Feature Navigator Consultation Week adds Roadshow’s Seph McKenna
Feature Navigator is presented by ScreenWest in association with the Australian Writers Guild (AWG). The program encourages filmmakers to build an engaging screen story and to see their project from real-world market perspectives. It is intended for second draft or beyond scripts that would benefit from frank creative and commercial interrogation. Feature Navigator will also enhance skills in pitching, the presentation of projects, and in building bridges with the domestic and international marketplaces for finance, distribution and sales representation.
Following the consultations, teams are expected to complete a new draft and two projects may be selected for ScreenWest development funding of up to $15,000.
The Feature Navigator program is presented with the assistance of Screen Australia.
This year's consultants are:
In the last seven years as Head of Australian Production at Roadshow Films, Seph has worked closely with writers, producers, and directors on Roadshow distributed films. Those films include; 2:37; Boy Town; December Boys; The Square; Beautiful Kate; Mao's Last Dancer; I Love you Too; Red Dog; The Cup and upcoming films; Goddess, Wolf Creek II, Felony, The Rover, and several others in various stages of development and financing.
Seph is a 1996 graduate of Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science and a 2003 graduate of Boston College Law School. In 2002, Seph completed a semester's exchange program in Law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
Between 1996 and 1999 Seph worked between Washington, D.C. and Buffalo, N.Y. for Congressman John J. LaFalce, then ranking Democratic Member of the Banking Committee. Before entering Law School in August of 2000, Seph spent a year working in the first online bank, Wit Capital, in Manhattan.
Seph came to Roadshow Films in March 2006 from Village Roadshow Pictures (VRP) in Los Angeles where he worked in the script development and assessment department since August of 2003.
At VRP, Seph worked extensively on script evaluation, coverage and script notes. At Roadshow Films, Seph reports directly to Managing Director Joel Pearlman on matters relating to Australian acquisition, production and distribution.
Roadshow Films is Australia's largest distributor, with output deals in place with Warner Bros. Lions Gate, and the Weinstein Company. For local productions Roadshow's mandate is to cultivate and distribute outstanding Australian stories with broad commercial appeal.
Justin Monjo is an award-winning writer for both screen and stage. In television, Justin was head writer and co-executive producer on the cult series Farscape (Sci-Fi Channel). His credits for television include the widely acclaimed Wildside. Justin was a co-creator on the top-rating telemovie The Alice. He then moved on to work on several series of John Edward's Rush for Network Ten and the sequel to the award winning ABC miniseries, Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo.
Justin has also worked extensively in feature films, having written an adaptation of Tim Winton's Dirt Music for Phillip Noyce and The Turning: Aquifier for Arena Media. Justin has also worked on feature screenplays including Cane for Animal Logic and Robert Luketic (high concept family animation), Truth for John Polson (based on the Peter Temple novel), Jungle for Emile Sherman and the Spierig Brothers and Undercover for US Producer Dan Dubiecki.
His theatre credits include Romeo is Bleeding (performed in Australia and the US), That Eye, The Sky and Cloudstreet, adapted from Tim Winton's novel, co-written with Nick Enright. Cloudstreet won numerous awards and toured internationally to sold-out theatres and critical acclaim.
Los Angeles based, Deborah Liebling has many years of experience in both film and television development and production. She spent five years as Executive Vice President of Production for 20th Century Fox Films, where she was responsible for many hit films such as Borat and Dodgeball, and spent two years as President of Fox Atomic. Deborah then served as President of Production at Universal Pictures where she oversaw the development and production of Bridesmaids, The Change-Up, Tower Heist, Safe House and Ted among others.
Her television work has included her position as Chief Development and Production Executive for Comedy Central for seven years, where she developed the long-running hit comedy South Park. Other series she shepherded there include The Man Show, Win Ben Stein's Money, Battlebots and Primetime Glick.
Currently, Deborah Liebling is President of Television at Red Hour Films where she is partnered with Ben Stiller. They have a deal at ABC Studios where they produce comedies and dramas for network and cable.
Most recently Marian Macgowan produced the film South Solidarity written and directed by Shirley Barrett, which opened the 2010 Sydney Film Festival. She also executive produced the documentary Boxing for Palm Island which aired on the ABC and opened the 2010 Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival, and produced the feature film Blessed directed by Ana Kokkinos and starring Frances O'Connor and Miranda Otto in 2009. She is currently financing the German co-production The Great starring Annette Bening to shoot early 2013.
As well as running her own company, Macgowan Films, Marian's other roles have included publishing the Australian film industry ‘bible', The Production Book and Head of Producing at the Australian Film and Television School (AFTRS) (2003-5). Prior to forming her company, Marian worked both in the UK and Australia as a commercials and documentary producer and has directed several short films.