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  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:30 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)







    Eka Darville named official HLS Ambassador

    Actor and HLS Ambassador, Eka Darville

    Australians in Film Foundation is proud to announce that Australian winery

    Bird in Hand will present The 10th Anniversary of The Heath Ledger Scholarship (#HLS10), with applications now open.


    AiF is also excited to announce Australian actor Eka Darville (Jessica Jones, Empire) as the 2018 HLS Ambassador. The recipients will be announced on September 20 at the Chateau Marmont, Hollywood.

    HLS10 - Eka Darville Apply Now

    In keeping with the amazing opportunities that Heath was given in his career and his generous spirit of helping others, the Foundation will also be looking for actors who may not be afforded the same opportunities or access that Heath had. Bolstered by the amazing diversity of last year's applicants, AiF is building on that and encouraging actors from diverse and underrepresented communities to apply.


    Kate Ledger, Heath's sister and AiF Board member said, "We want this scholarship to open doors for Australian actors who otherwise wouldn't get the chance. Australia has an amazing variety of talent to showcase.  We are especially encouraging actors of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, those from rural and remote areas, those with disabilities and people from the LGBTQI communities to apply."


    "This is the 10th anniversary, and this is an era and a time in our industry where the tectonic plates are shifting. Everything is changing from the stories that we tell, to the people that are represented, to the way in which we make film and TV. I personally could not be more excited to see this shift happening I think it's so long overdue." said Darville.


    The 10th year anniversary scholarship is valued at US$30,000. The recipient will join past winners which include: last year's winner Mojean Aria, who is set to star opposite Rachel Griffiths in the SBS upcoming crime thriller Dead Lucky, and has just been cast in the Stuart Beattie penned film Danger Close opposite Travis Fimmel, Ashleigh Cummings who has just completed shooting the highly anticipated Warner Bros/Amazon co-production of The Goldfinch opposite Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman, Cody Fern, the breakout star of Ryan Murphy'sAmerican Crime Story: Versace and next seen in House of Cards opposite Robin Wright, and Bella Heathcote, lead in the new Ridley Scott|CBS drama Strange Angel.


    The prestigious scholarship, created in the generous creative spirit of the iconic Academy Award-winning actor, will be given to an Australian actor who is pursuing a global career, or wishes to train internationally. The recipient should display an extraordinary commitment to their craft and an exceptional ability to transform their art onto the screen. The scholarship is open to actors from 18-35 years of age.


    Adelaide Hills' winery, Bird in Hand, a producer of fine wines and lover of arts and culture, will present the 10th Anniversary Heath Ledger Scholarship (#HLS10)joined by longstanding partners Qantas, Ausfilm and Screenwise.


    AiF is thrilled to welcome this year's media partners - Vogue Australia and GQ Australia as well as The Standard West Hollywood, to be the #HLS10 official hotel partner.


    Screenwise - Australia's Leading Film and TV School for Actors - will provide a $10,000 grant designed to assist the Scholarship Recipient's living expenses during their time in Los Angeles. 


    All ten finalists will be flown to Los Angeles courtesy of Qantas to attend the exclusive three-day HLS conference featuring intimate group conversations and panels with leading Hollywood executives and creatives.


    The conference is aimed at providing the finalists with insight into how the Hollywood industry works, as well as other skill-based sessions including classes on audition technique.


    Finalists will also watch I am Heath Ledger documentary at The Standard West Hollywood and attend networking events with US & Australian producers, directors, casting directors, managers and agents.


    The conference will culminate with the Recipient's Announcement, when Bird in Hand presents the 10th Anniversary Scholarship (#HLS10) event at the iconic Chateau Marmont on Sunset Blvd, where the inaugural Heath Ledger Scholarship announcement took place.  Bird in Hand recently launched Emmy Award-winning producer Bruna Papandrea's production company, as well as the Australian Oscar Nominees Reception, and #HLS10 continues their philosophy of hosting beautiful intimate events celebrating arts on the world stage with their amazing wines.


