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International Women’s Day: meet the Women in Screen

Meet the nine women profiled in ABC’s Women in Screen series, hear about their journey behind the camera, and find out what advice they have for those starting out.

Pauline Clague, Caitlin Yeo and Jennifer PeedomPauline Clague, Caitlin Yeo and Jennifer Peedom

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, the ABC is celebrating the careers and creativity of nine trailblazing women.

Their expertise has helped create a wealth of Australian films and TV, from The Sapphires, to Sherpa, to Q&A and Soul Mates.

Hear these inspiring individuals recall how they got their start, and what it’s been like working in production design, camera departments, music, editing, directing and more.

Apply now to get your own start in the Australian screen industry through ABC and Screen Australia’s Your Time Cadetship

Cinematographer: Bonnie Elliott ACS

Cinematography is a stereotypically male-dominated area, but Bonnie Elliott ACS has been carving out a path as DoP (director of photography) for films such as Spear, TV including Seven Types of Ambiguity and Romper Stomper, and documentaries like A Life Exposed.

Editor: Dany Cooper ASE

An award-winning and Emmy®-nominated editor, Dany Cooper ASE cut her first feature film, Michael Rymer’s Angel Baby, in 1995 (which she won an AFI Award for) and never looked back. Cooper has cut everything from films such as The Sapphires, Holding the Man, Candy and Simon Baker’s upcoming directorial debut Breath, to TV including Redfern Now and Puberty Blues.

Producer: Pauline Clague

A storyteller above all else, Pauline Clague has worked for the ABC, SBS, NITV and AFTRS over the past 20+ years, helping to develop the voices and stories of emerging Indigenous filmmakers. She is also Artistic Director of Winda Film Festival.

Director: Jennifer Peedom

After leaving the corporate world, Jennifer Peedom got her start on ABC documentary series Race Around Oz (2000), and since then has established herself as a formidable talent in Australian documentary – first with Solo, then the BAFTA-nominated Sherpa and most recently Mountain, in collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. She co-founded the company Stranger than Fiction Films, which produced the acclaimed David Stratton: A Cinematic Life.

Production Designer: Ella Carey

The person responsible for creating the world of a film or television project, Ella Carey’s in-demand work can be seen in the sets and look of popular comedy series including Growing Up Gracefully, the time-hopping Soul Mates, and female-driven sketch series Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am.

Screen Composer: Caitlin Yeo

Tasked with elevating or capturing the messages, tone and emotions of a film or television project through her compositions, Caitlin Yeo has written the music for the likes of acclaimed feature The Rocket, the Cannes Film Festival-selected documentary David Stratton: A Cinematic Life and telemovie Killing Ground. She’s currently the President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers and is one of 18 women on the Gender Matters Taskforce.

First AD: Hilary Firth

A director’s “eyes and ears and voice” on the studio floor, Hilary Firth is a First Assistant Director (or First AD) and Floor Manager for the ABC, where she works on the studio set of Q&A, on high stakes live broadcasts, and across everything from ABC News to Play School.

Director’s Assistant: Madeleine Holder

With more than three decades of experience as a Director’s Assistant and Director, Madeleine Holder is the one making sure everything is running to time in the control room during a live TV broadcast. Her directing career came about after being thrown in the deep end, when a project she was working on suddenly found itself without a director – and she stepped in.

Sound Designer: Anne Breslin

Influenced by her audio-obsessed father and musical family, Anne Breslin thinks she was always destined to work in sound post-production. When she began working as a sound editor in the early 80s, she says she was one of around five women in the entire country. Since then she’s worked in the sound department on numerous projects, including films such as Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, TV movie Redfern Now: Promise Me and the documentary Contact.