ADG Welcomes Decision for Additional Director for Picnic at Hanging Rock

The ADG welcomes the announcement by Fremantle Media to hire an additional director to direct an episode of their TV production, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

The ADG challenged Fremantle for hiring a Canadian director to direct this iconic Australian story, and with the support of Screen Australia, Film Victoria, and Foxtel, has been in discussion with Fremantle to rescind this decision.

Fremantle have now announced that they will hire a third director to work on the series. The two original directors are Australian Michael Rymer, and Canadian Larysa Kondracki.

Jo Porter, FremantleMedia Australia Director of Drama, said, “Fremantle Media acknowledges the sensitivity around the selection of the creative team and as a consequence, we have engaged with Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the Australian Director’s Guild and the commissioning broadcaster, Foxtel, to move forward in a productive manner.

“We assembled two directors who will bring this iconic story to life and honour the incredible legacy of the Joan Lindsay novel. We now welcome the engagement of a third, Australian female director to work with Michael and Larysa on this landmark project,” she said.

“The decision by Fremantle to hire a female director to direct an episode of the series and receive the credit is a significant outcome and could only have occurred with the support and commitment of our colleagues at Foxtel, Screen Australia and Film Victoria as well our advocates at WIFT who raised industry awareness of the issue. It also sustains the work that has gone into the Screen Australia ‘Gender Matters’ initiative ” said Samantha Lang, President of the ADG.

Sophie Mathisen, WIFT NSW President, responded with the following statement:

“Given the disproportionately low instance of female directorship of significant works of dramatic film and television, WIFT NSW welcomes the addition of a third female director to the upcoming Foxtel and Fremantle production of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Through a united effort with the ADG we are pleased with this outcome that will provide a meaningful credit on a domestic project of scale.”

Screen Australia has also committed to changing their program guidelines and propose to make it an expectation that applicants for direct funding of television productions guarantee their project is written and directed by Australian citizens or residents.

“This will ensure that Australian directors will be engaged on Australian funded productions” said Kingston Anderson, CEO of the ADG.

Finally the ADG wishes to thank Foxtel in particular for their ongoing support of high quality Australian drama and for the engagement of Australian directors.



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