Karenza Ebejer from Goonellabah and Simon Portus from Sawtell

They will each receive $3,500 to put toward a professional development program of their making and be given career support and industry introductions from Screenworks and the Australian Directors Guild.


Director Pathways Program is a professional development program, delivered in partnership with the Australian Directors Guild (ADG) with the support of Create NSW, that provides bespoke career development opportunities to two emerging and early-career directors living in regional NSW.

The program is designed to increase the participating directors’ skills and industry experience by supporting a tailor-made career development plan and providing relevant screen industry introductions, that will ultimately assist the participating directors build viable and successful careers. Screenworks will invest $3,500 toward implementing each of the selected participants’ career plans.

The program is open to directors of all genres, including (but not limited to) TV drama directors, documentary directors and children’s television directors. This program would best suit early-career directors who are genuinely committed to building their skills as a professional director and need the support and opportunities to further their career. Through this program, participants will enhance their directing skills in order to contribute to the growth of the screen industry in Regional NSW.



Two directors will undertake the following program:


As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit a draft career development plan where proposed activities are to the value of $3,500 (excluding GST). Career development plans may be made up of any combination of the following (or other opportunities):

  • Professional development training, courses or other opportunities
  • Attachment or mentorships with a recognised director
  • Preparation of director’s notes and relevant documents to support
    funding applications for project.

Click here to see an example of a career development plan.


Successful participants will be required to deliver a written report to Screenworks on their involvement in the Director Pathways Program and to present to local Screenworks members about the outcomes from their involvement in the program (at the completion of the program).


Screenworks, the Australian Directors Guild and a panel of professional screen directors will be involved in the assessment process to select the two early-career directors to take part in the project.

Once the two directors have been selected, Create NSW, Screenworks, the Australian Directors Guild and a professional director will review, refine and approve the selected participants’ career development plan.


To be eligible for Screenworks Director Pathways Program you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. A screen industry director that has achieved Initial Success* in the industry. (* refer to definition below)
  2. Demonstrate that you have been living in Regional NSW * for a minimum period of 12 months prior to submitting your application. (* refer to definitions below)
  3. Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  4. Complete all sections of the application form and submit the application prior to TBC.


1. A  draft career development plan that includes:

  • a professional development statement that outlines your achievements as a director, as well as your creative and career goals for one year, three years and five years; and
  • an outline of the barriers you face in achieving your career goals and potential ways of overcoming the barriers for example, consider potential mentors, attendance at conferences/markets to help overcome the difficulty of access to highly experienced professionals and making industry connections.
  • The draft career development plan should identify proposed activities up to the value of $3,500 (excluding GST).

Click here to view a sample of a draft career development plan.

2. A sample of your work: Please provide a link to an online video of your work

3. Details on your current project (including title, short synopsis, format etc)

4. An up to date resume/CV

5. A letter of support from a screen industry professional who has known you for more than 12 months and/or is familiar with your work.


The following selection criteria will be considered when assessing applicants for participation in Screenworks Director Pathways Program (all criteria areas are equally weighted):

  • The potential effectiveness of the professional development plan to help the applicant build relevant industry skills, overcome identified career barriers to living and working regionally with defined outcomes that help achieve future creative and career goals.
  • The skills, achievements, experience and track record of the applicant(s) and the quality of their previous work. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how they meet the “Initial Success” eligibility criteria.
  • The potential of the applicant to contribute to and enhance the growth of screen production in regional Northern NSW demonstrated by the quality of current projects, previous works and letters of support provided.

Applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people and people living in remote areas of Australia are strongly encouraged.

Screenworks is strongly committed to ensuring equal access to this project – if you require assistance with your application, please contact Screenworks on: Telephone: (02) 6687 1599.


Assessment Process:

All applications will receive an initial eligibility, quality and relevance assessment by Screenworks staff. Shortlisted applications will be sent to ADG and an independent assessment panel comprised of highly qualified and experienced screen directors.

The assessment panel will consider how well the eligible applicants meet the selection criteria (see above).

Applicants will be notified by late November/early December 2017 in writing of the outcome of their application.

Application Deadlines:

Applications to Screenworks Director Pathways Program close MIDDAY 2nd November.

Applications must be submitted using the online application form available via Screenworks website. No late entries will be accepted, no extensions will be granted. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.

Screenworks will advise all applicants in writing of application success or otherwise. No specific feedback will be given on individual applications.



Initial Success” – To demonstrate Initial Success, applicants are asked to identify one of the following:

  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has achieved broadcast, theatrical release or been commissioned or acquired by a major online content provider; or
  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has been included in a curated festival, with preference given to the festivals profiled on the Screen Australia website
    ( audiences/festival-profiles) or on the 88th (2016) Academy Awards Short Films Qualifying Festivals List (
  • a director credit for a dramatic or factual film or screen work that has attracted an online audience of 500,000 or more views.

A director may also be considered eligible if they have had recent success in projects currently in development that may meet one of the above criteria.

“Regional NSW” – Regional NSW includes the Central Coast, Hunter and Illawarra and is defined as the areas or regions outside of Sydney and Western Sydney. Please refer to this document for clarification.


Screenworks’ Director Pathways Program is supported by
 Create NSW and the Australian Directors Guild

Create NSW

Create NSW is the statutory authority established to assist, promote and strengthen the screen industry in NSW so as to promote Australia’s cultural identity, encourage employment in all aspects of screen production, encourage investment in the industry, enhance the industry’s export potential, encourage innovation and enhance quality in the industry.

Australian Directors Guild

The Australian Directors Guild (ADG) is a registered industry association representing the interests of film, television and digital media directors, documentary makers and animators throughout Australia.

ADG works to promote excellence in screen direction, to encourage communication and collaboration between directors and others in the industry and to provide professional support for its members.

ADG is proud to represent the key creative elements of the Australian independent production sector, and maintains its high profile in a cultural and policy role by addressing issues affecting the industry from a broad perspective.

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