Diana Burnett.

Executive director Diana Burnett will depart the Australian Directors’ Guild next month after one year in the job to take up the new role of studio manager at Animal Logic.

The body’s membership has increased significantly during her tenure, growing from about 700 to more than 1,000 members, including more than 200 from diverse backgrounds.

In Mach the ADG opened its ranks to aspiring screen directors and those who want to support the directing community, waived joining fees and offered discounts on fees as the production industry faced a lengthy shutdown.

“It wasn’t an easy decision because I love the work we’ve been doing, but it’s the right step for me,” Burnett, who starts in the new job in November, tells IF. “There are some exciting projects on the horizon at Animal Logic.

“I am really proud of what my team have accomplished over the past year including navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, lobbying government and advocating for directors, as well as increasing and diversifying our membership.

“I am eternally grateful for the support and mentorship of our president Samantha Lang and the entire ADG board and state chapter heads have given me and I will be sad to leave.”

Lang said: “Diana has done amazing work, especially during a very tricky time and she has been a wonderful advocate for directors. We wish her all the very best.”

Burnett joined the ADG from Screen Australia, where she was senior manager, business partnerships and corporate development, taking over from Kingston Anderson.

She is returning to her roots, having served as manager of story at Animal Logic in 2006-2007, where she worked on a number of projects including George Miller’s Happy Feet.

Prior to that she was associate production manager at Sony Pictures Animation and production coordinator at DreamWorks Animation.

The ADG is advertising the position of executive director via EP Australia.

This year the ADG Awards will move online with a virtual ceremony on Monday October 19, supported by the ABC and streamed live via the ADG.

A record 202 entries were received, up from 117 in 2019. The event be hosted from a studio in Sydney by Skitbox’s Sarah Bishop and Greta Lee Jackson. There will be musical acts throughout the 90-minute ceremony and clips from all nominated productions.

The ADG also announced this week that film industry website development and social media management company Kaleidoscope Digital is offering a $1,000 Screen Director’s Identity Package to the winner of the Online Comedy Series Award.

Kaleidoscope joins 2020 ADG Awards sponsor Panavision, which will present prizes for two awards this year. The winner of Best Direction in a Short Film will receive a $5,000 camera package.

The winner of Best Direction in a Feature Film made under $1 million will receive a $10,000 camera package.