    The 10th Anniversary Scholarship Prize will include;

    • Two round-trip Qantas economy airfares from Australia to Los Angeles
    • US$10,000 towards a living allowance, rent and transport assistance in Los Angeles
    • Group Acting classes and personal coaching from Lisa Robertson Studio
    • Movement and Voice classes with Kennedy Brown
    • Dialect coaching with Joy Ellison
    • Group acting classes from Nancy Banks Studio
    • Group acting classes and personal coaching from Jean-Louis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad at Alexander Techworks
    • Private acting classes from Guru Monteiro
    • Immigration services from Kate Raynor & Associates
    • Reel editing by Top LA editor Darwin Serink
    • Headshot Sessions from Sally Flegg Photography
    • Hair and Makeup styling for headshot sessions by Sophia Lee
    • Gym classes from Training Mate
    • Dinner + Medallion from EP & LP
    • Hair Styling by Hello Darling Salon
    • Lifetime AiF membership, which includes access to the creative workspaces, Charlie's at Raleigh Studios, including invitations to exclusive AiF Events such as The Australian Oscar and Emmy Nominees Reception
    • General meeting introductions to Hollywood Casting Directors.
    • Mentoring by leading actors working in Hollywood.

    Entries close on Saturday June 16th at 11am (AEST)

  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018 9:59 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)



    Australians in Film announced that Sydney filmmaker

    Petra Lovrencic has been awarded the highly-coveted

    2018 Village Roadshow Animal Logic Entertainment Internship. 

    A graduate from Sydney University and Sydney Film School, Petra will commence her internship on February 19th in the Los Angeles offices of Village Roadshow Entertainment Group (Upcoming Ready Player One starring Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn and T.J. Miller, with Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance and Ocean's 8 featuring an all-star lineup including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter ) and Animal Logic Entertainment (Peter Rabbit, starring Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, and featuring the voices of James Corden, Daisey Ridley, Sia, Margot Robbie and Elizabeth Debicki). 


    The three month internship, valued at $20,000, gives an Australian under-graduate or recent graduate the opportunity to work in the offices of two of the world's leading independent production companies, providing valuable insight and working knowledge into international feature film development and production. 


    Petra, a recent recipient of the Screen Australia and ABC-funded Fresh Blood initiative, a program that promotes emerging comedy filmmakers, produced and co-directed the sketch comedy, Too Pretty to be Witty, as part of the initiative, which is currently on ABC iView in Australia. 


    "The Village Roadshow and Animal Logic Entertainment Internship is a golden ticket for me. It is a rare opportunity that will offer invaluable knowledge and networks that would otherwise not be available to someone in my position," Petra said today. 


    "The generosity and support provided by Australians in Film through this internship makes it possible for emerging filmmakers like myself to get a foot in the door of an incredibly competitive industry," she continued. 


    As part of the internship prize, Petra also receives a 12 month AiF Industry membership and access to AiF creative workspace Charlie's at Raleigh Studios, a shared workspace for AiF members working in the U.S screen industry. 


    Kate Marks, President of AiF said; "It is AiF's mission to provide opportunities which help develop the next generation of Australian screen content makers. Greg Basser at Village Roadshow and Zareh Nalbandian from Animal Logic Entertainment are inspiring leaders committed to the advancement of the Australian screen industry and that is why this internship is so important to them, and AiF." 


    Previous recipients of the Internship include; Dave Edwardz (2015) currently working in London as a Previs Supervisor, Melanie Jayne (2016), employed at William Morris Endeavor and Lauren Brown (2017), currently working with the team at Ludo Studio and developing her own projects through Little Red Balloon Films.

  • Thursday, November 23, 2017 2:52 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017 1:44 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    Katherine Langford, Danielle Macdonald, 
    Alethea Jones and Warwick Thornton to receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Awards
    Tim Minchin to receive the Qantas Orry-Kelly Award

    Wednesday October 18, 2017 at Neuehouse Los Angeles


    LOS ANGELES, CA, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 - Actresses Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda); Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$, Dumplin'); director Alethea Jones(Fun Mom Dinner); screenwriter, cinematographer and director, Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country) and musician, actor, comedian, writer and director, Tim Minchin (Matilda) will be honored at this year's Australians in Film Awards on Wednesday, October 18 at Neuehouse Hollywood, hosted by actor Patrick Brammall.

    Actresses Katherine Langford and Danielle Macdonald, director Alethea Jones, and screenwriter, cinematographer and director, Warwick Thornton (Sweet Country) will receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award which recognizes Australian screen talent who have had major international presence over the past year. Previous Breakthrough Award honorees include Margot RobbieChris Hemsworth, Elizabeth DebickiJoel Edgerton, James Wan and Mia Wasikowska.

