F.Y.I.

Natalie Miller Fellowship Catalyst Grants recipients officially announced

The 2024 recipients of the Natalie Miller Fellowship’s $5,000 Catalyst Grants have been named.

The announcement:

The Natalie Miller Fellowship (NMF) is thrilled to announce the recipients of its $5,000 Catalyst Grants for 2024, with the five female and female-identifying recipients representing a diverse group of skilled screen practitioners set to take the next step in fulfilling their leadership ambitions.

The recipients are:

  • Ester Harding (VIC) – general manager (Mind The Gap Film Finance – Screen Finance)
  • Caro Macdonald (NT) – director/producer/DOP (Self Employed – Production Sector)
  • Eve Spence (NSW) – filmmaker and educator (Cat & Dog Films – Production, Education Sector)
  • Chelsea Thistlewaite (NSW) – associate literary agent (RGM Artists – Representation)
  • Megan Wilmann (VIC) – senior graphic designer (Madman Entertainment – Distribution)

NMF President Sasha Close said: “The second year of the NMF Catalyst Grants attracted an exceptionally high quality of proposals and an impressive calibre of applicants. The NMF congratulates the five successful recipients who presented bold and inspiring proposals for leadership and professional development and who work in various sectors of the screen industry.”

Ester Harding is a screen industry development, production and financing executive, with 15 years’ experience, who has worked across documentary, drama, and multiplatform projects. She joined Mind The Gap Film Finance, an Offset cashflow lender with a positive impact decision-making framework in 2022 and was recently appointed CEO. Ester will undertake ARTEM Group’s Evolving Your Leadership program, which teaches women to lead with purpose and courage through interrogation of the stories we tell ourselves.

Caro Macdonald is a Darwin-based cinematographer, director and producer with an interest in strong character-based and environmental stories. Recent works include half-hour documentary Democracy Darling! for Al Jazeera; Mamirnikuwi, an environmental short set on the Tiwi Islands, commissioned by ABC and a finalist for the Sustainable Future Award at Sydney Film Festival; a feature documentary on the Northern Territory called Under Cover, which was selected to screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival; and climate-fiction short films The Northerners and VR film Storm Dog. Caro will be mentored by cinematographer Michael Latham on a Screen Territory-funded short narrative film, as well as a documentary series. Caro intends to invest any skills back into the industry the NT, including working with emerging female and diverse, aspiring cinematographers.

Eve Spence is a filmmaker with an extensive industry background and passion for all stages of the storytelling process, from the spark that sets the narrative in motion to the audience experience. As a writer/director, her award-winning shorts have premiered at major international film festivals such as Berlinale and she is currently in the late stages of development for her feature film, Common Ground. Eve will attend the interdisciplinary ‘Script Circle’ feature workshop in Berlin as an observer and be mentored by story developers Franz Rodenkirchen and Françoise von Roy, with the ambition to deliver a different story development option to filmmakers in Australia that utilises the experience of writers as co-developers and builds community amongst writers.

Chelsea Thistlewaite is an associate literary agent at RGM Artists, providing creative strategy and representation to screenwriters, directors, playwrights, authors and heads of department in film and television, with a commitment to inclusivity and representation as they actively seek to bolster talented and underrepresented voices. Chelsea’s grant will be utilised to strategically invest in their career through curated courses from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the National Film & Television School (NFTS) and Sundance Collab that will expand their skills in business, legal affairs, financing, and distribution.

Megan Wilmann is a senior graphic designer based in Melbourne with over 18 years’ experience in the film industry. Currently working at Madman Films, she has created original key art posters for films such as Shayda, The Justice Of Bunny King and Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, putting her passion for creating film posters that portray the vision of the filmmaker into practice for marketing campaigns. Megan is excited to be heading to Carnival Studios in Sydney for a mentorship under creative director Demi Hopkins, along with undertaking a leadership short course at the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) to develop further creative design skills and leadership skills.

The NMF Catalyst Grants are proudly supported by Creative Partnerships Australia through Plus1 and NMF’s generous Catalyst Campaign donors.

Source: NIXCO

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