Series Mania Melbourne - Stories Without Borders Industry Day 2018 guests


Join Sandy George and Series Mania’s Creative Director Francois-Pier Pelinard-Lambert along with international and Australian industry guests of the Series Mania Melbourne television festival. Together they’ll delve deeper into the packaging of a good story and how these stories can find their place in a booming global market.

Full program details available on our website.


David Nicholls – Screenwriter and Author

David Nicholls is a celebrated screenwriter and author. He has written four novels including bestsellers Starter for Ten and One Day, both of which he adapted for screen. One Day has sold 5 million copies around the world and is published in over 40 languages. David’s latest novel, Us, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and in the year it was published (2014) Nicholls won UK Author of the Year at the National Book Awards.

His first produced screenplay was an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s play Simpatico, starring Jeff Bridges, Sharon Stone and Albert Finney. He then worked in British TV for several years, writing episodes of Cold Feet, as well as original series Rescue Me and I Saw You.

Nicholls’ screen-writing credits include adaptations of Tess of the d’Urbervilles and original contemporary drama The 7.39, as well as adaptations of Great Expectations, When Did You Last See Your Father? and Far from the Madding Crowd.

Hugo Weaving

Hugo Weaving has enjoyed an enormously varied and successful career in film, theatre and television.

He has won numerous awards, including three Australian Film Institute awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role - in Jocelyn Moorhouse's Proof (1991), The Interview (1998) - for which he also won Best Actor at The Montreal World Film Festival, and Little Fish (2005). In 2011, he was an inaugural AACTA award winner for his performance in Oranges and Sunshine. In 2015 he won his second AACTA award for The Dressmaker. In 2016 he won another for his work in Hacksaw Ridge, and followed this up in 2017 with another for Jasper Jones.

Weaving is also well known for his roles in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994), as Agent Smith in The Matrix trilogy, as Elrond in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and as 'V’ in V For Vendetta (2006). Other films include Last Ride (2009), Captain America (2011), Cloud Atlas (2012), Mystery Road (2013), The Mule (2014) and Strangerland (2015). Most recently he can be seen in Australian series Seven Types of Ambiguity (2016). He has recently completed filming on Patrick Melrose which is due to be released in 2018. 

He has also voiced characters in several highly successful films, including Babe, Happy Feet and Transformers.

In 2013 he was President of the Sydney Film Festival Jury.

Penny Win - Head of Drama, Foxtel

Penny joined Foxtel in 1996 after working at Star TV in Hong Kong and managed the running of Foxtel’s drama channels from 2007 to 2014.

Since she was appointed as Head of Drama in 2014, Penny has been involved in the commissioning of drama and worked on Spirited, Wentworth, Devil’s Playground, Deadline Gallipoli, The Kettering Incident and Secret City.

She is also an executive producer of the acclaimed series A Place To Call Home, Foxtel’s first feature film Australia Day, the re-imagining of Picnic At Hanging Rock and Fighting Season. Other productions this year include Lambs of God and Secret City: Under The Eagle. Penny also has several drama projects in development for Foxtel.

Francois-Pier Pelinard-Lambert – Chief Editor, Le Film Francais

François-Pier Pelinard-Lambert is Chief Editor of Le Film Français, France's oldest and most respected trade publication covering French and international news about movies, television and web. He’s also International Artistic Advisor for Series Mania Lille and the International Coproduction Forum of Series Mania Lille alongside being part of the organising committee.

Before Le Film Français and Series Mania, he worked in various television and cinemas publications. He has been collaborating and participating in various radio and television shows as a TV series specialist. He was also for a while documentary director and producer.

Laurent Boissel - Joint CEO and Founder, About Premium Content (APC)

Before co-founding APC in 2014, Laurent worked with media groups such as Havas, EMAP PLC and Zodiak media that he joined in January 2007 and where he held the position of group CFO and COO until March 2014.

Sally Riley - Head of Scripted Production, ABC

As ABC TV’s Head of Scripted Production, Sally leads the Fiction, Comedy, Indigenous and Children's production teams.

Formerly Head of Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department, Sally has achieved an outstanding track record of groundbreaking programs, including Black Comedy, Gods of Wheat Street, 8MMM Aboriginal Radio, the multi-award-winning Redfern Now and critically-acclaimed six-part drama, Cleverman.

Sally was also responsible for developing and overseeing the production of a significant body of short films, documentaries and feature films, and as Head of Indigenous at Screen Australia fostered the development of a new generation of exciting  Indigenous filmmakers.  

Nathan Mayfield - Chief Creative Officer and Co Founder, Hoodlum

Nathan Mayfield is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of Hoodlum, an Emmy® and BAFTA Award winning Entertainment Company.  Hoodlum was started by Nathan and his business partner, Tracey Robertson, who have been working together for 19 years.

Nathan oversees the strategic and creative direction of Hoodlum with his focus the Australian and international business. Pioneering innovative new ways to tell stories since 1999, Mayfield has been the creative force behind Hoodlum’s multiplatform work, television series and feature films working closely with Robertson to expand the business across the globe and across many different mediums.

