Anousha Zarkesh Casting




We are very excited to announce for the second year running we have been nominated for BESTING CASTING in this year’s AFI/AACTA awards 2019!! Last year was the first year that casting was recognised at the AFI/AACTA awards & we were nominated for SWEET COUNTRY.

This year 2019 we have been nominated for BEST CASTING for TOTAL CONTROL (BLACK BITCH) airing now on Sunday nites 8:30 ABC. TOTAL CONTROL has also been nominated for BEST DRAMA, BEST DIRECTOR (Rachel Perkins), BEST LEAD ACTRESS (Deb Mailman) and BEST SUPPORT ACTRESS (Rachel Griffiths)




First Diversity Showcase participants named 11 July, 2018 by Staff Writer if.com.au


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Top row (left to right): Philippos Ziakas (SA), Jean-Pierre Yerma (NSW), Simone Detourbet (WA), Ratidzo Mambo (VIC) and Esther Fwati (VIC).

Bottom row (left to right): Yerina Ha (NSW), Adam Bowes (NSW), Andrea Solonge (VIC), Belinda Jombwe (NSW) and Winnie Mzembe (QLD).

The performers, writers and directors who will participate in Australia’s first Diversity Showcase have been selected by industry judging panels from more than 500 applicants.

The Diversity Showcase is a chance for emerging talent to be uncovered and exposed to those who make decisions about what ends up on our screens.

It will take place on July 26 at the Actors’ Centre Australia in Leichardt, preceded by rehearsals, panels and professional development workshops from July 21-25 at the International Screen Academy in Waterloo.

The six writers selected by the Australian Writers’ Guild include writers who are female, queer, from CALD backgrounds, Aboriginal, or living with disabilities.

The members of the selection panel for performers included casting directors Anousha Zarkesh and Amanda Mitchell, director Peter Andrikidis, Jungle Entertainment’s Chloe Rickard and actor Shareena Clanton.

Zarkesh said she was overwhelmed by the quality of applicants, observing: “The quality of new faces testing was very exciting. It was great to get so many people responding to the call out. There was such a wealth of talent that came forward.”

Australian Directors’ Guild CEO Kingston Anderson agreed: “We had an overwhelming response to our call out for this program from a very talented and diverse range of applicants and we found it extremely difficult to narrow our selection to only five. There is obviously a huge need for a diversity program of this kind and we look forward to working with the directors, and other successful applicants, in bringing diversity to our screens.”

AWG general manager Emma Rafferty said: “We were impressed and excited by the number and quality of scripts we received from more than 250 up-and-coming screenwriters and playwrights for this fantastic opportunity. It’s incredibly important for industry organisations such as Equity and the ADG and the AWG to come together to run initiatives to support diverse voices finding their way into our industry and onto our screens.”

Performer participants: Adam Bowes (NSW), Andrea Solonge (VIC), Belinda Jombwe (NSW), Esther Fwati (VIC), Philippos Ziakas (SA), Ratidzo Mambo (VIC), Simone Detourbet (WA), Winnie Mzembe (QLD), Yerin Ha (NSW) and Jean-Pierre Yerma(NSW).

Writer participants: Tim Spencer (NSW), Aven Yap (QLD), A. N. Gurjar (NSW), Caden Pearson (QLD), Brendan Dousi (QLD) and Sarinah Masukor (NSW).

Director participants: Bee Cruse (NSW), Amie Batalibasi (VIC), Bina Bhattacharya (NSW), Joe Chan (NSW) and Vonne Patiag (NSW).

Screen Australia’s report into diversity in Australian TV drama found that close to 60 per cent of programs had only Anglo-Celtic main characters. LGBTQI characters and those with a disability were also vastly underrepresented.

Bali Padda, chair of the Equity Diversity Committee, said: “Each of the selection panels had a very challenging job choosing these participants from such a large pool of amazing applicants. It is exciting to find the best calibre of screen talent and practitioners from diverse backgrounds, pull them out of the margins and showcase their skills in front of the industry.

“We hope this program is a game-changer that shakes up the industry and feeds historically underrepresented practitioners and talent into the pipeline for a truly representative screen industry for Australia.”

“I have a new show to watch with my eight-year-old daughter. And it’s very special.” GRACE BESIDE ME (NITV & SBS)


by MANDY NOLAN (MamaMia) February 13, 2018

When I was 12, a boy called Peter brought a goanna into our English class for his presentation on animals. He’d caught it the day before, and later that night his mum lit a fire and helped him cook it up so he could bring it in to share with the class. It was educational AND delicious. At the time I had no idea how lucky I was to have an experience that many white Australian city kids may never have – a sharing of culture not at some festival or tourism hotspot, but in the mundane and unremarkable setting of a school classroom. Peter got an A and the rest of us got to taste goanna.

These are the kind of experiences that build understanding and connection and tell the bigger story of what country means to our first nation. This is where true reconciliation takes place – just ordinary people doing ordinary things like any other ordinary day. This is where where understanding builds respect.

I was recently at a writers’ festival in the children’s tent listening to a young Indigenous author entertain kids with his stories. The kids were wide-eyed. They were laughing. They were right there. It occurred to me how unusual this was, how most children’s stories tend to focus on dominant culture. White stories. What is it like growing up with most of the books and TV shows that you watch only ever telling stories about white children? How do you feel about yourself and your identity if you never get to see positive, engaging stories about girls or boys just like you reflected back?

I want my white child to hear black stories. I also want to know the Indigenous kids in this country aren’t constantly subjected to books and TV that repeatedly tells the stories of white kids. I believe it’s important for all kids to see themselves right in the middle of the frame of their story.

And that’s exactly what happens with Grace Beside Me, an exciting new 13-episode TV series created by Magpie Pictures and screening this month on NITV and SBS on Demand.

Grace Beside Me. Image: Magpie Pictures/NITV/SBS
Ground breaker: Grace Beside Me explores teenage life and Indigenous culture. Image: Magpie Pictures/NITV/SBS

Adapted from the award-winning novel by Sue McPherson, the series’ main character is the extraordinary Fuzzy Mac (played by 13-year-old newcomer Kyliric Masella), a wild-haired girl, who in the tradition of wild-haired girls, isn’t quiet or compliant or ordinary.

She lives with her nan and pop in the quiet country town of Laurel Dale. But things aren’t as quiet as they appear. On the day of her 13th birthday, it’s revealed that Fuzzy has a very special role as the custodian of Lola’s Forest, the place where the spirit of her great grandmother Lola resides. She’s an ordinary teenager coming to grips with the presence of her ancestors, and the importance of caring for country via Lola’s Forest – a place imbued with a special mysticism.

Grace Beside Me
Kyliric Masella as Fuzzy Mac in Grace Beside Me. Image: Magie Pictures/NITV/SBS

I watched the first couple of episodes with my eight-year-old daughter Ivy. She was transfixed. The series has the hallmarks of typical young adolescent adventure, but it has a little more. Ivy asked me about sacred places and why you shouldn’t take things from them. She understood the concept perhaps better than an adult that what is created in country shouldn’t be taken from country. She asked about what a “totem”‘ was and how that was special. She loved the idea of an animal that lived in nature whose environment you safeguarded that in turn looked out for you. She wanted to know if she had a totem animal. I told her she didn’t, but we could choose an animal in the garden and she could be in charge of making sure that its environment was protected.

