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Creators and shapers announced for Impact Australia accelerator program

26/06/2020

26 06 2020 - Media release Creators and shapers announced for Impact Australia accelerator program

Milla Bell-Hart and Phil Tarl Denson in Impact 2

Impact Australia, the offshoot of the successful U.S. Imagine Impact created by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tyler Mitchell, is officially underway.

In association with Gentle Giant Media Group and Screen Australia, Impact Australia is an eight week accelerator program that discovers, cultivates and empowers creative storytellers from across Australia. The program was originally slated to begin in Melbourne, Victoria in partnership with Film Victoria. However, due to coronavirus (COVID-19), it has been transitioned to a virtual program.

Impact Australia announced a call for submissions in March this year seeking fresh story perspectives and had a tremendous response from emerging writers. A diverse group of Creators' were selected to participate in the program, each to be paired with a Shaper' (world-class screen and TV writers) who will help craft their story in preparation for Pitch Day (hoping to take place in Melbourne in late 2020) with the ultimate goal of selling their project. The program kicked off on June 23 with an event bringing together all the Creators, Shapers, the Impact Team, and even Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

For the inaugural program, Impact Australia will host a twice-weekly speaker series and has also enlisted an award-winning group of writers to mentor the new class in their role as Shapers':

Shaun Grant is an acclaimed screenwriter in film and television. Most recently, his film True History of the Kelly Gang premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, for which he won his fourth AWGIE Award for its screenplay. His other credits include Snowtown, for which he received the AACTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (2012), and Jasper Jones and Berlin Syndrome gave him two AWGIE nominations and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. On television, Grant has written several Australian drama series including Killing Time, the critically acclaimed mini-series Deadline Gallipoli, and the season two finale of Mindhunter for David Fincher and Charlize Theron (Netflix), for which he received a WGA nomination. Grant's upcoming feature film Penguin Bloom is in post-production and scheduled for release by Roadshow Films.

Kai Wu most recently co-executive produced Amazon's Paper Girls. Prior to that, she was a co-executive producer on Amazon's Carnival Row and the creator and head writer of The Ghost Bride, an International Original series at Netflix. Wu's other credits include ABC's (US) Deception (Producer), Time After Time (Co-Producer), the CW's The Flash (Executive Story Editor) and NBC's Hannibal (Writer). Currently, Wu has a pilot in development at Amazon.

Jason Smilovic began his career as the creator of the ABC (US) series Karen Sisco and the Steven Soderbergh film Out of Sight. He went on to develop three dramas for NBC: Kidnapped, Bionic Woman and My Own Worst Enemy. He is also the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Condor, which just recently completed its second season, and also directed several episodes of the series. Smilovic's first screenplay Lucky Number Slevin was directed by Paul McGuigan and starred Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Lucy Liu. Smilovic co-wrote War Dogs with director Todd Phillips, starring Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. He and partner Todd Katzberg are currently adapting Robert Littell's best-seller The Sisters for Smilovic's directorial debut.

Stuart Beattie is an accomplished Australian director, screenwriter and producer who began his career writing screenplays for Australian independent films, then eventually branched out into major tentpole projects such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the Tom Cruise thriller Collateral. Beattie's other credits include Derailed, starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston; 30 Days of Night, starring Josh Hartnett and Melissa George; 3:10 To Yuma, starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale; and Stephen Sommer's blockbuster action film GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. He also wrote the original screenplay for Baz Lurhmann s epic, Australia starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. In addition, Beattie wrote and directed Tomorrow, When The War Began; I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Yvonne Strahovski; and wrote and produced the acclaimed Australian war drama Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan. In television, he wrote one of four award-winning episodes of the Australian mini- series Deadline Gallipoli as well as the original bible and pilot for Showtime's Halo. In theatre, Beattie wrote the book for Jim Steinman's smash hit musical, Bat Out of Hell.

Sarah Heyward is a writer and producer whose television credits include the HBO series Girls, SKAM Austin on Facebook Watch, and Amazon's Modern Love. She has sold feature screenplays to Universal, Good Universe and Netflix. Before becoming a screenwriter, Heyward received her M.F.A. in Fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop where she was the recipient of the Maytag Fellowship and the Richard Yates Short Story Prize. She currently has television and film projects in development at Netflix, Amazon and FX.

The diverse group of Creators for Impact Australia includes 14 Creators from across Australia working on 10 projects:

Creator: Carrie Anderson (NSW) Bound (TV Hour)

Creators: Luke Goodall (VIC) Marc Gallagher (VIC) - Robots Inc. (TV Half Hour)

Creators: Sukhjit Khalsa (WA) Perun Bonser (WA) - One of the Good Ones (TV Half Hour)

Creator: Catherine Kelleher (NSW) - Iron Mountain (TV Hour)

Creators: Megan Palinkas (VIC) Sam Barrett (VIC) - Terminus (TV Hour)

Creator: Emma Dockery (VIC) - The Party Line (TV Half Hour)

Creator: Lucy Col
LINK: https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/sa/media-centre/news/2020/06-26-cre...
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