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Jane Campion

Jane Campion is the only female director to receive the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (1993) and the second of only five women to be nominated for best director at the Academy Awards, both for THE PIANO. Campion went on to win best screenplay. Campion’s first short film, PEEL (1982), won the Short Film Palme d’Or in 1986 at the Cannes Film Festival. Campion directed her first feature, SWEETIE (1989), followed by AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE (1990), THE PIANO (1993), THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY (1996), HOLY SMOKE (1999), IN THE CUT (2003) and BRIGHT STAR (2009). Campion’s six-hour miniseries TOP OF THE LAKE (2013) screened at the Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals, receiving eight Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. Due to her success, Campion created the sequel, TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL (2017).

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Alesia Weston

Alesia Weston ran the International Feature Film Program of the Sundance Institute for a decade, overseeing the labs, awards and grants for emerging filmmakers including: Andrea Arnold (RED ROAD), Hany Abu-Assad (PARADISE NOW), Cherien Dabis (AMREEKA), Andrei Zviangintsev (ELENA),Ritesh Batra (THE LUNCHBOX), Haifaa Al Mansour (WADJDA). In 2012, she was appointed Executive Director of the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Jerusalem Cinematheque and Archives where she oversaw the international film festival and year-round programming. In 2014, she served as Special Advisor and programmer for the Beirut International Film Festival, expanding the programming and educational panels typically allowed in Lebanon and the Middle East. More recently, she’s been a consultant to a variety of companies with initiatives to support new voices and independent filmmakers in the international realm who are transitioning to working in the US. She is a founding member of the Advisory Boards of the Torino Film Lab and Jerusalem International Film Lab.

 

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Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason produced Alex Proyas’ sci-fi masterpiece DARK CITY in 1998 and served as producer or EP for many US studio pictures including the Waschowski brothers THE MATRIX trilogy. He has produced numbers of Australian films, including SWIMMING UPSTREAM, DANNY DECKCHAIR and Stuart Beattie’s TOMORROW WHEN THE WAR BEGAN, and he’s produced in Romania (CAVE) and in Canada (SILENT HILL).  

Under the Hopscotch Features banner, he’s produced ADORATION (2013), I FRANKENSTEIN, served as EP on SAVING MR BANKS; and together with fellow Hopscotch partner Troy Lum, produced THE WATER DIVINER, Russell Crowe’s directorial debut. Mason and Lum most recently produced NEKROTRONIC from the Roache-Turner brothers, which has its World Premiere at Midnite Madness in TIFF 2018, and will be distributed by Entertainment One.

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Brita McVeigh

Brita McVeigh’s working methodology has contributed to the development and production of more than 150 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects in New Zealand and Australia. She occupies a unique place in the storytelling industry, working in the space between Story Consultant, Acting Coach and Directing Coach. Brita began her consulting career collaborating closely with Taika Waititi (THOR) on his films EAGLE VS SHARK and BOY. Most recently Brita worked alongside Cate Shortland (BLACK WIDOW), on the development of her 8-part episodic project, THE MANARO. Brita has adapted the essence of her working methodology into an ongoing workshop series. Focusing on empathy, embodied listening and authentic expression, Acting for Humans has been attended by more than 800 creative professionals in New Zealand and Australia.

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Nick Meyers

Nick Meyers  is an award winning editor who started out in movies by shooting his own on a plastic super-8 camera. There was no focus control, but a dial for cloudy or sunny meant that he could make movies rain or shine. In the 80s, between working in the editing department of the ABC and performing in various bedroom bands, he was also part of the film-making group “The Marine Biologists” which explored a crossover between narrative and experimental film. In 1998 he edited his first feature film THE BOYS which screened at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for best editing at the AFI Awards – THE BOYS is an Australian cinema classic. Since then he has edited Robert Connolly’s films THE BANK, THREE DOLLARS and BALIBO and the successful children’s film PAPER PLANES. Nick has edited the documentaries RAMPAGE, THE MISCREANTS OF TALIWOOD, LOVE CITY JALALABAD and SNOW MONKEY (AACTA nomination for editing). Other feature film credits include MRS CAREY’S CONCERT, SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE ROCKET and more recently Warwick Thornton’s SWEET COUNTRY.

