With the inaugural Film Lab: New Voices feature film Monolith making its mark locally and internationally, and the second feature, animated comedy Lesbian Space Princess, currently in production and set to premiere at 2024 Adelaide Film Festival in October, the low-budget feature film development initiative has proven to be a successful career-accelerator for the next generation of South Australian filmmakers.

The three South Australian creative teams selected for Film Lab: New Voices round three are:

  • Writers Pearl Berry and Piri Eddy, director Johanis Lyons-Reid, and producer Lilla Berry with horror The Debt;
  • Writer/director Hannah Moore and producer Craig Jackson with drama If I Could Be Anyone;
  • Writers and directors Elena Carapetis and Anna Lindner and producer Adam Camporeale with thriller The Sandcastle.

Co-funded by the SAFC, AFF and Screen Australia, Film Lab: New Voices offers three filmmaking teams the chance to develop their first low-budget feature film script through a 12-month skills development program, with mentoring by Development Executive Alex White (Babyteeth). At the end of the development phase, one team will be selected to receive $600,000 in screen production grant funding with their film to premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival in 2026.

CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation Kate Croser said: “We are delighted to announce the latest cohort of South Australian filmmaking teams to develop their original feature projects through the Film Lab: New Voices initiative, which continues to create opportunities for the next wave of talented South Australian filmmakers.

“Since its launch in 2020 Film Lab: New Voices has successfully launched careers and elevated our state’s bold new filmmaking voices through supporting writers, directors and producers to gain their first film credits – which we know is critical for breaking through in the screen industry. The international success of inaugural film Monolith from writer Lucy Campbell, director Matt Vesely and producer Bettina Hamilton has been emblematic of that, screening to audiences around the world, and earning prestigious accolades including a nomination for the 2024 AACTA Indie Film of the Year.

“I congratulate the three teams selected for round three of this exciting skills development initiative, which reflect the diversity and outstanding talent of South Australia’s screen sector.”

CEO and Creative Director of the Adelaide Film Festival Mat Kesting said: “Adelaide Film Festival is excited to premiere Lesbian Space Princess as part of AFF 2024 this coming October, the second Film Lab: New Voices production on the back of the well-received inaugural Film Lab: New Voices production Monolith, which premiered at AFF 2022. Both productions have paved the way for the third iteration of Film Lab: New Voices, the outcome of which we look forward to premiering at AFF 2026. Congratulations to the three teams engaged in this third round of development.

“Adelaide Film Festival is proud to be associated with this escalator program that elevates creative talent in South Australia and we thank our Film Lab: New Voices partners the South Australian Film Corporation and Screen Australia.”

Head of Development at Screen Australia Bobby Romia said: “A huge congratulations to the three exceptional teams selected for round three of the Film Lab: New Voices initiative. These diverse voices represent the future of Australian storytelling, and we’re thrilled to support their creative journey.”

Film Lab: New Voices round two animated comedy Lesbian Space Princess, written and directed by Emma Hough Hobbs and Leela Varghese and produced by Tom Phillips (We Made A Thing Studios), is now in production, set to premiere at the 2024 Adelaide Film Festival in October.

Film Lab: New Voices inaugural project, sci-fi thriller Monolith, written by Lucy Campbell, directed by Matt Vesely and produced by Bettina Hamilton had its international premiere in official selection at the renowned SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival in Austin, Texas following its 2022 world premiere at Adelaide Film Festival, and was released in the US via Well Go USA. The film also had a national Australian theatrical release and is now available on streaming platforms. Monolith is represented by XYZ Films in the US, Blue Finch Film Releasing for International Sales and Bonsai Films in Australia.

For more information about Film Lab: New Voices, go to safilm.com.au/industry-and-skills#filmlab

About Alex White – Film Lab: New Voices round three Script Development Mentor

Development Executive Alex White’s short film credits include Florence Has Left the Building with director Mirrah Foulkes, which won the AACTA Award for Best Short Film in 2015; Trespass, also with Foulkes, which won the prize for Best Australian Short Film at MIFF; and with director Eden Falk Measuring the Jump; How to Get Clean; and The Martyr. From 2009 to 2017 Alex worked alongside producer Jan Chapman (The Piano, Lantana) at her development company Waking Dream Productions before moving on to associate produce Simon Stone’s debut feature film, The Daughter. Alex’s debut feature film, Babyteeth, directed by Shannon Murphy, premiered In Competition at the Venice International Film Festival in 2019, winning the prize for Best Young Actor for Toby Wallace. Babyteeth has won multiple international awards, was nominated for 15 AACTA Awards, winning nine including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. In 2021, Babyteeth was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Director and as well as a British Independent Film Award nomination. In 2020 Alex joined producers Sam Jennings and Kristina Ceyton at Causeway Films (You Won’t Be Alone, Talk to Me) as their development producer and in 2022 she co-produced the Indigenous horror film The Moogai, written and directed by Jon Bell, alongside Causeway Films and Mitchell Stanley of No Coincidence Media.