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THE AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS’ GUILD LAUNCHES ITS QUEENSLAND LOCAL2GLOBAL INITIATIVE, A CAREER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SCREEN QUEENSLAND


THURSDAY 17 MARCH 2022: The Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) announced today the new Local2Global program in partnership with Screen Queensland. This high calibre skills development and production placement initiative will support up to 40 emerging, early-career and mid-career Queensland resident directors through a targeted series of workshops and seminars, aimed to accelerate directors’ careers and bolster Queensland’s directorial capacity.

Alaric McAusland, Executive Director of the ADG said, “We are tremendously excited to announce this important new Queensland initiative. Thanks to Screen Queensland, we are now able to deliver a best-in-class learning and development curriculum and placement program for Queensland directors, which we believe will deliver exceptional career outcomes for the participant practitioners and improved production opportunities for the state.”

The program commences with the ‘Pool Phase’, an industry development opportunity comprising of nine online webinars, led by established industry director mentors. The online webinars will focus on platform, craft and best business practices for directors, which is suitable for early-career and mid-career directors, as well as a small cohort of emerging or entry-level directors.

‘Pool Phase’ participants will be eligible for selection into the program’s second chapter, the ‘Candidate Phase’. This provides bespoke career guidance for 10 directors, who will work closely with industry mentors to develop a dedicated Career Plan to help support their career transition and provide tangible pathways to achieve their directing goals. Along with the mentorship phase, up to three Queensland-based directors will also be selected to participate in a Director’s Attachment or Shadow Directing opportunity.

Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich said, “This partnership with the Australian Directors’ Guild further enables our talented local screen directors to increase their skillset through access to nationally renowned experts. These industry experts will share valuable insights and tips across feature films, television series and online content.”  

Mairi Cameron, ADG Queensland Chapter Head said, “Being a previous recipient of an ADG Shadow Directing opportunity, I know the incredibly positive impact that programs of this type can have on an emerging director’s career. I was fortunate to direct an episode of Hoodlum’s Harrow, working with the formidable and inspiring Geoff Bennett as my mentor. With this credit, I was able to secure an opportunity to direct a block of episodes on the subsequent series and a block on Cordell Jigsaw’s Darby & Joan.” 


More details about the program and eligibility can be found on the Screen Queensland website here, with applications through the ADG website here. Applications are open now until 5pm on Thursday, 14th April 2022


ABOUT THE ADG

Founded in 1981, The Australian Directors’ Guild is a not-for-profit industry association representing the interests of over 1,000 Screen Director members working across film, television, streaming and digital media. It aims to improve professional standards, conditions, and remuneration for Australian Screen Directors, protect and advance the creative rights of its members and promote a cultural voice that is truly representative of Australia’s innate diversity. As a cultural organisation it also seeks to advance its understanding of the director’s role by sharing and exchanging future-focused knowledge and skills. It is the collective voice of directors and represents directors’ interests to federal & state governments, to state and screen funding agencies and regulators, to broadcasters, studios, to other industry bodies and to the media.

ABOUT SCREEN QUEENSLAND

Screen Queensland is the Queensland Government-owned screen agency that invests in production, talent development programs and screen culture festivals to grow a successful local screen industry across the state. The agency supports locally produced films, series and games, and secures international and interstate production and post-production for Queensland. It also operates Screen Queensland Studios in Brisbane, which most recently hosted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s autobiographical comedy series Young Rock and the Oscar-nominated Paramount feature film Love & Monsters. Recent productions supported by Screen Queensland include HarrowBluey, Strait to the Plate, Holey Moley, Australian Survivor, Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarök and upcoming releases Thirteen Lives, directed by Ron Howard, and the Elvis biopic directed by Baz Luhrmann. Screen Queensland is deeply committed to uplifting the voices of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the industry and increasing diversity on and off screen. For more information on funding programs, incentives, locations and facilities, visit screenqueensland.com.au.

Media enquiries: 

Alaric McAusland

+61417299079

alaric@adg.org.au

www.adg.org.au



Following the hugely successful DirectOne Shadow program the ADG are delighted to announce the launch of its successor program, Credit Maker, a high calibre initiative that will now support 12 female practitioners not only across directing, but also cinematography and composing, to attain a career defining credit on a scripted production; to elevate their career trajectory; and, to bring change in female HoD representation in the sector. 

