THE AUSTRALIAN INTERNATIONAL SCREEN FORUM NEW YORK 2022
The Australian International Screen Forum's 4th annual industry event was held in person from September 6-8, 2022 at Film at Lincoln Center for the first time since 2019. With premiere screenings, retrospectives and an industry conference, the Aussie Screen Forum showcased innovative Australian and international content and conversations with film industry mentors and heralded exciting new filmmakers via the Talent USA showcase.
SCREEN TALKS and panels
The Oscar-winning producer of NOMADLAND, Mollye Asher, discussed her career and projects, including her frequent collaborations with director Chloe Zhao. Mollye’s talk focused on low to mid budget filmmaking as well as working with non actors and diverse storytelling.
Actor and producer Rose Byrne sat down with journalist and producer Jenny Cooney in a career retrospective talk. MTV co-founder Fred Siebert spoke to delegates about his 40 plus year career in television and his role behind the genesis of major TV brands Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite. The ScreenTalks program ended with a rare treat as famed Australian director Phil Noyce (pictured bottom right) spoke for nearly two hours in a captivating masterclass that outlined his remarkable body of work and techniques.
General industry panels consisted of a showcase dubbed Excellence in First Nations Storytelling, moderated by head of First Nations at Screen Australia, Angela Bates, where executives and filmmakers discussed their role within the industry and the importance of authentic voices. A select group of Australian directors who are part of the 2022 Talent USA delegation discussed their work to date and what’s next as their careers move forward as part of a Director's Showcase. Next we heard from Deirdre Brennan, Chief Operating Officer of WildBrain, Jules Borkent Managing Director, EVP International Kids and Family Brands at Paramount Global and Fred Siebert, Founder, Executive Producer Fred Films as they discussed the trends and the future of children’s animation at a global level.
The screening program kick off with Gracie Otto's SERIOUSLY RED (pictured top center), as the Opening Night Film in an exclusive industry preview ahead of its U.S. release in 2023. In this rowdy and rambunctious musical comedy Red (Krew Boylan) is at a crossroads in her life. A vivacious and hilarious redhaired woman grappling with high expectations and low self-esteem, she pours herself a cup of ambition and trades her 9 to 5 career in real estate for a life under the spotlight as a Dolly Parton impersonator. After misreading her work party’s dress code, Red tumbles outta bed into a new world of tribute artists and impersonators in her wild and messy journey that includes romancing a Kenny Rogers impersonator. Red must lose herself to find herself. As Dolly Parton says, “Be Yourself Because Everyone is taken’.” The film is produced with the full support of Dolly Parton and Danny Nozell (executive producer) and features a catalogue of Dolly Parton's greatest hits.
Our TV showcase featured two episodes of the ground breaking drama TRUE COLORS (pictured bottom left) dubbed as "authentic and powerful" and "Australian noir at its best". A murder in central Australia takes Detective Toni Alma (Rarriwuy Hick) back to her hometown of Perdar Theendar. As the clues lead back to her own family, she must navigate two cultures and two laws to find justice. With both English and Arrernte dialogue, this is a murder mystery like no other, exploring culture, community, family and one woman's pursuit to find her place within it. Co-Created by Erica Glynn and Warren H Williams. Written by Steven McGregor, Erica Glynn and Danielle McLean. Produced by the multi award winning Bunya Productions (Mystery Road, Sweet Country).
Our closing night film is a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of RABBIT PROOF FENCE with the film's acclaimed director, Phillip Noyce, present. The film tells the story of three mixed-race girls who are forcibly taken from their Aboriginal mothers by the Australian government, to be raised as white. In the film, the girls escape detention and two of them walk the length of a 1,500-mile fence to try to reunite with their community. The film exposed a little-known Australian government program that ran from 1905 to 1971. Released in 2002, the film provoked fierce criticism from the Australian government, which feared that a director of Noyce's stature, known for international thrillers such as DEAD CALM and PATRIOT GAMES, would guarantee an international audience for the film. He did. The Australian government at the time demanded an apology from Noyce for the film. "They're asking me to apologize?" said Noyce. "Maybe they could apologize to our Indigenous citizens."The film had a profound effect on the Australian public in both the white and Aboriginal communities, and the children taken in this program became known as the "Stolen Generations." Noyce has said that his proudest moment as a director was "showing that film to various Aboriginal communities around the country and seeing their response, because it gave validity to the experiences of the stolen generations." The film ranks as one of Australia's most important films.
The Screen Forum's Chairman and Co-founder Chris Beale presented its Trailblazer Awards to Phil Noyce.
Held immediately prior to the Screen Forum industry program was the Talent USA program for rising screen creatives, with support from Screen Australia. A select group of Australian screen creatives participated in two weeks of exclusive and bespoke professional development and networking sessions, meeting with key New York-based screen decision-makers. Talent USA's purpose is to help establish and foster creative and business relationships for their careers, and for Australian screen projects.