Events » Film & TV Export Market Masterclass - Melbourne

Film & TV Export Market Masterclass

Understanding world film + TV markets and festivals, positioning your company, developing showcase content and preparing, pitching, and closing deals.

The 2018 international screen market and film festivals season is underway and the time is nigh to explore your global sales and co-pro opportunities in the international market arena.

During this four-hour business class, panels of industry experts and seasoned screen professionals will give you practical insights into positioning your company, defining and aligning your business and international marketing objectives, and formulating your international market strategy. They will also assist you in selling yourself, identifying your target markets, give you the tools to successfully pitch and sell your projects and understand how to approach government assistance programs. This industry developed Business Class will be split into four distinct parts:

The Global Screen Scene Overview: From Features to TV Formats - Who’s Buying? Which market? Where and How? (Part 1)

A panel of experienced producers and distributors from feature film, television drama and unscripted programs will provide a best practice guide to preparing for markets, pitching and networking at the markets, and how to follow up after the markets to close your deals.

Our panel of worldly advisors will join Owen Johnston (SPA) to explore the following:

  • Choosing the right markets and festivals for your projects, building momentum and government support mechanisms available;
  • Strategies for approaching the international market for your feature film or TV project, from financing to selling;
  • Market testing your ideas before financing;
  • Pitch Perfect: Preparing to pitch and creating great marketing materials;
  • Creating a buzz – the value of pitching competitions;
  • Selling into the USA: Do you need an agent? How do you get one?
  • Finding and working with international partners: distributors, sales agents, broadcasters and co-producers;
  • How screen agencies can help and recent experiences;
  • Protecting your IP when on the road and pitching;
  • Making the most of your market experience;
  • Follow up and being the ultimate closer.

This session will cover a diverse range of markets for film, television, hybrid content and newer platforms. Markets and festivals include Marche du Film Cannes, Series Mania, SxSW, MIPCOM and MipTV, European Film Market Berlin, Asian Side of the Doc, World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, Content London and more. Pitching events include Berlin Co-Pro Market, Cannes Series, MIPFormats International Pitch, Hot Docs Forum Toronto, IDFA Forum Amsterdam, Power to the Pixel London and more.

Special Guest Speakers Include: Chris Oliver-Taylor, (incoming) CEO, FremantleMedia Australia; Sharon Ramsay-Luck, Content & Distribution Specialist; Dan Pearce, Partner at Holding Redlich; Ross Hutchens, Head of Screen Industry Programs at Film Victoria; Mike Cowap, Senior Producer, Princess Pictures.

Brand Identity, Pitching Content, Selling Yourself (Part 2)

Learn from the women who have thousands of hours of pitching under their belt- the Mischief Sisters. A session about creating the right impression, commanding the room and developing a personal brand.

Producers are in the business of selling. While content is king, building a successful career involves more than the program. Producers need to build a profile, a brand, and be alive to publicising and marketing the content and brand before, during, and after production.

Special Guests: Marion Farrelly and Alison Black - The Mischief Sisters

Thinking global –  The how and why of collaborating with international producing partners (Part 3)

Australia has agreements with twelve countries under the international co-production program where the purpose is to facilitate the co-production of projects for the mutual benefit of film industries in those countries.  

Screen Australia manages the program and Colleen Champ, Co-production Manager will explain who Australia has agreements with and what you need to know about co-productions from the regulatory perspective. Colleen will be joined by experienced Producer/Director Paul Currie, Founder of Lightstream Pictures, who will discuss their experience with making an official co-production from meeting their co-producing partner, managing the relationship and creative vision for the film and what they see as the pros and cons.

From this session, you should walk away understanding what an official co-production means, who you can make one with, what you need to think about before entering into a co-production, the benefits, how you apply and the approval process and some practical insights into the realities of being a co-producer.

Presenter: Colleen Champ – Program Manager, Co-Production, Screen Australia
Special guest: Paul Currie – Producer/Director/Founder, Lightstream Pictures

Export Assistance (Part 4)
Understanding Government Grants For Your Business

Learn from industry leaders, Avant Group, who will share their insights into EMDGs (Export Market Development Grants) and other opportunities to assist you in supporting your international market activities.

This session will provide an overview of export focused government grants and funding opportunities for creative practitioners. Understanding government grants and programs enables strategic decisions by businesses in areas including expansion into new markets, investment into new technologies and collaborative projects. Hosted by leading grants advisory firm Avant Group, the session will assist businesses in identifying what business types and structures are eligible to receive funding, what grants and funding options are available, what the application process involves, what the compliance and reporting obligations typically involve and the types of activities that can be covered under Government Grant funding.

