New projects get mentoring from Dame Changer

Three female-led projects will receive mentoring from senior industry women and one-to-one meetings with international financiers / buyers, under Dame Changer’s Mentor to Market program.

One TV project, Secret Threads, and 2 feature films were announced yesterday, after participating in an inaugural Screen Tank last month.

“When we launched Screen Tank in May, the precursor to our 12-month Mentor to Market program, we had high hopes for the program,” said Debra Richards, CEO Ausfilm and Dame Changer member. “The results have exceeded our expectations and we have been very impressed by the commitment and talent that our Screen Tank has brought to the table in early May.”

Anni Browning, MD Film Finances Australasia and Dame Changer, said: “Dame Changer has created a fully immersive Mentor to Market program dedicated to cultivating voices from women in film and TV with diverse perspectives. It has been a joy to see how the participants engaged with the screen tank program and we anticipate even more success as the teams begin the Mentor to Market program.”

Dame Changer has also announced that it has, with support from Film Finances, secured a new partnership with the Melbourne International Film Festival’s MIFF 37ºSouth Market. Each Mentor to Market feature film producer will receive a registration to 37ºSouth’s Bridging the Gap – four days of bespoke one-to-one meetings with international film financiers/buyers, plus roundtables, and networking events during the opening days of MIFF from August 2nd to 5th.

The projects selected for Mentor to Market previously participated in Dame Changer’s inaugural program Screen Tank last month. Screen Tank was attended by 28 project participants with eight projects, and 20 Industry leaders, for a three-day strategic program, designed to commercially assess and build female-led projects for market opportunities.

The projects were assessed on a variety of criteria including the originality of the ideas, stage of project development, relevancy of the ideas to market place, the project team dynamic and skill sets, market and industry understanding and experience.

Each Mentor to Market project is matched with senior industry women for a focused project development coaching program. The program is designed to get projects market ready and green lit.

Leading business executive, Ann Sherry, was an inspiring guest speaker on the opening night of Screen Tank, summing up the Dame Changer modus operandi perfectly. She said: “If you can’t see, you can’t be. The film and TV industry operates very much in a 1950s working structure that disadvantages women indirectly. The reality is we have spent the last 30 years saying time will fix it but the pace of change has been really slow in the media industry. Although women enter the film and TV industry 50/50, bias in decision-making and everyday sexism is still rampant for women and locks them out both in front and behind the camera.”

The Dame Changer goal is to level the playing field for creative female talent by providing practical project-led programs that teach leadership and commercial confidence. Working alongside men is a critical element of their charter.

Matthew Deaner, Screen Producers Australia CEO, said “SPA is delighted to see the first three projects accepted through the inaugural Mentor to Market Program, an outstanding initiative. We also look forward to assisting the production and key creative teams through SPA Connect at Screen Forever the networking and pitching program that will provide them with targeted meetings with domestic and international key decision makers.”

Sophia Zachariou, Director, Sector Investment at Create NSW, said: “Congratulations to the teams selected for Mentor to Market. Create NSW is proud to be supporting such a focused program with outcomes that will benefit teams of mid-career female film makers to see their projects realized.”

Secret Threads (Series for Television)
There are too many suspicious deaths occurring within the Melbourne Hmong-Laos community; but when the angry spirit Tsog Tsuam comes knocking on Parita’s door, she is forced to enter a world she long ago rejected in order to free her family from their dark past.
Rebecca Ingram – Creator/writer/creative producer
Michele Lee – Co-writer
Mike Jones – Story producer

Tango Underpants (Feature film)
Deep in denial over her mother’s recent death, a pragmatic young Australian travels to Uruguay to find her estranged father, along the way discovering the joys of tango, a whole new family — and the perfect pair of undies
Feisty Dame Productions & Cottesloe Films – Production Companies
Tania Chambers & Miranda Edmonds – Producers
Miranda Edmonds & Khrob Edmonds – Directors
Kathryn Lefroy – Writer

Chain Reaction (Feature Film)
The story of three brave people and their unlikely journey to become powerful activists whose audacious bravery changes history in Australia and the world – set against the backdrop of the AIDS era this uplifting, powerful story of hope will inspire future generations.
Liz Doran – Writer, Co-Producer
Renata Gombac – Producer

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