Australian Directors' Guild
Cecil Holmes Award Speech by Samantha Lang – ADG Awards 8 December 2022
I acknowledge that we meet here today on the Wangal land of the Eora nation – and pay my respects to elders past and present and all First nation people here today. I recognise that their sovereignty was never ceded.
I’m sincerely grateful to Rowan Woods and to the Australian Directors' Guild. So it is going to be hard to adequately put into words what receiving the Cecil Holmes award, and from a cherished peer and community, means to me. I want to give it a go by framing it through the prism of what it means to be Australian and what it means to be a filmmaker – and how the two intersect in meaningful ways.
I am a migrant to this country from the UK. My partner, Andrew is also a migrant or refugee, from Myanmar. The father of my children is European and the mother of Andrew’s children is a Butchulla women from K,gari or Fraser Island – Our blended family is a complex amalgam of skin colour and cultures. So the only way it functions – when it does – is that everyone has a voice, and is encouraged to express it, even when opinions differ. And they do – often and vociferously.
In a reductive way, perhaps, this is how I think about what it means to be Australian - to live in a complicated place, with some painful histories, ample contradictions and uncomfortable intersections. To thrive in it - requires a curiosity about others and involves a responsibility to get comfortable with that which may not be familiar. To be Australian and live in Australia requires a capacity for re-imagining what community, family and identity might look like. Acquiring a sense of belonging in Australia demands that we consider what we want to belong to.
To be a filmmaker also requires a curiosity about others, implies a responsibility to consider that which is unfamiliar and insists upon an infinite capacity for re-imagining. It also carries with it the individual and social privilege of telling one’s story – of being given a voice. The privilege I refer to – is contingent upon having support to sustain that voice.
From a relatively young age – because of the ecologies of care, kindness and patience that I encountered in Australia – I was supported to become a filmmaker – public high school, public healthcare, including mental health, publicly funded university and film school. When I became a filmmaker I was supported by government funded film finance policies and, significantly, I was welcomed into the ‘non-profit’ community of film and television directors known as the Australian Directors Guild.
If it had not been for the founding film directors, amongst them, Gillian Armstrong, Phil Noyce and Stephen Wallace, and their establishment of a guild and, then later, directors Graham Thorburn, Donald Crombie, Ray Argall further nourishing a community of directors I would not have had something to belong to… My identity as a filmmaker would have not meant as much because it would not be connected to a history of filmmakers sustaining each other as they interrogate the stories that need to be told about the place in which they live. The other communities I have belonged to, are those of producers, amongst them John Maynard, Bridget Ikin and Sandra Levy. And then of course, as a student at AFTRS, Rowan Woods, Robert Connolly, Dan Nettheim, Tony McNamara – quite a lot of men actually…nonetheless…
Cecil Holmes understood that to interrogate what it is to be Australian, as a filmmaker, required not only that he compose his own narratives, but that he support other filmmakers to create multiple perspectives on what it meant to them to live in Australia. He understood that there is an intrinsic responsibility that accompanies the privilege of having a voice – and that is to create space for other voices to co-exist and create – to give light to the multiplicity of stories - that make up our national identity.
My great privilege and small contribution has been to participate in the ecology of care that is the Australian Directors' Guild and to take part in sustaining our wonderful, brilliant, contradictory, diverse, eclectic community of filmmakers. This community has been evidenced recently in the work of Ana Tiwary at the guild – with her program of forty directors. She brings to light – just how complex and diverse Australian directors are. And this diversity has been supported by all of the guilds Executive directors over the last decade – Richard Harris, Kingston Anderson, Diana Burnett, Alaric McAusland and the many directors who have given their time freely to participate on the board.
When Ana posted a few days ago an NYT article about Freudenfreude – I thought to myself this is what the guild and the Cecil Holmes Award is all about…
The definition of Freuden freude being … Finding pleasure in another person’s good fortune, Viewing individual success as a communal effort. Showing active interest in someone else’s happiness. Sharing credit for your successes with others. Turning oneself into a spectator of other’s joy.
It's what at its best, a family can be, a community can be, and being part of a national identity can be…
It is also what the current campaign to parliament for filmmakers has been about….
Copyright (c) Samantha Lang 2022. All rights reserved.
