mentored by one of the most experienced independent producers in the business, Cassian Elwes (Mudbound, Lawless, The Butler), based in his Los Angeles office. Back in Australia she undertook another mentorship with Angus Clunies Ross (Head of Sales for Sony Pictures Releasing). In 2018 she was selected by Screen Australia and Creative Content Australia as one of three mid-career producers to attend the 2018 International Movie Convention to meet with all the major international film studios. Dancing road productions is an IP creation company and has built a strong international slate of projects and partners. Gena is chair of Mercury CX, a centre of excellence for talent and story.
Matthew Deaner is the Chief Executive Officer of Screen Producers Australia, a national organization that unites the screen industry to campaign for a healthy commercial environment. We support the interests of businesses, large and small, in their production of feature films, television programs, interactive content and games across all genres and formats.
Matthew oversees all aspects of Screen Producers Australia's advocacy work, industrial negotiations, events and operational issues. He also works closely with our Council to set the strategic direction of the organisation as well as identify and execute new business development opportunities. Matthew brings a wealth of knowledge to Screen Producers Australia with his experience as a lawyer in both Sydney and London and in senior policy and strategy positions with Screen Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.
In July 2015 Matthew was appointed to the board of Media Super as an employer-representative director, nominated by Screen Producers Australia.
Rob Gibson is CEO/Producer at Easy Tiger Productions, responsible for driving the strategic direction of the company, and overseeing its diverse development slate alongside Founder/Producer Ian Collie.
He is a dynamic leader with both local and international production and financing experience.
Rob’s trusted experience across the creative, production and deal-making of television, combined with a deep understanding of audience and marketing, give him a sophisticated understanding of the global television landscape. His ability to deliver quality drama is exemplary.
Prior to joining Easy Tiger in 2019, Rob was the Head of Originals at Stan, where he oversaw the commission and production of No Activity, Wolf Creek and Bloom, among others.
Rob previously worked as a film and television producer both in the US and Australia, and was formerly a media and entertainment lawyer, working for Allens Linklaters, Foxtel, Festival Records and Fairfax Media.
Lana began working at Foxtel in 2015 after leaving a career in the talent management industry to pursue her passion for television drama. She began as the Scripted Production Coordinator and Penny Win’s assistant working across Foxtel’s scripted production and development slate. (including Wentworth, A Place To Call Home, Picnic At Hanging Rock, Australia Day, Secret City: Under the Eagle, Lambs of God and Foxtel’s two latest commissions, The End and Upright). Lana was promoted to a Drama Executive role where she overseas elements of each project during Production while actively seeking ideas for Foxtel’s development slate.
A writer, producer and executive producer for a many national and international companies, among them Crawford Productions, PBL Productions, Taffner Ramsay, Beyond International and Granada, Peter began his career writing and producing for television classics such as Cop Shop, The Sullivans, The Flying Doctors, The Comedy Company and Acropolis Now. He produced the inaugural Comedy Festival Charity Gala in 1992 and created The World Comedy Tour in 2000. He also produced The 34th Annual TV Week Logies, and he has created or co-created a number of series, among them Skirts, The Comedy Sale! The Agency, Parties, FAQ, and The Big Wig for Sky1 in the UK. Working with Caroline Aherne of The Royle Family, he co-created, co-wrote and produced the BBC2 comedy series, Dossa and Joe. Other credits include the Network Ten production, Unreal TV, a sitcom Sit Down, Shut Up, as well as the tonight show, The Big Schmooze and a number of other productions at thecomedychannel for Foxtel, and script editing on the Lindy Chamberlain mini-series, Through My Eyes and the feature Perfect Victim.
Peter has taught at a number of universities in screen business, creative industries and producing. He is currently Head of Screen Business and Producing at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
Carolyn Johnson is an award-winning producer of documentaries and dramas.
Her films include Tanna which was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2017. Carolyn’s films have won awards and screened in festivals throughout the world including Venice, Berlin, Busan, London, Hong Kong, Rotterdam, and many others.
