L-R: Hayley Adams, Sanja Simić.

Producer Hayley Adams has joined the Unless Pictures team as the company ramps up its short-form content slate, while Sanja Simić also joins as a development producer.

Adams is the producer and co-director of TikTok narrative series Love Songs, which amassed over 20 million views, and more recently, produced TikTok series Scattered, with over 2 million views and 50,000 followers. She was among Screen Producers Australia’s Ones to Watch in 2020, and won the SBS First Look Development Grant.

Her role at Unless takes the form of a two-year placement, supported by Screen Australia’s Enterprise People Program, working under company director Meg O’Connell.

Adams will focus on developing and producing a slate of premium short-form shows, including I Could Make That, a 1 x 30-minute program for SBS Viceland and SBS On Demand with art history TikToker Mary McGillivray.

“Unless will work with me to develop and produce online content that is financially sustainable – suring up my future and the future of other online creators in Australia. I’ll spend time researching new audiences, and ways to reach them,” she said.

“I’ll have the resources to scout exciting new talent. And I’ll develop shows with those new voices for TikTok, Snapchat and… platforms that don’t yet exist.”

O’Connell said in an industry landscape where short-form is often misunderstood or undervalued, Adams’ understanding of the form was unmatched.

“She is at the beginning of a groundbreaking career in our industry, my hope is Unless can provide her with some of the tools she’ll use to break that ground.”

Launched by O’Connell in 2019, Unless Pictures is driven by “imaginative stories that challenge the status quo”, with a platform-agnostic focus, and aims to nurture new talent and experiment with form.

With Orange Entertainment Co., its credits include ABC lockdown comedy Retrograde, as well as Tanith Glynn-Maloney’s Finding Jedda and Vivianna Petyarre’s Shiny One, shorts produced as part of Screen Australia and NITV’s No Ordinary Black initiative.

Unless Pictures also executive produced Screen Queensland’s RIDE Shorts Initiative, which supported early-career creative teams whose shorts will premiere at the Brisbane International Film Festival on October 28.

The company also EP’d futurist Karen Palmer’s video work, Consensus Gentium, funded by the British Film Institute and screening at London Film Festival later this month.

Simić, a director and creative producer, brings to the company 12 years experience in the theatre sector and a passion for diversifying stories on screen. The position is supported by Screen Queensland Enterprise funding. 

Her recent credits include directing and producing CAESAR, Naked & Screaming and Lysa & The Freeborn Dames for La Boite Theatre, as well as the development of an slate of new works by playwrights including Michelle Law, Anita Heiss, Maddie Nixon, Suzie Miller, Lewis Treston, and Mark Rogers.

Simić said: “I am thrilled to be joining Unless at this juncture in the company’s growth – Meg’s vision for the company, and the existing slate of works, hold great appeal for me as a development producer and I’m looking forward to learning from and collaborating with this incredible team. An opportunity to transition into the screen sector, with access to artists, resources, and an exciting slate of works in various stages of development, is deeply exciting – I am looking forward to getting stuck in.”

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