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Media Centre

03 08 2009 - Media release

Jonathan Olsberg and Ian Jones announced as external assessors

Jonathan Olsberg and Ian Jones will join Ruth Harley, Chief Executive Officer, Chris Oliver, Senior Manager, State and Industry Partnerships and Megan McMurchy, Enterprise Manager, to decide on the allocation of Screen Australia’s Enterprise Program funding for 2009/10.

Jonathan Olsberg has worked in the screen industry for 27 years, starting out in New York as an international film sales agent for titles such as My Beautiful Laundrette, before distributing specialised films in the US from directors such as Godard, Verhoeven, Greenaway and Paul Cox. In 1989, Jonathan returned to London as Managing Director of international distributor and sales agent Glinwood Films (The Last Emperor). Since 1992 he has been chairman of Olsberg/SPI, a leading screen industry strategy consultancy through which he has advised over 200 international film and television producers and distributors on strategic development issues. He has a dozen feature credits as producer. Jonathan’s first career was in finance, as a chartered accountant and merchant banker in London and New York handling merger and acquisition assignments.

During the past 29 years, Ian Jones has worked internationally in numerous senior roles across a range of highly regarded broadcasting, business, co-production and international TV companies. He was until recently Managing Director for the London-based media group Target Entertainment. Prior to that, Ian was President of National Geographic Television International. He has also held senior management roles at Granada, Itel, Scottish Media Group and S4C. Ian has had extensive experience in advising producers worldwide on rights exploitation and business development. During his career he has also overseen numerous international productions across a wide range of genres, most recently as one of the executive producers of the feature film Endgame starring William Hurt.

“Ian and Jonathan will bring global, strategic, screen industry thinking of the highest calibre to the table and we are thrilled to have secured them as assessors for Screen Australia’s inaugural Enterprise Program,” said Ruth Harley. “Jonathan’s report General Development Investment Program – Proposals for Restructuring, commissioned by the Australian Film Commission, formed the basis for the setting up of the Screen Business Venture Program from which our Enterprise Program evolved. Ian’s extensive experience running internationally successful screen companies and his considerable knowledge of the marketplace in all genres of programming will be an enormous asset during the assessment process. Additionally, both Ian and Jonathan have a good working knowledge of the Australian industry.”

Screen Australia’s Enterprise Program will provide funding for a three-year period to support production companies who have identified opportunities to develop and expand their business in terms of turnover, range and number of projects and/or the range of business activities undertaken to enhance the company’s sustainability.

Following a call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs), 27 proposals have been invited to submit a full application, including detailed business plans and other appropriate information, by 17 August 2009.

Screen Australia plans to make Jonathan and Ian’s skills and knowledge available to the broader industry through seminars while they are in Australia. Details will be released shortly.

The successful Enterprise Program applicants are expected to be announced in late September.

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