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Robert Connolly steps down early from Screen Australia board

Robert Connolly

Filmmaker Robert Connolly has ended his term as Screen Australia board member early.

The writer, director, producer was due to sit on the board until December 2013, but he finished early due to film-making commitments.

While on the board, Connolly received Screen Australia funding for his project Paper Planes, and also for his adaptation of Tim Winton’s The Turning.

At the time, Screen Australia denied that there was a conflict of interest.

“We have a clear working conflict of interest policy that works,” a spokesperson said. “We don’t exclude working film-makers from our board as we need that expertise. But we have a system in place that works.”

Film financier Greg Smith, who has sat a full term, will also step down from Screen Australia’s board.

Screen Australia chair Glen Boreham said on their departure: “For all their complementary strengths, Robert and Greg both shared one thing: passion. Passion to see Australian stories on screen, passion to nurture the next generation, and passion to see the industry evolve and thrive. We wish them every success in the next stages of their careers.”

In their place will be actress, writer and producer of Spirited and Love My Way Claudia Karvan, and Richard Keddie, producer of Little Fish, Hawke and the forthcoming musical Goddess.

Simon Crean, arts minister, made the announcement today: “Mr Keddie and Ms Karvan have both made a major contribution to Australia’s screen industry. As an award winning film and television documentary producer, Mr Keddie’s experience across the sector will provide the valuable combination of creative leadership and industry insight.”

“Ms Karvan is an acclaimed Australian actor, director and producer with a strong track record of engaging with the Australian screen industry as a creator and advocate.”

Karvan has just finishing filming the remake of Puberty Blues and will star in the forthcoming The Time of Our Lives.

Also announced by Crean was a new chair appointment to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Gabrielle Trainor comes to the role following work on the recent review of the Australia Council for the Arts as well as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

Former minister for the arts Michael Lee has also been appointed to the NFSA Board.

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