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Guillermo Arriaga

Guillermo Arriaga is a Mexican author, screenwriter, director and producer. His work as a screenwriter is one of the most revolutionary and interesting in world cinema. He has written the screenplays for award-winning films AMORES PERROS (2000), 21 GRAMS (2004), BABEL (2006) and THE BURNING PLAIN (2007) which he directed.

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Michael Goldenberg

Michael Goldenberg is a US playwright, screenwriter and director. His screenwriting credits include HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, PETER PAN, CONTACT and BED OF ROSES. He is a longstanding advisor at the prestigious Sundance Screenwriting Lab.

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Gyula Gazdag

Gyula Gazdag is a screenwriter and director of film, theater, and television, and is Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab since 1997. He was a creative advisor at the Binger Film Institute for more than a decade and has worked at Berlinale Talents since 2006 and Sarajevo Talents since 2014. His feature films include multi award-winning A HUNGARIAN FAIRYTALE (Special Jury Prize at Locarno FF, one of Village Voice’s 10 best films, Best Feature Film – Hungarian Film Critics, and screened at Director’s Fortnight), STAND OFF (Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastián IFF), LOST ILLUSIONS (Best Screenplay Award at the Hungarian Film Week), SWAP, SINGING ON THE TREADMMILL, and THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE (Best First Feature -Hungarian Film Critics). Gazdag has also directed documentaries including A POET ON THE LOWER EASTSIDE, HUNGARIAN CHRONICLES, PACKAGE TOUR; THE BANQUET, THE RESOLUTION (one of IDA’s best 100 documentaries of all time), THE SELECTION, and THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER. Most of his films have been banned for periods in Communist Hungary, and have been denied foreign exhibition, some of them have been banned again in 2012. Gazdag has directed many many plays, and has been named one of the ten best film teachers in America by Daily Variety in 2010.

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Gyula Gazdag

Gyula Gazdag is a screenwriter and director of film, theater, and television, and is Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Sundance Filmmakers Lab since 1997. He was a creative advisor at the Binger Filmlab for more than a decade and has worked at Berlinale Talents since 2006 and Sarajevo Talents since 2014. His feature films include multi award-winning A HUNGARIAN FAIRYTALE (Special Jury Prize at Locarno FF, one of Village Voice’s 10 best films, Best Feature Film – Hungarian Film Critics, and screened at Director’s Fortnight), STAND OFF (Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastián IFF), LOST ILLUSIONS (Best Screenplay Award at the Hungarian Film Week), SWAP, SINGING ON THE TREADMMILL, and THE WHISTLING COBBLESTONE (Best First Feature -Hungarian Film Critics). Gazdag has also directed documentaries including A POET ON THE LOWER EASTSIDE, HUNGARIAN CHRONICLES, PACKAGE TOUR; THE BANQUET, THE RESOLUTION (one of IDA’s best 100 documentaries of all time), THE SELECTION, and THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER. Most of his films have been banned for periods in Communist Hungary, and have been denied foreign exhibition, some of them have been banned again in 2012. Gazdag has directed many many plays, and has been named one of the ten best film teachers in America by Daily Variety in 2010.

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Joan Tewkesbury

After script supervising on Robert Altman’s iconic MCCABE & MRS. MILLER, Joan Tewkesbury went on to write the screenplays for Altmans’ THIEVES LIKE US and NASHVILLE.  As a director, her first feature OLD BOYFRIENDS was presented at Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Tewkesbury has written and directed numerous hours of cable and network television and been a director and consulting producer for series television.  Her work has been honored by the Writers Guild, Humanitas, Golden Globes, the British Academy Awards, Cable Ace and the Academy Awards. Tewkesbury is a long-standing creative advisor for the Sundance Institute Lab program including The Native Lab, New Frontiers, U Tube New Voices, The art of Non-Fiction and the Director’s and Screenwriter’s Labs.

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Michael Goldenberg

Michael Goldenberg’s screenwriting credits include the film Contact, adapted from the Carl Sagan novel and directed by Robert Zemeckis, as well as PETER PAN, directed by P.J. Hogan. He also worked on the adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE for Universal Pictures and producer Tom Hanks, directed by Spike Jonze. Goldenberg wrote and directed the romantic drama BED OF ROSES, starring Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson, and wrote the screenplay for the fifth Harry Potter film, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX. More recently, he contributed to the screenplays for GREEN LANTERN and SHERLOCK HOLMES 2, adapted the novel Artemis Fowl, for Disney and producer Harvey Weinstein, and penned one of a long line of scripts for the upcoming WONDER WOMAN.