    The multi-talented Tim Minchin will be honored with the Qantas Orry-Kelly Award which celebrates an Australian who has contributed to the national identity of Australia with their body of work and has created opportunities and inspiration for other Australians internationally. Previous honorees include film executive Greg Basser, producer Bruna Papandrea, directors Baz Luhrmann and John Polson,and film-making collective, Blue Tongue Films.

    Previously announced 2017 Australians in Film Awards honorees include: director Kate Dennis, who will be honored with the Create NSW Annette Kellerman Award with Vogue Australia; screenwriter Luke Davies, who will be honored with the Fox Studios Australia International Award; and Disney executives Mary Ann Hughes and Paul Steinke, who will be honored with the Ausfilm International Award.

    "Australians in Film has built a strong community of creatives in Los Angeles," commented Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film. "We are immensely proud of this year`s group of honorees, congratulate them on their successes and look forward to their future work both in Australia and the US." 

    Katherine Langford garnered global recognition and critical acclaim as 'Hannah Baker' in Netflix series 13 Reasons Why which became a worldwide phenomenon. The series is currently in production on its second season. Next, Langford will star in Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda alongside Jennifer Garner, Nick Robinson and Alexandra Shipp, distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film will be released in March 2018. 

    Langford said, "I feel very honored to be recognised by Australians in Film and receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award for 2017. Growing up, acting felt - at times, like an intangible thing. I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to perform, and hope to continue doing good work with great filmmakers."

    Danielle Macdonald currently stars in the critically acclaimed Patti Cake$ which debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Macdonald began her career in the United States at 18 years of age in her first short film role The Thief, directed by Rachel Weisz, starring Joel Edgerton and Rosemarie Dewitt. Macdonald made her feature film debut in The East, alongside Ellen Page, Britt Marling and Alexander Skarsgard. She will next be seen starring opposite Jennifer Aniston in Dumplin', based on the New York Times best-selling novel. She will follow this with a lead role in the Untitled Babe Walker project and then is set to star in Skin with Jamie Bell in 2018. 

    Macdonald said, "I'm incredibly honored to be one of the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award recipients at this year's Australian in Film Awards.  I joined AiF when I first moved to LA and it was instrumental in helping me find my footing out here. It's such a great community of talented artists who support each other and I'm so grateful to be a part of it."

    Director Alethea Jones made her first feature film premiere at Sundance with Fun Mom Dinner, starring Toni Collette, Molly Shannon, Bridget Everett and Adam Scott. Soon after, she was nominated for a DGA award for her work on Amazon series Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street. Most recently, she directed an episode of American Woman starring Alicia Silverstone and Mena Suvari and also co-wrote the pilot and series bible of Cleopatra in Space for Dreamworks Animated Television. Her next project is directing her first studio film, The Barbie Movie starring Anne Hathaway for Sony. Jones won Tropfest in 2012 with her short film, Lemonade Stand.

    "Working in this industry with so many excellent collaborators is a joy, but being so far from my beautiful Australian family and friends is really tough, so to be recognized by AiF in this way is incredibly special," said Alethea Jones. "It connects me to my home and encourages me to persist, and for that I am truly grateful andhonored to receive this award."

    Warwick Thornton is the first indigenous Australian creative to receive the Screen Australia Breakthrough Award. Thornton most recently won the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, just days after he was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival for his acclaimed western drama, Sweet Country, starring Sam Neill and Bryan Brown. Thornton previously won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his debut feature Sampson and Delilah, which he wrote and directed.

    "It's such an honor and so nice to know there's a whole lotta love from the other side of the Pacific," said Warwick Thornton.

    Musician, actor, comedian, writer and director Tim Minchin composed two Olivier Award-winning musicals, Matilda (with Dennis Kelly) and Groundhog Day (with Danny Rubin), both directed by Matthew Warchus. Minchin has toured in the US, the UK and Australia, performing solo, with bands and symphony orchestras. In 2012, he recorded with the prestigious Heritage Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall. His acting credits include, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Sydney Theatre Company, Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Tour of Australia and the UK, Californication (Season 6) and ABC's award-winning Secret River. He will star as Friar Tuck in the upcoming film, Robin Hood Origins.