Presenter: Celeste Blewitt Director – Film Funding, Avant Group

Download the course outline.

DATE: Monday, 26 March 2018
TIME: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
VENUE: Holding Redlich, Level 8, 555 Bourke St, Melbourne
INCLUDES: Afternoon Tea


SPA Members: $100 | Other Industry Guilds: $162 | General Price: $180 

To receive the SPA members special discount, select ENROL on the AFTRS booking page, and choose SPA member registrant type.

Presented by Screen Producers Australia and the Australian Film Television and Radio School.



Chris started his career at the BBC in London, working across a number of production roles and programs, varying from Top of the Pops and The Generation Game, to Match of the Day and Westminster Live. He emigrated to Australia in 2000 and worked at the ABC in a number of senior roles across Drama, Entertainment and Comedy.

Chris was promoted to Head of Production in 2005 responsible for the physical production of the entire ABC TV slate, over 2500 hours of content annually. In 2008, Chris took on the role of Head Business & Operations for ABC Television, and as well as maintaining responsibility for physical production, he took on additional responsibilities including the financial management, business affairs and scheduling and broadcast operations of ABC TV.

In 2011, Chris moved to the independent production sector as Managing Director of Matchbox Pictures. He has led the company through a sustained period of growth, generating significant production output across Australia and Internationally. Recent credits include Glitch (ABC), Wanted (Seven), Hyde & Seek (Nine), Secret City (Foxtel) and The Real Housewives of Melbourne (Foxtel)

Chris is a Board Director of Matchbox Pictures, a member of NBCUniversal International Leadership Group, a Board Director of Screenrights and a former President and Board Director of Screen Producers Australia.

Paul is a founding shareholder of Lightstream Pictures. His directing and producing work spans commercials, TV series, feature films and the staging of large live events. Paul directed and produced ONE PERFECT DAY, for which he was awarded Best Debut Director from the Screen Directors Association of Australia. Early in his career, Paul also produced the Australian action feature film UNDER THE GUN, and co-authored the best selling book, A HERO’S JOURNEY (forwarded by Bryce Courtney, author of THE POWER OF ONE). Paul directed the acclaimed documentaries LIONHEART - THE JESSE MARTIN STORY and EVERY HEART BEATS TRUE: THE JIM STYNES STORY and also served as Creative Director for World Reconciliation Day, a live and multi-camera broadcast event that featured Nelson Mandela and Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. Paul was nominated as Australian of the Year for co-founding a charity organization called Reach Youth, which has affected the lives of over 500,000 young Australians. 

Paul directed the ABC TV series TWENTY-SOMETHING and Executive Produced the cop thriller RAMPART, written by James Ellroy and starring Woody Harrelson, Sigourney Weaver and Robin Wright, and MAX ROSE starring Jerry Lewis. He produced the fantasy adventure film THE KING’S DAUGHTER with Bill Mechanic staring Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt. Paul also co-produced DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S GREAT BARRIER REEF documentary and he also just finished the psychological thriller 2:22, which he directed and produced that has Michiel Huisman and Teresa Palmer staring in the leading roles. Recently Paul again collaborated with Bill Mechanic producing the highly acclaimed and Academy Award winning Mel Gibson directed HACKSAW RIDGE, which stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. He also produced the large budget Chinese film that was shot in Australia BLEEDING STEEL staring Jackie Chan and also the Chinese/Australian Co-Production tiled THE LONGEST SHOT.  Paul also recently just completed directing the live action opening and ending of LEGO: NINJAGO, which also stars Jackie Chan. 

With 20 years senior media management experience in content investment, acquisition, sales and marketing – plus ancillary rights exploitation - Sharon Ramsay-Luck is able to offer producers meaningful guidance on distribution options and considerations. Having managed the global distribution operations for both the SBS and ABC, Sharon’s experience with traditional international broadcasters and emerging platforms has equipped her with valuable insights and knowledge to share with producers to assist them in making the best decisions to optimise the lifecycle and returns from their productions.

Alison specializes in documentaries that can make a difference. She made the Logie winning Choir of Hard Knocks whilst at the ABC, and has recently completed a Churchill Fellowship that researched engaging and accessible documentaries that can bring about social change. She created and developed two series of Changing Minds for the ABC, whilst at Northern Pictures. It was the first series in Australia where television cameras were allowed into locked mental health wards. The series were Aacta and Walkley nominated, and described by the Sydney Morning Herald as surely one of the most important programs in the history of Australian television. Through the Mischief Sisters, along with business partner Maz Farrelly she mentors and runs workshops on pitching and development. She’s a member of the AIDC Advisory committee, an external assessor for Screen Queensland and sits on many industry panels.

