Amanda Duthie to lead BigPond Adelaide Film Festival

08 December, 2011 by Brendan Swift

The BigPond Adelaide Film Festival (BAFF) has appointed ABC TV's content head of arts and entertainment, Amanda Duthie, as its new chief executive.

She begins her new role in February 2012, replacing Katrina Sedgwick, who has led the biennial festival since its inception in 2002.


Duthie began her career at SBS, where she was executive producer and series producer from 1991 to 1999. She then worked as associate producer of PBS-BBC-ABC co-production Beyond the Fatal Shore before joining the NSW Film & Television Office (now Screen NSW) as senior project manager.

In December 2003, Duthie joined the ABC as commissioning editor and executive producer of arts and entertainment before being appointed head of content arts, entertainment and comedy in 2007. In mid-2009, the comedy department was removed from her overview after The Chaser ran the controversial “Make A Realistic Wish” comedy segment, which caused a public backlash.

Recent entertainment programs broadcast during her stewardship at the ABC include Spicks & Specks, Gruen Transfer and Gruen Planet, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey, Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight, and The Chaser’s The Hamster Wheel. Her arts programming slate included Artscape, At the Movies, First Tuesday Book Club, an on-going series of ABC Live concerts and The Bazura Project.

The ABC has regularly co-invested with BAFF in a number of local screen projects including the recent documentaries Mrs Carey’s Concert and Stunt Love and the recently announced Hive Production Fund projects.

ABC managing director Kim Dalton said: “I would like to congratulate Amanda on her new appointment to one of the most enterprising film festivals in the country. I also want to recognise her many successes during her eight years at the ABC, and in particular, the last four years as ABC TV’s head of arts and entertainment.”

BAFF chairman Sandra Sdraulig said Duthie has "extraordinary skills, energy, knowledge and networks" and will guide the festival into the future.

The South Australian minister for the arts, John Hill, said: "It is an exciting time of change for the festival and it's great to know that one of the most creative and energetic spirits in the nation’s screen industry takes on the role of director and CEO."

Duthie said: "Katrina Sedgwick has created an internationally acclaimed film event and I will honour it with the same passion and enthusiasm for Australian and international stories. I look forward to joining the team in Adelaide in the new year."

The 2013 BigPond Adelaide Film Festival will take place from October 10 – 20, 2013. The festival was previously run from late-February to early-March.