ADG OPENS UP DIRECTOR’S CUT TICKETS FOR ALL– AUGUST 20, SYDNEY
The Australian Director’s Guild (ADG) has today announced a general ticket release for Director’s Cut, Australia’s only screen director focussed conference, to be held in-person in Sydney and live-streamed on August 20th.
Non ADG members are invited to attend the Conference with tickets available for $150.
Tickets are available to ADG members at a significant discount (Fully Established 20%, Emerging 10%, Associate 5%).
Three more speakers have also been confirmed for Director’s Cut. Warwick Young will moderate the Rights, Representation & Residuals session, the ABC’s Todd Abbott will speak on the Innovative Pathways panel and Adrian Russell Wills joins the Director at the Centre session.
The ADG has also announced that Netflix will sponsor afternoon drinks Netflix Drinks will be held from 5.20pm to 6.30pm ahead of First-Hand, an in-depth conversation with leading Australian director Cate Shortland (Black Widow, Lore, Somersault, The Kettering Incident, Deadline Gallipoli).
The Director’s Cut program will tour to Western Sydney and then nationally over the next 12 months.
With a theme of ‘Cutting Through The Noise’, Director’s Cut panels will explore the director’s role in a changed streaming landscape and bridging the gap to paid work for emerging directors. Director delegates will also hear from internationally successful directors about opportunities outside Australia, discuss the value of impact strategies for both unscripted and scripted productions, look at how sets can be made more sustainable and ensure that they are a safe space for diverse cast and crew, and how directors can work with funding agencies, networks and streamers as well as getting updates on their rights and representation.
Read the full press release here.
Tickets available here: https://adgdirectorscut.eventbrite.com.au
View the program here: https://adg.org.au/directorscut
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
Ph: 0419 221 493 l E: email@example.com
DIRECTOR’S CUT PROGRAM LAUNCH
The ADG is proud to launch our program for our upcoming conference, Director’s Cut. Held in Sydney at SunStudios on Saturday, August 20th. Check out the full program and purchase tickets here.
With the theme of ‘Cutting Through the Noise’, the program announced today includes a landmark panel DIRECTOR AT THE CENTRE, featuring Daina Reid and Bus Stop Films’ Genevieve Clay-Smith, exploring the role of the director in helming a coherent vision of the screenplay in a world of showrunners and creative collaboration.
Conference sessions also include:
Included in the ticket prices will be a webinar, to be held later in the year, which is a collaboration with Screen Well. The webinar will look at the ways in which a director can assist with the wellbeing of their crew/cast and how to manage work/life balance.
Tickets available here: https://adgdirectorscut.eventbrite.com.au
View the program here: https://adg.org.au/directorscut
The Australian Directors' Guild, Australian Cinematographers Society and WIFT Australia invite the screen community to:
Solidarity with Ukrainian Filmmakers
DATE: Saturday, 6 August 2022
TIME: 2pm-3pm (AEST)
REGISTRATION: Registration is FREE but required.
ZOOM WEBINAR: Zoom link will be provided an hour before the start of the webinar.
Everyone in the screen industry is invited to attend this webinar to hear directly from five Ukrainian filmmakers about the challenges they are facing and how we can provide practical support. We have an important line up of powerful filmmakers to speak at the event:
This event will be presented in a broader context of solidarity for all filmmakers who are affected by war internationally. The one-hour panel will conclude with extra space given afterwards for those who would like to stay online for informal gathering and any other questions.
This event is brought to you by the Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG), Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) and WIFT Australia.
The ADG are proud to present
AUGUST 20TH | SUNSTUDIOS
Director's Cut is a one-day conference for screen directors, of all levels, and their industry colleagues that will explore the director’s role in a changed streaming landscape and bridging the gap to paid work for emerging directors. Director delegates will also hear from internationally successful directors about opportunities outside Australia, discuss the value of impact strategies for both unscripted and scripted productions, look at how sets can be made more sustainable and ensure that they are a safe space for diverse cast and crew, and how directors can work with funding agencies, networks and streamers as well as getting updates on their rights and representation.