Greer Simpkin – Producer, Bunya Productions

Greer Simpkin joined Bunya Productions as Producer and Head of Television in March 2015 after many years working in editorial and production roles in broadcasting at the ABC (Australia) and Channel 4 (UK).

Since joining Bunya, Greer has produced the television drama series Mystery Road and the award winning feature films Sweet Country and Goldstone. Greer was an Executive Producer on the feature film Jasper Jones. She has also produced the documentary The Troublesome Priest for the ABC, the VR film Every King Tide for SBS and is currently producing the 3 x 1 hr drama/doc series Blue Water Empire for the ABC and the feature documentaries Sanctuary and Beautiful Minds (one of 6 Good Pitch Australia finalists in 2016). 

Greer was Deputy Head of Fiction at the ABC for 5 years, where she was instrumental in commissioning a large slate of new dramas and narrative comedies and was an Executive Producer of The CodeThe Secret River, Parer’s War, Serangoon Road and Hiding.

Alastair McKinnon - Head of Content Investment and Planning, ABC

Alastair McKinnon is the Head of Content Investment and Planning at the ABC working across all genres including drama, comedy and unscripted, across all platforms. He started his career as a media lawyer and prior to joining the ABC was the Head of Business Affairs for Australian public broadcaster SBS.

Since commencing at the ABC Alastair has executive produced a number of dramas including Glitch in partnership with NBCU and Netflix, and Harrow in partnership with ABC Studios International.

Bob Campbell - Executive Chairman, Screentime Group

Bob Campbell has spent his career working in the media. Having held senior management positions with Network 10 he was appointed Managing Director and CEO of the Seven Network in 1987, a position he held until 1995. In 1996 he co-founded television production company Screentime, which is part of the Banijay Group and has operations in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. With productions in all genres, Screentime also produces formats which are owned by the group in over 40 countries.

Jason Burrows - CEO, Jungle Entertainment

Jason Burrows established Jungle in his apartment and has built it up to be one of the top production companies in the country. Jason’s television credits as Executive Producer include No Activity (Stan and US remake for CBS All Access), Mr Inbetween (FX), Squinters (ABC) and Sando (ABC) as well as Here Come the Habibs (Channel 9), A Moody Christmas (ABC), The Moodys (ABC), and The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting (ABC). In the factual sector, his credits include Between a Frock and a Hard Place and As You Dreamt It (ABC), and comedy documentary The Super Dave Odyssey (Channel 10).

Marshall Heald – Director of Television and Online Content, SBS

Marshall first joined SBS in 2007 as Manager of Digital Media with overall responsibility for SBS’s online presence. In 2015 he was appointed Director TV and Online Content. Prior to joining SBS, Marshall’s varied career has included working as a litigation lawyer in NZ; heading up Telstra’s digital music and movie businesses and working as Creative Director of the media based festival 'Noise'.

Jason Stephens - Creative Director and Co-owner Lingo Pictures

Jason Stephens is the Co-owner and Creative Director of the creatively focused, nimble and market savvy Lingo Pictures – a Sydney-based production company creating scripted and unscripted content for both local and international markets.

Before co-founding Lingo, Jason produced television dramas under a joint venture with FremantleMedia Australia: Killing Time (Foxtel); Devil’s Dust (ABC); Mr and Mrs Murder (Ten); Better Man (SBS); and Schapelle (Nine). As well as producing these shows, Jason was the Director of Development and Creative Director at FremantleMedia Australia.

Recently at Lingo, he has executive produced Wake in Fright (Ten), The Ropes (SBS) and is currently producing Lambs of God (Foxtel).  

Sandy George - Moderator

Sandy George has tracked the Australian – and international – film and TV industries for aeons as a journalist. Most recently she partnered with Screen Australia on the ScreenIntel project to drill down into the deals and data behind the production industry. In previous lives she was long-time correspondent for Screen International and, editor of then trade magazine Encore and film writer for The Australian newspaper. She has presented films on SBS and regularly works with producers on pitch documents and chairs panel discussions on all aspects of the business.

Daina Reid - Director

Daina Reid is a highly sought-after director of network, cable and premium cable television in Australia, the UK and US. Her most recent directing credits include stints on second season of the critically acclaimed drama The Handmaid’s Tale; The Spanish Princess for Starz; the series remake of the classic Australian film Romper Stomper and Sunshine - a 4-part miniseries set in Melbourne’s South Sudanese community. Sunshine won the 2017 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA) for Best Telefeature or Miniseries, and Daina took home the Australian Directors’ Guild Award (ADG) for Best Direction.

In 2016, she directed and co-produced the mini-series adaptation of The Secret River by Kate Grenville, which premiered at the Sydney Film Festival, and won the Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie. She directed Hunters, an alien conspiracy series for SyFy produced by Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) based on the best-selling novel Alien Hunter.

