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Recipients of Seeing Ourselves: Developing the Developer revealed


17 03 2017 - Media release Recipients of Seeing Ourselves: Developing the Developer revealed

Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on Diversity in TV Drama.

Sixteen creatives from across Australia have been selected to come to Sydney for the three-day intensive Developing the Developer workshop, designed to give professionals from diverse backgrounds greater access to the screen sector.

We know people from non-Anglo Celtic backgrounds, and those who identify as being LGBTQI or having a disability are all chronically under represented on our screens, said Sally Caplan, Head of Production at Screen Australia. It's going to take the whole screen sector to work together to get to a place where the Australia we all experience in our day to day lives is actually represented on screen. For our part, Screen Australia is focussing on the early stages of creating a screen project development.

We want to work with the 16 successful Developing the Developer applicants to help them in enhancing their story development skills and to be equipped to work on projects page to screen. We want to empower these creatives with the knowledge of how to leverage the funding and networking opportunities available to them, so they can inject new ideas, perspectives and authentic stories into an industry that is ready for change, but needs new voices in story development to be able to drive this change.

Louise Gough, Development Executive at Screen Australia added; When we first announced Developing the Developer, our hope was to have 10-12 solid workshop participants. We ended up receiving 89 applications and the standard was so high, we have extended the program to take 16 creatives. To see creatives joining us from all over the country, and from such incredibly different life experiences, gives me a quiet confidence that we can engineer some real change in the development of works that more accurately reflect the Australia of today .

The Developing the Developer workshop will begin on 31 March 2017 and is provided to the recipients at no cost, including sponsored travel and accommodation where applicable. After the three-day intensive is complete, each creative will plan their next career steps with Screen Australia staff.

The list of successful applicants is included below.


The creation of Developing the Developer was motivated by the findings of Screen Australia's 2016 study Seeing Ourselves: Reflections on Diversity in TV Drama.

The study analysed all 199 Australian TV dramas (fiction excluding animation) that aired between 2011 and 2015 inclusive, finding 18% of main characters in the period were from non-Anglo Celtic backgrounds, compared to 32% of the population. A notable exception to this trend is Indigenous representation, making a dramatic turnaround in screen presence.

Only 4% of main characters had an identified disability compared to an estimated 18% of Australians, whilst 5% of main characters were identified as LGBTQI, yet this group is estimated to be up to 11% of the population.

For the full report, click here.

SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS (in alphabetical order) Gary Abrahams (VIC)

Since graduating from the Victorian College of The Arts in 2009, Gary has worked extensively as a director, writer, dramaturge and actor. Recent credits include the national tours of Resident Alien and Bad Jews, and Buyer and Cellar for Melbourne Theatre Company. Through his company Dirty Pretty Theatre he has directed and written several plays. The latest, Therese Raquin, will tour nationally from May this year. He received a Green Room Award for Best Director in Independent Theatre in 2010. From 2010-2014 he was the dramaturge in residence at Red Stitch Theatre and developed several new Australian works for the company. A gay male artist from a Jewish background, he has a strong sense of otherness and is devoted to the creation and production of stories for diverse audiences.

Violeta Ayala (NSW)

Violeta is an award-winning filmmaker of the First Nations Peoples of the Americas. Her credits include Stolen (2009) which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival, has won 15 awards and aired on PBS in the USA, and The Bolivian Case (2015), which premiered at HotDocs, was nominated for Premios Platino and Fenix (the two most prestigious awards in Ibero-America) and was distributed across Latin America to an audience of 625 million. Her films have been supported by Sundance, MacArthur Foundation and Tribeca amongst others. Violeta is currently finishing Cocaine Prison and The Fight whilst writing the screenplay El Comunista about her grandfather a Serbian Jew, leader of the Bolivian Communist party and friend to Che Guevara. Violeta wants to produce for other filmmakers of colour and push for change in the Australian screen industry.

Candice Bowers (VIC)

Candy is an award-winning playwright, performer and activist. As co-artistic director of Black Honey Company, she has pioneered a sub-genre of radical feminist hip hop theatre. Born of multi-racial South African parents and raised in Western Sydney, her work is rooted in her outlier positioning. Upon graduating NIDA in 2001, she initially struggled in an industry closed to actors and practitioners from culturally diverse backgrounds, instead making her own work. Candy's accolades include the Edinburgh Fringe Total Theatre UK Award, British Council of the Arts Realise Your Dream Award, Australia Council of the Arts Cultural Leadership Fellowship, NIDA Glorias Fellowship and Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award Short List. Candy is interested in all forms of storytelling, and wants to shift the current paradigm to shape the next decade of diverse Australian stories.

Elena Carapetis (SA)

Elena is of Greek Cypriot heritage, born on Barngarla land, now living on Kaurna country. She is a graduate of NIDA who has appeared on
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