AIDC & Screenworks introduces the industry experts involved in REGIONALITY, a one-day industry program elevating the voices and stories of NSW’s regional practitioners.

REGIONALITY Speakers & Decision Makers

Nanfu Wang
Filmmaker

Nanfu Wang is an award-winning Chinese filmmaker based in the U.S. She is a recipient of 2020 MacArthur Genius Grant. Her feature documentaries include ‘Hooligan Sparrow’ (Sundance 2016), ‘I Am Another You’ (SXSW 2017, Special Jury Prize winner), ‘One Child Nation’ (Sundance 2019, Grand Jury Prize Winner), and ‘In the Same Breath’ (Sundance 2021). 

Wang received four Emmy nominations for her films. She is also a recipient of numerous awards including an Independent Spirit Award, Peabody Award, George Polk Award, and the Ridenhour Award.

Originally from a remote village in China, Wang overcame poverty and a lack of access to formal education to earning three Master’s degrees from Shanghai University, Ohio University and New York University. She teaches cinematography and editing at New York University.

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Alan Hicks
Director

Alan Hicks is a Grammy Award-winning filmmaker based in Sydney and Los Angeles. After working as a musician in and around New York, Hicks transitioned to filmmaking, directing his first feature documentary ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’, winning both the Audience Award and Best New Director honors at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. The film also won awards from the IDFA, AFI, Cinema Eye, Seattle Film Festival, Palm Springs, Hamptons Summer Docs and went onto be shortlisted for the Academy Awards Best Documentary Feature in 2015. 

Hicks then co-directed the documentary feature film ‘Quincy’, following music legend and icon Quincy Jones. ‘Quincy’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, before a worldwide premiere on Netflix reaching audiences in 150 countries. The film received the Critics’ Choice Honor for Best Music Documentary, the African American Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, and Top Ten Films of 2018. ‘Quincy’ was included in the Doc NYC Short List, the Hollywood Reporter’s Top Ten Films of 2018, was honored as a New York Times Critics’ Pick and won the Grammy for Best Music Film.  

Hicks most recently directed the short film ‘LIV’. The award winning short is currently playing the film festival circuit and is due to be released world wide in 2021.

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Ania Trzebiatowska
Programmer, Sundance Film Festival

Ania Trzebiatowska is a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, focusing on US and World documentary features.

Most recently, she was the sales and acquisitions executive for doc sales agency, Autlook Filmsales. Prior to that she was with the NYC-based agency, Visit Films, where she served as the senior director of acquisitions since 2015. Aside from her work at Sundance, Ania was also the artistic director of Off Camera IFF (Krakow, Poland), which she programmed between 2008-2020.

The Sundance Film Festival brings together the most original storytellers and the most adventurous audiences for its annual program of dramatic, documentary, and short films; New Frontier films, performances, exhibitions, and virtual reality experiences; episodic storytelling; lively filmmaker conversations and panel discussions; and dynamic music events. Since 1985, hundreds of films launched at the Festival have gained critical recognition and reached worldwide audiences eager for fresh perspectives and new voices.

A nonprofit organisation, Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for independent artists to create and present original, authentic new work. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, the Institute is an internationally recognised resource for thousands of artists. With its Sundance Film Festival and artistic development programs for film, theatre, and new media artists, the Institute seeks to advance the impact of independent storytelling throughout the world.

 

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Pauline Clague
Artistic Director, Winda Film Festival

Pauline is A Yaegl woman from North Coast NSW she has worked as a storyteller and producer in film and TV for 25 years.

She is founder and artistic director of Winda Film Festival in Sydney, was the programmer for imagineNATIVE media +arts festival in Toronto, and is co-creator of NativeSLAM – a 72-hour Indigenous film challenge held at Maoriland Film Festival in Otaki – and nativeSLAM the feature.

