Porchlight Films, David Michod's Producer on 'Animal Kingdom,' 'The King,' to Shut Down

The King - Venice Film Festival - OOCF - Publicity - H 2019
Venice Film Festival

After 23 years and 15 features — including Justin Kurzel's recent hit 'The True History of the Kelly Gang' — the three founders of the Australian production company are going their separate ways.

Porchlight Films, the award-winning Australian production company that has produced three of David Michôd's four features, is set to cease operations. 

The company — whose credits also include Justin Kurzel's critically-acclaimed The True History of the Kelly Gang — said its three founding partners Vincent Sheehan, Liz Watts and Anita Sheehan are all moving on to "pursue new opportunities individually."

Founded in 1997, Porchlight has backed numerous Australian directors, writers and actors across some 15 feature films, five television series, two documentaries and three short films.

Within this library is Michôd's AFI-winning and Oscar-nominated 2010 debut Animal Kingdom, which proved to be a major breakout for both the director and lead star Joel Edgerton, alongside the filmmaker's Cannes-bowing follow up The Rover, starring Robert Pattinson, and his Timothee Chalamet-starring 2019 period epic for Netflix, The King. Other credits include Garth Davis' 2018 biblical drama Mary Magdalene for Focus that stars Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, Black Widow director Cate Shortland's second feature Lore in 2012, the Willem Dafoe starrer The Hunter in 2011, and Rowan Woods 2005 feature, Little Fish, starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, which was nominated for 13 AFI Awards and won five honors.

Vincent Sheehan and Watts will continue to work on individual projects currently in development, with Anita Sheehan, who has been managing director of Porchlight since 2015, leaving to pursue other opportunities after a short break. Productions currently being financed will continue to be produced under the Porchlight banner into 2021, including Kitty Flanagan’s comedy series Entitled and Nakkiah Lui and Gabe Dowrick’s Preppers.

“We are indebted to our many brilliant and talented colleagues for their incredible contributions to Porchlight Films’ productions," said the trio. "We thank our very committed staff for their dedication and hard work, and we thank our many partners locally and internationally for their faith in the Porchlight brand. You have all contributed to Porchlight’s success and longevity. We have loved working together for the past 23 years and remain enormously proud of our catalogue of work. As we all move into a new phase in our careers, individually, we hope to continue to work with you all long into the future."

Added long-time collaborator Michôd: "I feel incredibly lucky to have been taken into the Porchlight family. Liz, Vincent and Anita are brave and smart and tasteful, but most of all they are good eggs. Animal Kingdom would not have happened without them and so, of course, I will be forever grateful to them for everything that has happened for me since."

The three partners will retain ownership of Jetty Distribution, which will continue to manage the ongoing rights in Porchlight’s catalogue.