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Brita McVeigh

Brita McVeigh works with actors, directors, writers and producers, as a dramaturg, coach and consultant. In less than a decade, Brita’s working methodology has contributed to the development of more than 123 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects. Brita began working in the film industry at the age of 19 and directed her first film at 28.  She had previously worked in story development, casting, production and post-production in both NZ and the United States. Since 2011, over 400 creative professionals have attended Brita’s Acting for Humans workshops. She is an advisory board member of Story Camp Aotearoa.

Kath Shelper

Kath produced SAMSON & DELILAH, Warwick Thornton’s film which took out the Camera d’Or prize for best first feature in Cannes in 2009 as well as many other accolades worldwide. She produces the ABC TV Indigenous sketch comedy show Black Comedy, and in the last few years has produced Brendan Cowell’s debut feature Ruben Guthrie, Warwick Thornton’s doco THE DARKSIDE, Beck Cole’s feature HERE I AM, Lynette Wallworth’s doco TENDER, two chapters of THE TURNING feature film (dir: Warwick Thornton, Mia Wasikowska) and a further short film contribution to a feature anthology, also directed by Mia Wasikowska called MADLY, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to this, Kath produced more short films than she cares to remember.

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Briar Grace-Smith

Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent and has lent her writing and acting talents to the screen, page and stage. She wrote the TV play FISH SKIN SUIT and has been a writer on various TV series including BEING EVE, MATAKU, KAITANGATA TWITCH and WHEN WE GO TO WAR (to premiere 2015). Her feature film THE STRENGTH OF WATER won a NZ Scriptwriters Award for Best Feature Film Script in 2010. The horror-comedy FRESH MEAT featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014.

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Dana Rotberg

Dana Rotberg is a Mexican filmmaker. Her feature films are critically acclaimed and have played at numerous prestigious festivals, with ANGEL DE FUEGO, MAN GOD AND THE MONSTER and THE PERFECT CIRCLE all screening at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Her feature INTIMIDAD also played at Berlinale and OTILIA RAUDA was awarded with the Sundance Filmmaker’s Award. Dana is a member of the European Film Academy and is on the Mexican Council for Culture and the Arts. During her time living in New Zealand, Dana wrote and directed WHITE LIES, adapted from the novella MEDICINE WOMAN by Witi Ihimaera. She is currently living in Mexico City, where she is working on her next feature film.

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Bret McKenzie

A writer, musician, comedian and actor, Bret first became internationally well-known as one half of the Grammy Award-winning musical comedy duo FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS along with Jemaine Clement. The show was initially a BBC radio series and then after a performance at the Aspen Comedy Festival, Colorado, which caught the eye of HBO executives, FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS became a sitcom hit. Bret was also the music supervisor for two Muppet films, THE MUPPETS (2011) and MUPPETS MOST WANTED (2014), the former of which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song ‘Man or Muppet’.  Bret’s current projects include writing a screenplay and songs for a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book ‘Fortunately the Milk’ and preparing for an upcoming tour of the UK and Ireland.

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Dana Rotberg

Dana Rotberg is a Mexican filmmaker. Her feature films are critically acclaimed and have played at numerous prestigious festivals, with ANGEL DE FUEGO, MAN GOD AND THE MONSTER and THE PERFECT CIRCLE all screening at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Her feature INTIMIDAD also played at Berlinale and OTILIA RAUDA was awarded with the Sundance Filmmaker’s Award. Dana is a member of the European Film Academy and is on the Mexican Council for Culture and the Arts. During her time living in New Zealand, Dana wrote and directed WHITE LIES, adapted from the novella MEDICINE WOMAN by Witi Ihimaera. She is currently living in Mexico City, where she is working on her next feature film.

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Duncan Sarkies

Duncan Sarkies is a screenwriter, novelist, performer and short story writer. He has written seven plays, including SAVING GRACE which won the Chapman Tripp Theatre Award. In screen he is known for his screenplays SCARFIES and TWO LITTLE BOYS (adapted from his novel of the same name). He has also brought his dark, quirky sensibility to FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, short films and has written for Australian comedy series MAXIMUM CHOPPAGE. His recent project is the audio extravaganza THE MYSTERIOUS SECRETS OF UNCLE BERTIE’S BOTANARIUM.

