The program unveiled for the virtual scene at the top of the feature film


Australia’s inaugural Feature Film Summit has unveiled the session lineup and speakers for its ‘first step’ virtual event, which will take place next month.

Convened by a task force on production, distribution and exhibition, the summit aims to break down industry silos to increase the success of Australia’s feature film industry.

The Virtual Stage One event is designed to “set the stage” for an in-person summit in February 2022, to coincide with the Australian International Film Convention.

Speakers will include Roadshow Films CEO Joel Pearlman; Claire Gandy, general manager of event cinemas; Stephen Basil-Jones, executive vice president of Sony Pictures Entertainment; Made Up Stories producer Jodi Matterson; Comscore MD Frank Perikleous; Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly and Compton School Executive Director David Court.

“The goal of the first step is to really figure out what the success of Australian feature films looks like and what we can learn from it,” said summit chairman Gino Munari.

“So far, no other forum has effectively brought together exhibitors, distributors, producers, creators, investors and film agencies in a single ‘room’ with a common goal of building on the success of the industry. local feature film. It’s a prelude to the main event in February next year and all filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors and investors are encouraged to join in and contribute their ideas.

Summit Director Sue Maslin AO adds: “Box office data and audience information confirms that Australian films often behave differently from Hollywood films and generally have much less marketing spend to support the initial launch. However, the competitive nature of the theatrical market means that in order to be successful, Australian films must open strongly or else they will reduce screenings or be removed from the programming schedule very quickly. It’s time to examine how we can all be more collaborative and strategic in finding audiences for local films – from ideas that writers create and film producers choose to develop, to how marketing is funded and films programmed by exhibitors.

The virtual summit will take place on October 22 and will cost $ 25. The in-person event will take place on February 11 at the Swissotel Sydney for $ 150.

More details about the program here:

First step sessions below:


Moderator: Lori Flekser

Loudspeakers: Frank Perikleous, Managing Director, Comscore; Executive Director, MPDAA; Nic Robin, Managing Director of Revenue and Growth, Village Cinemas; Stacey Kwijas, Marketing and Insights Manager, Village Cinemas

To concentrate: Over the past 12 months, audiences have demonstrated their love affair with quality Australian films when they have had the opportunity to see them. Australian films delivered an outstanding 20/21 box office performance in the absence of Hollywood films. But must this success be an anomaly? This session will reveal detailed demographics, attendance and box office data collected and provide an overview of audience trends in relation to recent Australian films. Break into the blockbuster movie, The dry, the session’s experts will analyze what the data tells us about the factors of its success.


The world has changed. Going back to “business as usual” when the cinematic landscape reopens completely is not an option given the fundamental changes in viewing choices and habits. The exponential growth of content on streamers and audience engagement means it’s more important than ever that all of us – filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors – clearly identify and communicate the point of difference and the value that cinemas offer and cinema feature films. We can do this best when we all understand how films are made, distributed and presented. The following three sessions will allow sharing of information and key learnings on the sectors.


Moderator: Gino Munari

Loudspeakers: Claire Gandy, General Director of Content, Event Cinemas; Adrianne Pecotic, CEO of Independent Cinemas Australia; Kristian Connelly, CEO of Cinema Nova.

To concentrate: Exhibitors know their market better than anyone, but so far do not have a say in the Australian films that are offered to them. What if exhibitors had more support for films than they will one day be asked to show? How could exhibitors, distributors and producers better work together to improve the performance of Australian films to audiences? In this session we will ask exhibitors what a successful Australian film looks like and if it can be predicted; what they know about their audience; and what factors they use to determine the level of support they give to Australian films.


Moderator: Sandy george

Loudspeakers: Joel Pearlman, CEO of Roadshow Films; Elizabeth Trotman CEO Studiocanal; Stephen Basil-Jones, Executive Vice President of Sony

To concentrate: Distributors are the bridge between producers, exhibitors and audiences and largely determine which Australian films are produced and shown in theaters. They also carry a huge risk load that is not effectively offset by government support or rebates. This session will explore the process behind deciding whether or not to acquire an Australian film and the main challenges associated with releasing Australian films. Marketing will be the focus of the session and how risks can be further compensated for for distributors. Given that Australian films often do not have the marketing budgets of Hollywood blockbusters, what new strategies and partnerships could be used to improve the cut with small and mid-size Australian theatrical releases?


Moderator: Sandy george

Loudspeakers: Antony Ginnane, producer, FG Films; Jodi Matterson, Producer Made Up Stories; David Jowsey, producer, Bunya Productions

To concentrate: It all starts with the script, the motivation and the passion of the filmmakers to get films funded and put into production. Every producer strives to make a successful film and the process takes years, but only a few manage to reach significant audiences on the big screen. This session will explore the main challenges that feature film directors currently face and ask what drives producers to produce theatrical films given the level of risk? How do filmmakers react to audience behavior, develop types of projects suitable for theatrical release in this new landscape, and do they have enough access to data to support their decisions? How can producers promote the marketing potential of their films to distributors and exhibitors? And what is the future of feature documentaries on the big screen?


Moderator: Sue Maslin AO

Speaker: David Court, Director General of Compton School

To concentrate: David Court, founder of the Compton School for Creative Entrepreneurs, for many years researched models for predicting box office success as well as developing a ‘go-ahead’ process for testing innovative ideas. at an early stage. It will provide an introduction to the ‘Road Test Forum’ which will take place at the Australian Feature Film Summit in February 2022. This will bring together exhibitors with developing filmmakers to test concepts, gain early buy-in from exhibitors, giving distributors and to investors the confidence if the ideas resonate. The projects would be at an early stage and provide filmmakers with real market feedback that would help them recognize whether their project has the potential to attract audiences. The Road Test Forum enables exhibitors to provide filmmakers with insight into how they think a film might or might not work in their specific market – from majors to independents, regions to cities. A call for filmmakers to submit film proposals for a “test drive” with exhibitors in February 2022 will take place following the Virtual Summit.


Moderator: Ian Sutherland (independent producer and consultant); Sue Maslin and Gino Munari

To concentrate: Set the agenda for the Australian Feature Film Summit in February 2022. Building on his track record in production, distribution and exhibition, Ian will invite all participants to comment, summarize any pressure points arising from the Summit virtual and identify the key issues to be covered at the February 2022 Summit.

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