Agent Bec Smith and Foxtel head of drama Penny Win have joined the line-up for this year’s Big Screen Symposium.
Smith (pictured above, bottom) is an agent at United Talent Agency (UTA), repping screenwriters and directors including BSS’s previously-announced Australian writer Luke Davies (Lion) and David Michôd, whose Animal Kingdom Smith EPed.
A former producer and film journalist, Smith was Head of Development in Sydney for Working Title Films prior to joining UTA.
Win (pictured above, top) is Head of Drama for Aussie pay TV provider Foxtel, where she was previously a commissioner. Foxtel has been gaining friends in the Aussie industry by increasing the amount of local production it commissions. Mostly it’s gone well although Fremantle’s upcoming TV adaptation for Foxtel of Aussie classic Picnic at Hanging Rock ran into some grief late last year with Aussie guilds when it hired a Canadian director for half the series.
The recent announcement of sales of the show to Amazon (the biggest US deal for an Aussie TV show) and the BBC have helped, as Foxtel’s committed to returning cash into supporting more local drama.
It’s fair to point out that Aussie broadcasters (including pay TV providers) have obligations to commission and air local content that don’t exist here, but Foxtel’s track record – including Spirited, Wentworth, Devil’s Playground and the recent The Kettering Incident demonstrates a commitment to quality as well as quantity.
Previously-announced international presenters at this year’s BSS will include director So Yong Kim (Lovesong, Transparent), producer Midge Sanford (Desperately Seeking Susan, River’s Edge), casting director Kerry Barden (Spotlight, 13 Reasons Why, August: Osage County) and distribution specialist Peter Broderick.
Locals so far confirmed include Tusi Tamasese, Miranda Harcourt, Stuart McKenzie, plus their creative teams.
The Big Screen Symposium runs 30 September – 1 October. Tickets are on sale here.