Creators 2024 Participants Announced

Screen Australia and the Australian Writers’ Guild have announced the six participants selected for The Creators 2024, a dynamic career acceleration program for high-calibre Australian screenwriters.

The six participants in The Creators program are:

Following on from the success of the 2023 program, this second year will provide the participants with world-class training, project and pitching development and networking opportunities to sell their stories in domestic and international markets.

The cohort of experienced writers and creators will receive high-level training from international industry leader Jeff Melvoin (Killing Eve, Northern Exposure, Remington Steele), founder and Chair of the highly competitive Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program.

Screen Australia’s Head of Development Bobby Romia said, “We are delighted to be supporting these six talented writers to participate in The Creators 2024 program. Screen Australia is committed to nurturing the talent and skills that are central to our ambition of sustained creative excellence in Australian storytelling on screen. This initiative provides an unparalleled opportunity for these screenwriters to foster new connections and gain the necessary insights and international exposure to empower them to develop their storytelling craft. We look forward to seeing their progress and wish them every success.”

AWG President Peter Mattessi said, “Following the success of Year One, the Australian Writers’ Guild is thrilled to support this new cohort of writers taking part in The Creators. This unique program is custom-built for writers who are developing their careers as creators and showrunners, and we’re excited to see the expertise and insights these six bring back to our industry after their time in LA.”

Scripted Ink. founder Shane Brennan said, “The Creators is establishing itself as the premium career initiative for experienced Australian television writers. This is an opportunity for mid-career writers to participate in the best Showrunner training available anywhere in the world. Congratulations to these six outstanding writers who will return from this course eminently qualified to be Showrunners, not just for their own projects, but for other scripted projects being developed by production companies, streamers and broadcasters alike. Screen Australia’s continuing commitment to The Creators initiative fully recognises the key creative role writers need to play in our industry if it is to survive and thrive in what is now a worldwide content market.”

Thomas Duncan-Watt, three-time AWGIE Award-winning screenwriter and showrunner, said, “With The Creators, the AWG and Screen Australia have conjured a dream program for elevating, upskilling and promoting the next wave of Aussie showrunners. As someone who has aspired to showrunner-dom since reading The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at age 12, being selected for ‘The Creators’ represents the opportunity of a lifetime – one I can’t wait to make the most of as I head to LA with this incredible group.”

Vanessa Gazy, an award-winning creator, writer and director who has enjoyed recent success with the seven-part Netflix series Echoes said, “I’m delighted and grateful to be participating in this brilliant initiative alongside my talented peers. Showrunning empowers us as creators to steer our own projects, to nurture and protect our vision, and to be producers on our work. The role comes with great responsibility, and it’s vital to be trained and prepared. The opportunity to hone our showrunning skills in LA is a valuable gift that I’m sure will strengthen us as Australian creators for many years to come.”

Sarah Lambert, showrunner of critically acclaimed drama series including The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart and Lambs of God said, “As a writer and showrunner, with each show you make, you’re constantly learning on the job what works, what doesn’t and what you could do better. What the AWG and Screen Australia have done with The Creators program is to give us this extraordinary opportunity to meet and learn from the best of our U.S. counterparts, those with decades of experience, and take part in the legendary Showrunner program in LA so that we can bring back new skills, new models of working and best practices to not only reinvigorate our own writing and series, but also help us to empower the next generation of storytellers in Australia.”

Leah Purcell, multi-talented film, television and stage writer, creator, director and actor said. “I’m so thrilled and excited to be given this opportunity to upskill with the best. I look forward to the challenge of absorbing as much as I can and then returning home and applying these skills to my own projects and our industry so that Australian content can continue to match and play on the international stage in the film and TV sectors. I also want to bring back what I’ve learnt from this awesome initiative and continue my mentoring within the First Nations screen sector.”

Giula Sandler, a prolific writer of original dramas and adaptations, and recent AWGIE Award-winner for The House Across the Street said, “I am thrilled for the opportunity to hone my pitching and showrunning skills with such an incredible group of peers. Screen Australia and the AWG rightly recognise that ours is a global industry, with writers at the core of it all, and high-level training is imperative so that we can showcase our work on the world stage. Now more than ever, the stories we tell can change the world.”

Alexa Wyatt, script producer, series creator, writer, script editor and story consultant with over a thousand hours of Australian drama credits said, “I am humbled and honoured to be part of the growing cohort of Creators selected for this extraordinary opportunity. I’m excited by the chance to learn from top U.S. professionals about the showrunner model which underpins so many internationally successful series, and cannot wait to put this learning into practice, to propel our unique Australian voices and stories to a whole new level of engagement with the global market.”

The Creators is supported by industry partners Scripted Ink. and Film Independent.

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