Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan and ultra marathon runner Samantha Gash (star of Desert Runners) may be the star attractions, but BOFA 2014 has also attracted an impressive lineup of major Australian film and television industry figures who will contribute to the discussions and masterclasses.
To guide prospective documentary makers, BOFA will bring in three of Australia’s major film buyers- Phil Craig, Head of Factual at ABC TV, John Godfrey, Head of Documentaries at SBS and Nick Batzias, Head of Production, Licensing and Acquisitions at Madman Entertainment. Three of the masterclass participants will be given a chance to pitch their projects and get immediate feedback from these experienced industry professionals.
Several other senior industry players will contribute to the masterclass and to BOFA.
Michael Cordell (pictured) is Creative Director and co-owner of Cordell, Jigsaw Zapruder (CJZ). He is one of Australia’s best known producers and filmmakers, with a string of film and TV credits including Gruen Planet, Go Back to Where You Came From, Two Men in a Tinnie and the documentary feature Year of the Dogs.
Ray Pedretti is Executive Producer at Showrunner Productions, which specialises in factual and documentary films for television. He has 25 years industry production experience- the most recent as writer and executive producer of the ABC series 72 Dangerous Animals Australia.
Susan McKinnon is a founder, Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Documentary Australia Foundation, an organisation which makes it possible for philanthropists to tax-effectively collaborate with filmmakers to tell stories that can truly change lives. She has 26 years experience as an independent producer, with credits which include Paul Kelly, Stories of Me (which screened last year at BOFA) and the Tanja Liedtke story, Life in Movement, winner of the Best Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival. From 1998 to 2005, Susan was the Documentary Investment Manager at the Film Finance Corporation Australia, where she assisted filmmakers in negotiating finances for their documentaries.
Malinda Wink is from Goodpitch Australia, whose mission is “connecting good films to good people”. Their first “pitch mission” was at the Sydney Opera House in October. Seven filmmakers, selected from 200 applications, pitched their projects to garner support in front of an audience of 300 philanthropists, NGOs, campaigners, policymakers and media during an eight-hour ‘pitchfest’. More than $2 million was raised in tax-deductible donations and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of in-kind support was pledged.
Presenting their own films at the Festival will be:
Janine Hosking, director of 35 Letters
Bridget Lyon & Jeff McDonald, directors of The Inheritance
Niall Doran, director of 16 Legs: Spider Love
Richard Flanagan, director of The Sound of One Hand Clapping
And finally of course BOFA will benefit from the talent and experience of our own Artistic Director Trish Lake, a highly regarded Australian producer, whose latest film The Frackman will set the scene for this year’s Big Picture Debate Fracking in Tasmania: Good or Bad?
Festival Director Owen Tilbury said that the Festival was delighted to be hosting so many of Australia’s leading film and television professionals.
“I think it shows that, after five years, the Australian film industry is taking us seriously and that BOFA is now a fixture on the Australian Festival calendar”.