Known for her extensive work in championing and producing the works of Australia’s emerging and Indigenous filmmakers, Pauline has spent the last 20 years helping to develop and mentor other filmmakers and their voices. Her roles have included being the series producer for ABC’s Messagestick from 2000-2004, the Indigenous training officer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School from 2009 to 2013; and from 2013-15 she was the Commissioning Editor and Head of Internal Productions for NITV, creating among other things, the landmark initiative “Our Stories, Our Way, Everyday”. In 2015 she won the Stanley Hawes Award 2015 for Contribution to Australian Documentaries.

She is currently an Associate Professor, Manager of Cultural Resilience Hub, Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education & Research at the UTS. Pauline also shares her wisdom, industry experience and integrity with emerging creative entrepreneurs through Creative Plus Business. As a NSW Treasury endorsed creative specialist, Pauline helps independent filmmakers and other creative people to strengthen their financial sustainability so they can continue to make extraordinary art and stories with empowered, and viable, creative models.

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Bill Gardner
VICE PRESIDENT, PROGRAMMING & DEVELOPMENT, PBS

As Vice President, Programming & Development, Bill Gardner oversees content strategy, development and production for the PBS Primetime schedule in the genres of history, culture, natural history and science.

During his time at PBS, projects Gardner shepherded have won three Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, a Dupont-Columbia Award, an Imagen Award, an NAACP Image Award and numerous Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Wildscreen Awards.

Bill is particularly focused on collaborating with producers and distribution partners to reach younger and more diverse audiences and expand content reach across distribution platforms. He also oversees the PBS-BBC co-production partnership, with successful multi-platform focused output such as ‘Big Blue Live’, ‘Wild Alaska Live’, ‘Earth’s Natural Wonders’ and ‘Spy in the Wild’ in the Science and Natural History genres, and ‘Basquiat: Rage to Riches’ in the Arts & Culture space.  Some of the international co-productions he has developed or commissioned have earned several BAFTA and Grierson Awards.

Bill holds a Masters Degree in cultural anthropology, has taught university programs in Arkansas and Marrakech, Morocco and is on the board of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

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Cieron Cody
Development and Investment Manager – Documentary, Screen Australia

Cieron is a development/production executive with experience overseeing slates across feature film, documentary, broadcast drama, children’s content, innovation, games and VR. His experience encompasses a breadth of development/production programs as well as initiatives designed to advance concepts, elevate talent and build business. In 2017 Cieron departed Screen Queensland as Vice President of Development and Production supporting the creative and commercial outcomes of a diverse range of content. Cieron has supported a range of award-winning productions with some of Australia’s and the world’s most recognised market players and talent. After several years as Commissioning Editor with SBS/National Indigenous Television, Cieron has joined Screen Australia as Development and Investment Manager – Documentary.

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Bernadine Lim
Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, SBS

Bernadine Lim is Commissioning Editor, Documentaries at SBS. 

She’s the former Head of Documentary at Screen Australia and Executive Producer of the international documentary current affairs SBS series ‘Dateline’, commissioning over 100 films which received multiple awards including a BAFTA.

As a journalist, director and producer with over 20 years’ experience she has several awards, including gold medals from the New York Festivals Film and TV awards and a nomination for an Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts award for Best Direction in a Documentary. 

 

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Stephen Oliver
Manager, Documentaries, ABC

Stephen started his commissioning career at the ABC with the AACTA and Logie Award-winning ‘War on Waste’ (2017).

Previously an award-winning filmmaker, Stephen is now Manager of Documentaries at the ABC and oversees many of the national broadcaster’s biggest hits, including ‘Fight for Planet A’, ‘Big Weather’, ‘Australia’s Ocean Odyssey’, ‘Revelation’, ‘War on Waste’ and ‘Love on the Spectrum’.

Stephen is passionate about telling stories with real world impact. In 2020, he headed up several ground-breaking shows and game-changing impact campaigns around climate and the environment. As from mid-2020 Stephen also manages much of the Arts slate and the popular science series ‘Catalyst’.