    The AiF Awards and Benefit Dinner is aimed at supporting the organization's mission to usher Australian filmmakers into the international market and to provide educational and career development programs including successful creative work sharing space, Charlie's in Hollywood. 

    Australians in Film proudly acknowledge the wonderful support of its Title Sponsors of the 2017 AiF Awards: Ausfilm, Qantas, Village Roadshow, Fox Studios Australia and Screen Australia.

    For Event Sponsorships, Congratulatory Advertising, and Individual Tickets (prices start at $100) and more information, please visit

    Title Sponsors


    Annette Kellerman Award sponsors


    Wine Sponsor


  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 4:43 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    The Australians in Film Writers Room is an eight-week program led by screenwriter, playwright and writing mentor Richard Barrett, designed to give emerging writers the opportunity to refine their craft and provide them with the necessary tools to workshop and make progress on their scripts, whether for television, film or the web.


    The room is limited to eight writers who meet weekly on Monday evenings at AiF members' workspace, The Creative Collective at Raleigh Studios, to workshop their material. Writers will work with several partners over the course of the eight-week period to gain various perspectives. 




    At the end of each session, each writer will have clear direction of what to work on before the next meeting. The meetings aim also to serve as a support group to help motivate, educate and prepare our fellow Aussie writers to break into the competitive screenwriting industry. 


    Writers Room News 

    Alumni Sandra Rostirolla's new fantasy novel, CECILIA, will be having a book launch Saturday, September 30 at 7pm, at the CoproGallery in Bergamot Station. Click here to RSVP:


    Scripts from both Ed Blythe and Joe Brukner were recently selected for AiF's first Live Read with Live Read/LA.  


    "None of it would have happened without the support of AiF and the script I developed in the Writer's Room"

     -Ed Blythe, nominee for Monte Miller award, AWG Pathways program, and Scripted Ink funding recipient for "The Pugilist"



    Address: AiF's Creative Collective, - Raleigh Studios, Suite B134 - 650 N Bronson Avenue. 7-9PM weekly.

    Please do not apply unless you are reasonably certain that you can attend the following schedule:

    Monday, 9th October 

    Monday 16th October 

    Monday 23rd October 

    Monday 30th October 

    Monday 6th November 

    Monday 13th November 

    Monday 20th November 

    Monday 27th November - A Writer's Room alumni guest speaker and networking drinks.

    Applications will close Thusday, September 28, 2017 at 5PM PDT

    The program is open to current Australians in Film INDUSTRY Members only.

    Not a member? Join here


  • Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:02 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    Australians in Film to Honor Emmy nominated Director Kate Dennis, Oscar nominated Screenwriter Luke Davies and Disney Executives Mary Ann Hughes and Paul Steinke at the 2017 Australians in Film Awards and Benefit Dinner in Los Angeles


    Patrick Brammall will host the annual awards and fundraiser at NeueHouse Hollywood on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    LOS ANGELES, CA, SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 - Australians in Film (AiF) will host the sixth annual AiF Awards and Benefit Dinner on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, in Los Angeles. The fundraising event returns to the Neuehouse Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard and will be hosted by actor, Patrick Brammall (CBS All Access and Funny or Die's No Activity).


    Director Kate Dennis (The Handmaid's Tale) will be presented with the Create NSW Annette Kellerman Award with Vogue Australia, which honors trailblazing women in Hollywood; screenwriter Luke Davies (Lion) will receive The Fox Studios Australia International Award, which recognises an Australian creative working behind the camera who has achieved excellence internationally; and Disney executives Mary Ann Hughes and Paul Steinke will be honoured with the Ausfilm International Award for their significant contribution to the Australian film industry.


    Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film, commented, "AiF is extremely proud of Luke and Kate and the celebrated work they are producing for audiences globally. Mary Ann and Paul have always been big supporters of the Australian screen industry and we are thrilled to honor them at our Awards.  Their work at Disney has created many jobs back home, provided opportunities for our technicians to develop their skills and injected millions of dollars into the Australian economy."


