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New SA filmmaking talent in the spotlight as inaugural Film Lab New Voices teams announced

12 March 2021
Film Lab New Voices 2021 - back row Pete Ninos, Louise Gough, Lucy Campbell, Bettina Hamilton, and Matt Vesely - Front row Georgia Humphries, Madeleine Parry, Peta Bulsara (Astbury)
Back row: Pete Ninos, mentor Louise Gough, Lucy Campbell, Bettina Hamilton, Matt Vesely. Front row: Georgia Humphreys, Madeleine Parry, Peta Bulsara (Astbury).

South Australia’s bold and ambitious Film Lab: New Voices feature film skills development program is set to foster a new generation of diverse South Australian filmmakers as the first three successful teams are announced today, with round two applications open from August.

The initiative from the SAFC and Adelaide Film Festival in collaboration with Mercury CX also welcomes the support of Screen Australia in delivering the development phase of this inaugural round of the program which gives three South Australian creative teams industry mentoring with highly-credentialed screen story development mentor Louise Gough across a 12-month period, to develop a low-budget feature film script.

One project will be selected to move into production, to be wholly produced and post-produced in South Australia, and the final film will premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2022.

The three selected teams for 2021 are:

The program will open again for round two applications in August 2021, with the final film to be delivered in time for Adelaide Film Festival 2024.

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said the volume and calibre of applications for the inaugural Film Lab: New Voices program demonstrates the need for meaningful and consistent career pathways for South Australian creatives.

“This skills development program will build the foundations for a new wave of South Australian filmmaking talent who will underpin the future of the industry. I congratulate the first three successful teams who will now move into the 12-month mentoring program, and I look forward to seeing the results at the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival,” Minister Pisoni said.

CEO of the SAFC Kate Croser said the response to the inaugural program had been immense, with 63 projects submitted by 49 filmmaking teams.

“Film Lab: New Voices was designed to grow and diversify the pool of South Australian ‘Greenlighters’ – key creatives with the credits to trigger finance. This career building program helps to address some of the difficulties faced by up-and-coming filmmakers in breaking through in the film and TV industry – and it’s clear from the number of high quality applications received in round one that the initiative has already been embraced by the sector.

“As well as the skills development opportunities offered in the program itself, the SAFC was pleased to be able to offer professional development to the wider industry during the application process as well, presenting a film screening and networking night, a webinar information session, and 59 one-on-one meetings with prospective teams. The exciting and diverse partnerships formed through this program have already resulted in bolder and more ambitious projects which is exactly what Film Lab: New Voices is designed to achieve.

“With applications opening again in August for round two, we look forward to creating opportunities for even more South Australian filmmakers, underpinning the growth and sustainability of the South Australian screen sector as a whole.”

CEO and Creative Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Mat Kesting said “Adelaide Film Festival has international recognition for platforming bold and exciting Australian filmmaking talent and Film Lab: New Voices will continue this tradition. AFF is thrilled to support this wonderful initiative that will help unearth new South Australian talent. Today’s announcement of the three teams is testament to the breadth of talent in the state and we look forward to hosting the premiere of the film selected for production at AFF 2022.”

Head of Content at Screen Australia, Sally Caplan said “Finding pathways to support emerging talent to cultivate their skills and cut their teeth in the screen industry is at the core of what we do. Congratulations to the three teams who I’m sure will relish this opportunity to be mentored by top development executive Louise Gough to further develop their projects.”

CEO of Mercury CX Karena Slaninka said “Mercury CX plays a key role in supporting professional development, removing barriers to entry and cultivating unique, authentic stories from diverse creatives. Our professional development programs create a pipeline of talent into such initiatives as Film Lab: New Voices, which provides a unique opportunity to gain an invaluable feature film credit through the South Australian Film Corporation and the rich experience of connecting with an audience through a screening at the Adelaide Film Festival. The coordinated pathways through these organisations is quite special and is set to benefit South Australian practitioners enormously.”

For more information about Film Lab: new Voices, go to


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