EXCLUSIVE: In a new initiative to nurture Australian talent and give something back to the local industry, Australians in Film and Screen Australia have recruited key members of the Oz community working in Hollywood to launch the inaugural Mentor LA program. The plan will match the established talent with four up-and-comers in an effort to help build their careers. The first mentors are producer Bruna Papandrea (Gone Girl, Wild); writer-director Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Collateral); Game of Thrones production designer Deborah Riley; and Eden Gaha, President of Unscripted Television at Endemol Shine USA.
The mentees who’ll be paired with them will be selected based on their work experience, career trajectory and their statement of purpose and goals. They must reside in Australia and have some professional experience in a field that’s shared with a mentor. AiF will manage and coordinate the program and applications.
The pairs will be matched for a 12-month structured program specific to their work area. The mentees will continue to develop their careers in Oz, and over the period they will touch base with the mentors online and also in person during a week of LA meetings at the culmination of the program.
Australians in Film supports Oz entertainment professionals in LA with more than 40 programs and events a year including the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which was established in 2008 in memory of the late actor and is open to all emerging Australian actors ages 18-35.
Australians in Film President Simonne Overend said Mentor LA was created “in the spirit of helping and supporting the next generation of Australian talent. It is all about investing information, ideas and experience back into Australia.”
Added Richard Harris, Screen Australia’s Head of Business and Audience: “Mentor LA is a fantastic opportunity for up-and-coming talent to be guided by some of the most experienced and successful Australians in the industry. Working with these mentors is an invaluable experience, and we look forward to following the trajectory of the successful mentees and seeing the impact of the very first Mentor LA program.”