Megan Doneman (r) with the subject of her 2008 documentary, Kiran Bedi (l).
Queensland writer/producer Megan Doneman has been awarded the inaugural Greg Coote Scholarship, established by Screen Queensland and Australians in Film.
The scholarship, launched in 2014 and worth $30,000, will see Doneman mentored by executive producer Shane Brennan, creator of CBS's NCIS: Los Angeles, in the show's LA writers room.
Doneman started her career as an assistant editor on films such as Dark City, Babe: Pig in the City and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
She also wrote, directed and produced the 2008 documentary Kiran Bedi: Yes Madam, Sir, which was narrated by Helen Mirren and premiered at TIFF in 2010.
"Megan is an outstanding talent, who combines powerful storytelling with a determined work ethic," Screen Queensland Chair Linda Apelt said. "The opportunity to learn from the best of the best in the United States – at the height of television’s new golden age – is a great honour."
"CBS and Shane Brennan have been incredibly generous in stepping up to mentor Megan’s placement in the NCIS: Los Angeles writers’ room and we look forward to continuing to support her on her return to Queensland. This scholarship reflects the spirit of Greg Coote’s legacy as someone always willing to open doors for fellow Australians in the United States."
President of Australians in Film Kate Marks said the scholarship would "help Megan gain invaluable experience, knowledge and skills to develop her distinct voice and inform her work as a writer. Australians in Film is excited and proud to be associated with this scholarship and the continuing legacy of one of Australia’s most prolific screen industry practitioners."
Shane Brennan said he was "delighted" to be involved in the initiative.
"Greg Coote was a great friend and mentor going back to when we first worked together in the 1990s. When I moved to Los Angeles to work, Greg was always there with advice and wise counsel. I can think of no better memorial for Greg than this scholarship and I look forward to mentoring Megan as she begins her Hollywood odyssey.'
In 2007 Brennan became the first Australian writer to become the show runner of a U.S. network television drama series when he took over as EP on NCIS.
Prior to moving to LA in 2003, Brennan worked on Australian series including The Man From Snowy River: The McGregor Saga, Stingers, All Together Now, Law of the Land, Tales of the South Seas and The Flying Doctors.
The Greg Coote Scholarship will fund the costs of the placement, including travel and visas, and provide a small weekly wage to the recipient.