I have to say as a parent it’s wonderful to watch a kids’ TV show where so many of the faces and positive images of parents and librarians and teachers are Indigenous.

It reminds me that we just don’t see this enough in mainstream TV series. This is an adventure with a difference – where a young girl must navigate between the new world of iPhones and school and the old world of spirit and country and safeguarding culture.

Grace Beside Me
Grace Beside Me: Storytelling that brings about cultural respect. Image: Magpie Pictures/NITV/SBS

Story is so important in helping shape young minds, in how they understand the world and their place in it. If we are to create a future that promotes true respect, that values Indigenous culture and spirituality, and one that truly walks the walk of reconciliation, then we have to learn to listen.

The world’s oldest and most experienced storytellers have something to tell us. And boy, do they know how to spin a yarn.

Watching Grace Beside Me, I realised this was an opportunity for exactly that. Grab your children, sit together and enjoy.

Grace Beside Me premieres on Friday, February 16, at 7.30pm on NITV Channel 34, and will be available on SBS On Demand.

Mark ‘Chopper’ Read always wanted to be a legend. With Underbelly he gets his wish

THE AGE- By John Silvester
Updatedfirst published at 


First a confession. I thought Channel Nine’s decision to commission a remake of the Mark Brandon “Chopper” Read story was the height of stupidity.

After all, the original Chopper movie, released in 2000, with Eric Bana in the lead, was a classic that sent the former Melbourne comic on the way to international stardom.

Indeed, when Screentime, the makers of the Underbelly television series, approached me for ideas, I pitched several that were all ignored.

One, John “Sly of the Underworld” Silvester – A Trilogy (Early Days, The Wilderness Years and Vindication), was rejected on the basis it was boring, self-indulgent and partially bogus. The swines. And so when they came back to say they were going to do a two-part telemovie on Chopper, I thought it was doomed to fail. After all, the Underbelly franchise had become pretty tired (the original 2008 series on Melbourne’s underworld war was based on books by colleague Andrew Rule and myself).

How could they reprise the Chopper story that had already been told so well?

I was wrong – Screentime has pulled it off.

Within two minutes you have forgotten the original movie, as this is a different story altogether. It is a sequel, not a remake. Where the first story was of Chopper at the peak of his terrifying powers, this is Mark as an older man, making a living from writing and talking about his life as a feared underworld standover man.


The opening is rock’n'roll – reminiscent of the first series – and it’s little wonder because many of the original Underbelly production team have been reunited for the project. And yes, there are several scenes in strip clubs to maintain the series’ breast quota.

Aaron Jeffery owns the role. A big man, he fills the screen as the funny, dangerous and contradictory killer. He is so good there is a real chance that two actors – Bana (2000) and Jeffery (2018) – will win Logies for playing the one character.

Justin Monjo’s script captures the two conflicting personalities: Mark – the myth-maker; and Chopper – the violent psychopath.

I knew Mark for more than 20 years (Andrew and I co-wrote and published the books) and there were two versions of the one man. As a crook he was feared because he had no fear. As an older man he had the same doubts as the rest of us. At his 50th birthday, he said: “All I want to do is live long enough to see my children grow up.”

He didn’t – he died of cancer in 2013.


Mark always said his biggest crime was getting away with the books, where he told real stories, exaggerated others and stole anecdotes from fellow crooks. And this version leaves the viewer to wonder what is real and what is fake.

I spoke at a public charity event with Mark once. It was a car crash, where the audience complained that he was glorifying crime. Bewildered, he said to me later: “What do they want? The real story – they’d vomit.”

He told me that when he was a teenager in Pentridge, an older crook in the showers told him the new inmate was going to be his “girl”.

“I stabbed him and left him with a colostomy bag for life. Do they want to hear that?”

The truth was that for years Mark played Chopper just like Bana and Jeffery. He could hardly remember the vicious psychopath who spent more than 20 years in Australia’s worst prisons.

He deliberately built and then exploited a crime legend that drove his many underworld enemies to distraction.

There is one scene where Carlton gangster Alphonse Gangitano and others are livid when reading references in Chopper’s first book. The book itself falls apart because it was bound with insufficient glue. (That is true – the first print run did disintegrate.)

This version also captures his close relationship with his long-time sweetheart and second wife, Margaret, which is so at odds with his public image.

Underbelly’s Chopper shows how Mark was hurt not to be invited to the launch of the original movie and his sense of resentment that others ripped off his franchise. (There is an element of truth in that, particularly when insignificant hyenas entered his orbit when he had been diagnosed as terminally ill.)

It explores his fractured relationship with his father, Keith, who loved his son’s “Chopper” reputation, with Mark finally rebelling and asking: “Why didn’t you try to stop me?”

The Mark I knew always said his years as a crook were a tragic waste. But it didn’t stop him building a legend that will continue to grow posthumously. He would have liked this version. Particularly if he was invited to the launch.

John Silvester was a consultant on Underbelly Files: Chopper, which screens on Channel Nine on February 11 and 12.

Outback Western ‘Sweet Country’ receives international acclaim

SBS News spoke to film director Warwick Thornton about his new project, alongside stars Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.

Known for 2009′s Samson and Delilah, Thornton’s latest project is inspired by true events.

“If you’re going to tell a story make sure it’s a bloody important one,” Thorton told SBS News.

“Make sure you do something important that can either heal or create questions.”

An intense film set in the Northern Territory in 1929, it tells the story of an Aboriginal stockman who shoots a white station owner. As a result, he and his wife are forced to flee through desert country.

The plot explores social injustice, exploitation and racism in the divided frontier society of the time.

The story came from sound recordist David Tranter, a good friend of Thornton’s. It was passed down to him by his grandfather.

“He empowered himself to sit down and write this story and he handed it to me and we started from there,” Thornton said.


Sweet Country has already won prizes at two of the world’s leading film festivals in Venice and Toronto and was named best film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

It has a critics approval rating of 94 per cent on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes

Indigenous actor Hamilton Morris plays accused murderer Sam Kelly in his first film role, alongside Australian screen icons Sam Neill and Bryan Brown.


‘Sweet Country’ tops APSA Awards with best film win


Australian director Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country has won the best film prize at the 11th Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which were held in Brisbane tonight (Thursday), in a ceremony hosted by Lee Lin Chin and David Wenham.

The jury awarded the best director prize to Russian Andrey Zvyagintsev for his stark family mystery Loveless. Zvyagintsev  (Leviathan)’s Cannes contender is being released in Australia through Palace Films in early 2018.

Sweet Country was nominated for three APSA Awards in total, but the best film prize was its only win of the night. The accolade follows Thornton’s Venice Jury Prize and Toronto Platform Award. The film opens in Australia on January 25, 2018.


‘Grace Beside Me’ Selected Finalist in Prix Jeunesse International



Australian Children’s TV Series ‘Grace Beside Me’ has been announced as a finalist in the 28th Prix Jeunesse International 2018.

