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In July I was busy judging for a Melbourne Film Awards. I had to sign a consent form not to disclose/reveal anything, so until after the Awards, I will remain quiet, other than to write that on the last day of being a Juror, I was up until 6am to complete the Screening and the Judging on time.


We received 2 free tickets from Opera Australia to see one of their Winter productions, so on 30 July 2012 we chose to see Georges Bizet 3 Acts of ‘The Pearlfishers’ at the Opera House.

The original cast Andrew Jones in the role of Zurga was replaced by Christopher Hillier due to Andrew’s ‘indisposition’.

We chose the date of 30 July 2012 for the Q & A.  Unfortunately we did not get the promised Q & A before the performance on this date.

The set however was spectacular.

‘The Pearlfishers’ is the only Opera that I know of, that ends with a happy ending, and no one dies.

The cast was made up of: Zurga played by Christopher Hillier; Nadir by Henry Choo, Leila by Nicole Car, Nourabad by Jud Arthur.

Main Cast ‘The Pearlfishers’ from Left to Right, Henry Choo (Nadir), Nicole Car (Leila) and Christopher Hillier (Zurga)

Report on ANDREW PIKE ON FILM DISTRIBUTION-Marketing your Film – 4/8/12. NEXT SESSION 8/9/12. (Canberra)

ScreenACT hosted Andrew Pike from Ronin Films to speak to us about film distribution on 4/8/12 for a couple of hours that I attended.

Andrew is looking to present a series of lectures on marketing and distribution. His next talk will be on 8 September 2012 at ScreenACT.

Andrew advised us that we need a good film title for marketing, and gave us an example of bad titles such as ‘Rural Juror’, ‘Closed for Winter’, ‘Despair’, ‘Awa’, pronounced as ‘Ia’ that is a Japanese female name, that was unsuitable for the Australian film marketing sector.

Andrew shared who his mentor was with us, Ken G Hall.

Technology change was discussed in great length, the Paradigm shift – digital special effects, cameras changing, form of delivery of films, for feature films, language, specific time length, cinema eurothym (getting it onto the screen) is the driving force.

The Danish group need to know dogma manifesto – ‘The Party’, ‘Italian for Beginners’ and ‘Festen’ are good examples of Dogma style for filmmaking.

Individual films such as ‘The Truck’ couldn’t get funded. It was released in the cinema in France with 2 people reading the script. ‘The Telephone’ – funding was pulled in the last minute that showed an actress talking on the phone for 40 minutes and was released without any funding.

Theatrical is not efficient, but legitimacy rewards keep you hooked. Theatrical have 2 problems in that they are a high risk and are very expensive.

P & A for ‘Shine’ cost $1.8million, ‘Strictly Ballroom’ cost $2.5million.

Audience are hard to get. Seniors are targeted for 10am sessions during week days that are popular at Opera Quays.

Niche market release for seniors was targeted for ‘Charles Dickens’, ‘Convict’. PG releases such as ‘Tea with Madam Chloe’. These Niche films targeting seniors need to have seniors cast in them, food, children, nice adults, no violence or offensive language.

ABC/SBS Documentaries such as ‘Tea with Madam Chloe’ were rejected because of subtitles. SBS is moving away from international and subtitled films.

‘Emily in Japan’ presale was 70% of the budget that took 12 months of funds granted from the National Museum and from other small sources that was made specifically for the ABC.

SBS Docos might be interested in Naxis, sex and sport. Diluting their multicultural brief, moving to a younger market with sex, sport and war.

ABC’s Doco Paradigm is 60 minutes (52 mins) using English language “Reflecting the Australian culture”, quite ‘white bread’. Indigenous content is ‘ghettoised’ into Message Stick. ‘Signposting’ (for people tuning in late). Lots of editing which requires lots of coverage. Often want a large hand in the final edit of the film (regardless of the amount of investment they make) Sunday afternoon audience: $80K, evening possibly $250-300K. One screening.

To get funding you need a pre-sale from a broadcaster except for ScreenACT.

Foxtel’s Doco Paradigm is 60 minutes, flashier broadcast design, walking pieces to camera with swirling hands/hand gestures, much more hands off than the ABC in your edit.

Both ABC and Foxtel Paradigms require a lot of money, time and effort to fulfil their requirements with the chances of getting a pre-sale from either of them being quite low.

