Today Screenworks celebrates its 20th birthday!! What has been your Screenworks highlight from the past 20 years?

It all started in 1998 when John & Susannah Weiley organised a gathering to see how many filmmakers were living and working in the region – they were overwhelmed when over 100 people showed up. The gathering was the catalyst for the creation of Screenworks and there have been so many people involved in making Screenworks the success it is today and a handful of key people that were critical in establishing Screenworks in 2000, namely John Weiley, Lois Randall, Catherine Marciniak and Cathy Henkel.

It was on 20 December 2000 that Screenworks was officially established and like all small organisations, it has gone through its share of changes, challenges and triumphs. Thank you to everyone who has been involved from those early days – especially the funding bodies, our sponsors and all of our supporters who continue to help us deliver on our goals and objectives. Thank you to all the board members over 20 years who have given up their time to help shape the organisation and, of course, all of the staff who always go above and beyond to support people and projects in the Northern Rivers and beyond.

Screenworks has made many things possible for regional screen practitioners during its 20 years. For example, in 2003, Screenworks was instrumental in bringing the Australian International Documentary Conference to Byron Bay, which attracted over 800 delegates from around the world. More recently, we have started connecting regional Australians to Hollywood with our Regional Screen in LA Program – and far too many other programs, events and initiatives over the years. But we have also gone through our challenging times – and it’s here that we’d like to acknowledge and thank Lyn McCarthy and Jenny Cornish who kept the organisation going for a year or two when it was packed up in boxes in a shed.

Today, on our 20th birthday, we’re extremely proud of what we continue to achieve each year on the limited resources that we have. In 2020, despite all of the challenges that we have faced, Screenworks has delivered a record 44 events that have been attended or viewed by almost 2,500 people. Our organisation continues to focus its support on our grassroots region in the Northern Rivers, but now also supports regional people in every state and territory – from the top of Australia in Far North Queensland and across the entire continent.

Most importantly, we want to sincerely thank all of our members who have supported us over the past 20 years – including Screenworks Member # 1, Aliison Kelly (who has never let her membership lapse) – without all of our members, we simply wouldn’t exist and we continue to be here ready to help you achieve your screen industry goals.

Happy birthday Screenworks and to all of our Screenworks Family!
Ken Crouch, CEO Screenworks

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