The bi-annual international festival and competition, taking place in Munich from 25 – 30 May 2018, aims to shine a spotlight on the world of outstanding television productions for children. The 2018 theme is ‘Strong Stories for Strong Children: Resilience and Story Telling’.

The finalists are selected from almost 400 children’s programs from all over the world. One of four Australian finalists, Grace Beside Me has been pre-selected in the 7 – 10 Years Fiction category, which is judged by a German children’s jury consisting of 600 children as well as a professional jury. A German voice-over version will be produced.

Producers Lois Randall and Dena Curtis said “we’re honoured to be a finalist in this important award. Grace Beside Me is a thirteen episode series adapted from the novel by Sue McPherson. We believe the selected episode “Sorry” which was written by Sue McPherson and Sam Carroll and directed by Nicholas Verso, is very much in-line with the theme of resilience. We want to acknowledge the beautiful performances of first time actor Kyliric Masella as 13 year old Fuzzy Mac, and Tessa Rose as her grandmother Nan,” they said. “And we congratulate all our team and the other finalists.”

Visit https://www.prixjeunesse.de





Sweet_Country_(2017_film)SW 2

Thornton’s outback Western looks set to repeat the international success of Samson and Delilah.

Warwick Thornton’s period Western, Sweet Country,  has been selected for Official Competition at the Venice Film Festival in September. The film will make its Australian debut at the Adelaide Film Festival in October.

Starring Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Ewen Leslie, Thomas M. Wright, Natassia Gorey-Furber, Anni Finsterer, Matt Day, Hamilton Morris, Tremayne Doolan and Trevon Doolan, Sweet Country is set in the Northern Territory in the 1920s. the film tells the story of an Aboriginal stockman, Sam (Hamilton Morris)who kills white station owner Harry March (Ewen Leslie) in self-defence, and then flees with his wife, Lizzie (Natassia Gorey-Furber)pursued by Sergeant Fletcher (Bryan Brown), Aboriginal tracker Archie (Gibson John) and local landowners Fred Smith (Sam Neill) and Mick Kennedy (Thomas M. Wright).

Director Warwick Thornton said: “That landscape around Alice Springs is sacred. The MacDonnell Ranges are always in my mind from growing up there with my family. So, Sweet Country is a film about the land and our family and what happened when the missionaries and pastoralists arrived.”

Penny Smallacombe, Head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department said “Sweet Country is an outstanding Indigenous collaboration, from the incredibly talented writers Steven McGregor and David Tranter and the extraordinary vision of director Warwick Thornton. This is a vital and rich Indigenous perspective of how Aboriginal people have been treated historically and we’re proud the film will premiere at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals,” said Ms Smallacombe.

Director:  Warwick Thornton
Producers: David Jowsey and Greer Simpkin


SXSW Review: Hounds Of Love



HOUNDS-700x324BY  ON 

I actually needed a few hours in order to collect my thoughts here at SXSW this year. I screened a film called Hounds Of Love and it stayed with me long after it had ended. It actually bled into all other screenings I had that day. It is poetically disturbing and a high mark in the genre world.

The film centers around John and Evelyn (Steven Curry and Emma Booth), a couple who pray on folks in their small town. They use the perceived safety of a couple into luring people into their car and then eventually back to their house where they sexually and mentally torture the unlucky person. When they abduct young Vikki (Asheleigh Cummings) their relationship begins to crack as their dynamic begins to shift.

Almost the entire film takes place within the walls of one house. The time spent in the home gives you a grounded layout and creates an atmosphere pregnant claustrophobia. The film is shot with wide lenses in tight spaces that create a subliminal need to get the hell out of the house. Beautifully shot high frame rate sequences of the suburbs show the minutia of everyday life in mesmerizing detail to contrast the prison that is created in John and Evelyn’s home.

Hounds Of Love speaks on hyperbolic levels of the most toxic and abusive relationships and how easy it is to be enabled by someone in the wrong relationship.  Both Evelyn and John have created a world with each other that justifies their sickness, by turning it into sexual deviance and a way to unhealthy way to connect and express their love. Their behavior mimics addicts or those that co-exist with physical abuse between them. The more abusive John becomes the more Evelyn is willing to take him back and the further she is removed from herself.


The cast is insanely good. Stephen Curry creates a bad guy that is one of the most despicable and easily hated bad dudes in recent history. His character’s abusive nature and manipulative ways are shown in terrifying detail. Emma Booth, who I was unfamiliar with prior to this, is someone that everyone needs to keep their eye on. Her ability to zig zag between psychotic assistant to John’s deviance and then to snap back to display a mother’s intuition is staggering. The role requires a lot and her character becomes the center of the narrative because of it. Ashleigh Cumming’s character is the glue that ties the whole narrative together, which with a film this heavy can’t be an easy thing to do. The character she starts off as changes in stages throughout. A happy teenage girl, is forced to endure and share Evelyn and John’s darkness and little by little, she becomes despondent, but finds her character’s strength through that despondence. If I had awards to hand out, these guys would all get one.

Director, Ben Young achieves a film that has echoes of Wes Craven’s early work. The level of suspense and tension he builds, comes with a heavy emotional resonance. Young, uses slow motion in a way I rarely see, he actually uses to propel and at times freeze you in the tension. The shocking last ten minutes of the film, is one sustained note that fills you with a sense of dread for one of the characters. In most films, you can tell early on how things are going to go, who is going to survive and so forth, but this dude never allows you to settle and relax. He is one of those rare filmmakers that creates danger on film with the absence of a safety net.

Hounds Of Love actually shook me. It unraveled me and took me for a terrifying journey, where I was intensely invested in the characters. I can’t even remember the last times I left a theater with my hands shaking or a film that raised my pulse but this one managed to do both and I love it all the more for doing that to me.





Nominees unveiled for Casting Guild of Australia Awards


I am excited about the Casting Guild Award nominations….proud of the past 12 months work. Great projects….a big thank you to Micaeley Gibson

Nominees for Best Casting in a Feature Film
Alex & Eve – Anousha Zarkesh

Nominees for Best Casting in a TV Drama
Cleverman – Anousha Zarkesh
Ready for This – Anousha Zarkesh

Nominees for Best Casting in a TV Comedy
Rake (Season 4) – Anousha Zarkesh
Black Comedy (Season 2) – Anousha Zarkesh

Nominees for Best Casting in a TV Miniseries or Telemovie
The Principal – Anousha Zarkesh

Nominees for Best Casting in a Short Film
The Mother Situation – Anousha Zarkesh 


Nominees unveiled for Casting Guild of Australia Awards

By Staff Writer



The Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) has announced the nominees for the second annual CGA awards, to be held November 18.

This year also sees a new award, Best Casting in a Short Film.

“It was a year to celebrate storytelling reflecting Australia’s cultural diversity, with projects such as The Principal (Casting: Anousha Zarkesh) and The Family Law (Casting: Tom McSweeney and David Newman)” said CGA president Greg Apps.

Up for the most gongs is Anousha Zarkesh, with seven nominations across all drama categories.

“I’m totally honoured to be nominated for so many projects and in all categories…very chuffed and proud – I love what I do, so [it’s] nice to be honoured by my peers – thank you,” said Zarkesh.



Check out the latest OPSM TVC that we have just finished….looks great guys!!



