AIF announces new president and board members
Australians in Film, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization that serves as the industry guild for Australian filmmakers and performers in the US, has announced the appointment of new AIF President, Tracey Vieira, and new board members Eden Gaha, Simonne Overend, and Peter Lawson.
The organization, which was founded in 2001, is adding a fresh perspective to their Board of Directors with Tracey Vieira, who will serve as the new President. Vieira is currently the Executive Vice President of International Production at Ausfilm where she is responsible for securing productions to Australia such as, Walden Media's Nim's Island, Twentieth Century Fox's Wolverine, USA Network's television mini-series The Starter Wife and HBO Film's television series The Pacific. Additionally she has proven success in facilitating major opportunities for Australian filmmakers and will be a vital asset to AIF and its continued success.
"It is an exciting time for Australians in Film and I am thrilled to take the lead as we continue to evolve. Under the previous President, Andrew Warne, the organization has grown tremendously adding filmmaker lab/ education events, a new partnership with the Australian Film Institute to launch the International Chapter for the Australian Academy Awards (AACTA) and also new mentorship opportunities for Australian filmmakers here in the US."
Also joining the Board of Directors are Eden Gaha, Simonne Overend, and Peter Lawson. Gaha, a veteran TV producer and executive, was named President of Shine America in May 2011, where he also serves as an executive producer on several top series including MasterChef on Fox, The Biggest Loser on NBC and The Face on Oxygen. Gaha also served as an executive producer on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, as well as CBS' long-running' series Survivor, for which he was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Simonne Overend has been named Vice President of Drama Development at Sydney-based Essential Media and Entertainment. Essential is responsible for the Australian TV series Rake and serves as the executive producer on the Fox adaptation, starring Greg Kinnear, which is expected to make its debut on the network this fall. Prior to joining Essential, Overend held roles in film and television development, production and distribution in Australia, Singapore and Europe. She has worked for a range of companies, including RGM Artist Group, ABC, BBC4, Disney, Roadshow, Film Victoria and United International Pictures.
The final addition to the AIF board is Peter Lawson. Former Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-productions at The Weinstein Company, Lawson is leaving TWC to become President of Production at Thunder Road. The Warner Bros. based company's most recent films include The Town, the recently wrapped sequels Wrath of the Titans and Expendables 2, as well as The Seventh Son, starring Jeff Bridges. During his time at The Weinstein Company, Lawson worked on such acquisitions as The Iron Lady, and documentary features The Tillman Story and Undefeated. Prior to that, he worked at Miramax, where he was responsible for such critically acclaimed films as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Happy Go Lucky.