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Success for South Australia’s Inaugural Film Lab: New Voices

22 February 2022
Film Lab New Voices round one winning team: Producer Bettina Hamilton, director Matt Vesely and writer Lucy Campbell
Producer Bettina Hamilton, director Matt Vesely and writer Lucy Campbell have been selected to take their high-concept science fiction thriller Monolith into production under the Film Lab: New Voices initiative.

The Film Lab: New Voices initiative has greenlit its first project into production, with two projects moving on to further development.

The initiative, from the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and Adelaide Film Festival (AFF) with support from Mercury CX and Screen Australia, is an intensive low-budget feature film skills development program for the next generation of diverse, South Australian filmmaking talent.

The initiative is designed to grow and diversify South Australia’s pool of ‘Greenlighters’ – key creatives with the credits to attract finance – and build capacity and talent within the state.

Across an 11-month development lab, funded by SAFC and Screen Australia, three teams developed scripts from initial concept to third draft stage with assistance from experienced industry mentors.

The creative team of writer Lucy Campbell, director Matt Vesely and producer Bettina Hamilton have been selected to take their high-concept science fiction thriller MONOLITH into production with funding from the SAFC and Adelaide Film Festival. The film will be wholly produced and post-produced in South Australia and premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in October 2022. 

Lucy Campbell, Bettina Hamilton and Matt Vesely said: “We found the Film Lab: New Voices process incredibly rewarding, it provided project momentum we would never have achieved otherwise.  We are grateful to the mentors we’ve had throughout development, very proud of the script Lucy has written, and extremely excited for the opportunity to bring it to life to share with audiences this October.”

Meanwhile, the teams of writer/director Peter Ninos and producer Georgia Humphreys, and writer/director Madeleine Parry and producer Peta Bulsara (Astbury) are continuing to develop their projects for pitching to the market.

The inaugural filmmaking teams selected for Film Lab New Voices round one: back row Pete Ninos, Bettina Hamilton, Lucy Campbell, and Matt Vesely - Front row Georgia Humphreys, Madeleine Parry, Peta Bulsara (Astbury)
The Film Lab: New Voices round one teams (L-R): Georgia Humphreys, Pete Ninos, Madeleine Parry, Bettina Hamilton, Peta Bulsara (Astbury), Lucy Campbell and Matt Vesely.

SAFC CEO Kate Croser said Film Lab: New Voices has produced three incredibly strong scripts from three innovative and ambitious creative teams.

“We are thrilled with the outcome of the inaugural edition of Film Lab: New Voices and congratulate all three creative teams who have embraced the ethos of low-budget filmmaking to drive their creativity and innovation in screen storytelling. South Australia has a proud history of globally successful, original and inventive low-budget filmmaking, and we are pleased to create opportunities which build on that legacy with a talented new generation.”

CEO and Creative Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Mat Kesting said: “An important remit of the Adelaide Film Festival is to increase and stimulate innovative and new screen production in South Australia and to raise the profile of arts and screen culture in South Australia for audiences and practitioners. Film Lab: New Voices fulfills both of those missions and we are thrilled that this year’s Festival will present Monolith, the work of exciting new local cinematic voices.”

Head of Development at Screen Australia, Louise Gough said: “Screen Australia is thrilled to support this program and help propel the careers of these impressive creatives. Three terrific low-budget feature film projects have been well-developed and the opportunity for a film to be made, and meet audience through this program, is a great strategy to nurture talent and the voices of South Australian creatives. Congratulations to all teams.”

CEO of Mercury CX, Karena Slaninka said: “Mercury CX congratulates Producer Bettina Hamilton, Writer Lucy Campbell and Director Matt Vesely with their inaugural Film Lab: New Voices feature film Monolith. Cultivating talent and story is core to our mission and we are delighted to have been able to support the SAFC with this program to elevate screen talent in South Australia.”

The second round of Film Lab: New Voices, opened in August, with the announcement of seven shortlisted teams earlier this month. The three successful teams will be announced in early March.

Co-funded by the SAFC and AFF with in-kind support from Mercury CX, and financial assistance from Screen Australia, Film Lab: New Voices is a low-budget feature film skills development initiative designed to provide a platform for the next generation of diverse, South Australian filmmaking talent.

A bold, ambitious, and creative program, Film Lab: New Voices gives three South Australian creative teams industry mentoring across a 12-month period to develop a low-budget feature film script. At the end of the development phase, one project will receive $400,000 production funds to produce a feature film for premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival. 

In the inaugural round of Film Lab: New Voices, at least one member of each filmmaking team (writer, director or producer) must be from a group under-represented in the South Australian screen industry including: women filmmakers; First Nations filmmakers, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) filmmakers, Deaf and disabled filmmakers, LGBTQIA+ filmmakers and filmmakers from regional and remote South Australia. 

Film Lab: New Voices builds on the success of the SAFC’s FilmLab 2009-2012 which launched the careers of at least 12 South Australian Above-the-Line creatives and resulted in critically acclaimed, break out films Shut Up Little Man, 52 Tuesdays and The Infinite Man, among others. 

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