Leading Australian director, Cate Shortland (Black Widow, Lore, Somersault, The Kettering Incident, Deadline Gallipoli) is the ADG’s guest for First-Hand, an in-depth conversation about Cate’s career in Australia and overseas. Confirmed speakers also include ADG President Rowan Woods, Matt Moore, Shawn Seet, Partho Sen-Gupta, Katrina Irawati Graham, Monica Zanetti, Tin Pang with more to be confirmed over the coming weeks.
WHEN: Saturday, 20th of August 2022
TIME: 9.00AM to 8.00PM
WHERE: SUNSTUDIOS, 42 Maddox St, Alexandria, NSW, 2015
TICKETS: Tickets on sale now here. Tickets are $150 to attend in person and $75 for the live stream (+GST).
Catering and networks drinks will be provided at the venue.
Tickets are exclusively for current ADG members. For those who wish to renew/apply for an ADG membership, please email our Membership Coordinator, Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org
Screen industry colleagues who are not members invited to express their interest in attending by emailing: email@example.com
Included in the ticket prices will be a webinar, to be held later in the year, which is a collaboration with Screen Well. The webinar will look at the the ways in which a director can assist with the wellbeing of their crew/cast and how to manage work/life balance.
Full program will be released very soon.
THE ADG CONDEMNS THE DETENTION OF IRANIAN FILMMAKERS
July 26, 2022
Sydney, Australia - The Australian Directors’ Guild stands in solidarity with Iranian directors Mohamad Rasoulof, Mostafa Al-Ahmad, and Jafar Panahi. It strongly condemns their detention by the Iranian Authorities and urges the Iranian Government to immediately free Mr Rasoulof, Mr Al-Ahmad, and Mr Panahi.
It has recently been reported that Mohamad Rasoulof (Pictured - Golden Bear 2020, Sydney Film Prize) and Mostafa Al-Ahmad have been detained over an appeal they posted on social media speaking out against the disproportionate repression of civil protestors. It was subsequently reported that Award-winning director Jafar Panahi (Golden Leopard, Golden Lion, Silver Bear) was then also arrested as he protested the detention of his colleagues at Tehran’s Evin prison.
Australian Director’s Guild President Rowan Woods said, "We are outraged by this attempt to silence filmmakers Mohamad Rasoulof, Mostafa Al-Ahmad and Jafar Panahi. Freedom of creative expression is a central human liberty and crucial to human rights. We stand together with the world’s film community in protesting this misguided action.
Head here for more from the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk.
Sign the petition at change.org here.
Mohamad Rasoulof https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1488024/
Jafar Panahi https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0070159/
Mostafa Al-Ahmad https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3601227/
Download the full ADG Statement here.
ADG AWARDS 2022 – SUBMISSIONS OPEN JUNE 30
Submissions open at 9am on Thursday June 30 AEST for the prestigious
2022 Australian Directors' Guild (ADG) Awards,
with the gala awards ceremony to be held later in the year.
Submissions are invited across 20 award categories. In some notable changes this year, a new award will be presented for Best Direction in a Debut Feature Film Award. Entries for this award can be narrative, documentary, or animation and the category has no budget requirements. Also, recognising the rapidly growing on-line audience for short-form stories designed for mobile consumption, a new award will be presented at this year’s awards for Best Direction in an Online Mobile-First Series Episode.
“An ADG Award is an incredibly valued acknowledgement of a director’s creative leadership with our awards remaining the only peer-judged director awards in Australia. So we’re expecting this year’s awards to be as highly-contested as ever and build on the success of last year which saw a record number of entries – more than double any previous year”, says ADG’s Executive Director Alaric McAusland.
“Last year’s nominees and winners, including Cloudy Rhodes and Sanjay Da Silva, reflected a growing diversity in the ranks of Australian directors and our new awards for Debut Feature and Mobile First will open up exciting opportunities for early-career directors and we expect will surface new and diverse voices. They also recognise that great direction is platform- agnostic and found everywhere great stories are told and however they are watched.”
Photo caption: 2021 ADG Award winners Cloudy Rhodes and Sanjay Da Silva
Two other feature film categories have been renamed; Best Direction in a Narrative Feature Film (Budget $1M or over) and Best Direction in a Narrative Feature Film (Budget under $1M). And, recognising continued global platform convergence and massive growth in high quality streaming feature-length content, these categories will now include feature films made for streaming and television as well as for theatrical release. The Drama Serial category has also now been merged with Best Direction in a TV or SVOD Drama Series Episode.
