L-R Candy Bowers, Julietta Boscolo, Kodie Bedford and Que Minh Luu.
ABC executive producer Que Minh Luu, writer/director Julietta Boscolo and writers Candy Bowers and Kodie Bedford will take part in Australians in Film (AiF) and Screen Australia’s annual Mentor LA program.
The mentors for the year-long program are executive producer Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder), writer/producer Yahlin Chang (The Handmaid’s Tale), Emmy-nominated director Jamie Babbit (Silicon Valley, Girls) and comedy writer and executive producer Peter Saji (Blackish).
This year, Mentor LA encouraged applications from creatives currently under-represented in the Australian screen industry with unique stories to tell, matching them with mentors that champion diversity and inclusion.
AiF president Kate Marks said: “Mentor LA was established to create new and exciting pathways to help grow the careers of young screen professionals and as a by-product, the Australian industry as a whole. Que, Julietta, Candy and Kodie all have a dynamic and a fresh point of view in storytelling.”
Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason added: “Mentor LA is an incredible opportunity for these four Australian storytellers who are at the point in their career when getting international perspectives on their work is highly valuable.”
Beers will mentor writer/producer Que Minh Luu, who wrote and produced the children series Play Along With Sam and Ghosts of Biloela, a geo-locative interactive drama for smartphones.
As an executive producer at the ABC Luu works across scripted drama, comedy and digital including Harrow, The Heights and upcoming TV shows Frayed and Diary of an Uber Driver.
Saji will mentor Melbourne-based comedian and writer Candy Bowers, who is co-artistic director of Black Honey Company, a sub-genre of hip-hop theatre that delves into the heart of radical feminist dreaming. Her screen credits include Newton’s Law, Get Krack!n, Tonightly with Tom Ballard and The Cry.
Bowers said: “I’ve wept watching Blackish when I should have been laughing. This is a life and career changing moment for me. I’ve been dreaming about being a showrunner on a comedy TV series since I was a little girl, so I guess this is my wildest dream.”
Bowers is working on her first feature film with Robert Connolly’s production company ArenaMedia, an anthology of Australian monologues for actors of colour entitled Everybody Else.
Chang’s mentee is Kodie Bedford, who recently wrote for Bunya Productions’ series Mystery Road. She is now working on the second series and recently received Belvoir Theatre’s Balnaves Foundation Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship, which provides a paid residency at Belvoir, working across production, programming and development, where she’ll develop her play Cured!
Boscolo, who will be Jamie Babbit’s mentee, served as director’s attachment on the Playmaker Media series Love Child and directed and wrote the short film Let’s See How Fast This Baby Will Go, for which she received the Emerging Filmmakers Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Over the 12-month program Mentor LA provides access to the US screen development process, with mentees meeting online quarterly with their mentor. The program culminates in a trip to Los Angeles to meet their mentor.