Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients, at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries.
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ADG Mentorship program 2018

From left to right: Karen Bryson, Kyra Bartley, Aimée-Lee X. Curran, Stef Smith, Samantha Lang, Gillian Armstrong, Vanessa Gazy, Eugenie Muggleton, Giulietta Amato, Alyssa McClelland.

Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, and highly acclaimed director, Gillian Armstrong, jointly announced each of the recipients at the event.

The recipients of the 2018 ADG Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship are:

Aimée-Lee X. Curran – Photoplay (NSW)
Emily Avila – Taxi Film Production (QLD)
Eugenie Muggleton – The Otto Empire (VIC)
Giulietta Amato – Goodoil Films (NSW)
Kyra Bartley – FINCH (NSW)
Roxanne Halley – The Sweetshop Films (VIC)
Stef Smith – Photoplay (NSW)
Vanessa Gazy – Scoundrel Films (NSW)
Funded by Screen Australia’s Gender Matters: Brilliant Careers initiative, the Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship pairs emerging female directors with commercial production companies to gain an insight into life as a director in the commercial space.

The programme is jointly designed and implemented by the Australian Directors’ Guild, The Communications Council, and the Commercial Producers Council (CPC).

Last year’s inaugural mentorship program year was very successful, with two mentorees being signed to the rosters of their mentoring production companies, and all mentorees receiving meetings with production companies, advertising agencies and clients to pitch for jobs.

Bree Billington, was mentored by Kate Downie from Beautiful Pictures and was shadowing director Renee Webster in WA last year, said – “It was wonderful to see her process and the way she treated the commercial from the initial brief with the client to the treatment and then the final edit. I’d never been in the room with another director to be able to see how someone else would approach a project was valuable insight into the commercial directing process. Directors rarely have the opportunity to see another director’s process.”

Kingston Anderson, Australian Directors’ Guild CEO, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and said, “We are extremely excited by the success of this program and the willingness of the commercial producers to mentor talented female directors. We are also pleased to welcome our first Queensland company to the program. We look forward to seeing these directors as major leaders in commercial content in the future.”

Senior Development Executive at Screen Australia, Nerida Moore said, “It’s fantastic to see the success of these mentorships in securing career opportunities for recipients, and we’re incredibly proud to support the work of this program. I look forward to following the careers of this year’s talented recipients, as they make their mark on the industry.”

Karen Bryson, CPC Co-Chair, Executive Producer FINCH said, “The CPC is very excited to support this year’s eight exceptionally talented young female directors. CPC members have long played a pivotal role in identifying, nurturing and supporting the next generation of talent. We also champion diversity as a critical part of commercial growth and prosperity. Because diversity breeds innovation and innovation breeds business success. Congratulations to our 2018 recipients.”

As part of the mentorship program, the recipients will spend several months with producers and directors from the production company they have been placed with, to get a firsthand look at all facets of commercial content production, meet potential clients and advertising agency representatives, and continue to work on their craft as directors.

Applications for the 2019 Commercial & Content Directing Mentorships will be open later this year.