    Kate Dennis, one of Australia's most successful television directors, will receive the Create NSW Annette Kellerman Award with Vogue Australia. Dennis started her career in Australia where she directed five seasons of the critically acclaimed Offspring. Most recently she directed two episodes of the critically acclaimed series The Handmaid's Tale, which earned her a 2017 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Director for a Drama Series. Her other credits include, GLOWParty TricksMiss Fisher's Murder MysteriesRake (series 2 & 3), Time of Our LivesLove My Way, The Secret Life of UsRush and Secrets and Lies, forwhich she was nominated for an Australian Directors' Guild Award in 2015. Dennis recently wrapped on the ten part series Harrow starring Ioan Gruffudd.


    Kate Dennis on receiving the award, "I am so thrilled to accept this honour from Australians in Film. The Australian film community here in LA is so full of talent, and so full of support -- I feel lucky to be a part of it."


    The Fox Studios Australia International Award will be awarded to internationally renowned screenwriter, award-winning novelist and poet Luke Davies. Davies adapted the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated feature film Lion, which earned him the BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay, the 2017 Capri International Award, the 2017 Hamilton Breakthrough Screenplay Award and the Australian Writer's Guild AWGIE award. Davies other credits include Catch 22, News of the World, Beautiful Boy, Life, Air and Candy.


    "I'm honoured and thrilled to receive this award," commented Luke Davies. "It's been ten years now since I set out to see what might happen if I dove into LA and the great unknown. At times along the way, when that seemed like the loneliest and most stupid and unworkable plan, it was always a gang of Australians who kept me anchored. In fact, I never felt so Australian, as when I was 10,000 miles from home and supported by these friends. So it's a hugely pleasant surprise to be recognized by the group that does so much for Australian film here in the US."


    At the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture production company, Mary Ann Hughes is Vice President of Film and Television Production Planning and Paul Steinke serves as Senior Vice President of Production Finance. Both executives arelong-time supporters of Australia's screen industry and were instrumental in bringing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Thor Ragnarok to Australia.


    Host Patrick Brammall currently stars in the second series of Glitch, a role that earned him a nomination for a 2016 Silver Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actor. Brammall previously starred in and co-created the series, No Activity, which earned him an AACTA Award for Best Performance in a Television Comedy. Patrick's other acting credits include Upper Middle Bogan, Offspring, The Let Down, New Girl, Life in Pieces, Hawke, The Moody's, A Moody Christmas and The Strange Calls.


    The AiF Awards and Benefit Dinner is aimed at supporting the organization's mission to usher Australian filmmakers into the international market and provide educational and career development programs including successful creative work sharing space, Charlie's in Hollywood.


    Australians in Film proudly acknowledge the wonderful support of the Title Sponsors of the 2017 AiF Awards: Ausfilm, Qantas, Village Roadshow, and Fox Studios Australia.


    For Event Sponsorships, congratulatory advertising, individual tickets (starting at $100) and for more information, please contact Lauran Huff at or phone 310 201 5033 ext 3.

    Title Sponsors


    Annette Kellerman Award sponsors


    Wine Sponsor


  • Friday, August 25, 2017 5:41 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    When our good mates at Freshflix in Sydney said they were doing an Emerging Filmmaker Conference as part of Vivid Sydney this year, we said... "Let's do it in LA for AiF members and their mates as well!

    So the idea was born! On Sunday, October 1st, AiF will be presenting Freshflix Emerging Filmmaker Conference at Raleigh Studios for a full day of awesome industry talks and schmoozing with big wigs and breakout talent dishing up the practical details on how they made their debut projects.

    Plus, as a bonus there is a film festival finale on Saturday night thrown in!!

    We are a now doing a call out for AiF member's short films for the chance to be programmed as part of the Freshflix Film Festival...!  Not an AiF Member? Why not? Join now here?

    Use the below link to submit your film

    Password to submit is CHARLIES

    Tickets for the Emerging Filmmaker Conference will go on sale next week so save your pennies and get ready to be completely inspired

  • Thursday, August 10, 2017 2:47 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)



    for a LIVE READ EVENT 

    featuring Live Read/LA 





    Hearing your words spoken by professional actors is a vital part of the creative process. We're giving two AiF industry members a chance to hear their words read aloud. It's a rare and special chance to hear how your script is progressing, and work on one of this industry's toughest skills...receiving feedback. Listening to different scripts and thinking about feedback helps you identify strengths and weaknesses in your own work which will help you in the re-writing/polishing process.


