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Image Captions: 1 – Ahmed Malek as Hanif in The Furnace on Yamatji Badimia country, Mount Magnet, Western Australia. Photo by Megan Lewis © Hoover’s Gold Productions Pty Ltd; 2 – Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe and Producer Taryne Laffar; 3 – Different Lens Storyteller Tina Fielding © Dave Walters.


CEO Wrap – December 2020

As we race to the end of 2020, things are picking up and Screenwest prepares to launch our strategy to advance the WA Screen Industry in 2021 and beyond.

This quarter saw an update to Screenwest’s Terms of Trade in line with a rapidly changing media landscape and the inaugural Industry Advisory Group Town Hall Meeting to engage with members of the WA Screen Industry.

The 2020 Brian Beaton Award was presented to Taryne Laffar and Sam Bodhi Field for Indigenous Documentary Our Law as it embarks on development into a series, and we celebrated the premiere of factual series Different Lens produced by Rhythm Content, from a partnership with Carers WA.

The WA Screen Industry, despite unprecedented challenges with COVID -19 disruptions has demonstrated its resilience and continues to produce outstanding screen content and showcasing gripping stories from stunning locations across Western Australia.

The year ends on a high with the second season of ABC children’s series Itch finalising production and feature film The Furnace premiering at Lotterywest Films at Perth Festival with a significant cinematic release from 10 December. A solid slate of drama and factual production stretches into 2021, and with WA production companies demonstrating comprehensive COVID-19 risk management and prevention strategies, the WA industry will enter the new year strongly.

Though I have announced that I will transition out of the role of CEO of Screenwest by June 2021 I will continue to focus my efforts on strategic initiatives for the organisation for WA’s screen sector. This includes working closely with the Screenwest team to lay the foundations for a production attraction strategy and an interactive and gaming fund. I am also focussing on a seamless transition to a new leadership, which will drive the industry forward with the release of a new and ambitious strategic plan in January.

I would like to sincerely thank the State Government of Western Australia and Lotterywest for their unwavering support of Screenwest and the WA industry in 2020.

It is with the support from these partners that the industry continues a strong growth trajectory and Screenwest can set its sights on developing talented WA creatives and crew to make screen content that can be accessed by audiences locally, nationally globally.

A warm congratulations to the Western Australian screen industry for proving your tenacity, creativity and making a significant contribution to the Western Australian community and economy in a challenging year. Thank you for your support and invaluable advice.

I would also like to thank the Screenwest Board, IAG and my team. In what has been a somewhat challenging year, working together we have seen what can be achieved through commitment and collaboration.

In closing I trust you will have a safe and happy Summer break and look forward to working with you to roll out Screenwest’s new vision for the future in early 2021.


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