Carolyn’s credits include A Sense of Self, A Law Unto Himself, Stumbling in Hillary’s Footsteps, First Footprints, Son of a Lion, and The Last Goldfish.
Carolyn is the Australian Producer of Life in Colour.
As Head of Development, Nerida Moore manages Story Development, Enterprise and International initiatives. She has helmed a number of programs that foster story and talent development including, Gender Matters: Brilliant Stories and Careers; Hot Shots and Talent USA.
Prior to Screen Australia, Nerida was the Senior Development and Production Executive at Screen NSW where she managed the production investment fund, the story development fund and Screen NSW's suite of professional development programs.
Ian founded 113 Partners in 2012. 113 Partners is a strategic advisory firm that assists businesses in the creative industries to grow, seek investment, and realise their value. They are strategic advisers to Australia’s most cutting-edge creative businesses and bring a wealth of insights, access to strategic partnerships, and on the ground experience to their clients.
Ian is an experienced, hands-on media expert who has had senior executive roles in both public and private businesses including COO of the branded content business Brand New Media and COO of the television production company Freehand Productions.
He uses his in-depth commercial experience to assist creative businesses to plan robust and achievable strategies to achieve domestic and international growth, financial stability, sustainable resourcing, and streamlined operations. He has advised many of Australia’s top television production, broadcast, music, design, advertising, media and entertainment companies as well as working directly with several government agencies.
An experienced producer, Lyn’s credits encompass drama and documentary film and television productions. She produced the feature film Undertow (2018) which premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival and Hot Mess (2018) which screened at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Lyn has produced numerous award-winning short films including Perception, funded by Screen Australia, that won the top short film prize at the Sydney Film Festival with its international premiere at Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. Lyn is passionate about working with new, diverse storytellers and directors.
Award winner whose screen experience spans 30 years. He is an accomplished composer and orchestrator of music for film and television, with credits that include Spider-man: Homecoming (2017), Zootopia (2016), Jurassic World (2015) and Inside Out (2015) amongst many, many others. Cameron is also an accomplished violinist and violist, with an extensive list of credits in the film, television, theatre and recording industries.
Cameron is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s film scoring program and was an instructor in the UCLA Extension’s Film Scoring program from 2015 to 2017. He has been involved with the Queensland Music Festival for the past six years in partnership with the Griffith Film School and conducted and presented education concerts with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 2019. Cameron is a professional member of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, the Society of Composers and Lyricists (US), the American Federation of Musicians (US) and Broadcast Music Inc. (US).
Marion Pilowsky has worked in Pay TV in programme planning, acquisitions and production investment (Bravo/UK, Showtime/Australia), international distribution (Paramount/Universal), and was the MD of Myriad Pictures London, an international sales agent and financing co-producer. She has consulted in film financing, sales, development and production models. In 2004 Marion became an independent producer, her credits include Sleuth starring Jude Law and Michael Caine, and Being Julia starring Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons. In 2011 she wrote and directed her first short film The Ride, a short story adaptation and dark thriller for the BBC, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Ed Speleers. She directed a further five short films in London and Adelaide before she co-wrote, produced and directed her debut feature film, The Flip Side starring Eddie Izzard, for 20th Century Fox in 2018. Marion is based in South Australia where her company Corner Table Productions has a slate of original film and television projects in various stages of development.
Mercury CX CEO Karena Slaninka has an extensive background working in Australia and the UK in television, documentary and screen industry development, including almost a decade as head of Screen Tasmania.
As a creative producer, script developer and senior executive, Karena is known as a creative and transformative force, with distinctive vision and strong leadership skills. She blends business and producing skills with strong creative flair, having produced or worked on hundreds of hours of television. As an industry executive she has facilitated approximately $300 million worth of production on feature films and TV series.
Nationally, she has extensive experience in revitalising key industry organisations including the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) where as Chair of the Board and Acting CEO, she rebuilt the flagging organisation and reimagined it as the commercially robust and internationally renowned organisation it is today.
Her passion for creative development of authentic and diverse stories has been a common thread through her roles since her time as a Senior Development and Production Executive at Screen NSW and as a creator and producer.
