Top row L-R: Darius Devas, Makushla Bourke, Ashley Gibb.
Middle row L-R: Mouche Phillips, Beverley Callow, Claire Pasvolsky.
Bottom row L-R: Gabrielle Stroud, Jane Hampson, Katie Tonkin.
Nine talented regional practitioners have been selected to participate in Screenworks’ three Career Pathway Programs for 2021. Delivered each year with support from Screen NSW, Screenworks Inside the Writers Room is also being supported by Every Cloud Productions, Fremantle and See-Saw Pictures. The Director Pathways Program is being supported by the Australian Directors Guild, with the Regional Producer Elevator Program being supported by Screen Producers Australia and Screen ABC.
“We look forward to supporting these talented regional practitioners in 2021 and advancing their careers,” said Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch. “We greatly appreciate the support that we receive from the various production companies and guilds who partner with us for these programs and help to provide the valuable industry experiences, introductions and advice. Not only do they support the progress of individual careers and projects but they also contribute to the growth of the screen industry in regional NSW.”
Mouche Phillips from Byron Bay and Makushla Bourke from Kalaru on the NSW South Coast have been selected for Screenworks Regional Producer Elevator Program. They will each receive $3,500 to support their professional and career development as well as a consultation with producer Andrena Finlay from Screen ABC, attendance at Screenworks Regional to Global Screen Forum in March and support from Screen Producers Australia.
For Screenworks’ Director Pathways Program, the calibre of applicants was so high that three participants were selected. These were Ashley Gibb, a Wiradjuri man currently living on the Coffs Coast, Beverly Callow and Darius Devas both from the Byron Bay region. Each of these selected participants will receive $3,500 to implement their unique career development programs and be supported by the Australian Directors Guild with guidance, advice and industry introductions.
Screenworks’ Inside the Writers Room will place four early career regional screenwriters in the writers rooms of some of Australia’s most respected drama production companies. Jane Hampson from Mayfield in Newcastle and Katie Tonkin from Northern NSW have both been selected to observe writers rooms at Fremantle Australia, Gabrielle Stroud from Merimbula on the South Coast of NSW will go to See Saw Pictures, and Claire Pasvolsky from Merewether in Newcastle will go to Every Cloud Productions.
The selection panels were made up of representatives from program partners, industry bodies and guilds and many of them commented on how strong the applications were and how difficult it was choosing the participants.
REGIONAL PRODUCER ELEVATOR PROGRAM
Mouche has worked in the arts since she was 11 years of age. Starting as a child actor in films and tv and eventually moving into theatre.
At 17 Mouche was invited to the London stage and after doing several productions, attended The Central School of Speech and Drama.
Upon returning to Australia, she along with fellow actors Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Cumpston, created The Tamarama Rock Surfers Theatre Co and The Fitzroy Theatre in Woolloomooloo. Mouche took on the role as producer while also working in advertising making TVC’s and eventually went on to run for 5 years Jeremy Sims’, Porkchop Productions Theatre Co, creating new works like ‘Last Cab To Darwin’ and ‘Rubys Last Dollar’ with Jackie Weaver and Barry Otto for The Sydney Opera House. Craving a ‘Greenacres’ sea change, in 2006 she moved with her family to Byron Bay.
In 2010 Mouche joined Byron Theatre to produce, program and curate their theatre and events program for 6 years and produced the inaugural NYE event, Soul St NYE and First Sun New Years Day in partnership with Byron Shire Council. In 2015 she took on the role as Partnership Manager for Byron Writers Festival which then led to the invitation to join Sydney Writers Festival and Sydney Festival over the last 4 years. Mouche is thrilled to have returned to Byron to work on the Deb Coxs’ Stan Series, Eden, and reconnect with local writer Sophie Hextor to develop her first feature film, WSmith.
