Events » Film & TV Export Market Masterclass - Sydney

Film & TV Export Market Masterclass

Understanding world film + TV markets and festivals, positioning your company, developing showcase content and preparing, pitching, and closing deals.

The 2018 international screen market and film festivals season is underway and the time is nigh to explore your global sales and co-pro opportunities in the international market arena.

During this four-hour business class, panels of industry experts and seasoned screen professionals will give you practical insights into positioning your company, defining and aligning your business and international marketing objectives, and formulating your international market strategy. They will also assist you in selling yourself, identifying your target markets, give you the tools to successfully pitch and sell your projects and understand how to approach government assistance programs. This industry developed Business Class will be split into four distinct parts:

The Global Screen Scene Overview: From Features to TV Formats - Who’s Buying? Which market? Where and How? (Part 1)

A panel of experienced producers and distributors from feature film, television drama and unscripted programs will provide a best practice guide to preparing for markets, pitching and networking at the markets, and how to follow up after the markets to close your deals.

Our panel of worldly advisors will join Owen Johnston (SPA) to explore the following:

  • Choosing the right markets and festivals for your projects, building momentum and government support mechanisms available;
  • Strategies for approaching the international market for your feature film or TV project, from financing to selling;
  • Market testing your ideas before financing;
  • Pitch Perfect: Preparing to pitch and creating great marketing materials;
  • Creating a buzz – the value of pitching competitions;
  • Selling into the USA: Do you need an agent? How do you get one?
  • Finding and working with international partners: distributors, sales agents, broadcasters and co-producers;
  • How screen agencies can help and recent experiences;
  • Protecting your IP when on the road and pitching;
  • Making the most of your market experience;
  • Follow up and being the ultimate closer.

This session will cover a diverse range of markets for film, television, hybrid content and newer platforms. Markets and festivals include Marche du Film Cannes, Series Mania, SxSW, MIPCOM and MipTV, European Film Market Berlin, Asian Side of the Doc, World Congress of Science and Factual Producers, Content London and more. Pitching events include Berlin Co-Pro Market, Cannes Series, MIPFormats International Pitch, Hot Docs Forum Toronto, IDFA Forum Amsterdam, Power to the Pixel London and more.

Special Guest Speakers Include: Lara von Ahlefeldt, Founder, Sauce Group / Raydar Media; Sharon Ramsay-Luck, Content & Distribution Specialist; Bridget Callow-Wright, Midwinter Films; Monica O'Brien, EP and Showrunner, Ambience Entertainment.

Brand Identity, Pitching Content, Selling Yourself (Part 2)

Learn from the women who have thousands of hours of pitching under their belt- the Mischief Sisters. A session about creating the right impression, commanding the room and developing a personal brand.

Producers are in the business of selling. While content is king, building a successful career involves more than the program. Producers need to build a profile, a brand, and be alive to publicising and marketing the content and brand before, during, and after production.

Special Guests: Marion Farrelly and Alison Black - The Mischief Sisters

Thinking global –  The how and why of collaborating with international producing partners (Part 3)

Australia has agreements with twelve countries under the international co-production program where the purpose is to facilitate the co-production of projects for the mutual benefit of film industries in those countries.  

Screen Australia manages the program and Colleen Champ, Co-production Manager will explain who Australia has agreements with and what you need to know about co-productions from the regulatory perspective. Colleen will be joined by experienced producer Mark Lazarus, Head of Production, Sydney Films who will discuss their experience with making an official co-production from meeting their co-producing partner, managing the relationship and creative vision for the film and what they see as the pros and cons.

From this session, you should walk away understanding what an official co-production means, who you can make one with, what you need to think about before entering into a co-production, the benefits, how you apply and the approval process and some practical insights into the realities of being a co-producer.

Presenter: Colleen Champ – Program Manager, Co-Production, Screen Australia
Special guest: Mark Lazarus – Head of Production, Sydney Films

Export Assistance (Part 4)
Understanding Government Grants For Your Business

Learn from industry leaders, Avant Group, who will share their insights into EMDGs (Export Market Development Grants) and other opportunities to assist you in supporting your international market activities.

This session will provide an overview of export focused government grants and funding opportunities for creative practitioners. Understanding government grants and programs enables strategic decisions by businesses in areas including expansion into new markets, investment into new technologies and collaborative projects. Hosted by leading grants advisory firm Avant Group, the session will assist businesses in identifying what business types and structures are eligible to receive funding, what grants and funding options are available, what the application process involves, what the compliance and reporting obligations typically involve and the types of activities that can be covered under Government Grant funding.

Presenter: Celeste Blewitt Director – Film Funding, Avant Group

Download the course outline.

DATE: Friday, 23 March 2018
TIME: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
VENUE: AFTRS Building 130, The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, Sydney
INCLUDES: Afternoon Tea
PARKING: Parking is available at the Entertainment Quarter carpark. Reduced rates are available if you validate your ticket with AFTRS reception.

SPA Members: $100 | Other Industry Guilds: $162 | General Price: $180 

To receive the SPA members special discount, select ENROL on the AFTRS booking page, and choose SPA member registrant type.

Presented by Screen Producers Australia and the Australian Film Television and Radio School.




Monica is an experience Executive Producer and Showrunner across many genres, including Factual, Drama and Children’s Entertainment.  Over the past 10 years Monica has worked with Ambience Entertainment in production and development across a broad slate of programming resulting in the production of over 4500 hours of Family Entertainment.    These productions have been broadcast on ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network TEN along with International Networks.  Prior to joining Ambience, Monica worked in both the commercial and government sectors.  Including Spinifex Interactive, as Producer/Director, Screentime as Producer, Emerald Films as Producer and Film Finance Corporation as Recoupment Analyst.

