Mel takes an apprentice on Hacksaw Ridge

21 September, 2015 by Staff Writer

More than 125 people applied for the chance to work with Mel Gibson on Hacksaw Ridge as part of the ADG/Screen Australia director’s attachment scheme, a record since the scheme began several years ago.

Beth Armstrong was chosen after writing and directing six short films.  She will be mentored by Gibson on the WW2 drama that will star Andrew Garfield,  Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn and shoot in Queensland and NSW, produced by Pandemonium Films’ Bill Mechanic, Permut Productions’ David Permut, Bruce Davey and Paul Currie.


Mechanic said, “The talent and calibre of applicants for the director's attachment scheme were extremely impressive, making the decision a very hard one.

“This emphasises the incredible artistry and potential of up and coming filmmakers here in Australia, and we are so thrilled to have Beth as part of the Hacksaw Ridge team.”

Screen Australia  senior development executive Nerida Moore said: “I'm sure Beth will have an amazing experience working with Mel Gibson and his crew. “

Armstrong’s most recent short is comedy/drama You Cut, I Choose, which was nominated for best directing at this year’s ADG awards, receiving a special mention. It premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival 2014 and Flickerfest IFF 201, touring nationally and securing distribution.

Her previous shorts include Danya, which received multiple awards at festivals in  Boston, Carolina and Jackson Hole, Canberra and and Tirana,  Albania.

She also wrote and directed Cheek to Cheek (38 minutes), which was post produced with Screen Australia and won awards in Palm Springs, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Cleveland and and St. Louis, and screened on Showtime Australia and in Canada.

The director’s attachment scheme sees three directors attached per year on feature films. Last year Ariel Martin was attached to Neil Armfield on  Holding the Man and  Dimitrios Pouliotis worked with Matt Saville on A Month Of Sundays.  Currently Kelli Cross is attached to Rachel Perkins on Jasper Jones.

The ADG also provides opportunities for directors to be attached to TV drama series, with the first attachment on Playmaker Media's House Husbands (Christopher Stollery attached to Grant Brown) and Love Child (Julietta Boscolo attached to Geoff Bennett).

Currently Nora Niasari is attached to Matchbox Pictures’ Secret City with director Emma Freeman.