Kush Bourke started working with Channel 31, Melbourne’s community television station, in 2003. In the 4yrs she was there she gained valuable experience producing, shooting and editing news segments for the nightly news and working as camera and AD on ‘The Union Show’ which was broadcast live across Melbourne and Geelong. This experience led to a career as a freelance journalist writing for Screen Hub, InTheMix and Live Loud Mag and to production work on short films, documentaries and more recently as a 3rd AD on a feature film.
Kush is also an actor, gourmet mushroom grower and single mum to 4 young children.
DIRECTOR PATHWAYS PROGRAM
Ash Gibb is a 33-Year-old Wiradjuri man currently living on the Coffs Coast, NSW. His intimate relationship with nature and the ocean influences much of his way of living with a love for freediving, surfing, scuba diving, Underwater Cinematography and exploring the outdoors.
Ash has balanced work in two primary fields – both involve providing a voice for marginalized groups. His passion for social impact has led him into the area of filmmaking which he started his career as a Skydiving Videographer working internationally. Ash started his own freelance business Side Tracked TV Multimedia Productions in 2016 and is now launching his new media business Ashwater Films with skills in editing, camera operation, writing and directing. Ash has had content featured globally and has worked for some well-known brands and internationally known artists and musicians. Ash also had one of his documentaries selected for production funding in 2019 as a part of the State of Alarm Initiative.
After some great initial success in factual storytelling Ash has attracted market interest with some of his current documentaries in development. Ash has now made the transition to filmmaking full time and is pursuing his love for storytelling and is mastering his skills as a Writer/ Director.
Beverley studied acting at University of Southern Queensland, and worked as an acting tutor, before transitioning to screen. While developing and directing short plays in Sydney’s emerging theatre scene, she attended TAFE for 5 years to learn skills of screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, live music production, composition, sound editing and fell into producing. She was selected to participate in SPA’s Emerging Producer’s Scheme in 2011, while directing short film The Salt Maiden, which she also produced when the original producer became unavailable. In 2015-2017, Beverley studied BA Screen at the Australian Film and Television School. During that time Beverley wrote, directed and produced short films and worked as a production attachment on Hacksaw Ridge, Blue Murder: Killer Cop and as an editing intern on The Investment Series. She has been a board member of WIFT VIC and WIFT NSW and facilitated events and mentorships for Tropfest and Byron Bay International Film Festival and at Townsville Cultural Festival. Beverley’s AFTRS graduation film Hate Dance, which she wrote, directed and edited, screened at Cyprus International Film Festival 2019, Byron International Film Festival 2020, Festival Demakijaz Film Festival Poland, 2020 and recently received an Honourable Mention at Kashmir International Film and Cultural Festival 2020. During this COVID year, she collaborated on the creation and development of a feature film and screenplay set in the rural valley where she lives and aims to use the Elevator to focus on developing her skills to support her to direct her first feature film.
Darius Devas is an award-winning filmmaker who through his compassionate and reflective nature, has an innate ability to connect with his characters and subjects to bring their story to life. He has also established himself as one of the leaders in short documentary filmmaking in Australia. This was solidified with international success of his interactive documentary series Goa Hippy Tribe for SBS TV. The project won him the prestigious 2012 SXSW Interactive Award for Film & TV as well as winning many other awards and selections at festivals worldwide.
In 2020 Darius Directed and Produced a web series for the ABC about mindfulness called Natural Mindful and a web series for headspace about the mental health impacts of the bushfires on young people. He is also developing a dramatic feature script, The Disappearance of Theo Hayez with producer Lois Randall.
In 2019 Darius’ documentary series The Common Thread examining mental health in the lives of young Australians, reached over a million views online and was widely acclaimed for it’s contribution to the conversation on youth mental health. He also released his documentary Spirit Walker – Clinton’s Walk For Justice on NITV. The film captures the incredible journey of the young indigenous man Clinton Pryor, who walked from Perth to Canberra to meet with the Prime Minister to speak about the injustice indigenous Australians face.