Alison specializes in documentaries that can make a difference. She made the Logie winning Choir of Hard Knocks whilst at the ABC, and has recently completed a Churchill Fellowship that researched engaging and accessible documentaries that can bring about social change. She created and developed two series of Changing Minds for the ABC, whilst at Northern Pictures. It was the first series in Australia where television cameras were allowed into locked mental health wards. The series were Aacta and Walkley nominated, and described by the Sydney Morning Herald as surely one of the most important programs in the history of Australian television. Through the Mischief Sisters, along with business partner Maz Farrelly she mentors and runs workshops on pitching and development. She’s a member of the AIDC Advisory committee, an external assessor for Screen Queensland and sits on many industry panels.

The Mischief Sisters was formed to exploit the creative talents of media heavyweights, Marion Farrelly and Alison Black. Between them, they have show run some of the biggest TV brands in the world in three territories – the USA, UK and Australia. Marion ‘Maz’ Farrelly and Alison Black are TV chalk and cheese. In the smart chalk corner, Alison Black – you know those blue chip documentaries you watch that change Government policy, start national conversations and help shape society? Alison makes those. In the broad appeal cheese corner, Maz Farrelly – you know those ratings juggernauts you can’t seem to avoid watching, even though you don’t want to? Maz makes those guilty pleasures. Between them, they have most genres covered. They’re called The Mischief Sisters because they like to approach everything they do with a creative sense of mischief, turning ideas on their heads and delivering surprising and innovative results every time. Both former BBC Executives and Development Specialists, Maz and Alison met on The Farmer Wants A Wife, not romantically, sis years ago and have been collaborating creatively ever since.

With 20 years senior media management experience in content investment, acquisition, sales and marketing – plus ancillary rights exploitation - Sharon Ramsay-Luck is able to offer producers meaningful guidance on distribution options and considerations. Having managed the global distribution operations for both the SBS and ABC, Sharon’s experience with traditional international broadcasters and emerging platforms has equipped her with valuable insights and knowledge to share with producers to assist them in making the best decisions to optimise the lifecycle and returns from their productions.

Navigating funding for screen and creative arts can be a difficult and lengthy process, Celeste can make this a reality. Celeste Blewitt, as Director of Film Funding at Avant Group is an expert in navigating the grant process and partners with creative businesses to achieve optimal funding solutions. With over 10 years’ extensive experience in the film and television industry, working in costume and styling, Celeste has a deep understanding of the creative process and the needs of producers and creators. Celeste has transferred this vast knowledge in her work with Avant Group. Celeste works in a team at Avant Group with Kate Whitehead and together they represent one of the top advisor teams in the sector. Celeste seeks funding solutions for creators to take advantage of Australian Government funding opportunities. This expedites the funding process and allows creatives to apply their skills where it counts best, creating, telling stories and making film and television.  

Colleen manages Australia’s international co-production program at Screen Australia. 

The Co-production Program was established to encourage production and foster relationships between international filmmakers from partner countries. Australia has agreements with twelve countries and Colleen works with producers and competent authorities around the world to facilitate official co-productions.  An official co-production is considered a ‘national’ project of each country which means the producers can take advantage of the incentives provided to national films in their country.

Lara von Ahlefeldt brings 25 years’ experience in international programme sales, co-productions and financing in the Factual and Entertainment genres including formats and is currently Executive Consultant for Raydar Media, an independent UK financing, production and distribution business working with UK producers and broadcasters including BBC, CBeebies, Channel 4 and Sky Arts with titles including We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, Reggie Yates: Extreme series’ and The Seven Ages of Elvis to name a few

Previously heading up the international programme sales division of SBS Television, Lara has since launched Sauce Group in Australia, a bespoke international sales consultancy and distribution business executive producing local content for international media partners and platforms primarily into the US, UK and Asia.

Raydar Media along with Sauce Group are genre agnostic preferring to focus on bringing compelling stories to the screen through working with the producers and rights owners on a bespoke end to end strategy.


Bridget is an award-winning screen producer with a focus on scripted narrative film and television. Her latest feature film ‘THE BUTTERFLY TREE’ starring Melissa George, Ewen Leslie, Ed Oxenbould and Sophie Lowe, directed by Priscilla Cameron, recently had its international premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. Earlier this year Bridget completed her Screen Producers Australia ‘Ones To Watch’ International Fellowship award placement with Stay Gold Features in New York (Patti Cake$, Beasts of No Nation, Hello My Name is Doris), where she was mentored by Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Kristen Konvits as they launched their $20m film fund, and developed projects such as Cary Fukunaga’s next project, The Joe Bell Story. Following her placement Bridget is continuing to build her company Midwinter Films as a development vehicle for long-form narrative projects. She is currently partnering with several producers and production companies on a slate of narrative feature films and television series. Bridget holds a Masters in Screen Business from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), where she was awarded the Foxtel New Media Innovation Prize. Bridget has a wide network of international and local financing and producing partners, in-depth knowledge of the international content marketplace and an extensive physical creative producing skillset.

Owen Johnston is a consultant on Industrial and Commercial Affairs. Owen negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of Screen Producers Australia with unions and guilds, provides industrial and commercial advice to members, consults on policy, and assists in the development and presentation of SPA’s business classes and seminar programs.