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Media Centre

21 03 2018 - Media release

Recipients of Developing the Developer 2018 revealed


Top row L-R: Sarah Bassiuoni, Leticia Caceres, Li-Kim Chuah, Anna Dadic and John Harvey. Second row L-R: Hiroki Kobayashi, Dan Prichard, Amy Stewart, Vidya Thiagarajan and Jean Tong

Screen Australia announced today the ten creatives who have been selected to take part in Developing the Developer 2018, an intensive workshop aimed at increasing the pool of experts in the field of story development. With a focus on improving access for practitioners from diverse backgrounds, the workshop will cover fiction development methodologies and tools as well as market context.

“This year’s group of participants includes a particularly strong showing from the theatre world,” said Nerida Moore, Senior Development Manager at Screen Australia. “We consider this to be a boon for the screen sector because with that comes a deep understanding of story and in particular physical storytelling, as well as experience working with writers. We know from past intakes that this program delivers concrete outcomes such as industry placements. With that in mind, we can’t wait to see these creatives use what they learn in this workshop as a jumping off point – for both their careers and in shaping our next generation of storytellers.”

The three-and-a-half day workshop will take place in Sydney from Thursday 12 – Sunday 15 of April, and will be led by highly-regarded script developer and former Screen Australia Development Executive Louise Gough.

Louise will be joined by Screen Australia representatives and specialised industry practitioners who will contribute to sessions throughout, including Lena Nahlous from Diversity Arts Australia, Sofya Gollan from Create NSW, screenwriter Liz Doran, and two alumni from the 2017 intake – Mithila Gupta and Jenevieve Chang.

The applications were assessed with the assistance of Kyas Sheriff, Head of the Indigenous Unit at AFTRS, and Bali Padda (Developing the Developer 2017), Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee.

The first iteration of Developing the Developer took place in April 2017 and from the 16 creatives who took part, eight have gone on to secure placements: Gary Abrahams at Matchbox Pictures; Fiona Tuomy at Film Art Media and Seymour Films; Santilla Chingaipe at Arenamedia; Anthea Williams at Causeway Films; Mala Sujan at Easy Tiger; Martine Delaney at Roar Films; Mithila Gupta at Blackfella Films; and Jenevieve Chang at both Arclight and Felix Media.

Two other participants, Ade Djajamihardja and Violeta Ayala, have gone on to have projects supported by Screen Australia through the Story Development – Online and Documentary Producer programs respectively.


(in alphabetical order)

Sarah Bassiuoni (NSW)

Sarah brings a decade of experience as a human rights lawyer to her screen career. She is the daughter of an Egyptian Muslim and Irish Catholic and grew up in Saudi Arabia, Australia and the USA. Sarah has worked for UNICEF in the Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati, for Amnesty International and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre. In 2016, Sarah transitioned to the screen industry with her short film Dunes premiering at the Gold Coast Film Festival. She has completed Graduate Certificates from AFTRS in Screenwriting and Directing, and works as a researcher and note taker for various production companies. Her career aim is to tell stories that reflect the reality of life with all its diversity, troubles and hilarity.

Leticia Cáceres (VIC)

Leticia is an emerging filmmaker and renowned stage director. In 2017, she self-funded, wrote and directed her first short film Wild, which won the London Film Awards’ Golden Lion for Best First Time Director Award, and the Next Gen Student Film Award at the Melbourne Women in Film Festival. Her second short film, The True History of Billie the Kid is currently in post-production. Leticia is a recipient of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters – Brilliant Careers grant. Leticia has directed for most professional theatre companies in Australia and was associate director for MTC between 2013-2015. Her stage work has received Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Awards.

Li-Kim Chuah (QLD)

Li-Kim is a queer Asian Australian screenwriter with a decade's experience in adult drama and children's TV. She has written for Network Ten's award-winning series Offspring, Australia's most successful serial drama Neighbours, internationally successful children’s series The Saddle Club, and upcoming The Bureau of Magical Things. She has worked as a script assistant, script coordinator, script editor and note-taker, assisting in the development of character, series story arcs and episode plotting. In 2015 Li-Kim was selected for The Wheeler Centre's Hot Desk Fellowship in Melbourne where she developed two of her own TV series, Messy Moves and Being Ange Harper. She is currently developing a full-length play for Red Stitch Theatre as part of their Ink Program.

