Courtney Botfield and Chris Kunz.
Bunya Productions has brought on Courtney Botfield to head up its distribution arm and Chris Kunz to help drive the company’s development slate.
The two new positions have been funded via Screen Australia’s Enterprise program. Bunya was the major recipient of Business & Ideas funding in July, which also allowed the company to hire Jenny Cooney to drive the company’s profile internationally as an executive VP, Bunya Productions LA.
Bunya intends to also the Enterprise funding to establish talent development incubators in Queensland and South Australia, capitalise on existing and build new IP, and enhance digital marketing to increase online engagement.
As head of distribution and sales, Botfield will develop the IP and distribution arm across a slate of film, TV and online productions as well as other IP extensions including podcasts, theatre and events. Botfield, a former recipient of the Natalie MIller Fellowship, is a distribution and marketing specialist who has worked for Roadshow Films, Transmission Films, Palace Cinemas and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Botfield says: “I’m delighted to be joining one of Australia’s most dynamic production companies. To be building the commercial profile of Bunya’s acclaimed catalogue and impressive development slate is such a wonderful opportunity.”
Kunz will serve as a development executive, and will drive the slate with head of television Greer Simpkin and head of film David Jowsey. Kunz has worked with Matchbox Pictures, Beyond and Southern Star in Australia, and for Wark Clements in the UK, and has experience as a writer, editor and publisher working for Penguin Random House, HarperCollins and Hachette Australia.
“I can’t wait to start working on Bunya’s already amazing development slate. They’re a company I’ve admired from afar so I’m thrilled to get a chance to work with such a talented and wonderful bunch,” Kunz says.
Simpkin says: “We love being hands on producers but development and distribution are critical and to have two new highly talented female additions to the Bunya team opens up an exciting and dynamic future. We have to thank Screen Australia for supporting our vision.”
Bunya Productions CEO Sophia Zachariou says: “We are really excited to have both Courtney and Chris joining Bunya at this critical time for the company. They bring with them a wealth of talent and deep experience within the sector. Thanks to the support of Screen Australia’s Enterprise Business and Ideas program these growth opportunities have been made possible.”
Bunya is currently in production on the second series of Mystery Road for the ABC, directed by Warwick Thornton and Wayne Blair, with Leah Purcell’s feature film The Drover’s Wife also due to shoot later this year. The company is also in post on Ivan Sen’s latest feature film Loveland, Stephen Johnson’s feature film High Ground, Ili Bare’s feature documentary The LeaderShip.
Its first comedy series, Nice Shorts premieres today on Robot Army’s YouTube channel, and the official Nice Shorts IGTV and Facebook page.