10 June 2020
Screen Australia and AiF have announced the participants of the Mentor LA Program. Our CEO, Zareh Nalbandian, will mentor producer, Lucy Hayes. Hayes, whose short Lost & Found won AACTA and Screen Producers Australia Awards, and was nominated for an Annie Award and won the People’s Voice Award for Best Animated Video on the internet at the 2020 Webby Awards. Her television credits include the animated series Supa Phresh for Nickelodeon, the Screen Australia funded web series Movement, and multiple animated segments for Sesame Street.
Additional participants included Writer/directors Nora Niasari and Larissa Behrendt and producer Mitchell Stanley who will be mentored by writer Luke Davies (Lion, Beautiful Boy,) director Alethea Jones (Dollface, Queen America) and director of creative development, Columbia Pictures Jiao Chen (Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Unchartered).
Each participant will receive four one-hour sessions with their mentor; three online, and one face-to-face in Los Angeles once international travel restrictions are lifted. Each receives return airfares, and living expenses for five days in LA.
The meetings are designed to provide recipients with personalised, first-hand experience of the challenges and knowledge these mentors have learnt from working in the highly competitive Hollywood system. The knowledge provided will help not only bolster their careers, but the professional capacity of the broader Australian screen sector.
AiF executive director Peter Ritchie said: “Australians in Film’s mission is to help develop a robust and progressive community of Australian screen storytellers working internationally. Mentor LA is an opportunity for established screen professionals to give back and provide development to under-represented screen creatives, who may not necessarily have been given the same shot because of the current imbalance in the screen industry.”