Credit Maker is supported by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters umbrella in partnership with the Australian Directors Guild, the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers. Gender Matters is the umbrella name of Screen Australia’s efforts to address the underutilisation of female talent in key creative roles in the Australian screen industry. 

The Credit Maker program will open in a few weeks time and we will announce call for applications shortly. 

The full press release from Screen Australia is shared below: 

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08 03 2022 - MEDIA RELEASE

SCREEN AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES CREDIT MAKER PROGRAM FOR FEMALE DIRECTORS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS AND COMPOSERS

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Screen Australia is thrilled to announce the new Credit Maker program, a high calibre initiative that will support 12 female practitioners across directing, cinematography and composing to attain a career defining credit on a scripted production; to elevate their career trajectory; and, to bring change in female HoD representation in the sector. Supported through the agency’s Gender Matters umbrella in partnership with the Australian Directors Guild, the Australian Cinematographers Society and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers, who will deliver the program.

Credit Maker will support 12 female practitioners across directing, cinematography and composing to shadow an established practitioner on a scripted project in production. This will enable them to attain a credit that will elevate their consideration for future lead positions and accelerate their career pathway in their given field.

Joanna Werner, Chair of the Gender Matters Taskforce said, “There is still a long way to go for gender parity in Heads of Department roles. Credit Maker aims to improve this, building on the success of the ADG’s Shadow Directing program supported through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers funding scheme which helped twelve women gain credits in directing. Credit Maker is an exciting beginning, and we hope that this initiative brings real impact and change. The Gender Matters Taskforce will continue to work strategically to plan for other under-served areas of female representation in the sector.”

Louise Gough, Head of Development at Screen Australia said, “We know that female Heads of Department are under-represented in roles in scripted projects due to credit requirements and career access and progression opportunities. Screen Australia is committed to helping increase the representation of women across all areas of our industry and fostering an equitable sector. We are proud to support the guilds to deliver the program and provide these opportunities within the production sector for women to gain credits at the calibre that will allow them to secure their next role.”

The Australian Directors’ Guild Senior Development Manager, Belinda Button said, “Having seen first-hand the career-changing opportunities provided to 12 female directors participating in the predecessor program DirectOne, the ADG are now thrilled to be involved in Credit Maker also. We commend Screen Australia on this critical Gender Matters initiative. With our Guild colleagues, we look forward to helping more women realise success in HoD roles across the screen industry.”

The Australian Cinematographers Society said, “Credit Maker is a career and life changing scheme and it’s a dream come true for the ACS, particularly for those who served on the ACS Women’s Advisory Panel for the last decade. Data has long shown the loss and attrition of talented female cinematographers who did not make it through to shoot high level productions because they did not get the opportunity. 

The ACS recently commissioned a world-first survey specifically of the Australian camera workforce, which will soon be launched and the results continue to highlight the shocking paucity of women’s participation and engagement as cinematographers across the Australian Film & Television Industry. The impact of the Credit Maker scheme on the careers of female cinematographers will last for generations to come.”

The Australian Guild of Screen Composers said, “The AGSC enthusiastically welcomes the Credit Maker program, marking the potential for a fundamental shift in the careers of mid-tier female composers. The Gender Equity Committee has done ground-breaking work in the analysis of and support for female screen composers and the Credit Maker program will provide a credit that will be recognised throughout the industry and will have ongoing significance.”

Download the full press release here

MEDIA ADVISORY 

Australian Directors’ Guild launches its ‘DIRECTORY’  

   

SYDNEY, FEBRUARY 22ND 2022: The ADG today announced the launch of a first of its type searchable database showcasing Australia’s directorial talent; Its ‘DIRECTORY’ is designed as a new resource to benefit both its members and the wider screen community.  

The ADG is holding an online launch event on the 25th of February to provide information about its DIRECTORY’ with ADG President Rowan on-hand to officially launch the initiative.  

