Distribution specialist Courtney Botfield, who helps independent filmmakers find alternate and innovative pathways in financing and distribution, has won the 2015 Natalie Miller Fellowship.

A former GM of Transmission Films, she plans to use the $10,000 grant to attend the 2016 Media That Matters Conference in Washington DC, meet social impact and analysis practitioners in New York and engage a business mentor in the philanthropic and social enterprise sectors.

She will continue to focus on the growing field of impact producing, targeting films with strong social messaging and the potential for creating real change.

Accepting the grant at the Australian International Movie Convention, Botfield said, "Natalie Miller has long been an inspiration for me in my years working in distribution and exhibition. To receive this fellowship in her name that vigorously promotes the role of women as leaders and encourages gender equality across all facets of the industry is an absolute privilege and honour.

“The opportunities this fellowship will afford me in my new entrepreneurial ventures are boundless and I look forward to an exciting year ahead.”

This year’s fellowship drew applications from all major Australian states and were assessed by a panel of screen professionals from across several sectors of the industry.

Natalie Miller said, “In the spirit of the fellowship encouraging leadership in the film industry business world, Courtney has demonstrated leadership skills in starting her own business and choosing a new area to explore – alternate and innovative pathways in film financing and distribution.”

Established in 2011, the grant is funded by donations to the Natalie Miller Fellowship Endowment Fund and through the support of Film Victoria.

Past recipients are Rebecca Hammond (Deluxe Australia), Harriet Pike (Wildbear Entertainment) and  Rachel Okine (StudioCanal).

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