Impact Australia begins 2021 mentoring program

Brian Grazer & Tyler Mitchell kick off accelerator program for Aussie screenwriters, co-founded with Ron Howard.

Industry mentoring initiative Impact Australia, an eight-week accelerator program which aims to empower Australian screenwriters, is officially underway for 2021.

The program kicked off virtually this morning with a welcome event, with Impact founders Brian Grazer and Tyler Mitchell along with Gentle Giant Media Group’s Greg Basser bringing together all the Creators, Shapers, the Impact Team, representatives from Screen Australia, Film Victoria and the Victorian College of the Arts.

Impact CEO Tyler Mitchell said, “We are incredibly excited to have a record nine Shapers onboard for Impact Australia 2, dedicating their time to fostering the talent of nine Australian writers whose voices and ideas leapt off the page during our democratized review process. I have high hopes what these collaborations will bring and am excited introduce these Creators and projects to the industry-at-large at Pitch Day.”

Chairman and CEO of Gentle Giant Media Group Greg Basser said, “It is fantastic to see this year’s group of talented Australian writers following on the heels of the outstanding projects for global audiences that emerged from the inaugural Impact Australia in 2020. I can’t wait to see what our Creators come up with at the end of Season Two.”

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “We are thrilled that Impact Australia is underway for another year, with an impressive new cohort of Australian Creators offered the opportunity to develop their projects with the support of world class Shapers. In an increasingly global industry, the relationships formed through these programs and opportunity for Creators to connect with these Shapers and pitch to international buyers at the Pitch Day is invaluable.”

Film Victoria CEO Caroline Pitcher said, “We’re proud to bring Impact Australia back in 2021. Victoria is home to exceptional creative talent and it’s great to be able to give some of our most exciting local writers access to this mentoring opportunity and connect them with the global screen industry.”

A group of local ‘Creators’ have been paired with a ‘Shaper’, a world-class screenwriting mentor, who will help craft their project and prepare them for Pitch Day with the goal of selling their project.

Nine Australian ‘Creators’ are:

Jessie Hughes (QLD): Head Above Water (TV Series – Half Hour)
John Kachoyan (VIC): Gaia (Feature Film)
Drew Macdonald (QLD): Only One Survives (TV Series – Hour)
Julia Moriarty (NSW): Stony Rise (TV Series – Hour)
Elena Pavli (NSW): The Clinic 2200 (TV Series – Half Hour)
Felicity Price (NSW): Bird Island (TV Series – Hour)
Bradley Slabe (VIC): Owner’s Manual: Operation and Maintenance of the Human Body (Feature Film)
Ramon Watkins (VIC): Daddies (TV Series – Half Hour)
Harvey Zielinski (VIC): Sweet Milk Lake (Feature Film)

The class of 2021 will be mentored by Australian and international writers: Stuart Beattie, Mark Bianculli, Dana Calvo, Hunter Covington, Shaun Grant, Sarah Lambert, Eric Pearson, Stacy Traub, Kai Wu,

Impact Australia is financed with principal funding from Screen Australia and Film Victoria. The program is also supported by Learning Partner the University of Melbourne, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland and Screen Territory.

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