Tertiary Education market has a big audience and has a renewable audience, long life.

The Education Market includes community screenings, embassies, libraries, Government departments and schools that is at a low cost for the distributor at 100 schools X 5 classes X 30 kids – per year. That number becomes very large very quickly.

Content can’t be too time limited (eg about a specific election) as it runs out of relevance too quickly.

The university has a bigger market, well funded, active buyers with DVD’s worth $400 or more and streaming licences for 1 year which is renewable.

The DVD’s will remain in the educational market with a long future. Primary Schools are a lower market.

Fewer copies are required and can be sold for a bigger price per unit.

Streaming is becoming common, selling those rights is growing, but is still only about 15% of sales. DVD still 80% because streaming rights are renewable annually and DVD’s are more valued and utilised by teachers and students.

Distributors do well with royalties from the tertiary market worth $400-$500 from a committed audience, because they have to do an exam on it and write a paper on it.

Self Distributors are taking away the distributing business from commercial distributors such as Ronin Films.

Tertiary do not necessarily buy for their curriculum.

You have to spend a lot of money and time and have to budget for the ABC/SBS, Foxtel for who you need a 20 minute sample/show reel. You may need to present 3, 20 minute samples before they are accepted, but they still may not accept your documentary.

They don’t like talking heads, they want things going on while talking, the thinking, talking, feeling, face.

Andrew Pike speaking at his Distribution Seminar on 4/8/12.


Screen ACT
216 Northbourne Avenue
Braddon ACT 2612

It will be a session looking at “hands on” issues involved in preparing marketing materials, whether for feature films or documentaries, including press kits, trailers, advertising, stills and log-lines. This will be a session building on the sessions that Andrew presented last year in Producer Pod and will include a lot of anecdotes from Andrew’s experiences in the distribution and cinema business.

To sign up please click this link: http://www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au/pages/event_view.asp?id=388

Andrew is also putting together a DVD of all the sessions. More information on that will be available shortly. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call Sophie or Marisa.

Report on AFTRS SCREENWRITING PART 2 on 18/8/12 (Canberra)

I attended the AFTRS full day of their part 2 Screenwriting Course lectured by Carl Caulfield, that involved Structure, the Three Act Paradigm, that looked at plot points, turning pints, the climax and the resolution, and an analysis of some classic linear texts, followed by a break, and then went on into Sub-Plots – when and how to use subplots. Effective use in films such as ‘As Good As It Gets’, ‘Tootsie’, ‘Shine’. Why use subplots and How can subplot deepen theme?

We had a lunch break and then got involved in Networking.  Alternative structures and writing beyond the rules wherein we explored the alternative ways some filmmakers have forged new structures beyond the three act paradigm. This was followed by Writing synopses, treatments and step outlines, discussing the difference between a synopsis, a treatment and a step outline and why you need treatments.

We got involved in writing exercises and character building in small groups with the participants developing character scenes and exercises from personal experiences written as prose and then translated into film.

We finished up with Pitching on how to pitch effectively towards your first draft with participants pitching their film ideas, and Q and A, and receiving our AFTRS Certificates at the end of the day.

Carl discussed and asked us if we would be interested in attending a Romantic Comedy Feature film idea with him.

Date to be announced.

Dr Carl Caulfield lecturing AFTRS Screenwriting Part 2, 18/8/12


Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market, presents its 20th annual edition from April 25 to May 5, 2013. An outstanding selection of 180+ documentaries from Canada and around the world will be presented to Toronto audiences and international delegates. Hot Docs also mounts a full roster of professional development and market events and services for documentary practitioners, including the renowned Hot Docs Forum and The Doc Shop. In partnership with Blue Ice Group, Hot Docs operates the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. For more info click on www.documentarychannel.ca

AbaF topic 25/9/12 (Canberra)

AbaF in conjunction with Canberra BusinessPoint would like to invite you to the upcoming Woodside Better Business: Arts and intellectual property workshop on Tuesday, 25 September. This is a great opportunity to learn about your intellectual property rights and obligations.

Presented by Shaun Creighton, Commercial Lawyer, Chamberlains.


is copyright something that you need to worry about?

develop strategies to protect yourself and your intellectual property

learn what to do if your copyright is breached

identify ways to avoid copyright infringement when using other people’s work

Ideal for individual artists and designers either in the start-up phase or early stages of their business.


