Inaugural Australian International Screen Forum set for New York City

Movies News

Showcasing groundbreaking new Australian content and workshops with leading film industry mentors, the inaugural Australian International Screen Forum will take place in New York City March 19-22.

Hosted by The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Forum will include screenings and previews, industry-focused events, seminars, roundtables, keynote conversations and master classes highlighting the creative cinema, television and digital content emerging from Australia’s entertainment industry and fostering new relationships and international growth between the film industries of Australia and the United States.

The nonprofit industry event, presented in partnership with Screen Australia, Ausfilm, the Chris and Francesca Beale Foundation, IFP, The Australian Consulate-General, Qantas and Arthur. J. Gallagher & Co., will feature screenings including the New York premiere of Simon Baker’s directorial debut Breath, an adaptation of author Tim Winton’s novel of the same name; the North American premiere of Jennifer Peedom’s documentary Mountain, narrated by Willem Dafoe, and the New York premiere of Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country, starring Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Hamilton Morris and Matt Day. The retrospective program includes a special 30th-anniversary screening of Steve Jodrell’s Shame, starring Deborra-lee Furness, as well as the newly restored version of Gillian Armstrong’s 1982 comedy musical Starstruck. Baker, Peedom and Furness will participated in post-screening Q&As.

The forum will include keynote conversations from 32-time Emmy Award-winning and 26-time Academy Award-winning former president of HBO Documentary Films Sheila Nevins, Academy Award-winning cinematographer John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road, The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Academy Award-winning producer Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam, Downsizing), and Simon Baker, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

The forum will also incorporate a variety of industry events open to industry members, filmmakers and the public, including panels and workshops such as a Master Class in Directing, hosted by director and producer Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, My Brilliant Career). Additional topics will include career and project development in the U.S., particularly in the independent space. The program also includes a panel and information session by Australia’s screen services industry body Ausfilm on screen production tax incentives, targeted at small to mid-budget films.

Through the support of Screen Australia, 13 of Australia’s screen creatives will travel to New York City for the forum and will participate in an intensive and bespoke professional development program. With direct access to New York-based industry leaders and workshops produced by the IFP, the filmmakers will learn how to take the next step in their careers—including pitching in the U.S. market, working with talent agents, sourcing finance, latest trends in developing and packaging projects, finding production and distribution partners, pathways to audience and new opportunities for story in new platforms. 

The filmmakers are: Kacie Anning; Dave Carter and Nikos Andronicos; Natalie Erika James; Alice Englert; Julie Kalceff; Stephen McCallum; Catherine S. McMullen; Alexei Mizin and Ryan van Dijk; Billie Pleffer; Dylan River; and Miley Tunnecliffe. Find more information on the filmmakers here.

"The Australian international Screen Forum offers a unique platform for the Australian industry to connect with the New York-based studios, distributors, agencies, producers and creatives. While smaller than Los Angeles, the New York film industry is diverse, from independent features to documentary, TV, digital and advertising and it remains heavily focused on uncovering new talent.  This is our opportunity to shine a light on what the Australian screen sector has to offer,” said Chris Beale, chairman of the Australian International Screen Forum.

"We are thrilled to launch the inaugural Australian International Screen Forum.  Many cutting-edge indie studios and creatives call New York City home—such as A24, IFC, Neon Rated and Scott Rudin Productions—and we thought what better place to set up shop, provide a setting where the local industry can easily turn up, see new Australian film and television, have a wine or two and potentially meet the next Kate Dennis, Shane Brennan or James Wan. We are thankful to The Film Society of Lincoln Center and all of our partners for their support,” said Michael Kelleher, executive director of the Australian International Screen Forum.

“On behalf of Screen Australia, I want to express our sincere thanks to the Australian International Screen Forum and Film Society of Lincoln Center for creating and hosting the Forum,” said Graeme Mason, CEO of Screen Australia. “It’s remarkable to consider that two countries so geographically distant could become such close creative and commercial partners, in an industry as competitive as entertainment. It speaks to the shared affection for each other’s stories, and a genuine desire for our very talented people to be able to work together. We are honored to have been able to assist the Australian International Screen Forum curate the inaugural Forum and look forward to inviting New Yorkers to enjoy some Australian tales.”

Tickets and passes will be available for purchase beginning Thursday, Feb. 15. For information, tickets, passes and a complete schedule, visit