Dame Changer announces three female-led screen projects for Mentor to Market
Dame Changer today announced the three successful recipients of its homegrown Mentor to Market program. Supported by Create NSW and endorsed by Australia’s leading screen industry leading organisations, the initiative is designed to identify and cultivate female-led screen projects.
The three projects selected are the feature films Tango Underpants (Producers Tania Chambers, Miranda Edmonds; Directors Miranda Edmonds, Khrob Edmonds; screenwriter Kathryn Lefroy) and Chain Reaction (Writer, Co-Producer Liz Doran, Producer Renata Gombac) and the television drama series Secret Threads (Writer, Producer Rebecca Ingram, Co-writer Michele Lee, Story producer Mike Jones).
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.
“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.”
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.”
Participant feedback from the event was very encouraging.
The program focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the project as a whole, not just the script/story. The opportunity to pitch in person to distributors, meet senior people and develop networks was fantastic plus guided pitching practice was invaluable.
Screen Tank has given us a practical framework for taking a script to the marketplace and we have expanded our networks, knowledge and creativity
We felt both supported and challenged by Screen Tank and we know that our project is stronger and more audience ready at the end of the process. The opportunity to brainstorm and throw ideas in a safe and encouraging environment is rare and uplifting.
Before Dame Changers came into my life I was at a dead end with my project … By attending Screen Tank I was able to see a path forward with the project and had incredible support to do so. One of the strengths of Screen Tank was having the UK and international speakers.
Mentor to Market Projects & Teams
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.
Tania Chambers – Producer
Tania produced the feature film KILL ME THREE TIMES directed by Kriv Stenders, starring Simon Pegg, Sullivan Stapleton, Alice Braga, Teresa Palmer, Callan Mulvey, Luke Hemsworth and Bryan Brown. KILL ME THREE TIMES held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and was selected for the Melbourne International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and BFI London International Film Festival.
Tania also produced the feature A FEW LESS MEN directed by Mark Lamprell and starring Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall, Kevin Bishop, Ryan Corr, Shane Jacobson, Deborah Mailman, Jeremy Sims, Sacha Horler and Lynette Curran. A Few Less Men released in cinemas across the world in 2017 and is the sequel to the successful comedy A Few Best Men.
Projects currently at an advanced stage of financing include comedic dramas HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN written and directed by Renee Webster and TANGO UNDERPANTS written by Kathryn Lefroy and directed by Miranda Edmonds and Khrob Edmonds and the live action children’s television series ITCH, co-produced with Komixx Entertainment.
Her Executive Producer credits include award-winning short films ONE FINE DAY, HIGH TIDE and DARK WHISPERS, A SHARED AFFAIR, and TANGO UNDERPANTS.
Formerly Chief Executive of two of Australia’s regional funding agencies: Screen NSW and ScreenWest, she has over 30 years’ experience within the film and television industry.
In 2016, Tania Chambers was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the arts and to film and television.
Tania Chambers & Miranda Edmonds – Producers
Miranda Edmonds & Khrob Edmonds – Directors
Kathryn Lefroy – Writer
Feisty Dame Productions & Cottesloe Films – Production Companies
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
Liz has written for a wide range of shows including Please Like Me, Molly, Doctor Doctor, Dance Academy, The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, Carla Cametti PD and Sugar Rush. She also co-created and was the head writer on the AACTA and Logie Award winning, Ready For This.
Chain Reaction, written by Liz and produced with Renata Gombac is based on the inspiring true story of how a group of ragtag outsiders changed their own lives and saved the lives of thousands during the early days of Australia’s HIV/AIDS crisis of the early 80’s .
Liz Doran – Writer, Co-Producer
Renata Gombac – Producer
SECRET THREADS (Television Series)
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
Creative producer & story creator Rebecca Ingram has worked in the Australian film industry for over 15 years. As a NSW regional based filmmaker, this has been a tricky journey so her work has been diverse – from TV & documentary work, to management positions at film offices (including Screenworks), as well as acquisitions manager for SVOD company.
However, it is Rebecca’s unique TV drama concepts that are now attracting the attention of prominent Australian and international production companies. Her Juvenile Justice crime thriller ‘Dog Box’ was a finalist for AWG’s 2017 Prime Time TV Series Competition and awarded the ADG’s Metro Screen Fellowship to take it to the USA Stowe Story Lab. Rebecca’s credits include working with successful companies such as Every Cloud Productions (Deadlock Series 1) and she is now thrilled to be associate producing for Magpie Pictures (Lois Randall), developing several exciting projects.
In 2017 Rebecca was selected as SPA’s ‘Ones to Watch’, as well as being the recipient of Screenworks ‘Regional Producers Elevator Platform’.
Rebecca is drawn to creating bold and unique female-led stories that shed light on worlds that aren’t usually explored in mainstream dramas. She is excited to be working with story producer Mike Jones and playwright Michele Lee on her latest TV Drama ‘Secret Threads’.
Rebecca Ingram – Creator, Writer, Creative Producer
Michele Lee – Co-writer
Mike Jones – Story Producer