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Briar Grace-Smith

Briar Grace-Smith is of Ngā Puhi descent, and is an award-winning writer of short fiction, stage plays and feature films. Her plays include Ngā Pou Wāhine, Purapurawhetū and When Sun and Moon Collide. She is an inaugural Arts Foundation Laureate and was the writer in residence at Victoria University in 2003. She has also worked as a Development Executive for the New Zealand Film commission and taught ‘Writing for Theatre’ at IIML (2015). Briar is a Sundance alumni and the writer of the feature films THE STRENGTH OF WATER and the horror comedy FRESH MEAT. Her television credits include FISHSKIN SUIT, BEING EVE, KAITANGATA TWITCH and the Māori Television drama THIS IS PIKI. She was a director and co-writer of the short film, NINE OF HEARTS, and recently wrote and directed CHARM for the collaborative feature project WARU (BSAG Productions), which brings together the work of eight Māori women directors.

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Jake Mahaffy

Jake Mahaffy’s self-produced, micro-budget shorts and features were made single-handedly, featuring untrained actors in rural settings. His films have screened in international venues such as Sundance, Venice, SXSW, Rotterdam, MoMA (NY) and others. In 2008 his film WELLNESS won the Grand Jury prize at SXSW and in 2015 his film FREE IN DEED won Best Film Orizzonti Prize at Venice Film Festival. He founded two new filmmaking programs at two universities as an Associate Professor of Film and Art in the United States and currently coordinates the Screen Production program at the University of Auckland.

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Brita McVeigh

Brita McVeigh works with actors, directors, writers and producers, as a dramaturg, coach and consultant. In less than a decade, Brita’s working methodology has contributed to the development of more than 123 feature film, short film, television and theatre projects. Brita began working in the film industry at the age of 19 and directed her first film at 28.  She had previously worked in story development, casting, production and post-production in both NZ and the United States. Since 2011, over 400 creative professionals have attended Brita’s Acting for Humans workshops.

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Ainsley Gardiner

Ainsley Gardiner has produced shorts, feature films, TV series and commercials. In 2004 she established Whenua Films with actor Cliff Curtis to promote indigenous story-telling on screen. After working on award-winning shorts with Taika Waititi, Ainsley produced his first two features, EAGLE VS SHARK and breakout hit BOY. She is also producer of 2014 road movie THE PA BOYS, the feature debut of director Himiona Grace. Ainsley has recently written and directed one of 8 vignettes for the feature WARU and is writing an adaptation of a teen novel, as well as developing a slate of female driven features with her producing partner Georina Conder.

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Ainsley Gardiner

Ainsley is a writer, director and producer. Best known for producing Taika Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short film TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT and features EAGLE VS SHARK and NZ box-office hit BOY, Ainsley has also produced THE PĀ BOYS amongst a range of other films and television drama. Ainsley has now partnered with Georgina Conder to form Miss Conception Films, focusing on female-led stories. They are currently in pre-production on Jackie Van Beek and Madeline Sami’s THE BREAKERUPERERS alongside fellow producer Carthew Neal of Piki Films. Recently Ainsley wrote & directed a short for the collaborative anthology feature WARU.

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Loren Taylor

Loren Taylor is an actor, writer, director and casting director. She has been acting in film, television and theatre since she was 17. Loren co-wrote and starred in geek romance EAGLE VS SHARK by Taika Waititi, which took her to the Sundance Lab in 2005, and for which she won two best Best Actress awards. As a writer/director she recently completed an NZFC Premiere funded short film, and her Phoenix Foundation music video starring Bret McKenzie was selected for The Guardian’s website. She has been writing and directing commercials for international brands with the agency Wrestler and for local brands with the agency Double Denim. Loren is also a sought after casting director for film and commercials, and in 2015 worked with Derek Cianofrance on his film THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. She has a feature film in development with the NZFC.