In 2016 Darius directed The Word, a six-part series for ABC iView about a new generation of poets from around Australia. Darius also created a series of intimate video portraits and an EPK on the Grammy nominated band Hiatus Kaiyote, for Sony Music.
In 2014 Darius’ short film Meeting Susan, starring Alison Bell, had its world premiere at the 2014 Sydney Film Festival. His experimental short Within, narrated by Guy Pearce, screened at the National Gallery of Victoria as part of Melbourne Now as well as TedXSydney 2014.
In 2009, Darius directed his first feature film, Further We Search, starring Xavier Samuel. In 2006, success with his travel film One Revolution gained him work with Lonely Planet TV, working on their online TV channel. Darius began filmmaking straight out of school in 2003, making a series of surf films, and continues to source his inspiration from the ocean.
INSIDE THE WRITERS ROOM
Jane Hampson is an award-winning writer and screenwriter working across film, television, theatre and online. Her background is in journalism and she has worked widely in Southeast Asia. She is a member of the AWG’s Pathways program and her awards include the NT Literary Award, the prestigious Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) INSITE Award as well as nominations for the AWG Writers’ Guild ‘Inside the Box’ TV Writing Award and the CineStory (LA) TV-Digital Fellowship. Her short films have been included in the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Darwin International Film Festival, with others represented at TIFF, MIFF and the AIDC. Commercial work includes scripting the award-winning fashion films ‘Life through Wool’ (Isabel Lucas) ‘Summer Wonder’ (Gemma Ward), which have received over 2.5 million hits combined. She is represented by Sharne McGee at Liberty Creative Management.
Gabbie Stroud is a creative from regional NSW. She’s a best-selling novelist, recovering teacher, professional speaker and advocate for change in the education system. As an author and freelance writer she has demonstrated capability across narrative, opinion, essay and features. Now, Gabbie is exploring screen storytelling through the adaptation of her latest novel Dear Parents (Allen & Unwin, 2019) for television.
Claire Pasvolsky is a graduate of The University of Newcastle (B.Arts Creative Writing), The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Master of Drama) and is currently a PhD candidate in Screenwriting at The University of Newcastle. Pasvolsky is currently in the edit phase of two films. The first is a feature film Three Chords and the Truth, which she directed and co-wrote. This ambitious project is a musical, based on the true story of singer/songwriter Jackie Marshall, an Australian woman who was destined for fame, were it not for serious illness. The second film is a half-hour documentary, Big Sky Girls that Pasvolsky also wrote and directed, which follows young women in rural Australia who are attempting to break into the music business. In 2020, Pasvolsky produced Calibrate, a feature length documentary, which won the Awareness Film Festival (USA) People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature. Calibrate is currently screening in festivals around the world and is due for streaming release in early 2021. Pasvolsky is currently developing both fiction and factual projects, such as her true crime series Australian Monsters, which delves into the dark crimes investigated by former high-profile Victorian Detective Narelle Fraser. Her podcast/drama series in development, The woman who left us, also forms part of Pasvolsky’s slate, and is a great example of her vision to create original female-driven narratives from the Australian point of view, but with international audience appeal.
Emerging writer/director Katie Willow Tonkin, is a proud Indigenous woman based in the Northern Rivers and also a mother to 11yr old Triplets.
Just completing her Certificate IV in Screen and Media at Kingscliff TAFE, Katie is currently studying a Diploma of Screen and Media. In late 2020 Katie wrote and directed two short drama’s -Generations and Drama in the Line. Generations tells about a young fair skin Indigenous girl who is desperate to find her identity while also struggling with a painful secret. Authentic and real issues that are important to Katie. Drama in the Line is a comedy/fight short film about how the world will just wait in line for just about anything and the arrogance of people who push in. Katie is driven and excited to create and work on Indigenous films as a writer and director, bringing powerful Australian stories close to her heart to life. Yet she is also keen to work with established filmmakers to learn the tools to do so. Katie is excited about the path ahead and is already in development on two short films she has recently written, aiming to go into production in 2021.