    The two selected scripts will be read by actors in front of a live AiF member audience, featuring an "industry insider"(tba) on Wednesday, September 5 at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood (invitation to follow). 



    *A submission fee of $20 is required. Send up to 30 pages of your script as a PDF file. One act of your screenplay, or most of your TV pilot/spec etc. 
    No hard copy submissions accepted 

    *Two writers will be selected for a live read event held on 
    Wednesday, September 5.

    *We will accept screenplays, TV pilots, specs, short films, web series,
     even stage plays. Any genre.

    *You may send us less than 30 pages. But if you send 31 or more, YOUR SCRIPT WILL NOT BE READ AND YOUR FEE WILL NOT BE REFUNDED




    The Live Read/LA program, based in West Hollywood, started in 2016 by AiF member Tim Schildberger (who has over 15 years of live read experience), is a monthly, writer-based community event developed to help other writers improve their craft. Each reading has an "Industry Insider" as well as an audience of peers who provide critical feedback after each performance. Learn and participate more HERE 

  • Tuesday, July 18, 2017 11:39 AM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)

    For writer and first-time director Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$ was a two-year labor of love created initially for family and friends to honor his New Jersey upbringing and love of hip hop. It’s little wonder the director now describes the standing ovation the film received at Sundance this year, followed by a heated bidding war amongst several film distributors immediately after, as a “…dream having a dream having a dream come true!”

    At a sold-out member’s only screening of Patti Cake$ at Raleigh Studios on July 12, Geremy, Aussie leading-lady Danielle Macdonald and co-star Siddharth Dhananjay took part in a lively and informative Q&A session, sharing a number of invaluable, humorous and often unconventional insights into their two-year filmmaking process.

    For Geremy, his background as the lead singer of New York indie guitar band The Fever, followed by a successful career as a music video director with credits including Florence + The Machine and Selena Gomez, writing and directing Patti Cake$ was somewhat of a next logical step in his career. But still an immensely challenging one at that.

    For Danielle, her initial reaction to playing the title role when first contacted by Geremy back in 2014 was “…he must be a little insane!” The Sydney-born actor had no prior singing or rapping experience, nor had she mastered a New Jersey accent, but after spending three weeks working with Geremy on the project at the Sundance Labs, she more than proved her ability to tackle Patricia “Killa P” Dombrowski with aplomb.

    Fast-forward three years and Patti Cake$ was one of the hits of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Fox Searchlight secured the worldwide distribution rights for $9.5 million, and Danielle, was one of the breakout stars of the festival.

    Below, both Geremy and Danielle share their top tips and insights for emerging filmmakers and actors as a result of their incredible collaboration with the project:

    Geremy Jasper – Writer/Director

    1.    Simplify the Screenplay – the hardest part of the entire filmmaking process for me was writing the screenplay and the initial drafts of the script were quite different and much more complicated than what we ended up shooting. When I attended the Sundance Labs in 2014, Quentin Tarantino was my first advisor and after reading the original draft for Patti Cake$ he said to me; “You start really strong, second half of the movie, all a dream sequence? You kind of lost me there.” I ended up writing over a dozen versions of the script in the end and just stripping back the story so it became much more about connecting with the characters than overcomplicated plotlines.

    2.    Unconventional Casting – when I first saw Danielle I knew straight up she was the only actor I wanted to play Patti. She looked exactly like the image of her I’d been carrying around in my head for years and it didn’t matter to me that she had no music or rapping experience. Or that she’s Australian and would need to learn the Jersey accent and how to rap with it. I found Siddharth via his hip hop parody videos on Worldstarhiphop and instantly knew he’d be perfect to play Jheri in the film. He’d never acted a day in his life before doing the film. My point is, filmmakers can often feel pressure to go with bigger name actors when it comes to the casting process but I believe our unconventional approach with Patti Cake$ was actually one of our biggest strengths. Go with your gut especially if the characters are close to your heart.

    3.    Hold Your Horses – there’s a lot of temptation to start production on your first film as soon as possible, especially if/when money becomes available. But my biggest piece of advice for first-time indie filmmakers is to make sure you get your script as close to perfect and finished before you start shooting. You only ever get to make your feature film debut once so make sure it’s coming from a place where you’re really happy with the screenplay.