Director: Simon Harsent

Agency: Marcel Worldwide

Production: The Pool Collective

Writer’s debut film to screen in Venice


Big congrats to Ben Young and Melissa Kelly on getting into Venice Film Festival with HOUNDS OF LOVE….so proud x


The West Australian

hounds venice

HOUNDS OF LOVE starring Stephen Curry and Emma Booth.


WA writer-director Ben Young’s debut feature Hounds of Love has been chosen to screen in competition at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.

Hounds of Love, a 1980s-set thriller about a young woman who falls into the clutches of a murderous couple, played by Stephen Curry and Emma Booth, will screen in the festival’s Venice Days section, the equivalent of Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

Young is over the moon at the prospect of Hounds of Love being unveiled at one of the top film festivals.

“I’m so thrilled the talented cast and crew who took a risk on this West Australian film are being recognised on the international stage,” he said.

Young was inspired to write Hounds of Love after reading a book about female serial killers. “I wanted to explore the psychology of co-dependent relationships and the different levels of power play that exists in most, if not all, relationships,” he said.

Young said his film was also a portrait of Perth before the 1987 sharemarket crash, when money flowed like champagne and the America’s Cup changed the city for ever.

“This is the Perth I grew up in, when people still hitch-hiked day or night and murder was practically unheard of,” he said. “By setting the story in this era the journey of the characters becomes a metaphor for Perth’s loss of innocence.”

Hounds of Love was funded through ScreenWest’s West Coast Visions initiative. The Venice film festival runs from August 31 to September 10.



A few weeks ago I had the priviledge of travelling to YIRRKALA in East Arnhem Land. Thank you, thank you & congratulations to Susan @ Moonfish productions & Emily Murphy an awesome festival & a great success. To all the very talented, hard working & beautiful people I met thank you. A great few days spent working with you all. Until the next time cheers Micaeley.

YIRRKALA YARRAPAY MUSIC & DANCE FESTIVAL was developed within the community through Moonfish Productions. It’s primary focus is to honour the vision of the late DR M YUNUPINGU (lead singer of Yothu Yindi); and to create a platform to showcase the extraordinary talent of the young aspiring artists of the region. It has been created with a focus on social inclusion, wellbeing and economic growth with intent of increasing human, social and culture capital of the region, for all residents offering a number of facets for engagement.

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Five-year-old TJ Mununggurr fronts the Moonfish dancers at the Yirrkala Yarrapay Music and Dance festival. Photograph: Wayne Quilliam

The ruckus begins up the road, towards the beach. Stabbing shouts, the piercing clap of bilma, the rising chant of manikay. The mob of 40 or more Yolngu advances, crouching and springing, knees and elbows at angles. Some are smeared in white clay, trailing vines and feathers. Most come as they are. One wiry older man sports a Kiss T-shirt.

The bunggul gathers in force as it reaches the sandy expanse in front of the Yirrkala Art Centre. The only rain shower of the bright blue day clears their path like a surreal blessing. By the time the elders climb the stage to lead the song, the dance is more than 100 strong. It kicks up sand and draws children running from the football match on the oval across the car park.

The bunggul gathers force at the Yirrkala Yarrapay Music and Dance festival. Photograph: Wayne Quilliam

The people are singing their country. Soon, 14-year-old Siena Mayutu Wurmarri Stubbs will be on the same stage, singing Justin Bieber. And, as night falls, Arnhem Land’s global megastar, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, will make a surprise appearance.

The word “eclectic” only begins to describe the inaugural Yirrkala Yarrapay (Morning Star) festival. In the day ahead, Moonfish Dance Company unveil a new contemporary piece, featuring Yolngu music meshed with Adele’s Hello, and Brisbane grunge-rock powerhouse the Medics follow a fashion parade of local “supermodels”, starring Yirrkala’s very own Miss Australia hopeful, Magnolia Maymuru. From urban grooves to red-dirt folk, hard rock to hip-hop and slick boy bands, over nine hours it sometimes seems that the only thing these 200 performers share is the ground they stand on. But out here, that’s kind of everything.

The voice of Yirrkala is strong. The Yolngu community on the far northeastern tip of Arnhem Land – a long day’s drive east of Darwin – made the first Indigenous land rights appeal to the commonwealth back in 1963.The protest against a planned bauxite mine was filed on bark petitions, now enshrined in Parliament House in Canberra. Thirty years later, another demand for recognition put this place on the pop charts. The mine is still quietly working and so is Yothu Yindi’s dance-rock landmark, Treaty.

Surprise superstar: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu flew in from nearby Elcho Island to perform a short, unscheduled set. Photograph: Wayne Quilliam

Homage to that band’s lead singer, the late Dr M Yunupingu, is the stated intention of the festival. His wife, Yalmay, takes the stage early to invoke his legacy as an educator, custodian of culture and inspiration for what has become a unique wellspring of Indigenous art in all its forms. As the footy kicks on behind the IGA supermarket, a slow crowd trickles in to sit in the shade of the bush hibiscus and mango trees that circle the stage. Town dogs wander between close-packed families on straw mats. An unfeasibly large number of children slowly encrust the palm frond-decorated stage.

The Aboriginal community legend Shellie Morris harmonises as Dhapanbal, the daughter of Yalmay and Dr Yunupingu, sings her debut single, Gurtha (The Fire), a collaboration that has recently followed Treaty onto Triple J’s playlist.Morris talks to the crowd like a fond auntie, singing songs about staying off the grog, about an old man in Kakadu who was pressured to sign some paper he shouldn’t have, another in a tongue that only a handful of her grandmother’s people still remember.

A universal plea for tolerance and humanity comes from southern states rapper Jimblah, whose pre-sundown set features his own muted take on Treaty. Brisbane rockers Mary Handsome, featuring Yirrkala-raised Roy Kellaway, reignite Yothu Yindi’s Tribal Voice in a spectacular collision of dance, yidaki and surviving members past and future — including the intensely focused five-year-old dancer TJ Mununggurr.

Homecoming firebrand Yirrmal has honed the laser intensity of his voice around the pubs of Melbourne, where he’s been mentored by Shane Howard and Neil Murray. Today, his passions inflamed by his return to country, he drives home his solo acoustic songs of belonging and bridge-building like nothing else matters. It might be the day’s most astonishing performance. His father, Witiyana Marika, co-founder of Yothu Yindi, joins him to sing Bayini, Gurrumul’s 2013 hit duet with Delta Goodrem. It was written, incidentally, by East Journey’s Rrawun Maymuru, the father of model Magnolia. Confused yet? A very big sheet of stringybark would be required to map the ties of kinship that link so many of the performers who grace this stage. By the time Yothu’s heirs apparent, East Journey, gather their sprawling forces around 11pm, the gig has become a carousel of walk-on cameos spanning three or four generations.

Yirrkala model Magnolia Maymuru – Northern Territory Miss World finalist and great-granddaughter of Yothu Yindi’s Dr M Yunupingu – on the catwalk at the Yirrkala Yarrapay Music and Dance festival. Photograph: Wayne Quilliam

Justice Crew’s John Pearce meets Yirrkala children. Photograph: Wayne Quilliam

Alas, their thunder is stolen by Sydney party boys the Justice Crew, whose impeccably choreographed breakdance moves and shout-along choruses about loving life and going boom-boom have brought the festival to a premature and decidedly shrill peak.