The Mischief Sisters was formed to exploit the creative talents of media heavyweights, Marion Farrelly and Alison Black. Between them, they have show run some of the biggest TV brands in the world in three territories – the USA, UK and Australia. Marion ‘Maz’ Farrelly and Alison Black are TV chalk and cheese. In the smart chalk corner, Alison Black – you know those blue chip documentaries you watch that change Government policy, start national conversations and help shape society? Alison makes those. In the broad appeal cheese corner, Maz Farrelly – you know those ratings juggernauts you can’t seem to avoid watching, even though you don’t want to? Maz makes those guilty pleasures. Between them, they have most genres covered. They’re called The Mischief Sisters because they like to approach everything they do with a creative sense of mischief, turning ideas on their heads and delivering surprising and innovative results every time. Both former BBC Executives and Development Specialists, Maz and Alison met on The Farmer Wants A Wife, not romantically, sis years ago and have been collaborating creatively ever since.

Navigating funding for screen and creative arts can be a difficult and lengthy process, Celeste can make this a reality. Celeste Blewitt, as Director of Film Funding at Avant Group is an expert in navigating the grant process and partners with creative businesses to achieve optimal funding solutions. With over 10 years’ extensive experience in the film and television industry, working in costume and styling, Celeste has a deep understanding of the creative process and the needs of producers and creators. Celeste has transferred this vast knowledge in her work with Avant Group. Celeste works in a team at Avant Group with Kate Whitehead and together they represent one of the top advisor teams in the sector. Celeste seeks funding solutions for creators to take advantage of Australian Government funding opportunities. This expedites the funding process and allows creatives to apply their skills where it counts best, creating, telling stories and making film and television.  

Dan is a partner in Holding Redlich’s Corporate & Commercial section, and leads the firm’s Technology, Media & Communications group. In this capacity, Dan acts on behalf of: film and television producers, distributors, broadcasters and creatives; technology companies and start-ups; advertising agencies and communications businesses; and other intellectual property owners. Dan also acts for clients in other sectors which are undertaking procurements, branding exercises, advertising campaigns, and other uses of intellectual property and information technology. Dan is recognised by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in Entertainment Law and Information Technology Law.

Colleen manages Australia’s international co-production program at Screen Australia. 

The Co-production Program was established to encourage production and foster relationships between international filmmakers from partner countries. Australia has agreements with twelve countries and Colleen works with producers and competent authorities around the world to facilitate official co-productions.  An official co-production is considered a ‘national’ project of each country which means the producers can take advantage of the incentives provided to national films in their country.

Mike is Senior Producer, Scripted & Unscripted, with Princess Pictures (Summer Heights High, We Can Be Heroes, 8MMM, It’s a Date). Previously, Mike worked at Screen Australia since it was founded in 2008 and before that with predecessor agency the Australian Film Commission since 2005. In his role as Investment Manager at the Federal Government’s key screen agency, Mike managed many award-winning projects including online content, TV series, feature films, apps, interactive drama & documentary, and video games, and conceived and ran many initiatives, conferences, and training opportunities. Mike had special responsibility for innovative digital production, exploring new platforms, finance, and revenue models. Amongst several special programs, Mike initiated and managed SKIP AHEAD with Google/YouTube to support content creators to grow online subscribers, and FRESH BLOOD with ABC TV/iview to find the next wave of comedy filmmaking talent. Prior to joining the agency, Mike held positions with the UK Film Council and the South Australian Film Corporation, and worked with production companies Picture Palace North (UK) and Monkeystack.

A former partner of Victorian production company Media World Pictures, Ross’ diverse range of producing credits include the internationally acclaimed mini-series, The Circuit, the comedy feature Stone Bros., the documentary feature Anthem, and children’s animation series Dogstar.

Before joining Media World, Ross managed the funding programs at ScreenWest, and played a key role in the redesign of the organisation’s industry support schemes.

While he has a background in documentary production, Ross originally trained as a director at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and has directed short films and series drama for television. He also taught screen performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and has been nominated for Australian Film Institute Awards for scriptwriting, directing and producing.

Ross has headed up Screen Industry Programs since 2014.

Owen Johnston is a consultant on Industrial and Commercial Affairs. Owen negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of Screen Producers Australia with unions and guilds, provides industrial and commercial advice to members, consults on policy, and assists in the development and presentation of SPA’s business classes and seminar programs.