Australian Directors' Guild   

  • HOME


Is the director really at the centre? Throughout the history of screen storytelling, directors, producers and writers have maneuvered towards a central authorship role when making feature films, TVCs, music videos, online content and episodic series. This movement and jostle at the centreis often rooted in a belief that a singularity of vision brings originality and coherence to screen storytelling. So what’s it like at the centre when the lead voice is proclaimed as the ‘director’ or the ‘showrunner’ or the ‘producer’ across various formats? This session will freewheel through some contentious and interesting territory. 

Moderator: Rowan Woods


  • Daina Reid 
  • Genevieve Clay-Smith
More speakers to be confirmed


Daina Reid began her film career as a comedy writer and actor before making the move behind the camera. Most recently, Daina’s US work includes The Shining Girls (Apple) starring Elizabeth Moss and The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu). Her episode “Holly” received an Emmy┬« and a Director’s Guild of America nomination. Daina has directed The Outsider (HBO), Upload (Amazon), Space Force (Netflix) and David Makes Man (OWN/Warner Television), which won the 2020 Peabody Award in the Entertainment category. 

In Australia, Daina directed the series remake of the classic film Romper Stomper (Stan); Sunshine (SBS)a 4-part miniseries set in Melbourne’s South Sudanese community which won the 2017 AACTA Award (Best Telefeature or Miniseries) and the ADG Award for Best Direction of a TV Miniseries. Daina directed the mini-series adaptation of The Secret River by Kate Grenville, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival and screened at the Festival International De Programmes Audiovisuels in Biarritz, France.

Daina is a frequent collaborator of award-winning producer John Edwards. Their projects include Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo and Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, both of which received AACTA Award nominations for Best Direction. Following the success of The Birth of CleoDaina directed the follow-up miniseries Paper Giants: Magazine Wars. In 2013, she established Nowhere Boys which won the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Television Series. Other credits include The Wrong Girl, the final seasons of The Dr Blake Mysteries, Offspring; Never Tear Us Apart; The Untold Story of INXS, Ready for This, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Rush and City Homicide to name a few. Her first feature film, I Love You Too, starred Yvonne Strahovski and Peter Dinklage, and told the story of a commitment-phobe and a New Ager who buddy up to win the women of their dreams.


Genevieve is an award winning writer and director and co-founder of Bus Stop Films. Genevieve has pioneered inclusive filmmaking in Australia and globally, working with major production companies and brands to create inclusive content, so that people with disability can equally participate in the film and advertising industries. Read more here.

ROWAN WOODS - Moderator

Rowan Woods is a director of TV and feature films, Head of Directing at AFTRS and President of the ADG. Woods’ feature film debut THE BOYS (1998) was nominated for 9 AFI Awards, winning Best Director and selected in competition for the Berlinale. He directed LITTLE FISH (2006) starring Academy Award winner, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving which was nominated for 13 AFI Awards, 11 FCCA Awards, 8 IF Awards, including Best Film and Best Director. Rowan Woods’ US feature FRAGMENTS starred Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, and Academy Award winner, Forest Whitaker.

In 2016, Rowan Woods was set-up director for the multi-award winning THE KETTERING INCIDENT, winner of Special Jury Prize winner at Series Mania, Paris. Rowan was also awarded ADG Award for Best Direction in a Telemovie for THE BROKEN SHORE and has directed all series of multi-award- winning TV series RAKE for ABC TV. Rowan Woods’ reputation as drama director is complemented by directing international VFX-driven TV series including FARSCAPE, SPARTACUS and HUNTERS for Exec producer, Gayle Anne Hurd. More recently, Rowan Woods won a Children’s BAFTA (2019) with Tony Ayers for his set-up episodes of the children’s series NOWHERE BOYS for ABC TV and directed THE COMMONS (2020) for Stan, Playmaker and SONY.