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Gender Matters: Brilliant PitchES

Screen Australia often hears from women practitioners that they have never had enough training in pitching, and their skills are not as good as they would like. In an ever-changing media landscape, good pitching skills are more essential than ever.

Screen Australia will host three intensive workshops led by US producer Sheila Hanahan-Taylor on refining and building pitching skills for women, in order for them to use such skills to create interest from potential partners, financiers, talent agents and get their screen project production ready.

Sheila Hanahan Taylor is the founder of Practical Pictures, a Production Company specializing in studio pictures with a global appeal. As a cradle-to-grave producer, Sheila’s skill set includes story development, marketplace analysis, fundraising and budgeting, on-set creative producing, and editing room savvy. Sheila has been involved with numerous studio franchises including American Pie, Cats & Dogs, Final Destination and the Australian hit Oddball. The films Sheila worked on as an executive or producer have grossed over $2BN in worldwide box office from a total production cost of $448M.

Sheila previously was a Senior Executive at Zide/Perry Entertainment and, prior to that, worked for Steppenwolf Theatre, Garry Marshall, and Oscar Nominees Gil Netter and the Zucker Brothers, developing such films as My Best Friend's Wedding. In addition to producing, Sheila also sits on numerous film boards and teaches at Universities around the globe. From 2000 to 2008 Sheila was a visiting associate professor for UCLA’s graduate Producers Program, and she currently teaches and works as a consultant with Carnegie Mellon, USC, Columbia College Chicago L.A. and Fox Studios. At Fox, Sheila develops TV pilots with their Writers Intensive Program and films with their Global Directors Initiative.


The primary aim is to:

  • refine and build pitching skills for women to enable them to more effectively advance their projects towards finance and production.


Applicants must:

  • be a female creative (e.g. writer, writer/director and/or producer) who has mid-high level experience in episodic or one-off productions in the screen sector (television, online or feature films) that have been produced and distributed to audiences, and
  • be an individual or a team, but please note that only a maximum of 2 women practitioners per team can attend the workshop, and
  • have an active slate of projects in development, and
  • meet and understand our Terms of Trade.


You will need to provide the following information in the application:

  • a current list of projects on your slate and the stage they are at in regards to development and financing, and
  • a one page statement that describes:
  • the challenges you have faced pitching your stories, and
  • why participation in the workshop is of interest to you, and
  • your intended outcomes from the workshop.


  • Applications close 11pm AEST on Friday, 1 June 2018
  • Applications will be assessed by Screen Australia executives and/or industry specialists as required against the following criteria:
  • Does the applicant/team have demonstrable experience and an outstanding slate of projects? Will the applicant/team benefit from the workshop experience?
  • Decisions will be made by 25 June 2018, and up to 12 teams for each of the three workshops will be selected. We will advise applicants in writing of the success or otherwise of their application.
  • The three workshops will take place in Sydney on Wednesday 18 July, Perth on Friday 20 July, and Melbourne on Monday 23 July. Screen Australia will assign a workshop location and pay for travel for successful participants residing outside of these areas.
  • All successful participants will also be required to attend a full day forum on Monday 16 July in Sydney or via live stream.

We encourage you to contact the Program Operations team before you submit your application to discuss any eligibility questions and ensure all the required supporting material is in place. This will mean we can process your application smoothly and efficiently. The Program Operations team can be contacted on 1800 507 901.