The heads of Australia's funding bodies explore what's next for our screen industry.
State and Federal funding bodies are proving to be the lifeblood of much of Australia’s creative productions. This month’s Running Free Live features the Heads of all of these funding bodies to share what they are doing to keep production going and how they view the future. Between them they have lifetimes of experience in a variety of business worlds, so we’ll be exploring their thoughts on the way ahead for our creative industries and how we rebuild our resilience.
Caroline Pitcher, CEO of Film Victoria
As CEO, Caroline leads a dedicated team to deliver diverse and innovative programs, services and activities to support and stimulate the feature film, television and games sectors of the Victorian screen industry. Caroline has over 13 years’ experience working in the film and television industry in general management, marketing and business development roles in both government and private sectors including with Omnilab Media as Marketing and Business Development Director, CEO at Ausfilm, and General Manager at Film Victoria’s Melbourne Film Office. Most recently Caroline was the General Manager of Commercial and Marketing at Federation Square Pty Ltd. Prior to this she led Deluxe Australia’s post production businesses, DDP Studios and StageOne Sound as their General Manager.
Grainne Brunsdon, Head of Screen NSW
Grainne has more than 20 years’ experience working in the creative industries. At Create NSW, she was previously Director Engagement and Development and Director of Arts Investment, following earlier roles in Screen NSW. She worked in international cultural relations with the British Council, with arts organisations in Sydney and lectured in Design Studies at TAFE and at UNSW.
Jennie Hughes, Director of Screen Territory
Jennie Hughes joined Screen Territory end August 2018. Since joining Jennie has lead the roll-out of stimulus programs delivering 82% of the Screen Industry Development Plan 2018-2020 in 12 months, including the $1.480 mill Enterprise Program, implementation of Reel Scout and establishment of “Centralised” joint initiative with SAFC, Screen Australia, ABC, NITV, AFTRS and Documentary Australia Foundation. Prior to joining Screen Territory Jennie was CEO New York Film Academy; COO Screen Queensland (securing San Andreas and Unbroken to film in the state); Festival Director, Brisbane International Film Festival; Executive Director – Open Channel; Head of Programming Ovation Channel and Executive VP Macquarie Filmed Investments where she managed three funds totalling $65.2 million which was subsequently invested in $100 million of Australian screen production. She was Paramount Pictures’ licensing agent and Executive Producer of award-winning feature films Gettin’ Square and Dirty Deeds.
Kate Croser, CEO of South Australian Film Commission
Formerly an award-winning film and television producer, Kate's work has been nominated for and won Australian Academy Awards and screened at the world’s most prestigious international film festivals. Kate has established successful independent production and distribution companies including Hedone Productions, nominated for Australian Screen Business of the Year at the 2015 Screen Producers Australia awards. Kate is a member of the board of the South Australian Film Corporation and previously served for five years as a Councillor for Screen Producers Australia, the peak industry body for independent screen production in Australia.
Kylie Munnich, CEO of Screen Queensland
Kylie Munnich was appointed CEO of Screen Queensland (SQ) in October 2019, and has more than 25 years’ experience in film and TV distribution, development and financing. Prior to joining SQ, Kylie worked as Scripted Sales and Co-Production Executive for Seven Studios, Senior Vice President for Distribution Asia Pacific for Sonar Entertainment and Director of Drama & Comedy for Sky Vision in London. Kylie worked at Sony Pictures Television from 2005 – 2014 running distribution for ANZ. Then in 2011 she moved to London to become Senior Vice President UK, Ireland and Africa. Previous companies Kylie has worked for include MGM International Television and Filmbank Distributors Ltd.
Monica Penders, CEO of Screen Canberra
For the past ten years Monica has been at the helm of Screen Canberra, steering it from a one-person initiative to an independent organisation that is now responsible for the delivery of the $5million CBR Screen Fund. Monica has a diverse background in international business including advertising and public relations, marketing with the Walt Disney Company and her last corporate role was as Vice President of Corporation Communications at Lend Lease in New York.
Sally Caplan, Head of Content, Screen Australia
Sally has been Head of Content at Screen Australia since February 2014, during which time the Content Department has funded films such as Lion, The Dressmaker and Ride Like a Girl; TV Dramas Safe Harbour, Sunshine, Upright and the Secrets She Keeps; documentaries War On Waste, That Sugar Film, The Australian Dream and Revelation and on line projects Starting From Now, , Meta Runner, Cancelled and At Home Alone together. Sally has over 25 years of international experience in the screen production industry. She is a highly respected and seasoned senior executive whose roles have covered all aspects of financing, development, acquisition, production and distribution. Sally began her career as a solicitor specialising in entertainment law. In her most recent role before Screen Australia, Sally was Managing Director of eOne International (eOne), where she oversaw its international film sales operations out of the UK.
Willie Rowe, CEO of ScreenWest
Willie has a lifetime’s experience providing corporate affairs and government relations advice and support to governments, industry and community sectors. As WA Premier Colin Barnett’s Chief of Staff and Richard Court’s Director of Policy, Willie has operated at the highest levels of government. He has direct knowledge of influencing, developing and analysing policy as well as an exemplary network across government, industry and community in Western Australia and Australia. Now at Screenwest, Willie uses his background of corporate communications, government engagement and issues management to leverage his role as CEO and has a bold vision for his tenure.
Alex Sangston, Executive Manager of Screen Tasmania
Alex has been Executive Manager of Screen Tasmania since February 2016, focussing on delivering funding to the fast-growing Tasmanian screen industry. He previously headed up the Producer Offset and Co-production Unit at Screen Australia from the agency’s inception in July 2008. Before that, Alex worked at the Commonwealth Arts Department in Canberra on international screen production policy, including working on the Australian Government's major 2006 review of film support measures, which ultimately led to Screen Australia and the creation of the Producer, Location and PDV Offsets.