Even in the beating heart of Yolngu country, YouTube clearly has a firm grip on young hearts and minds. It’s hard to know what Yunupingu would have made of that. Probably a new video. His vision may not yet have come true but, out here at least, it’s never been more alive.

Casting Guild introduces policy to “reflect diversity”



Following extensive consultation with the Equity Diversity Committee, the Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) has adopted a diversity policy that will now be included on their website, Facebook page and in CGA members’ casting briefs and email signatures.

Equity Diversity Committee co-chair Bali Padda said by adopting this diversity policy, the Casting Guild of Australia acknowledges the true diversity of our performing arts community and the society we represent on screens and stages.

“This active inclusion of diverse communities is a fantastic move forward. We keenly anticipate a future in which all facets of our industry take a similarly strong stand for diversity, creating opportunities that have previously been out of reach for diverse performers. The inclusion of a diversity statement on casting briefs will provide the trigger for agents to cast a wider net when considering which of their performers might be suitable for a role.”

The CGA has notified all members of their new policy.

Equity congratulates our Diversity Committee and the CGA’s Executive Committee on this major step forward for our industry.


Cleverman first look review – wickedly exciting Indigenous superhero story



guardian cleverman

Waruu West (Rob Collins, left) with Maliyan (Adam Briggs) in Cleverman. Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti

Early this year one great big why-haven’t-we-seen-that-before box was ticked with the arrival of Spear, the world’s first Indigenous Australian dance movie. A similarly irresistible milestone lies at the heart of ABC TV’s soon-to-air program Cleverman, the first Indigenous Australian superhero series.

The kick-off episode, which is broadcast on 2 June and forms the basis of this review, makes it clear the show will be anything but standard save-the-day fare. No caped crusaders; no undies on the outside; no dipsy faux philosophy. Compare this beastly, hellzapoppin debut to that of any recent American superhero series – Netflix’s Daredevil, say, or Jessica Jones – and it’s clear director Wayne Blair has opened one epic can of whoop ass.

guardian cleverman 2

Tysan Towney as Djukara in Cleverman, which will air on the ABC in Australia and Sundance TV in the US. Photograph: Lisa Tomasetti

Like the Mad Max universe, or other dystopian worlds where meaningful progress has stalled or reversed, Cleverman’s series creator, Ryan Griffen, and the screenwriters (Michael Miller, Jon Bell and Jane Allen) imagine the future by going back to the past.

This time, not in the fabric of the world itself – technology has advanced, the settings are lit up in the way of near future sci-fi – but in the spiritual essence of the storyline and its characters. Crucial to the plot are people called Hairies, who were inspired by stories passed down from generation to generation by Aboriginal Australians over tens of thousands of years.

The subtext is never far from the surface. We begin on a bus at night, where a handful of inebriated young men accost a young female passenger. There are shrieks when it is discovered the woman is a Hairie (“You shouldn’t be outside, you filthy rug!”) and an altercation ensues.

The next scene depicts a politician fronting a press gaggle, talking about The Zone: a lawless, District 9-esque shantytown where Hairies live in third-world conditions and are prohibited by the government to leave. “The international community has accused us of violating human rights in our approach to the Hairie people,” he says, “but our priority is protecting the humans.”

Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard, the star of Spear) and Blair (Ryan Corr, who played Timothy Conigrave in Holding the Man) profiteer from people’s misery. Koen, who was raised in The Zone, is trying to make a life for himself as the owner of a swanky bar. In one of Cleverman’s few visions of optimism, or something that might vaguely resemble it, we learn a Tequila Sunrise in the future doesn’t cost much more than today: $15.50.

Koen charges a family of Hairies for smuggling them into a city apartment, then pockets money from the government for dobbing them in. His scam ends in tragedy, which enrages his estranged brother Waruu (Rob Collins). In the midst of this is the arrival of Uncle Jimmy (Jack Charles), who is a sort of conduit between the two worlds: Hairie and non-Hairie, The Zone and the city. He also has access to a third world; best leave that one to surprise.

Strange circumstances turn one of Koen’s eyes eerily bright, like the blue eyes of an Alaskan Malamute – beautiful and impenetrable. The show weaves in splashes of body horror as Koen realises his physical make-up is changing. He contemplates something of a transformation, a neat if conventional fit with coming-of-age themes that resonate much more quietly than Cleverman’s political messages.

A side plot begins to detail the relationship between a media baron (Iain Glen, from Game of Thrones) and a shady politician (Andrew McFarlane). Led by Page-Lochard, a tremendously exciting presence, the cast are very good – though Glen and McFarlane fair least impressively, erring on caricature. They come across as a virtual replica of the same oily and opportunistic person; perhaps this will change in subsequent episodes.


Designed by Jake Nash (a set designer for Bangarra Dance Theatre) and developed by New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, the Hairies look terrific. Their shaggy-haired, lycanthrope-like appearances have been configured to resemble something less otherworldly than domestic: Teen Wolf by way of the crowd from Woodstock, infused with an indefinable, mythological other, somehow implying their bodies have survived a wide expanse of time.

The Hairies live for more than 200 years and have a deep understanding of land, culture and Dreaming. They speak Gumbaynggirr, an Indigenous language from Australia’s east coast.

If Cleverman’s social allegories come on a little strong, it is indicative of a show that has an awful lot on its mind. Blair (soon to helm TV’s Dirty Dancing remake) and his team stoke dramatic fires in a number of ways and keep interpersonal dynamics rollicking along at a good speed.

The political commentaries are one element; the narrative must rely more heavily on ideas around broken family and coming-of-age. Also, importantly, a superhero trajectory that – instead of taking cues from comic books dating back, longest-case scenario, to the 1930s or 40s – has its roots in 60,000 years of storytelling.

A superhero story with too much to think about? What a great problem to have. The first episode of Cleverman – wickedly exciting and frantically thoughtful – will be enough to get you hooked.

  • Cleverman premiers on ABC (Australia) and Sundance TV (US) on 2 June



Big congratulations to everyone nominated & the winners for this year 2016 LOGIES. Pop the champagne & celebrate! We are extremely happy to be a part of the adventure with you all. Congratulations & thank you to all who voted.


DEBORAH MAILMAN- Most Outstanding Actress- REDFERN NOW



eric with logie

ERIC THOMSON- Most popular Actor- 800 WORDS


MELINA VIDLER- Most Outstanding Newcomer Actress- 800 WORDS


READY FOR THIS- Most Outstanding Children’s Program- ABC3




KY BALDWIN- Graham Kennedy Breakthrough Star of Tomorrow- PETER ALLEN: NOT THE BOY NEXT DOOR



!alex equity award

rahel & tyler equity


Essential Media and Entertainment
Alex Dimitriades, Aden Young, Mirrah Foulkes, Rahel Romahn, Michael Denkha, Di Adams, Tyler De Nawi, Andrea Demitriades, Alice Zahalka, George H. Xanthis, Aliki Matangi, Sal Coco, Naveen Hanna, Thuso Lekwape.