Cost: $45.00

Date: Tuesday, 25 September

Time: 9.30am – 1.30pm

Venue: Canberra Business Council, 216 Northbourne Avenue , Canberra

Register: Bookings will be taken by Canberra BusinessPoint. For more information and to register for this session, please click here.

We hope to see you there!

Kind regards,

Alicia Stafford

Manager Professional Development


With Top Casting Director

Caroline Sinclair

Currently casting two major films

Date Wednesday August 22 at 7PM

Location The Producers Club 358 West 44th Street NYC NY 10014

Take control of your career and get seen by Top NY Casting Director Caroline Sinclair as well as Top Acting Coach John Pallotta!

The evening will consist of a true ONE ON ONE with Caroline after she speaks to actors about the industry.

ONE ON ONE: actors will have the opportunity to present their best 1 minute monologue before this TOP NYC CASTING DIRECTOR who is currently casting TWO feature films!

Caroline will also be accepting headshots & resumes.

Who: Top NYC Casting Director: Caroline Sinclair

What: Industry Event at John Pallotta Studio

When: Wed Aug 22nd, 7:00 – 9:00pm

Where: The Producers Club 358 West 44th Street; New York, NY10036

Price: $35.00 per-register price available online ONLY

$40.00 at the door (if space is still available)

go to http://www.johnpallotta.com/#  to reserve your spot for this amazing opportunity today!


What counts as an ‘educational’ video?

The call to provide rich educational environments to today’s tertiary students and adult learners has been responded to enthusiastically by the sector with many courses now drawing upon blended online learning delivery, use of mobile devices and sophisticated use of media. In this rapidly changing environment, the ability to produce video resources designed for specific learning outcomes remains critical.

eTV and ATOM  are inviting expressions of interest for a national symposium on educational and training film, television and video production for higher education and adult learners. This invitation extends to all film and television industry personnel interested in this style of work as well as tertiary education staff involved in learning, teaching and curriculum design. The symposium will provide a meeting place between the two sectors, a space to consider possible futures in the production of video for higher education teaching and learning. Symposium themes would include:

  • Mapping pedagogies to film and television production styles and approaches
  • Designing video for online and blended learning environments
  • Educational video and mobile devices
  • Student-produced video and social networking
  • Selection, use and re-use of documentaries, feature films and other genres.
  • Possible futures in the use of video materials and technologies for tertiary teaching and learning

If interested in attending or presenting at an event with this focus, please contact Peter Tapp at editor@atom.org.au  directly. Comments, queries and offers to participate are also welcome.

Warm regards,
Greg Winslett (eTV) and Peter Tapp (ATOM)

New Screenwriting and Animation Degrees at the VCA (Melbourne)

Applications for these three programs are now open via VTAC and close on 31 August 2012. Please note, late applications are not accepted.

More course information and application details can be found at http://www.vca.unimelb.edu.au/ftv/undergrad .

FROM SPAA (Sydney and Melbourne)

You are invited to attend the upcoming SPAA Holding Redlich Business Class and examine what producers need to have in place to prepare for a successful and mutually beneficial official co-production partnership. Join key industry leaders as they explore issues such as:

  • How do you “fit” a production within the regulatory requirements of official co-productions?
  • How do you safeguard your legal, financial and creative rights with foreign partners?
  • How do you balance a budget that is operating across multiple fluctuating currencies?
  • What cultural aspects should you consider when negotiating with foreign partners?
  • How does a three-country deal work?
  • What documentation and information do you need in place before submitting an application to Screen Australia?
  • What agreements are the Government currently working on?

