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28 10 2022 - Media release

Six screen creatives announced for Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative


Top (L-R) Skye Leon, Patrick Hogan, Aven Yap
Bottom (L-R) Elena Carapetis, Becki Bouchier, Kelli Cross

SBS has announced the six screenwriters selected for the 2022 SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator, chosen from hundreds of submissions to join leading Australian production companies for a year of paid employment as they forge their careers in the sector. 

The SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator is a nationwide industry initiative supporting the development of under-represented screenwriting talent in Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; people who are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; people who are Deaf, hard of hearing or with disability; people who are female or gender diverse; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people located in regional and remote areas. In its second year, the initiative is delivered in partnership with Screen Australia, state and territory agencies Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, Screen Territory, Screenwest, the South Australian Film Corporation and VicScreen, and with the assistance of the Australian Writers’ Guild.

Each year, six writers join the teams of Australian production companies acclaimed for their delivery of Australian drama, for a 12 month paid placement where they will gain significant work experience and further develop their skills, knowledge, and networks while working across the production companies’ slate of drama productions. They are also supported by the Australian Writers’ Guild with access to creative and training workshops.

The successful emerging writers selected for 2022, and the production companies they are joining, are:

  • NSW: Skye Leon joins Jungle, supported by Screen NSW
  • NT: Patrick Hogan joins Brindle Films, supported by Screen Territory
  • QLD: Aven Yap joins Hoodlum Entertainment, supported by Screen Queensland
  • SA: Elena Carapetis joins Highview Productions, supported by the South Australian Film Corporation
  • VIC: Becki Bouchier joins Sweetshop & Green, supported by VicScreen
  • WA: Kelli Cross joins Easy Tiger Productions (who will welcome Kelli into their NSW offices), supported by Screenwest.

Screen Australia’s Head of Development, Louise Gough said, “Congratulations to these impressive storytellers, we’re pleased to support them deepen their skillset and take the next step in their careers through these year-long placements. Thank you to all who applied and the interest shown in the program. We were thrilled to see the gains made in the first year, both by the talented writers and the host companies, and it’s exciting to be partnering again with SBS and the state agencies to facilitate this opportunity for a new group of diverse voices and the capacity and meaningful engagement of host production companies.”

Loani Arman, Commissioning Editor, SBS Scripted said, “The Emerging Writers’ Incubator reflects our commitment at SBS to investing in an increasingly inclusive sector. Over the last year, we’ve seen the benefits that the initiative brings to both the writers involved, and the production companies they join, and we’re really excited about the impact that will have on the future of storytelling. Congratulations to all those that applied this year, especially our six successful candidates who’ve taken different paths to get to this point in their careers and bring their unique perspectives to their work that reflects voices and experiences historically under-represented in our sector. We believe in their voices and are proud to be working with our industry partners to support their continued development”

Kyas Hepworth, Head of Screen NSW, said, “The Emerging Writers’ Incubator is about focused skill development and nurturing of our home-grown talent. As the NSW film industry continues to expand, we need to create more opportunities for our practitioners and writers. I am excited to see how this opportunity will propel Skye Leons’ career forward as she learns from the best at Jungle.”

Screen Queensland Chief Creative Officer, Dr Belinda Burns said, “Screen Queensland is proud to support the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator initiative, which provides a platform for underrepresented screenwriters to create and share vital, innovative stories for the screen. Congratulations to Queensland writer Aven Yap, who will join the team at award-winning production company Hoodlum Entertainment and have the opportunity to work on incredible, Australian-made stories for the next 12 months." 

Jennie Hughes, Director Screen Territory, said, “Screen Territory is very pleased to participate in the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator, a wonderful initiative in providing a stepping stone for the upskilling and training of our emerging Territorian screenwriters. Brindle Films is one of the NT’s premiere production companies, and we look forward to seeing the growth in Patrick’s career as he is mentored by Rachel Clements and Trisha Morton-Thomas across their exciting slate of projects.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest CEO, said, “We’re incredibly proud to be supporting Kelli Cross as she embarks on the next stage of her career through this wonderful opportunity. Easy Tiger has a fantastic track record for producing high quality Australian drama; we're excited to see Kelli gain invaluable experience and share her storytelling talents with the team.”

Kate Croser, CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, said, “The SAFC is delighted to once again support this initiative as part of our ongoing commitment to grow and diversify the pool of credited South Australian key creatives, and foster a screen industry which reflects the diversity and vibrancy of the South Australian community. We congratulate South Australian writer Elena Carapetis on being selected to work and collaborate with Adelaide’s award-winning Highview Productions, led by producer Lisa Scott.”

CEO of VicScreen, Caroline Pitcher said, “VicScreen is committed to supporting the development and growth of the future generations of our industry. Congratulations to Becki Bouchier and all the shortlisted Victorians, who demonstrate the extraordinary depth of our local talent pool. Sweetshop & Green are globally renowned for their artistic vision and advocation of diverse stories, and we look forward to following Becki and all the other participants’ careers through the program and beyond.”

Susie Hamilton, Professional Development Manager, Australian Writers’ Guild, added, The Emerging Writers’ Incubator has become one of the most valuable and practical industry opportunities available to promising, new writers. This year’s successful candidates are an exciting group of talented creatives who will undoubtedly thrive with the program. The AWG is delighted to continue its support this year.”

The six successful writers for 2022 were selected by SBS, Screen Australia and state and territory agencies from hundreds of applicants. The following applicants were shortlisted from each of the participating states and the Northern Territory this year:

  • NSW: Rojé Augustin, Taofia Pelesasa and Tim Spencer
  • NT: Onil Lad, Samantha Alexis Laughton
  • QLD: Amelia Pitcher and Tiana Roberts
  • SA: Stephanie Jaclyn and Christina Soong
  • VIC: Vivian Nguyen and Holly Tosi
  • WA: Jessica Bailey, Rafeif Ismail and Emma Vickery

Six writers who were selected in the initiative in its first year in 2021 have undertaken placements around the country with Sebastian Chan at Bunya Productions (supported by Screen Canberra), Lâle Teoman at Goalpost Pictures (supported by Screen NSW), Nicholas Lin at Ludo Studio (supported by Screen Queensland), Ansuya Nathan at Closer Productions (supported by the South Australian Film Corporation), Alberto Di Troia at Tony Ayres Productions (supported by VicScreen) and Cassandra Nguyen at Komixx Entertainment (supported by Screenwest).

Co-funded by SBS and Screen Australia, with participating state and territory screen agencies, the SBS Emerging Writers’ Incubator will support the careers of 18 emerging writers over the three years of the program, with six successful candidates partnered with production companies around Australia each year.


Sarah Vahtola, SBS

[email protected]

0497 532 782

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