Attagirl Wraps Second Year of Programming, Awards $35K in prizes

Left-Right: Laura Bergeron (Medium Beluga), Dee Dogan (A Cup of Tea), Amy Coop (Spring Tide)

Global film incubator Attagirl has wrapped its second year program, supporting women and non-binary filmmakers, with $35,000 being awarded to winning teams. 

The flagship program, which is supported by Screen Australia, the British Film Institute (BFI) and Telefilm Canada, progressed seven teams through its two-stage industry-led workshops during the incubator’s second year of programming. 

The teams included filmmakers from Australia, Canada, England, Wales, Portugal, South Africa, and Scotland.

The prize recipients are:

Writer/director Laura Bergeron, producer David Baeta and producer Simon Madore took the $25,000 production price home to Canada with their film MEDIUM BELUGA.

One development prize of $5,000 was awarded to UK writer Jodie Ashdown, director Amy Coop and producer Daniel Harris for their film SPRING TIDE.

A second development prize of $5,000 goes to Australian team of writer/director Dee Dogan and producer Bethany Bruce for their film, A CUP OF TEA. 

Laura Bergeron, writer/director of MEDIUM BELUGA says:

“As a filmmaker, being encouraged to not just follow your vision but to understand it is crucial. Attagirl encouraged us to reflect on and challenge our creative and commercial decisions to uncover the most authentic and compelling version of our story. I feel extremely privileged to have participated in the lab and to win the production grant has given us an incredible boost of energy and the validation that this project can and deserves to be made.” 

David Baeta and Simon Madore, producers, say:

“We learned a great deal from participating in Attagirl. Facilitated by thoughtful mentors and expert consultants, Laura’s story was brought into sharper focus from considered feedback, valuable guidance and vital film market and audience insights. We are now fully prepared to make our film the best it can be for a global audience as well as being better equipped as filmmakers to navigate the complex journey of filmmaking. We’re extremely grateful for the experience and support.” 

The Welsh filmmaking team behind SPRING TIDE – writer Jodie Ashdown, director Amy Coop and producer Daniel Harris – said in a joint statement:

“Filmmaking is a tough business and it is difficult to develop projects independently that have the chance to be financed and produced. Over the course of Attagirl and with the support of our mentors and consultants, not only did our script improve, but we did too — as individuals and as a team. Having financial assistance to start on our post-Attagirl journey is incredibly helpful, as well as showing the world that we’re prepared to put the hard work in to get our film made. We really believe in our project and it’s great to know that the Attagirl board members do too.”

“We were honoured to be a part of this groundbreaking international lab for female and non-binary filmmakers which provided access not only to notable industry experts but many inspiring filmmakers and projects. This development prize will help us get to the final draft stage of our script,” says A CUP OF TEA’s director Dee Dogan. 

“But what means more to us than the funding, is that the endorsement of Attagirl increases the momentum for financing our project and raises our visibility in the international marketplace,” says producer Bethany Bruce.

Other teams that participated this year are: FEED by writer Stephanie Johns and director/producer Nancy Urich; LAUGH CLUB by writer Lou Sanz and producer Michael Wrenn; WHO’S AFRAID by writer Sarah Walker, director/producer Nicole Da Silva and director/producer Danielle Cormack, producer Liliana Munoz; and BIG FISH by writer/ director/producer Victoria Thomas, producer Eliane Ferreira and producer Cati Weinek.

“Female and non-binary filmmakers and teams often contest with additional barriers to market participation, the result of which is less likelihood of production investment. Attagirl doesn’t assume that filmmakers can or should know how to successfully develop films in isolation, and instead provides access and opportunity to leading experts and peers within a structured, supported environment. In 2022 we have again seen the profound impact this program has had on the speed of development, the quality of the projects and innovation of the filmmakers behind them,” says Sophie Mathison, executive director of For Film’s Sake. “Congratulations not only to the award recipients but to all the teams within this phenomenal cohort.”

For Film’s Sake, the nonprofit advocacy behind the Attagirl initiative, gathered critical data and insights during its two year program. It will release its Attagirl Pilot Report in late 2022. 

ABOUT: The Attagirl initiative is designed and run by For Film’s Sake, Australia’s non profit organization advocating opportunity for all women in production, distribution and cultural exhibition. It promotes inclusivity, growth and longevity in the global screen industry. If you would like to speak with CEO Sophie Mathisen, please email prassistant@ebcoms.com.

 

For Film’s Sake receives support from Screen Australia’s Enterprise fund. The Attagirl initiative is financed with the assistance of Screen Australia, British Film Institute, Telefilm Canada, Swedish Film Institute, New Zealand Film Commission, VicScreen, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, South Australian Film Corporation, Screen West and Lottery West.

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