“Our Directory is part of ADG’s efforts to support the career aspirations of all members, no matter what stage of their career, how they specialize or where they are located”, said ADG President Rowan Woods. 

The ADG DIRECTORY provides detailed information on its members in a searchable online database giving industry stakeholders up-to-date and granular member credentials to allow them to match and select the most suitable director for their next project - across all backgrounds, formats, genres and locations. The ADG is actively promoting its DIRECTORY extensively throughout the Australian industry and internationally with a view creating more solid direct links between producers, production companies, networks, studios, agents and other industry stakeholders and its members. 

“There’s a long-identified need to build a platform providing an immediate connection between producers and our members. So, we’re absolutely thrilled to be launching a national talent database which provides a consistent repository of member credentials and streamlines the director search process. The ADG’s DIRECTORY will undoubtedly lead to better exposure and additional employment opportunities for our members and make producers lives a whole lot easier”, says ADG Executive Director Alaric McAusland.  

ADG’s Directory goes live today, Tuesday 22nd of February 2022 [22.2.22] with the ADG advising that it will also be using its DIRECTORY for shortlisting member candidates for its shadow and attachments programs and other career development initiatives. 

“The advanced search option of our Directory will make it possible for Indigenous, POC, LGBTQI, CaLD, directors with a disability or directors located in regional areas to be found. This is vital for intersectional approaches to inclusion for directors as well as the entire screen industry.” says Ana Tiwary, the ADG Strategy and Development Executive.  

To be included in its Directory, Directors will need to be an ADG member and follow the steps on the ADG Website: www.adg.org.au/directory. All members and interested industry participants are welcome to the ADG launch event at 10.30am AEST on Friday 25th February with registration here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/adg-directory-launch-tickets-271625508207  

 

Contact: 

Ana Tiwary 

Strategy & Development Executive 

AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD  

e: ana.tiwary@adg.org.au | w: www.adg.org.au 

 


GOVT PROPOSAL A WHITE FLAG TO THE STREAMERS


The Australian Directors’ Guild is appalled at the reforms proposed in the Streaming Services Reporting and Investment Scheme put forward by Minister Fletcher this week.

“This ‘white’ paper must look like a white flag to the streamers happily sucking $2bn out of our economy with still no obligation to give back,” said ADG Executive Director Alaric McAusland. “After a year of government hearings, where very evidently there was not much listening going on, this is a slap in the face for the local production industry and more than a missed opportunity for the Minister - it’s a cop out!”

“The industry (obviously streamers excepted) was united in its call to oblige streamers to commit to spending 20% of what they make here on Australian content. The legislative measures we called for have historically proven to be the only effective measures that ensure Australians continue to see themselves reflected on Australian screens - not ‘graduated’ threshold monitoring with shed-loads of ministerial discretion,” said McAusland. 

“This soft approach will only see us marching back to the deregulated wastelands of the 70s where only 1% of drama on our screens was Australian,” said McAusland. “And Fletcher’s deregulatory Christmas gift to the commercial networks in 2020 is already severely damaging our industry with 20/21 data from Screen Australia and ACMA evidencing a 50% decline in drama production by the commercial broadcasters,” said McAusland. “There remains an urgent need to implement repairs and complete the job of reform before our local TV production industry slides further backwards towards a precipice from which it will not return. With the government stating it’s working with our broadcasters ‘on a future regulatory structure that is optimised for the technology changes the sector faces’ we shudder to think what’s on the commercial networks’ and streamers’ Christmas lists this year.”

“Our 20% ask is in line with other forward thinking international jurisdictions similarly being overrun by cheaper US and UK content. The white paper cites other international jurisdictions like Germany with lower local content obligations, but these have the added barrier of language as protection. It’s like comparing apples to bratwurst. 5% would require a measly $100m local spend, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the $37bn the major international streamers reportedly have to spend on new content each year. This tepid and tiered reporting scheme would mean Australian content continuing to dwell in the fringes on these platforms for years to come,” said McAusland.

