Alice Burgin and Ester Harding.

Sweetshop & Green has promoted Ester Harding to head of drama, and appointed former AIDC CEO and conference director Alice Burgin as a documentary and factual executive.

Harding joined Sweetshop & Green mid-last year as a development executive after roles at Screen Australia and See Pictures.

In her new position, she will focus on Australian and New Zealand narrative features and series with international co-production and financing potential.

Since joining Sweetshop & Green, Harding has led development on the narrative series and documentary feature adaptations of Fighting For Hakeem, narrative feature film Take Me Home, and kids animation series Living with Landlubbers, as well as building a diverse slate of original and optioned IP.

Harding said: “I feel incredibly grateful to be working at Sweetshop & Green. Partnering closely with Gal, Sharlene and the team to develop and finance a suite of distinctive, bold projects with some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most exciting talent, has proved to be a dream come true. Stepping-up to become head of drama is a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to delivering compelling stories to domestic and international audiences.”

Burgin’s new role at Sweetshop & Green has been supported by Screen Australia Enterprise funding, as announced today. It will see her developing her documentary production practice in a two-year placement, working under co-managing director Gal Greenspan

At AIDC, Burgin oversaw more than $1 million in project funds and skills development training, and instigated the conference’s curated marketplace, Cut to the Chase, which saw more than 120 projects pass through it annually. She also spearheaded the Indigenous Creators Program, Leading Lights and numerous other initiatives to support project development from production through to completion. 

Burgin has also programmed a number of film festivals across three continents, including working as associate shorts programmer at Tribeca Film Festival. She completed two seasons on the selection committee of PBS’ award-winning documentary series POV before moving to Melbourne to become AIDC’s conference programmer, being appointed CEO/conference director the following year.

She has sat on numerous juries including at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival, Doc Aviv Film Festival and Doc Edge NZ Film Festival, chairs the Department of Film and Animation Course Advisory Committee for the Swinburne University of Technology and has been a member of a number of Creative Victoria assessment panels. 

Burgin said: “After spending six years within the walls of AIDC, I have experienced first-hand the overwhelming talent and audacity of our documentary and factual community. This new role feels like a dream come true – allowing me to take the logical next step towards finding and nurturing new and diverse talent to tell powerful true stories with international appeal. I am incredibly grateful to the Sweetshop & Green team as well as to Screen Australia for this exciting opportunity.”  

Sweetshop & Green co-managing director Gal Greenspan said, “I’ve always believed a company is only ever as strong as its talent. And so, we feel honoured to be at this stage in Sweetshop & Green’s journey and to be able to entice talent to our team as remarkable as Alice and Ester. These are two strong and incredibly driven creative filmmakers who will ensure Sweetshop & Green continues to evolve and develop a range of fascinating projects.” 

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