July’s topic – The Film Business – is a firm favourite of ours and a nod to the glorious former Paramount Pictures building that our Paramount offices reside in. Film allows us to escape, to be challenged, transformed and ultimately, to consider what it means to be human. Thankfully, the broadening palette of what films are offered, and our broadening appetite for the films we experience, allows us to explore the diversity of the human experience. Film is, however, more than just an artistic expression. It is a business. The 2016 Deloitte Report found that in 2014–15 the Australian screen industry contributed: $3072 million in value add to the Australian economy; and 25,304 full-time jobs. Furthermore, core Australian content generated $252 million in export earnings in 2014–15, and the screen industry as a whole generated $725 million in tourism expenditure in Australia. To help us understand the creativity and the commerciality of “the business”, we were thrilled to present an all-star cast:
- Rachel Ward – Actor, screenwriter, and director; her directorial debut Beautiful Kate (2009) was nominated for 10 AFI awards and her latest film, Palm Beach, opened the 2019 SFF.
- Shannon Murphy – Theatre and TV director, best known for directing Rake, Love Child, Offspring and Sisters. She has just directed her first feature film Babyteeth starring Ben Mendelsohn;
- Alex White – Producer of award-winning short films including Florence Has Left The Building, and Trespass, she currently is working on her first feature film Babyteeth with Jan Chapman as EP.