Screen Australia announces Talent Escalator recipients

26 August, 2011 by IF

Press release from Screen Australia

Screen Australia is proud to announce that six Australian producers and one Australian director have been awarded internships through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator program. The internships are with highly regarded international production companies and the experience will provide the practitioners with invaluable professional development opportunities to enhance their skills.


The details of the selected internships are:

• Producer Zyra McAuliffe will work closely for six months with renowned producer William Horberg (The Talented Mr Ripley, The Kite Runner, Sliding Doors, Cold Mountain) at Wonderful Films in Los Angeles to enhance her script development skills and gain valuable insight into the creative and financial aspects of movie making.
• Producer Sheila Jayadev will spend six months in the development department at Ridley and Tony Scott’s London-based Scott Free Productions (Robin Hood, The A-Team, Unstoppable), working closely with Head of Development Jack Arbuthnott on their expanding film and television slate.
• Producer Adam Bishop will spend six months in the development department at London-based Film4 (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, Four Lions), working across the breadth of projects on their film slate and reporting to Head of Development Sam Lavender.
• Melissa Kelly, producer of the feature film Blame, will work directly with the Head of International Sales at Magnolia Pictures in New York for four months, gaining valuable insight into the international marketplace from a sales perspective.
• Michelle Sahayan will receive training as a Development Executive from London-based producer Andy Paterson, whose various films (Hilary and Jackie, Girl with a Pearl Earring) have received multiple Oscar® and BAFTA nominations, working with him for six months on the finance and development of his diverse slate of upcoming projects.
• Benjamin Gilovitz, producer of multi-award winning short film Deeper Than Yesterday, will be attached to producer/director Roman Coppola for six months on a variety of projects at The Directors Bureau in Los Angeles, a film, commercial and music video production company working with directors such as Sofia Coppola.
• Director Leonie Savvides will be attached for eight months to director Jane Campion on her mini-series Top of the Lake based in Sydney and New Zealand.

Screen Australia’s Head of Development Martha Coleman said, “These internships are an important part of Screen Australia’s professional development support of filmmakers. Each of these ambitious placements will expose Australian producers or directors to the international production landscape, helping to broaden outlook, hone specific skills and advance marketplace awareness, which will directly benefit the Australian industry more broadly.”

For more information about internships through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator program visit: