Four Australians to be mentored by award-winning Hollywood creatives responsible for highly successful TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy, The Handmaid’s Tale, Girls and Black-ish
Award-winning executive producer Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder), writer and producer of Emmy award winning series The Handmaid’s Tale Yahlin Chang, Emmy-nominated director Jamie Babbit (Silicon Valley, Girls) and comedy writer and executive producer Peter Saji (Black-ish) will be matched with four Australian screen professionals in Australians in Film (AiF) and Screen Australia’s annual Mentor LA program.
Executive producer Que Minh Luu, writer/director Julietta Boscolo, and writers Candy Bowers and Kodie Bedford have been selected to take part in the structured 12-month program.
This year, Mentor LA encouraged applications from creatives currently under-represented in the Australian screen industry with unique stories to tell, matching them with mentors that champion diversity and inclusion.
President of AiF, Kate Marks said: “Mentor LA was established to create new and exciting pathways to help grow the careers of young screen professionals and as a by-product, the Australian industry as a whole. This year’s successful applicants Que, Julietta, Candy and Kodie all have a dynamic and a fresh point of view in storytelling. AiF is thrilled to again be partnering with Screen Australia and providing this unique opportunity to these talented filmmakers.”
Graeme Mason, CEO Screen Australia said: “Mentor LA is an incredible opportunity for these four Australian storytellers who are at the point in their career when getting international perspectives on their work is highly valuable. Congratulations and savour every minute!”
Peter Saji will mentor Melbourne-based comedian and writer Candy Bowers. Bowers is the co-artistic director of Black Honey Company, a sub-genre of hip-hop theatre that delves into the heart of radical feminist dreaming. She’s also appeared in Newton’s Law, Get Krack!n, Tonightly with Tom Ballard and The Cry.
Bowers expressed her excitement for the mentorship placement, saying: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I’d be mentored on my TV comedy trajectory with someone like Peter Saji. I’ve wept watching Blackish when I should have been laughing. The tears of reflection and recognition were so sweet. This is a life and career changing moment for me. I‘ve been dreaming about being a showrunner on a comedy TV series since I was a little girl, so I guess this is my wildest dream, thank you Australians in Film and Screen Australia.”
Bowers is currently working on her first feature film with Robert Connolly’s production company ArenaMedia, an anthology of Australian monologues for actors of colour titled Everybody Else.
Over the 12-month program, Mentor LA provides access to the highly-regarded US screen development process, with mentees meeting online quarterly with their mentor. The program culminates in a trip to Los Angeles to meet their mentor in person.