The ABC Factual team consistently produces high quality, award winning programs across a wide range of genres that connect with audiences on a variety of ABC platforms.

ABC Factual is responsible for thought-provoking and inspiring programs such as ‘Reef Live’, ‘Revelation’, ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, ‘Employable Me’, ‘Anh’s Brush With Fame’, ‘Magical Land of Oz’, ‘Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday’, ‘Back In Time For Dinner’, ‘Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane’ and ‘Don’t Stop the Music’.

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Dorota Lech
Forum Programmer, Hot Docs Industry

Dorota Lech is a Polish-born, Toronto and Los Angeles-based film programmer and independent curator. Since 2013 she has worked for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where she is an International Programmer focussing on films from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe as well as the Caucasus and Western Asia. She also produces the Hot Docs Forum, a pitching event aimed at garnering financing for international documentaries, at North America’s largest documentary festival. Dorota is also a programmer at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and holds a double M.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from McGill University.

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Andrea Ulbrick
Screen Investment Manager, Screen NSW

Andrea Ulbrick is an award-winning director and producer with an award-winning domestic and international career spanning 32 years. Since 2016, Andrea has been a Screen Investment Manager at Screen NSW and has managed more than 300 film and TV productions across a range of genres including TV drama such as the award-winning ‘Mystery Road’ Series 2 (2019), dozens of award-winning feature documentaries including ‘Firestarter’ (2020), the Walkley-winning 3-part documentary series ‘Revelation’ (2020) and the multi award- winning ‘Backtrack Boys’ (2018), as well as VR content including the Emmy-award winning film ‘Awavena’ (2019).

 

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Daniel Joyce
Producer

Producer Daniel Joyce is a leading Australian creator of international documentaries. His most recent film ‘Martha: A Picture Story’ premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2019 before screening with Arte, Sky and other international networks. His previous film ‘Barbecue’ was released globally by Netflix in 2017 after premiering at SXSW. His documentary work over the last 10 years has also seen him film in slaughterhouses, brothels and abortion clinics with standalone and series documentaries for ABC, such as ‘Meatwork’, ‘Big Bad Love’ and ‘Maddie Parry: Tough Jobs’. Daniel has consistently helped to elevate emerging directors to long form success, and via Projector Films is also a sponsor of AIDC’s Leading Lights program for new filmmakers.

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Cody Greenwood
Founder, Rush Films

Cody Greenwood is the founder of Rush Films. Recognised by Screen Producer’s Australia as ‘One to Watch’, Cody has since earned herself a reputation as one of Australia’s most promising film producers. Her latest feature documentary ‘Under the Volcano’ premiered at SXSW and is being distributed globally by Universal Pictures.

Cody has spent the last decade working alongside some of Australia’s most prominent diverse storytellers to create authentic and thought-provoking content. Her recent short film ‘Sparkles’ premiered at Flickerfest and was written and directed by Tina Fielding, who has the living disability Down syndrome and is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Cody also recently completed the highly anticipated 6-part documentary series ‘Girl Like You’, in partnership with Screenwest and Screen Australia. Filmed across 4 years, the documentary follows the raw and intimate journey of a young woman as she watches her partner transition from male to female.

Cody is currently in development on feature film ‘Fads and Miracles’. The script was shortlisted as one of three projects for Screenwest’s highly-acclaimed West Coast Visions production grant and has been selected as one of thirteen international teams to take part in the ‘Attagurl’ film lab. 

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Julie Hanna
Manager, Factual, ABC

Julie is the Manager for ABC Factual, commissions include ‘Reef Live’, ‘Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds’, ‘Further Back In Time for Dinner’, ‘Anh’s Brush with Fame’, ‘Shaun Micallef’s On the Sauce’, ‘Aftermath: Beyond Black Saturday’, ‘Australia Talks’, ‘Restoration Australia’, ‘Brazen Hussies’ and ‘Tick F**king Tock’ (the story of the Doug Anthony Allstars).