    Danielle Macdonald – “Patricia “Killa P” Dombrowski”

    1.    Say “Yes” – my biggest piece of advice to other Aussie actors is to build your credits up as much as you can and just say “yes” to any opportunities that come your way...even if you initially doubt yourself about them. I was definitely apprehensive about taking on the lead role in Patti Cake$ but I am so glad I did! It was an incredible experience and it’s lead to so many other wonderful opportunities now.

    2.    Don’t Quit – when I first arrived in L.A. I had one of those crazy, dream starts where I went to an audition for a series regular on a show (ABC’s Huge) and I booked it. But then because my visa approval wasn’t processed in time they ended up having to give the role to someone else which really sucked. In the end, I was so grateful for the experience though because it was a lesson in letting things go and just staying positive and knowing that it’s all about persistence. And I’m kind of glad I didn’t get the show because it helped me to learn how to live away from home without any guaranteed work. I really started from the ground up here.

    3.    Give Yourself Time – life in L.A. can definitely take some getting used to and it did take me awhile to adjust to being over here. This is my first time living away from home and I didn’t know anyone when I moved over. But in the last few years I’ve created a life filled with people and places I love, I have a dog and a cat who are best friends, and L.A. feels like home now.

    Patti Cake$ opens August 18th in the US.

  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017 5:14 PM | Carly Einfeld (Administrator)


    Australians in Film announced today that Jungle Managing Director Courtney Gibson has joined the AiF Board. Also announced, a range of newly created education and career development programs for industry members, and a brand new international industry membership category, allowing Australian screen creatives affordable shared office space in Los Angeles.

    Village Roadshow Entertainment Group CEO, Greg Basser, producer Eden Gaha, Group Director of Marketing at Amalgamated Holdings Ltd Ian Sutherland and Vice President of Drama Development at Essential Media & Entertainment Simonne Overend have all been reappointed for another two-year term.

    Gibson, former CEO of Screen NSW and executive at the Nine Network, Southern Star and ABC TV was instrumental in the establishment of Charlie’s, AiF’s creative shared workspace in Hollywood, which is funded by Screen NSW, Screen Queensland, AFTRS and Film Victoria. The new space, The Creative Collective, downstairs from Charlie’s is a members-only workspace and creative hub.

    Kate Marks, President of Australians in Film said today; “Courtney was an extraordinary catalyst for change during her time at Screen NSW. She really champions creatives in the screen business and her experience in both the private and government sector of the industry means she will be a great addition to the Board. We are thrilled that she has joined and we look forward to her contribution to the growth of AiF.

    Gibson said “Australians in Film is such a can-do outfit, its influence, impact and imaginative approaches to industry development make it a stand-out organisation. I'm particularly pleased to be joining the board at a time when Australians are making such a compelling contribution to global screen culture and content.

    The AiF international membership category will allow Australian based screen creatives and professionals to join the organization, giving them access to desk space at AiF’s headquarters on the historic Raleigh Studios lot, the oldest working studio in Hollywood where Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, A Star is Born, and the Oscar winning In the Heat of the Night were filmed.

    International members will also get discounted rates to all of AiF’s career and education development programs, including the script development program Gateway LA, the Village Roadshow|Animal Logic Entertainment Internship and the Heath Ledger Scholarship.

    The newly created education and career development programs will include increased access to the US and the international industries, with seminars and Q&A’s with leading American executives and creatives from Netflix, Fox2000, Amazon, Village Roadshow, Warner Bros, Animal Logic, Hulu, CAA and UTA, in addition to Australians working in both the Australian and US industry, including conversations with Damon Herriman (The Nightgale, Secret City, Quarry) and Anna Torv (Secret City, Fringe).

    This week, AiF has a screening of the Sundance hit Patti Cake$ with star Australian Danielle Macdonald. Previous screenings in 2017, included Big Little Lies (with Q&A’s featuring Bruna Papandrea, Nicole Kidman and Per Sari), War Machine (David Michod, moderated by Luke Davies) and The Get Down (Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.)

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Australians in Film
Raleigh Studios
5300 Melrose Avenue
Suite #B211, Bronson Bldg 
Hollywood, CA 90038

Phone: 323 433 1464

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