First-Ever Australian Screen Forum to Take Place in New York

Simon Baker
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Margin Call star Simon Baker poses on the carpet of the Indie Film Awards.

The March event will include screenings, keynote conversations, master classes and more.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is set to showcase new Australian content in New York next month with the first-ever Australian International Screen Forum.

The event will feature the New York premiere of Simon Baker's directorial debut Breath, the North American premiere of Jennifer Peedom's Willem Dafoe-narrated documentary Mountain and the New York premiere of Warwick Thornton's Sweet Country, starring Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, Hamilton Morris and Matt Day.

The forum also will include a 30th anniversary screening of Steve Jodrell’s Shame, starring Deborra-lee Furness, and the newly restored version of Gillian Armstrong’s 1982 comedy musical Starstruck. Armstrong also will lead a master class in directing.

Additionally, the forum will feature keynote conversations from Baker, Sheila Nevins, Oscar-winning cinematographer John Seale and Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson.

"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," Australian International Screen Forum chairman Chris Beale said Sunday in a statement. "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.”

Added Michael Kelleher, the forum's executive director: "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."

The Australian International Screen Forum is presented in partnership with Screen Australia, Ausfilm, the Chris and Francesca Beale Foundation, IFP, the Australian Consulate-General, Qantas and Arthur. J. Gallagher & Co.

“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 Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason. "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 assist the Australian International Screen Forum curate the inaugural Forum and look forward to inviting New Yorkers to enjoy some Australian tales.”

Added Ausfilm CEO Debra Richards: “The Australian International Screen Forum in New York complements the work by Ausfilm in connecting international filmmakers to Australia’s innovative and talented film and television industry. The Forum is an excellent and timely platform to encourage creative collaboration and partnerships between New York and Australia’s screen industries and Ausfilm is delighted to support the program with a panel focusing on Australia’s screen production incentives.”

The forum is set to run March 19-22.