Julie has worked extensively as an executive producer, series producer and director across a wide range of genres.

Julie worked as an executive producer for ITV Studios – Australia, across a broad range of programmes including factual, lifestyle, entertainment, comedy and long form documentaries. Julie is passionate about exploring stories that examine social issues and push the boundaries with innovative storytelling techniques.

The ABC Factual team consistently produces high quality, award winning programs across a wide range of genres that connect with audiences on a variety of ABC platforms. ABC Factual is responsible for thought-provoking and inspiring programs such as ‘Fight for Planet A’, ‘Revelation’, ‘Love on the Spectrum’, ‘Employable Me’, ‘War on Waste’, ‘Magical Land of Oz’, ‘Back In Time For Dinner’, ‘Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane’ and ‘Don’t Stop the Music’.

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DANIELLE MCCARTHY
Industry Manager

Joining AIDC in 2016 to oversee the industry division, Danielle has worked both internationally and in Australia for over a decade. Her past work at film festivals has included producing and liaison roles at Tribeca, Sundance, TIFF, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Prior to joining the festival world she worked on Steve McQueen’s award-winning film Shame, and was also a producer and first AD in Australia. She has worked with features programming at the Tribeca Film Festival and at SBS Television, where she began her career after graduating from the University of Melbourne (BA Cinema Studies). She also holds a Master of Communications Law from the University of Technology Sydney.

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HOLLIE FIFER

Hollie is currently the Director of Australian Programs at Doc Society and Director of the arts not-for-profit Schoolhouse Studios in Melbourne.

As a documentary filmmaker, Hollie’s films have screened at festivals and broadcasted within Australia and internationally. The Opposition is Hollie’s debut feature documentary produced by Media Stockade that world premiered at Hot Docs and IDFA in 2016 before winning the Grand Prize at FIFO, screening at the UN Human Rights Council, winning Best Documentary Feature at the Oz Flix Independent Film Awards and screening in over 35 countries. Hollie’s latest short film Unbalanced recently premiered on Australian newspapers The Age/Sydney Morning Herald’s Vox Dox series.

Hollie on the Board of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) and the Castlemaine Documentary Festival (CDoc). In her previous work she has been a freelance tutor in Documentary Directing at NIDA and AFTRS, Co-Director of The Artists Guild, selected for MECCA Shark Island M-Power Program and Doc Society’s Global Impact Producers Squad.

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REGIONALITY Pitch Assessors

Andrea Ulbrick
Screen Investment Manager, Screen NSW

Andrea Ulbrick is an award-winning director and producer with an award-winning domestic and international career spanning 32 years. Since 2016, Andrea has been a Screen Investment Manager at Screen NSW and has managed more than 300 film and TV productions across a range of genres including TV drama such as the award-winning ‘Mystery Road’ Series 2 (2019), dozens of award-winning feature documentaries including ‘Firestarter’ (2020), the Walkley-winning 3-part documentary series ‘Revelation’ (2020) and the multi award- winning ‘Backtrack Boys’ (2018), as well as VR content including the Emmy-award winning film ‘Awavena’ (2019).

 

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Jeanie Davison
Industry Development Manager, Screenworks

Jeanie Davison is the Industry Development Manager at Screenworks, a non-profit registered charity based in Northern NSW that supports and services the screen industry across regional Australia, providing industry and professional development, networking initiatives, opportunities and services for screen content creators and workers.

Prior to Screenworks, Jeanie managed the documentary development slate at Screen Australia and oversaw joint initiatives including the ABC ‘Art Bites’ series and the Al Jazeera ‘Witness’ commissioning initiative.

Before Screen Australia, Jeanie spent 10 years in the UK producing TV programmes for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Five, before taking on head of factual and head of development roles for leading independent production companies in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

She’s developed and produced factual programs and documentaries for many international broadcasters, notably Discovery, History Channel, National Geographic, ABC and Seven (Australia), TVNZ and TV3 (New Zealand).