Anna Dadic (NSW)

Anna began her career in the entertainment industry working in talent management, eventually moving into the role of theatrical agent where she represented writers, directors and heads of department across film, theatre and television. She has since moved into producing and developing her own content. Anna secured development funding from Create NSW for a feature film, and has assisted in writers rooms for Essential Media and Carver Films. In 2017, she produced Love at Fifth Site, a series of interactive short films for Adelaide Fringe Festival, and Resting Pitch Face, a three-part comedy web series to be released in early 2018.

John Harvey (VIC)

John is a producer, director and writer in screen and theatre with his company Brown Cabs. He has collaborated with director Stephen Page twice, producing the feature film Spear and the chapter Sand for the feature anthology The Turning. In 2017, he was a producer on ABC television series The Warriors. He has produced seven Indigenous short films and directed documentaries Light from the Shadows and Menny and the Bundaroos, as well as several short documentaries for NITV. In 2017, John made his narrative directing debut with the short Water, which premiered at Adelaide Film Festival, and his theatre writing debut with Heart is a Wasteland which received critical acclaim for its premiere season in Melbourne.

Hiroki Kobayashi (VIC)

Hiroki is a creative producer and writer, who is currently the Special Projects Coordinator at The Wheeler Centre. Previously he has worked in a variety of roles for organisations including the Melbourne Writers Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and Malthouse Theatre. As a writer Hiroki has presented work as part of National Young Writers' Festival, MTC Cybec Electric and PWA’s Lotus Playwrighting project and is an alumni of FCAC Emerging Cultural Leaders program and Malthouse Theatre Besen Writers group.

Dan Prichard (NSW)

Dan is a film and digital projects producer, whose work explores storytelling, performance, poetry, LGBTIQ identity and community. With a background in arts cinema exhibition, arts management and international education, Dan has devised and managed online projects, and developed and produced webseries and short films in both Singapore and Australia. His credits include The Voices Project, an acclaimed online series of nine short films which has had over two million views to date; The Passion, starring Daniel Henshall and Sarah Snook; and The I Do Project, in support of marriage equality. Through his production company On The Deck Productions, he is currently producing and developing All Our Eggs, starring Adrienne Pickering, with the support of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative and the Story Development Fund.

Amy Stewart (NSW)

Amy is a Sydney-based screenwriter with a passion for children's and comedy content. Since graduating from AFTRS in 2015, Amy has written for a number of children's TV series including Lexi & LottieTeddies, Hiccup and Sneeze and Play School; and has worked in numerous development rooms including for ABCME's Hardball. Amy has also written and co-produced a comedy web series, Late Bloomer, which is currently in post-production. As a woman of colour, Amy is passionate about creating and contributing to stories that represent Australia's diversity in a meaningful and authentic way. She actively includes CaLD, LGBTIQ+ and disabled characters in her written work, and strives to drive change in front of and behind the screen in terms of diversity.

Vidya Thiagarajan (VIC)

Vidya is a writer, comic, and performance-maker of award winning work. She works across a number of forms including live art, comedy, theatre, and the screen and is increasingly working on projects as a director, dramaturg and script consultant. Recent works include Genesis, DeAr BeLoVed...., A completely unified theory of you+me, Aaaaunty, Solidity, Asian Ghost-ery Store and Friendquest. She has trained and performed extensively in improvisation in Australia and the United States. She was a 2016 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow and a 2017 Room of One's Own Residency recipient. She recently completed a Melbourne Festival's Director's Lab Program and is a current Theatreworks Associate Artist and Westerly Emerging Writer's Program recipient.

Jean Tong (VIC)

Jean is a Melbourne-based writer and director creating politically irreverent works about the untidiness of cultural identification, structural inequality, and Otherness. Her work makes explosive statements using dark humour and vivid imagery that tends to burrow under the skins of audiences long after they leave the theatre. In 2018, Jean will be presenting with Melbourne Theatre Company, at The Coopers Malthouse (MICF), with Monash Centre for Theatre and Performance (Monash Academy of Performing Arts), and completing a Master in Writing for Performance at the VCA. She has also presented at Emerging Writers’ Festival (Tipping Points) and Poppy Seed Theatre Festival (Romeo Is Not The Only Fruit), and published in Peril Magazine.

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