Sydney Tuesday 21 August 9.30-12.30pm | Melbourne Thursday 30 August 2.00-5.00pm

SPAA Member $70 | Non-member $120



Mario Andreacchio, Executive Director, AMPCO Films has made 9 movies, 2 telemovies, and a host of award winning television and documentaries. He has specialised in international movie co-productions with Japan, Canada, France, Germany, South Africa, UK, and now China. Mario recently produced the first treaty co-production between Australia and China, THE DRAGON PEARL. AMPCO Films has recently purchased the rights to THE ALCHEMYST, which is being planned as an UK-Australian-NZ co-production.
Alan Harris, CFO, Essential Media & Entertainment is a specialist in media financing and has consulted on projects in UK, Australasia, Europe and North America advising on international film structuring and how to untangle the requirements of the world’s leading production jurisdictions to optimise the mix of fiscal incentives, subsidies, currency and crew variables. A pioneer in the structuring of international co-production, through his previous role as Director of Finance at Grosvenor Park Media, Alan was involved with the financing of many feature films including REIGN OF FIRE, THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO and SPIDER.
Jane Corden, CEO, Moneypenny Services Group
has been head of the Moneypenny Services Group, “a one stop financial shop”, since 1988. In January 2009 Jane relocated to the UK to run Moneypenny UK, which was established in April 2008 in response to the growth of international co-production and co-financing opportunities. Since November 2011 Jane has been based back in Australia but spends up to four months a year travelling between film markets, festivals and Moneypenny offices in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and UK.
Alex Sangston, Senior Manager, Producer Offset and Co-production Unit, Screen Australia has managed the Producer Offset program at Screen Australia since July 2008 and was Producer Offset Manager for the Film Finance Corporation Australia (FFC) prior to that. Until May 2008, he was at the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and its predecessor, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, with primary responsibility for the administration of the Location and PDV Offsets, the previous Refundable Film Tax Offset (RFTO), the funding of Ausfilm and international film policy.
Jane Carter, Acting Director, Screen Industry Section, Office For The Arts
works on policy and delivering programs for digital content, film and television. The Screen Industry Section has oversight of Screen Australia and the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, funding for Ausfilm and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, administration of the Location Offset and Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset, administration of the Foreign Actors Certification Scheme, coordination of regular film screenings at Parliament House and the negotiation of co-production agreements.
Sonia Borella, Partner, Holding Redlich is a media, entertainment and corporate partner of national law firm Holding Redlich. She has more than a decade’s experience of advising a wide cross-section of clients in the media and entertainment industries. Sonia has advised on numerous bilateral and trilateral official international co-productions, for both production companies and financiers, and is actively involved in policy issues concerning official international co-productions.


SYDNEY: Ian Robertson heads the media, entertainment and communications practice of national law firm Holding Redlich and also is the Managing Partner of the firm’s Sydney office. Ian has served on a number of private and public boards and is currently the Deputy Chair of the Australian Government screen agency,Screen Australia, President of the Board of the Victorian Government screen agency, Film Victoria, and a board member of the ASX-listed production and distribution company Beyond International Limited.
MELBOURNE: Dan Pearce practices in media and communications as a partner in Melbourne law firm Holding Redlich. In this capacity Dan acts on behalf of many participants in the media, entertainment, technology and communications industries.


Screen Story Writing Course (Become a Successful Writer)



Want to be a part of the OFF Festival Team?

OFF could not continue to run and be the success it is without our dedicated team of festival volunteers. As OFF continues to expand so does the number of volunteers required. The OFF volunteer program is fully inclusive and there are roles to match any level of ability or time commitment.

This year we require volunteers in a large range of areas including front of house, production, the festival club, artist services, communication, ticketing and administration.

As well as the opportunity to be involved in a fantastic festival, volunteers receive a 2012 OFF t-shirt, session passes and a delicious meal from The Other Club during each shift.

Some members of the festival staff started as volunteers themselves, and it is a great opportunity to get involved in the behind the scenes action at OFF!

We are also happy to provide a certificate or reference following the festival, to help with professional development or studies.

If you would like to register or for more information please contact Iain Finlayson, our Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@artsaccess.com.au


“Le Chien qui Fume” Pozible Campaign

‘Le Chien qui Fume – A Smokey Life’ is a feature film being developed by Liz Burke (Producer) Donna McRae (Co-Writer/Co-Director) and Michael Vale (Co-Writer/Co-Director).

Liz is a lifetime member of Open Channel and was the Executive Producer at OC.

‘Le Chien Qui Fume – Smokey Life’ is a story about Sylvie Gaspard, an art history academic who is researching the provenance of an old painting and stumbles into a mystery about the nature of truth and art. She discovers that the world is a far, far stranger place then she ever imagined.