She also has extensive experience field producing and directing TV and digital content around the world for high-profile non-profit organisations including UNICEF, Amnesty International and Comic Relief.

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John Kassab
Producer

John Kassab is a multi-award winning Egyptian-Australian filmmaker and law school drop out. He established his career as the sound designer of Shaun Tan’s Oscar winning ‘The Lost Thing’ (2010) and the recipient of a Winston Chill Fellowship back in 2009. Since then he has gone on to produce a number of highly acclaimed films in the US and UK including the documentary feature film ’12 O’Clock Boys’ (2014) which premiered at SXSW. This film was recently adapted as the HBO film ‘Charm City Kings’ (2021) by Barry Jenkins (‘Moonlight’) and was executive produced by Will and Jada Pinket-Smith. John’s other films include the Spanish language drama ‘Debris’ (2017; HBO Go), the science fiction ‘They Wait for Us’ (2018, premiered at Fantasia Film Festival) and the comedy web series ‘Hannah Gadsby: Renaissance Woman’ (2015). John is currently the Vice President of diversity filmmaking skill building organisation Cinespace, Inc. and developing a scripted TV series called ‘Dirty Thirties’ with the support of Screen Australia.

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DANIELLE MCCARTHY
Industry Manager

Joining AIDC in 2016 to oversee the industry division, Danielle has worked both internationally and in Australia for over a decade. Her past work at film festivals has included producing and liaison roles at Tribeca, Sundance, TIFF, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Prior to joining the festival world she worked on Steve McQueen’s award-winning film Shame, and was also a producer and first AD in Australia. She has worked with features programming at the Tribeca Film Festival and at SBS Television, where she began her career after graduating from the University of Melbourne (BA Cinema Studies). She also holds a Master of Communications Law from the University of Technology Sydney.

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REGIONALITY Pitch Mentor

Iikka Vehkalahti
Executive Producer, IV Films, Toinen katse Ltd & Rough Cut Service

lIikka Vehkalahti’s activities as an independent producer from 2015 forward includes the production of Sundance awarded ‘Machines’ by Rahul Jain and ‘Raghu Rain: An Unframed Portrait’ by Avani Rai, which premiered at IDFA 2017. He was a co-producer of ‘Winnie’ by Pascal Lamche, which was awarded at Sundance, and ‘Chris the Swiss’ by Anja Komfelt, which premiered at Cannes 2018. He is currently finishing the production of ‘Invisible Demons’ by Rahul Jain.

Rough Cut Service (roughcutservice.com) collects some of the best editors in the world to provide online support to documentary film makers with challenging productions. RCS has worked already with more than 100 films from nearly 40 countries, among them winners at Sundance, IDFA and the Berlinare. 

Iikka is one of the executive producers in Dare To Dream Asia and is part of the building an all African project Generation Africa (www.steps.co.za).

He was a commissioning editor for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE Documentaries, Finland 1998-2015; executive producer for ‘Steps For The Future’ and one of the series producers for ‘Why Democracy’. A visiting professor in Tampere University 2011-2012, he has been involved in or supported numerous international well known documentaries like ‘Act of Killing’, ‘Look Of Silence’, ‘Armadillo’, ‘Happiness’, ‘Don’t Breath’, ‘Placebo’, ‘The Ambassadors’ and ‘Vivan les Antipodes’. 

Before YLE Iikka directed awarded documentaries for Epidem and Musafilm; among them ‘Past is Present’, ‘Amal’, ‘Inam’, ‘Naila’, ‘A Man from the Shadow’ and ‘Tehri – Two Journeys’.

Iikka has been lecturing, leading workshops and having masterclasses in different European countries: Australia, Kenya, Russia, USA, India, South Africa, DRC, Nepal and Canada.

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