One of Australia’s leading producers of documentary content Sonya Pemberton and post production expert John Fleming have been named award recipients in the 2015 Film Victoria Screen Leader Awards. This is the fourth year of the industry event that recognises leading screen professionals.
Sonya Pemberton – recipient of the 2015 Jill Robb Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry.
Sonya’s passion for creating compelling content for local and international audiences has seen her write, direct and produce over 60 hours of the best science documentary programming available, with the added capacity to promote awareness and change on a range of social issues.
Sonya joined forces with Australia’s largest independent production company CJZ in 2011 to create Genepool Productions. Under Sonya’s guidance Jabbed: Love, Fear and Vaccines broke SBS viewership records in 2013 and was awarded a 2012 Emmy, a 2014 Eureka Prize and a Jackson Hole Science Media Award, among others.
Her credits also include Nova, Catching Cancer, Immortal, Tales of the Unexpected, Crude: The Incredible Journey of Oil and most recently Uranium -Twisting the Dragon's Tail, a landmark science and history series which screened on SBS earlier this year.
John Fleming – recipient of the 2015 John Howie Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry.
John’s commitment to the film industry spans more than 30 years and is reflected in his many years of service in the post production sector. He was at the forefront of the analogue to digital revolution, which saw him guide countless film and television productions through this transition. John is known for developing the staff under his guidance at Digital Pictures Melbourne and its various incarnations, in addition to supporting early career directors and producers, by ensuring their short or first feature films received the best post production finish possible.
A passionate advocate for the screen industry, John has generously given his time to the industry through active leadership and roles on the AusFilm Board, SPAA Council, SSAV Committee and Melbourne Film Office Advisory Board.
At the 1 October industry event honouring the recipients, Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi thanked Sonya and John for their many years of service, leadership and commitment to the screen industry.
“The Screen Leader Awards are our way of recognising the outstanding individuals who play an important role in inspiring filmmakers and contribute to the ongoing success of the Victorian and Australian Screen industry,” Ms Tosi said.
Previous recipients of the Jill Robb Award are Nadia Tass (2014) and Jill Bilcock (2013), while Bryce Menzies (2014) and Roger Savage (2013) have both received the John Howie Award.
Two new Screen Leader Awards announced
The establishment of two new awards starting in 2016 were also announced.
The Film Victoria – Fred Schepisi Award for Achievement in Directing is named in honour of the iconic director who continues to make an invaluable contribution to the Australian and Victorian film industry as a director, producer and screenwriter.
Fred’s talent shone on the now iconic Devil’s Playground and The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith which then saw him forge an international reputation working with some of the best actors in the world on features such as Iceman, Barbarosa, Plenty, Roxanne, Six Degrees of Separation, Evil Angels, Last Orders and more recently Eye of the Storm and Words & Pictures. He is among Australia’s most experienced and celebrated directors which has been recognised through the Order of Australia for his service to the Australian film industry as a director, producer and screenwriter.
The Film Victoria – Jan Sardi Award for Achievement in Screenwriting recognises Jan’s achievements as a screenwriter. From his first feature Moving Out to his 1997 Academy Award nominated screenplay for Shine, Jan has a multitude of credits across film and television throughout his career, including the recent mini-series The Secret River.
His work as both a member and President of the Australian Writers’ Guild has represented the professional interests of writers. His service as a former Board member of Film Victoria for eight years further demonstrated his commitment to leadership in the screen industry.
Making the announcement, Ms Tosi said the new awards are intended to highlight the achievements and valuable contributions directors and screenwriters make to the ongoing success of the Victorian and Australian screen industry.
“The Film Victoria – Fred Schepisi Award for Achievement in Directing and the Film Victoria – Jan Sardi Award for Achievement in Screenwriting will recognise Victorians who have excelled at their craft.
Recognising people’s achievement and commitment is a valuable way to inspire other to strive for success and are generous in sharing their knowledge and time.”
View the Industry Awards photo gallery.
Watch the 2015 Screen Leader Awards recipient tribute videos.