The filmmakers are currently raising finance through Pozible to produce a trailer. With that trailer, they’ll go searching for finance for a feature film. So, if you’re interested, check out the http://www.pozible.com/index.php/archive/index/7939/description/0/0 page  

Calling on Premiere and Avid Tutors

If you are a Premiere or Avid tutor with 5 years industry and teaching experience, please send your CV with a training and editing focus to shortcourses@openchannel.org.au

Entries are now open for the 2013 Shorts Film Festival

Shorts Film Festival offers independent Australian filmmakers the chance to compete for one of the best prize pools for short films in Australia, including the Gold Shorts first prize of a trip to a prestigious international film festival such as Cannes or Sundance, and the Black Shorts award (to the value of $10000) for the Best Indigenous Short Film.

Shorts recognises and rewards emerging filmmakers and cinematic storytellers with cash prizes, significant accreditation and valuable industry and career development opportunities. Successful festival entrants also have the opportunity for international exposure if their film is selected to be included in a showcase to be screened at the prestigious Rushes Soho Film Festival in the UK.

Early Bird entries for the 2013 festival (with discounted entry fees) are now open and are strongly encouraged. The Early Bird entry deadline is 7 September 2012, and the final deadline for all submissions is 4 January 2013.

Entry guidelines for the 2013 festival include:

All entries must be submitted online at Withoutabox.
Films must be no longer than 20 minutes.
Films must have been completed after 1 June 2011.

Films are judged on their ability to communicate a story, so entries are welcomed from any genre. The full Terms and Conditions of entry can be found on the festival website: http://shortsfilmfestival.com

The 2013 Shorts Film Festival will be held in Adelaide from 27 April to 4 May 2013.

Entry Deadlines:

Early Bird Entry Deadline: $40 until 7 September 2012
Regular Entry Deadline: $45 until 30 November 2012
Late Entry Deadline: $50 until 14 December 2012
Extended Entry Deadline: $60 until 4 January 2013

Filmmaker Seeking Work Experience Opportunities

Young West Melbourne-based filmmaker would like to discuss potental projects with other interested people to expand showreel.

I have plenty of my own gear (sound,camera,lighting) and time available.

If interested, please call Brad at 0428287703 or email bradc@bluemedia.net.au


FNI(A) Film Networking Industry (Australia) wishes you a Very safe, and Happy Year in 2012.

If you need any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me on MOBILE +61 407 601 662, or email fni_a@yahoo.com.au

NORA PRESTON – Filmmaker since 2001
Founding President


PO Box 3509

Mob: +61 407 601 662

email: fni_a@yahoo.com.au

web: http://fnia.awardspace.com  (NOT UPDATED for updates see wordpress link below)


YOU CAN NOW follow us and join us on Twitter http://twitter.com/fni_a  

Join myspace and become an FNI(A) friend on www.myspace.com/fni_a

Join Flixster and become an FNI(A) friend on http://fnia.flixster.com 

Join Facebook and become a friend of FNI(A) http://www.facebook.com/nora.preston1

19 August 2012

Support FNI(A). FNI(A) is an independent, non profit, non government community based charity, run solely by volunteers, with no government funding, saving taxpayers money. FNI(A) relies heavily on donations from the public in order to carry out its work. If you would like to make a donation to FNI(A), please send a cheque/money order made payable to Film Networking Industry (Australia) Inc. to PO Box 3509, Weston Creek. ACT. 2611. AUSTRALIA . or contact us by email fni_a@yahoo.com.au  or mobile: 0407 601 662 to discuss other alternatives. Thank you for all your support.

Aims and Objectives: to promote and unite the film and music industry; to promote film production and development; improved access to equipment; and annual recognition of achievements in Australian and International Film and Music through FNI(A) Achievement Awards.

Support FNI(A). BECOME AN FNI(A) MEMBER, VOLUNTEER, DOWNLOAD M/SHIP FORM FROM FNI(A) WEBSITE http://fnia.awardspace.com  and send to form with payment by cheque or money order made payable to Film Networking Industry (Australia), and send to PO Box 3509 , WESTON CREEK ACT 2611, AUSTRALIA, or contact us to make alternative arrangements . Mob: 0407 601 662. Email: fni_a@yahoo.com..au  Websites: http://fnia.awardspace.com; https://fnia.wordpress.com/?sn=l; www.myspace.com/fni_a;  http://fnia.flixster.com; www.flixster..com/user/fnia

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