Nominees:  A Place to Call Home Series 3, Glitch, Hiding, House Husbands Series 4, Home and Away Series 28, Love Child Series 2, Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries Series 3, Neighbours Series 30, The Dr Blake Mysteries Series 3, The Principal, Wentworth Series 3, Winter, Wonderland Series 3, 800 Words.




EndemolShine Australia
Joel Jackson, Rebecca Gibney, Sara West, Rob Mills, Sigrid Thornton, Ky Baldwin, Henri Szeps, Nick Farnell.
Nominees: Catching Milat, Deadline Gallipoli, Gallipoli, House of Hancock, Mary: The Making of a Princess, Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door, The Beautiful Lie, The Secret River.






Hugo Weaving plays Mad Jack Lionel in the film adaptation of Jasper Jones. Photo: Robert Gray

Hugo Weaving joins Toni Collette on the set of a big screen adaption of the bestseller described as an Australian To Kill a Mockingbird.

The veteran actor, best known for his roles as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy and Elrond in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, has been cast as the town’s recluse in Jasper Jones, which began filming on October 26 2015 in Pemberton, Western Australia.

Craig Silvey’s same named coming-of-age novel centres around 13-year-old Charlie Bucktin who is pitched into the middle of small town bigotry and suspicion when a troublemaking boy, the titular Jasper Jones, summons him to the scene of a terrible crime.


Toni Collette

Collette plays Charlie’s mother Ruth. Dan Wyllie, who played Neo-Nazi skinhead Cackles in Romper Stomper alongside Russell Crowe, is dad Wes.

Silvey’s novel was critically praised upon its publication in 2009. Silvey, who co-wrote the screenplay, sets his events in the fictional mining town of Corrigan in the summer of 1965.

Charlie is an aspiring writer who reads To Kill a Mockingbird and takes inspiration from Harper Lee’s figure of morality and reason, Atticus Finch, as he comes to learn the cost of love and courage.

Silvey has long said he was influenced growing up by southern gothic fiction including the works of Lee and neighbour and friend, Truman Capote.

Film director is Rachel Perkins, daughter of civil rights activist Charles Perkins, whose previous work includes Bran Nue Dae and Radiance.

The role of Charlie is played by Levi Miller, who was recently on the big screen playing the boy Peter in Pan.





Logie Awards 2016: Newcomer & Graham Kennedy Award nominees


Nominees have been revealed for the Logies Most Outstanding Newcomer Award and The Graham Kennedy Breakthrough Star Of Tomorrow Award.

Seven stars dominate with 2 of 3 nominees in each category.

Most Outstanding Newcomer — Actor.
Joel Jackson – Deadline Gallipoli
Rahel Romahn – THE PRINCIPAL

Most Outstanding Newcomer — Actress
Melina Vidler –800 WORDS
Hannah Monson – Glitch.

Graham Kennedy Breakthrough Star of Tomorrow
Jack Anthony – 800 WORDS
Olivia De Jonge – Hiding

“With all of them starring in some of the most magnificent television Australia has produced for some time, the Most Outstanding Newcomer Award will be hotly contested,” editor Emma Nolan says. “We’re thrilled that TV Week has the opportunity to honour these bright young stars as they start their careers in television. No doubt we will be honouring them all again in many years to come!”



The Principal cast among top Logie contenders!


Congratulations to Alex Dimitriades for his nomination as Most Outstanding Actor for his role of Matt Bashir, the new headmaster at Boxdale Boys High, in the four part drama series made for SBS Australia.
Joining him is Rahel Romahn, nominated as Most Outstanding Newcomer Actor for his role as 16 year old student Tarek Ahmen.

Looking forward to the TV Awards on May 8th!

For the full list of nominees:

More cast as cameras roll on The Secret Daughter


Seven has confirmed further cast for its upcoming drama, The Secret Daughter, which begins filming this week in Sydney and country NSW.

Joining Jessica Mauboy and Bonnie Sveen are Colin Friels (BlackJack, Water Rats, Killing Time) Matthew Levett (A Place To Call Home, Devil’s Playground), David Field (Catching Milat, No Activity), Rachel Gordon (Winter, The Moodys, Blue Heelers), Salvatore Coco (The Principal, Catching Milat), Jared Turner (The Almighty Johnsons, The Shannara Chronicles) and newcomer Jordan Hare.

Supporting cast members include Erin Holland (former Miss World Australia), JR Reyne (Neighbours), Libby Asciak (Here Come The Habibs), Johnny Boxer (Fat Pizza vs Housos), Terry Serio (Janet King, Home and Away, Water Rats), Harriet Gordon-Anderson (WAAPA), Jeremy Ambrum (Cleverman, Mabo) and Amanda Muggleton (Prisoner, City Homicide).

Seven’s Director of Network Production, Brad Lyons, said: “Seven is the home of Australian drama and we’re immensely proud to be bringing another great Australian story to the screen. Jessica Mauboy is an amazing talent and this is a terrific yarn full of warmth, humour and music and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

Screentime CEO, Rory Callaghan, added: “We are delighted that this heart-warming production has attracted a cast of such depth and calibre.”

The Secret Daughter stars Jessica Mauboy as as Billie Carter, a part-time country pub singer whose life changes forever after a chance meeting with wealthy city hotelier Jack Norton (Colin Friels).


Cleaver Greene is set to return to screens in fourth series of acclaimed drama Rake


Richard Roxburgh returns to our screens as Cleaver Green in the fourth season of Rake.

CLEAVER Greene fans will be happy to learn the rogue criminal barrister will be out and about in Sydney this week when shooting commences on the fourth series of acclaimed Australian drama, Rake.

Actor Richard Roxburgh will be joined by British actor Miriam Margolyes, John Waters and Rachael Blake in the latest, and possibly final, series of the drama.

Last seen dangling from a balloon drifting across the Sydney skyline, season four opens with Greene crashing into the world of a one-time mentor and now powerful criminal on the run, Edgar Thompson (Waters).


The wait is over as Richard Roxburgh will return as Cleaver Greene in Rake Season 4

Against the backdrop of a city that’s taken a turn to the dystopian, Greene frantically tries to stay alive — from seeking refuge in a country town congregation, to representing the very man who’s trying to have him killed.

Roxburgh’s co-stars Matt Day, Danielle Cormack, Russell Dykstra, Caroline Brazier, Adrienne Pickering, Keegan Joyce, Kate Box, and Damien Garvey will also return for the fourth season.

Producer, creator and award-winning writer Peter Duncan will again direct alongside Peter Salmon and Rowan Woods while Andrew Knight has rejoined the creative team as co-writer.

“We felt we may have been done by the end of season 3 with Cleaver dangling from the balloon but there was clearly so much hot air left to expel we realised another prick was necessary. We are delighted to be flying again, are very grateful to the ABC for being the wind beneath our spheres and look forward to the turbulence the season will create,” said Duncan.



John Walters plays Greene’s one-time mentor and now powerful criminal on the run.


Miriam Margolyes joins the cast for the latest series. Picture: James Hartley




Yael Stone, Noah Taylor to star in new gay-hate crime drama Deep Water

SBS project is set in Bondi and inspired by the crime epidemic that swept Sydney in the 80s and 90s and will be accompanied by a web series and documentary.