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Loren Taylor

Loren Taylor is an actor, writer, director and casting director. She has been acting in film, television and theatre since she was 17. Loren co-wrote and starred in geek romance EAGLE VS SHARK by Taika Waititi, which took her to the Sundance Lab in 2005, and for which she won two best Best Actress awards. As a writer/director she has a feature film, and a VR project in development with the NZFC, and her Phoenix Foundation music video was selected for The Guardian’s website. She has also been writing and directing commercials for international and local brands. Loren is a sought after casting director for film and commercials – she has a co casting credit on WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, and collaborated on Derek Cianfrance’s film THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

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David Seidler

David Seidler has a vast oeuvre writing for stage, television, and feature film. In 2011, he was rewarded for his talent when he received both an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for THE KINGS SPEECH. His previous work has included Francis Ford Coppola’s TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM, QUEST FOR CAMELOT, and the WGA Award winning ONASSIS THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD.

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Kath Shelper

Kath is a producer of many celebrated films including SAMSON & DELILAH which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. She produces the ABC-TV Indigenous sketch comedy series, BLACK COMEDYwhich is about to commence a fourth series. Her last feature film RUBEN GUTHRIE opened the 2015 Sydney Film Festival and premiered internationally at London Film Festival. Kath produced THE DARKSIDE, a hybrid documentary-drama with Warwick Thornton (2014 Berlin Film Festival), ABCTV feature documentary TENDER by artist Lynette Wallworth (AACTA Award Best TV Documentary 2015) and two chapters of THE TURNING feature film (Tim Winton’s short stories project, Berlin Film Festival 2014), with Warwick Thornton and actress Mia Wasikowska in her directing debut. Mia and Kath also made another short film for the Madly anthology (Tribeca 2016). Kath was the President of community organisation Metro Screen for five years and she has served as a jury member for several film festivals including the Sydney Film Festival competition prize. 

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Loren Taylor

Loren Taylor is an actor, writer, director and casting director. She has been acting in film, television and theatre since she was 17. Loren starred in EAGLE VS SHARK which she co-wrote with Taika Waititi. That project took her to the Sundance Lab in 2005 and won her two international best Best Actress awards. As a writer/director she has just secured NZFC production funding for her (untitled) feature film, and has WAKE (a VR dance project) in development. She is about to co-direct her second short film HEY BRAINY MAN with Jo Randerson. Her Phoenix Foundation music video was selected for The Guardian’s website. She has also been writing and directing commercials for international and local brands and has signed with Sydney agency, Rabbit. Loren is a sought after casting director for film and commercials–she has a co casting credit on WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, and collaborated on Derek Cianfrance’s film THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

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Star Gossage

Star Gossage (Ngati Wai / Ngati Ruanui) lives and works, surrounded by whanau, on ancestral land at Pakiri, north of Auckland. She studied film and drama in Otago, making her acting debut in Barry Barclay’s THE FEATHERS OF PEACE in 2000, but realised after showing 3 paintings in a 2001 exhibition at Auckland’s Oedipus Rex Gallery that painting would be her career. Gossage takes her inspiration from the coastal landscape of rural Pakiri, mixing local clay and ochres with oil paints to create the earthy muted colours that have become one of her signatures. Her emotionally intense paintings often feature dream-like tupuna figures who seem imbued, as Mark Amery writes, “with collected memory and ancestry … there’s no innocence in the eyes of figures; they feel soaked in both love and sadness. The pupils of the eyes bore through you as if demanding that their stories be remembered.” Although Gossage has exhibited regularly throughout New Zealand and overseas, it was the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed Five Maori Painters exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, curated by Ngahiraka Mason, that cemented her significance as one of the most important Maori artists of her generation.

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Timothy White

Timothy White is one of Australia & New Zealand’s most experienced producers. He is a graduate of University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts.  His credits include: MALCOLM, SPOTSWOOD, COSI, ANGEL BABY (AFI Best Film 1995); DEATH IN BRUNSWICKMAP OF THE HUMAN HEART and OSCAR AND LUCINDATimothy executive produced Gregor Jordan’s TWO HANDS  (AFI Best Film 1999) before heading up Working Title Films’ Australian arm. Under this banner he executive produced NED KELLY and GETTIN’ SQUAREHe has produced NO2., OUT OF THE BLUE, THE WARRIOR’S WAY, THE BOYS ARE BACK, and executive produced SLEEPING BEAUTY which premiered in competition at Cannes 2011. His more recent work includes executive producer on MR PIP, SON OF A GUN, THE DARK HORSE and telefeature CONSENT. Timothy has just finished post production on Grant Sputore’s sci fi film, I AM MOTHER, as a producer and is currently in production on the BBC commissioned adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s novel THE LUMINARIES.