“Whilst we welcome the stated changes to ABC and SBS funding that bring back indexation, as all the money goes to designated programs it’s not growing these critical public broadcasters. It’s necessary and long overdue repair work but it’s doing nothing to set them up for future opportunities,” said McAusland. “Of particular concern, once again, is that there’s absolutely no consideration in the discussion paper for quotas for Australian kids’ content; there still remains absolutely no obligation for Australian broadcasters to produce and show it. Does the minister really want our kids growing up with American accents?”

The government is seeking submissions on its discussion paper by 24 April 2022, you can have your say here. We’d also encourage you to join the Make it Australian campaign here.

To download the article in PDF format please click here



BIG BOOST FOR THE SCREEN SECTOR:

The ‘Make it Australian’ coalition, supported by the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG), the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG), the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and Screen Producers Australia (SPA) welcomed the passage through Parliament of measures to increase the level of support for screen content provided through vital tax incentives.

“The Parliament’s actions today mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter for small screen production and will boost the amount and quality of Australian content reaching Australian audiences on the small screen,” said Alaric McAusland, Executive Director of the ADG.

Read the full press release here.


The Australian screen industry has led the way in getting back to work and rebuilding the national economy during the pandemic. But the government announced changes to tax incentives last year that will make it much harder for certain genres to be financed and it relaxed content rules for traditional TV platforms which will lead to fewer productions across the board and most alarmingly, there is now no regulatory obligation for any Australian commercial TV station to produce or show Australian children’s content. Documentary has been undervalued in these changes too. Screen Producers Australia modelling estimates an overall annual decline in production from this partial deregulation of $100m.

The ADG and other guilds took to Canberra in March under the Make It Australian banner demanding government reconsider its position and that it also looked to ensure the big streamers made a fair contribution to Australian stories by regulating their levels of investment in Australian content.



The Australian screen industry has led the way in getting back to work and rebuilding the national economy during the pandemic. But the government announced changes to tax incentives last year that will make it much harder for certain genres to be financed and it relaxed content rules for traditional TV platforms which will lead to fewer productions across the board and most alarmingly, there is now no regulatory obligation for any Australian commercial TV station to produce or show Australian children’s content. Documentary has been undervalued in these changes too. Screen Producers Australia modelling estimates an overall annual decline in production from this partial deregulation of $100m.

The ADG and other guilds took to Canberra in March under the Make It Australian banner demanding government reconsider its position and that it also looked to ensure the big streamers made a fair contribution to Australian stories by regulating their levels of investment in Australian content. Read more here. 

Whilst this united advocacy ultimately lead to the government walking back its decision to reduce the feature film offset and its decision to halve PAY TV’s obligation for new Australian drama, the government still plans to move forward with other detrimental offset reforms and is slow in implementing obligations on the streamers in spite of their incredible growth in reach and influence.

According to Deloitte’s latest Media Consumer Survey, four out of five Australian households now have at least one digital entertainment subscription, most have more than two, with an estimated 70 per cent of Australians subscribing to at least one SVOD service. Research from Kantar found a staggering 1.4million Australian households added at least one new video subscription service in the three months to June 2021.

We want to see a robust and sustainable Australian screen industry and we want to see high-quality, commercially viable and internationally competitive Australian content on ALL our screens. It is vital that Australians continue to see themselves and their stories on the platforms they are flocking to, and to secure a stable future for the industry that creates and makes that content.

The government issued a Green Paper on a number of proposed media reforms including regulation of streamers and our full submission can be found here

Our submission included the following proposed reforms:

  1. Streamers to be required to reinvest 20% of their Australian-sourced revenue into commissioning new Australian content. 
  2. The investment obligation should apply to all types of SVOD, AVOD and broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) services with no exemption for services owned by a corporate structure that also owns a broadcasting licence. 
  3. Eligible service providers must comply with genre sub-quotas for drama, children’s television and documentary and these quotas must come with promotion and discoverability requirements. 
  4. Eligible service providers should be required to spend 80% of their expenditure obligation on the local independent sector. 
  5. An increase in the direct funding of the public broadcasters who have been left with the sole responsibility of programming vulnerable genres such as children’s television for local audiences. 
  6. Regulation of the streaming platforms to be implemented by 1 January 2022.