Yael Stone and Noah Taylor will play detectives in a new SBS drama, Deep Water. Photograph: Getty Images

Orange is the New Black’s Yael Stone and Game of Thrones’ Noah Taylor will return to Australia to star in an upcoming SBS crime drama, Deep Water, which will air in 2016. Set in contemporary Bondi, Deep Water is inspired by the unsolved gay-hate crime epidemic that swept through Sydney in the 80s and 90s. Stone and Taylor play detectives who are assigned a brutal murder case and find links to decades’ worth of unreported criminal activity. They are joined in the cast by Dan Spielman, Danielle Cormack, William McInnes, Craig McLachlan, Simon Burke, Jeremy Lindsay Taylor and Renee Lim.

Directed by Shawn Seet, written by Kris Wyld and Kym Goldsworthy, and with SBS’s Sue Masters as executive producer, the four-hour, four-part thriller comes from Blackfella Films, the production company behind Redfern Now and First Contact. In what is being pegged as “SBS’s first cross-genre, cross-platform event”, the miniseries will be accompanied by a feature documentary and a web series.

“I am utterly thrilled to be working on Deep Water,” said Stone, who called it an “incredible blessing”. Stone plays Lorna Morello in Netflix’s hit series, but is currently in Sydney starring alongside her husband Spielman in Belvoir St Theatre’s production of The Blind Giant is Dancing.

“Blackfella Films and SBS have a script of unusual, epic scope with Deep Water and I can’t wait to start work,” Stone said.

Raised in Melbourne, Taylor has had a long career in film and TV abroad, most notably starring as Locke in seasons three and four of Game of Thrones. “It’s always fun shooting in Australia and I’m very much looking forward to working with Shawn, Yael, and the rest of the cast and crew,” he said.

The CEO of Screen Australia, Graeme Mason, said it was a thrill to see established and new Australian talent working together. “It’s wonderful when Australian talent working overseas return home to star in local productions,” he said.

The SBS director of television and online content, Marshall Heald, said Deep Water “delivers on SBS’s commitment to promote diversity and social cohesion through exploring the big events that have shaped our nation”.




New ABC show ‘Cleverman’ is about an Aboriginal superhero and we’re already hooked off the trailer


Hunter Page-Lochard as Koen.

Forget the endless Underbellies and cop shows, Australian TV is getting a seriously original new series and if the trailer dropped today is anything to go by, you’re really going to want to tune in.

A joint ABC and Sundance effort, Cleverman unabashedly explores Australia’s race relations and black, colonial history – only with superheroes amid a dystopian futurist setting. And damn, it looks unmissably good.

The show revolves around Koen, played by recent NIDA grad Hunter Page-Lochard, whose uncle is the tribal ‘Cleverman’ (which means he possesses superpowers that are passed on when he dies). Koen belongs to a persecuted minority, the treatment of which mirrors that of Australia’s Indigenous population. It’s Koen’s job to come to terms with his powerful destiny, mend his relationship with his older brother – and try to do the same for his broken society.

With an 80 per cent Indigenous cast – including Deborah Mailman, Uncle Jack Charles, rapper Briggs (who also features in the score) - as well as Indigenous directors Wayne Blair (The Sapphies) and Leah Purcell, ABC TV’s Sally Riley says it sets a new benchmark for diversity on Australian television. And in doing so, it’s smashing stereotypes.

“It’s not the state usually painted for our culture,” Page-Lochard told Fairfaxearlier this year whenCleverman screened at Berlinale. ”The number of times I’ve played the poor, troubled black kid who drinks! It was beautiful not to see the stereotypes in this and to see a platform for our Indigenous actors.”

Ryan Griffen, who came up with the original concept, says he wanted to combine his love of the superhero genre and his Indigenous heritage so that his son could relate.

“I wanted to bring something Aboriginal, Indigenous, to that world. As the son of a light-skinned Aboriginal man and a light-skinned Aboriginal woman, it was important for me that my son had a cultural superhero that he could look up to as a young Aboriginal person… something he could connect to that was also entertaining.”

And after one look at the trailer, we’re already hooked. Which is a problem because the show doesn’t screen until June 2, 2016. Hopefully we’ll get a few teasers in the next couple of months to keep us going.

Hounds of Love “surprise” Australian film of the year


Hounds of Love star Emma Booth with Patrick Brammall in Glitch.

Australian cinematographer Mick McDermott has described Ben Young’s debut featureHounds of Love, starring Stepen Curry and Emma Booth, as the “surprise package of the year” in Australian film.

The project, which is now in production in Western Australia, from writer/director, Young and producer Melissa Kelly, is a thriller drawn from a number of infamous local and international crimes.

Supported by Screen Australia and ScreenWest, is also stars Susie Porter, Harrison Gilbertson, Ashleigh Cummings and Damien de Montemas.

McDermott told IF he had a look at the rough edit of about 40 per cent of a week’s scenes and was very impressed.

“It’s going to be an intense and challenging journey for the audience,” he says.

“The performances are very powerful.  Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings and Stephen Curry really dug deep with their roles and were very brave. Hounds of Love looks like being a real surprise package for the year.”

The project participated in the ScreenWest script and talent development initiatives Feature Navigator and eQuinoxe in 2014 and attracted international recognition when it was pitched at European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin earlier this year.

In 2014 the project was awarded production funding through ScreenWest’s West Coast Visions initiative, which aims to uncover, inspire and develop local filmmakers.

McDermott said he was able to spend a good deal of time with Young talking about what kind of film they were to make during the funding process.

“By the time pre-pro started we had a good handle on what we needed from most of the elements whilst leaving opportunities for the film to evolve,” he said.


Hounds of Love actor Stephen Curry.

“Ben is an incredibly thorough director, having also written the script, he had an intimacy with the film that meant his vision was very clear.

“We were both in sync visually which let me pretty well do what I wanted, allowing him to concentrate on story and performance.

He said there lengthy discussions on light, movement and coverage.

“So when the actors arrived we had very strong bones, execution wise, for most of the scenes,” he said.

“It’s not a pretty story so it was important that the images reflected that.

“Pictures have to work in concert with the story, it’s important that they serve the story and not try to make their own statement.

“So with this in mind, it was decided early on to keep it quite raw and untreated.  That creates it’s own challenges.  It almost became an exercise in restraint, resisting the urge to light to an aesthetic as the story dictated and letting composition take more of a front seat.  Given the schedule, it also meant we could stay quite nimble.”

Young is an award winning filmmaker who has directed series television, short films, commercials and music videos.  He has directed seven short films, of which he wrote six, including Bush Basher, starring Gary Sweet and Harrison Gilbertson, and Something Fishy which screened at more than 35 Australian and international film festivals.

He has directed 30 music videos for various artists including Drapht, Emperors, Voltaire Twins, and most recently The John Butler Trio for which his video for Only One has had more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube.

McDermot said time and money, “as usual”, were the two major challenges of the shoot.

“1st AD Andrew Power had authored an amazing battle plan that had to accommodate actor’s availabilities, story flow and all the other components of a low budget, period piece with a 20 day shoot schedule.  Everyone worked hard and well together.