In her position as the Head of Screen Tasmania she effectively kick-started the sector in the state, driving industry development and facilitating finance for the production of local shows such as the ABC’s Rosehaven and the multi-award winning The Kettering Incident, whilst attracting Hollywood productions including Dreamworks’ Light Between Oceans, and The Hunter starring Willem Dafoe.
Additional speakers will participate in a number of the sessions.
All presenters and guest speakers mentioned are currently confirmed, however, due to the nature of the screen industry and Covid restrictions all presenters are subject to change should the need arise. Any changes will be communicated with participants.
Rebecca is a producer and is co-owner of the award-winning screen production company Closer Productions. Her feature film credits include break out low budget feature 52 Tuesdays, which won the directing award for World Cinema at Sundance and the Crystal Bear at Berlinale, and feature documentary Sam Klemke’s Time Mchine which premiered at Sundance and in Official Selection at HotDocs and Rotterdam. Her most recent feature, Animals, is an official Irish/Australian co-production based on the acclaimed novel, which premiered at Sundance 2019.
For television, Rebecca has made numerous documentaries including Dendy Award-winning I Want to Dance Better at Parties and 3-part Arts series Hannah Gadsby's Oz. Her television drama credits include the 6-part online series F*!#ing Adelaide, which premiered at Series Mania and was the most watched ABC iView Original in 2018. She also produced The Hunting, a 4 x 1 hour drama series which premiered on SBS Television in August 2019 and was SBS’ most successful commissioned drama ever. Rebecca has just completed post-production on Aftertaste a new 6 x 30 comedy drama for the ABC which will premiere on ABC TV on 3 February 2021.
Anna is co-founder of SLA Films, working internationally across features, documentary and television.
Recent credits include sci-fi thriller I Am Mother starring Hilary Swank and Rose Byrne (Sundance 2019); Pia Borg’s docu-drama Demonic (Cannes 2019), Richard Jasek’s Making A Mark (ADG Best Director Award 2019), Highly Strung (AFF 2015) by renowned director Scott Hicks, and break-out body-image documentary Embrace, which was released in cinemas internationally and sold to Netflix following over 100+ million internet views of the trailer.
Anna has worked in film and entertainment for over 20 years, and was based in London, Sydney and Los Angeles for a decade before returning to home to South Australia where she heads up SLA Films from the Adelaide Studios.
Edwina joined Roadshow Films in May 2018 and is responsible for assessing and developing all Australian and NZ projects for theatrical release. Prior to this she ran programming and strategy for ABC2 across television and IVIEW, and oversaw the rebrand of ABC2 to ABC COMEDY (Dec 2017). Edwina was previously a Commissioning Editor and Development Producer for ABC Factual and Documentaries, and spent a number of years with the Specialist Factual Department at Channel Four UK. She was Gillian Armstrong’s assistant on Charlotte Gray, and began her career working with writers, directors, designers and actors at talent agencies including Curtis Brown UK, William Morris Agency UK and HLA Australia.
Roadshow is currently expanding its development slate through early development and co-production opportunities with a number of Australian and NZ producers. Upcoming cinema releases include Go!, Rams, Miss Fisher And The Crypt Of Tears and The Dry.
Virginia Whitwell is a highly experienced film practitioner and producer with over twenty years in the industry. She is the Head of Production for the newly formed Good Thing Productions after five years as Head of Production at Madman Production Company. She has co-produced and produced many scripted and factual projects including That Sugar Film, Save Your Legs!, A Month Of Sundays, All For One and soon to be released feature documentary 2040 directed by Damon Gameau. Hailing from the UK, she has worked on numerous productions all over the world. Her extensive production experience includes projects for Warner Bros, HBO, Lucasfilm, EON, 20th Century Fox and Universal. Virginia is currently producing The Australian Dream, an Australian-United Kingdom co-production with Passion Pictures directed by Dan Gordon and Below, a scripted feature film directed by Maziar Lahooti starring Anthony LaPaglia and Ryan Corr.