The 2022 ADG AWARD CATEGORIES are:
The ADG will once again honour the much-loved First AD ‘JC’ John Clabburn’s incredible achievements and extraordinarily collaborative spirit with an Award presented in his name at the 2022 awards.
Submissions for the 2022 ADG Awards close at 5pm, Sunday 31st July AEST.
The awards are open to current ADG members.
A full list of categories, rules and eligibility and submission links can be found on the ADG website: https://adg.org.au/awards
Tracey Mair, TM Publicity
MAKE IT AUSTRALIAN – BACK ON THE AGENDA
Leading Australian actors, directors, writers, producers and crew joined together last night for the national re-launch of the Make it Australian campaign at the Sydney Film Festival Hub in Sydney Town Hall and online.
Joining the industry were the new Minister for the Arts, the Hon Tony Burke MP and Minister for Communications, and the Hon Michelle Rowland MP to show their support for seeing more Australian stories on our screens. Tony Burke addressed the gathering and both Ministers received a rapturously warm welcome for their attendance and words of support.
The screen industry was represented by actor/writer/producer Leah Purcell, director Gillian Armstrong, actor Justine Clarke, director Kriv Stenders and producer/writer/director Monica O’Brien.
The event also saw the launch of new commercials that will run at screenings during the Sydney Film Festival and on other platforms in the months ahead to support the campaign.
All agreed on the importance of keeping Australian stories on our screens, championing our unique culture and asking the government to recognise the value of our creative economy and independent production culture.
Officially launching the campaign, Leah Purcell said: “My career was built from Australian content… Our industry does give back to our nation tenfold – financially, culturally and personally in who we are as a nation. Our stories, especially our First Nation’s stories are our identity.”
In a call to action, Director Gillian Armstrong said: “We have developed many of the world’s best cinematographers, designers, directors, writers, composers, editors and of course actors.
“We have proved we can create good work, we have enormously committed talent in all areas and yet we are producing less,” she said.
Australia’s screen production industry is eager for a pathway for sustainable growth to capitalise on the boom in demand for content but believes that we need fair rules to ensure Australian stories don’t lose out.
Make it Australian is focused on ensuring that global streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ have some minimum investment levels of Australian content and that all platforms that supply content to Australians improve their support for Australian children’s, drama and documentary content.
The industry is proposing that the major streaming platforms should be required to spend 20% of their local revenue on new Australian drama, documentary and children’s content and that fair ‘terms of trade’ be instituted to enable the development of local IP.
“A requirement of 20% follows similar precedents set in other territories for streaming platforms. It would create up to 10,000 ongoing new local jobs and would unleash the potential of the local industry, which would, over time, double in size,” said Matthew Deaner, CEO of Screen Producers Australia.
“This proposal would create a wealth of new Australian stories, delivered to audiences on the platforms they are using every day,” said Claire Pullen, Executive Director of the Australian Writers’ Guild.
“Governments over many decades have recognised our need to experience our own stories told in our own voices, whether it’s on TV or at the movies. With streaming platforms such as Netflix, Stan and Disney+ notching up 16 million Australian subscriptions, the time is right to ensure Australians can see their stories on those platforms too,” said Alaric McAusland, CEO of the Australian Directors’ Guild.
“Having made drastic cuts to Australian drama, kids and documentary content on commercial free-to-air television, there is an urgent need to reverse the damage from the previous government to avoid a contraction in the local screen sector,” said Paul Murphy, CEO of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance
“We need the Government to ensure that our stories are thriving and connecting Australians as our industry recovers from COVID and gets ready to take on the world,” said Murphy.
The industry’s proposal for streaming regulation includes:
Link to Make It Australian Priscilla TVC HERE.
Make It Australian is presented by:
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 Harrow, Bluey, 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.
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:
08 03 2022 - MEDIA RELEASE
SCREEN AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES CREDIT MAKER PROGRAM FOR FEMALE DIRECTORS, CINEMATOGRAPHERS AND COMPOSERS
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.
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
Strategy & Development Executive
AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD
e: firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.