Her Australian directing credits include Offspring; The Wrong Girl; Nowhere Boys; The Dr Blake Mysteries; Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS; Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries; Satisfaction; Rush and City Homicide. Daina is a frequent collaborator of award-winning producer John Edwards. Their collaborations include Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo and Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War, both of which received AACTA award nominations for Best Direction. Following the success of The Birth of Cleo, Daina directed the follow-up Paper Giants: Magazine Wars.

Thomas Saignes - Head of International, CINETEVE

After a first experience in 2002 at TF1 International in Acquisition and International Coproductions, Thomas Saignes joined Telefilm Canada in Montreal as an Analyst for International Coproductions until 2005. After spending two years as head of Sales and Acquisitions at Montreal based sales company Attraction Image (Delphis at the time), he opened the European offices for Canadian power-house Transfilm International in quality of VP – Development & Production. 

In 2011 Thomas founded his own financing-agency, sourcing and managing coproduction deals, local incentives and alternative financing sources on behalf of producers and groups located in France and abroad. Working on numerous co-productions (UBISOFT, JJ-Annaud, Chine Film Group etc) he negotiated all types of pre-sales or financing agreements with public and private funds, in Europe, North America and China. Over four years the company packaged around $50M on more than a dozen movies and TV productions, and advised several investment funds.

His expertise on private equity and VC, led him to successfully put together the first edition of the Investors Club with the Cannes film-market. He joined the IRIS GROUP early 2015 to act as Managing Director - Head of Business-Affairs in charge of all legal, commercial and financial aspects of the productions (fours features and two series packaged, financed and delivered over the course of 3 years). He also supervised the structuring of investment vehicles.

Since Oct 2017, Thomas has been a Producer-Head of International at CINETEVE in Paris (Fabienne Servan-Schreiber) in charge of international Drama projects and coproductions. 

RACHEL PERKINS - Managing Director, Director and Writer, BlackFella Films

Rachel Perkins’ Australian Aboriginal heritage (Arrernte/Kalkadoon) has informed her entire filmmaking career. She founded Australia’s premier Indigenous production company Blackfella Films in 1992, and has contributed extensively to the development of Indigenous filmmakers in Australia and, more broadly, to the Australian film and television industry.

Rachel has directed award-winning feature films which many of them have screened at festivals worldwide, including Jasper Jones, Radiance, One Night the Moon and the musical Bran Nue Dae which screened at the Sundance, Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.

A prolific director of TV projects, Rachel worked on the telemovie Mabo, which was nominated for Most Outstanding Mini Series or Telemovie at the 2013 TV Week Logie Awards, three episodes of the landmark television drama series Redfern Now, and Redfern Now: Promise Me for ABC1.

Rachel also wrote, directed and co-produced the seven-hour documentary series First Australians, which received Australia’s top honours including AFI and IF Awards, the UN Media Peace Prize, TV Week Logie, and the Writers and Directors Guild of Australia Awards. In 2014 she completed the documentary Black Panther Woman for SBS, which was a finalist in the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. Rachel’s other documentary work includes the series Blood Brothers and Spirit to Spirit.

Since 2000, Rachel has been Managing Editor and Publisher of The Black Book Indigenous arts directory which is hosted online by Blackfella Films.

Rosemary Blight - Producer and Partner, Goalpost Pictures

Rosemary Blight is one of Australia’s most experienced producers, making distinctive film and television such as the box office smash hit The Sapphires, which premiered at Cannes; the international production Felony, directed by Matthew Saville; Clubland, starring Academy Award nominee Brenda Blethyn; and the Julien Temple-directed The Eternity Man. Rosemary Executive Produced the Cannes Film Festival selection The Tree and the BAFTA nominated family series Lockie Leonard.

She is currently Producer of ABC TV’s series Cleverman, as well as Executive Producer of the screen adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s bestselling novel; Holding The Man. Rosemary sits on the Board of Screen Australia.

Vicki Madden - Owner, Sweet Potato Films

A Producer, Writer and Showrunner with over 20 years experience, Vicki Madden has worked as Writer and Show-runner on such shows as Halifax, The Bill, Trial & Retribution, The Clinic, Water Rats and K9. She was also the writer of the 90-minute true crime telemovie Blood Brothers.

Vicki runs her own Production Company, Sweet Potato Films, a small boutique film and TV company in Tasmania, her home state, and has just co-created, coproduced and written the critically acclaimed TV series, The Kettering Incident. The Kettering Incident is a $15 million high-end drama for Foxtel, set in the dramatic landscape of Tasmania and is the first adult TV drama to be set there. Critics worldwide have described it as ground breaking, bold and confident storytelling that subverts and elevates the crime genre.

Vicki is currently in pre-production with her new series, The Gloaming, a supernatural crime series set once more in her beloved state of Tasmania with US company ABC/Disney backing it along with STAN in Australia. She is also developing another of her sci-fi shows with ABC Signature in the US.