Kate Separovich, Cody Greenwood, Kate Neylon and Hannah Ngo.

Kate Separovich, Cody Greenwood, Kate Neylon, and Hannah Ngo are the successful recipients of Screenwest’s Breaking the Celluloid Ceiling initiative.

They will each be connected with industry mentors as part of the bespoke program, which is designed specifically for emerging producers of female or non-binary orientation.

Separovich is engaging with executive coach Ellenor Cox and media and communication specialist Karen Eck of eckfactor; Greenwood will be mentored by Liz Watts; Ngo has commenced working with Tess Novak of Lingo Pictures (The Secrets She Keeps); and Neylon will work closely with a soon-to-be-announced experienced producer.

Screenwest CEO Rikki Lea Bestall said the program would assist with the development of their respective slates.

“Kate, Cody, Kate and Hannah are four of our brightest producers and I look forward to seeing these professional mentorships equip them with vital industry knowledge and propel them to take on that next big project,” she said.

Separovich is known for producing the 2014 documentary Girt by Sea, which was commissioned by ABC with the Perth International Arts Festival, NFSA, and Screenwest.

She has more than 10 years of experience in the industry, having worked for the likes of MTV, CJZ, Prospero Pictures, Electric Pictures, and Essential Media.

The Lake Martin Films producer said she was delighted to be included in a great group of women.

“Producing for a global audience from the world’s most isolated city has its challenges but this belief that we can succeed, by activating funds to strategise and grow will enable producers like me to stay here in Western Australia to employ crew and tell our stories,” she said.

The selection is another milestone for Greenwood, who produced four of the selections for the upcoming CinefestOZ Festival via her company Rush Films.

She was excited for the opportunity to connect with Watts.

“Liz has a successful track record of producing high quality, distinctive and international films,” she said,

“I’m looking forward to working alongside her and developing new scripted projects for the West Australian industry.”

Neylon, of Wee Beastie Productions, has also been gaining momentum as a producer, having worked on a number of films with local director Pete Gleeson, including the short documentary addressing romance and disability, Something to Tell You, and feature documentary Hotel Coolgardie.

She described the Breaking the Celluloid ceiling program as a “really timely opportunity”.

“My current slate is entirely comprised of glorious challenges, many of which I have yet to attempt, and so having such an experienced, aligned and connected mentor to support this is immensely valuable,” she said.

“I am very grateful to the team at Screenwest who have supported me warmly and consistently over so many years.”

Rounding out the group is Ngo, whose short films Carnal PrivilegeRift, Little Man, and Tribunal (for SBS) have screened at national and international festivals, picking up awards along the way.

She was also Screen Australia’s Producer’s Attachment on The Heights in 2019.

The up-and-coming producer said she couldn’t wait to see what the next 12 months would bring under the guidance of Novak.

“Partnering up with Tess Novak from Lingo has been such a lucky match and I’m looking forward to working with such a kind and generous person,” she said.

Breaking the Celluloid Ceiling is supported by Lotterywest.

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