“We photographed Hounds of Love with an Arri Alexa Plus and an Arri Alexa Mini.  We also had a Phantom Flex4k for a few scenes.  Lenses were Cooke S4′s.  All the equipment, supplied locally by Transvision and Cinemachine, performed flawlessly and were the obvious choice for us.

“The Alexa, as we know, is just a dream camera in this digital age, not only from a technical stand point but from an operational one as well.  You never hear anyone say, ‘I don’t like Alexa’.

“We shot for two weeks in a house and a lot in one particular room so it got pretty tight and hot (we had a week of over 40 degree days), the Mini was a godsend for that and also for the significant hand held component of the film.  It’s a very special little camera.


Hounds of Love director, Ben Young.

McDermott said his approach was different for each project.

“It’s a continual trip of experimenting and learning,” he says.  “I don’t really follow the trends too much.  I try to make each project a realisation of the director’s vision.  For me, it’s important that everyone is pursuing the one vision without their own agenda.  If the director is trending toward a particular style then I will too, but it’s usually so individual.”

He said the one major challenge for cinematographers at the moment was the ever increasing population of cameras at varying price points which allows anyone to shoot anything.

“There’s also the whole discussion of our role in the processing of imagery.  Large K cameras mean composition is able to be altered significantly.

“Our inclusion (or exclusion) in that process is usually determined by the relationship with the director.

“I think you have to value your own contribution to a project.

McDermott said he could see a very positive future for Aussie cinematographers.

“Australians by nature are well loved by the world for their character strengths and Australian cinematographers seem to embody that with their initiative and creativity,” he said.  By and large, we do great work.”

Anousha Zarkesh wins Best Casting for Redfern Now! Congratulations!



Anousha Zarkesh wins Best Casting for Redfern Now! Congratulations!‪#‎cgaawards‬ ‪#‎casting‬

Anousha speech 1

The award speech…



Thank you….Thank you…



A celebratory drink Anousha & Micaeley…Woo hoo..



The Hosts…Ewen Leslie & Sarah Snook with Dr George Miller.



A VERY BIG THANK YOU to our amazing cast who made this all possible.

Six extraordinary stories one unmissable series. Redfern Now is the first drama series written, directed and produced by Indigenous Australians. The highly celebrated and multi award winning drama of 2012. Recipient of Most Outstanding Drama at this year’s TV Week Logie Awards, the critically acclaimed Redfern Now returns for another extraordinary season.







Congratulations ANOUSHA ZARKESH for casting of RAKE

Anousha Zarkesh: http://ow.ly/UdKnt
The Rake: http://ow.ly/UdNyj

Barrister Cleaver Greene’s life continues to spiral out of control – the latest blow being the beating he’s just received from Mick Corella’s stand-over man Col for unpaid gambling debts. As usual, Cleaver retreats to the arms of his lover/friend/confidant Missy, a high class call girl who works at a brothel.

For further information about the awards including media releases contact: info@jarsproductions.com or go to http://ow.ly/UdNvj





Congratulations ANOUSHA ZARKESH for your casting of REDFERN NOW

Six extraordinary stories one unmissable series. Redfern Now is the first drama series written, directed and produced by Indigenous Australians. The highly celebrated and multi award winning drama of 2012. Recipient of Most Outstanding Drama at this year’s TV Week Logie Awards, the critically acclaimed Redfern Now returns for another extraordinary season.


For further information about the awards event contact: info@jarsproductions.com







The two part mini-series tells the remarkable story of Peter Allen’s rise from country New South Wales to the Hollywood Hills, becoming part of American royalty along the way.

For further information about the awards including media releases contact: info@jarsproductions.com or go to http://ow.ly/UdKqz

Christine King: http://ow.ly/UdKnZ
Anousha Zarkesh: http://ow.ly/UdKnt

#Cleverman is coming!



Deb Mailman

Deborah Mailman- The Sapphires, Redfern Now


Iain Glen

Iain Glen (Game of Thrones)


Rob Collins

Rob Collins (The Lion King – Musical)


Hunter Page-Lochard

Hunter Page-Lochard (The Sapphires)

#Cleverman is coming! A new supernatural series where drama and the dreaming collide has begun production in Sydney. The cast includes Deborah Mailman (pictured here – The Sapphires, Redfern Now), Hunter Page-Lochard (The Sapphires) and Rob Collins (The Lion King – Musical), alongside Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Golden Globe nominee Frances O’Connor (The Missing (TV series)) and Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games).

An official co-production between Goalpost Pictures Australia and Pukeko Pictures. World-renowned Weta Workshop (Lord of the Rings trilogy), through their association with Pukeko Pictures, together with Jacob Nash (Bangarra Dance Theatre) will be providing the otherworldly creature design. In other words, it’s going to be BIG. Coming to ABC TV in 2016.

REDFERN NOW Tele-movie


Coming soon – November 2014 on ABC



Catching Milat

Catching Milat is a period drama on the Backpacker Murders coming soon to Channel Seven.

Over two compelling episodes, Catching Milat will tell the true story of how the NSW Police Taskforce Air, and in particular Detective Paul Gordon, tracked down and caught Ivan Milat – the man responsible for the infamous Backpacker Murders.

Set against a backdrop of a public alarm, high level government pressure and an international press demanding a result, Catching Milat will be a pacy, physiological thriller – a real life whodunit with very real heroes and villains.

Produced By: Kerrie Mainwaring & Rory Callaghan

Directed By: Peter Andrikidis

Richard Cawthorne – Detective Paul Gordon
, Geoff Morrell – Superintendent Clive Small, 
Mal Kennard – Ivan Milat
, David Field – Detective Neil Birse



Gillian Armstrong

Gillian Armstrong directs drama documentary about the life of Orry Kelly.   Women He’s Undressed is a cinema length documentary that explores the life of Australia’s most successful costume designer. Until now Orry-Kelly has been unacknowledged in his country of birth. During the golden years of Hollywood he was the costume designer on an astonishing 282 motion pictures. He designed for the stars like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russell, Errol Flynn and many more of the immortals. His films included Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, An American in Paris and Now Voyager. Orry-Kelly (Jack to his friends) won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth. He adapted his film costumes for street wear and retailed them through department stores. The feature length documentary will celebrate the public and private life of this talented Australian.


Carl Barron

Carl Barron stars in his new feature film – Manny Lewis.  Editing now.

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart – update

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart has won the coveted Best of Show Award in this season’s Accolade Global Film Competition!

In addition to Best of Show, the film has also received the following awards:

Award of Excellence:  miniseries
Award of Excellence:  leading actor (Luke Arnold)
Award of Excellence:  leading actress (Samantha Jade)
Award of Excellence:  supporting actor (Damon Herriman
Award of Excellence:  supporting actress (Georgina Haig)
Award of Excellence:  direction
Award of Excellence:  script/writer

Success of INXS


Never Tear Us Apart

Rated 1.9 mil with Australian audience.  Critical acclaim.

Sales of INXS album through the roof due to success of tele-movie.



We were thrilled to be involved in such a top quality production and want to alert you to the screening of the next installment in the Redfern Now series.


Watch Thursday 30th October to see the first gripping episode produced by Miranda Dear and Darren Dale with a stellar Australian cast.