Magazine article Screen International

Mason to Head Screen Australia

Magazine article Screen International

Mason to Head Screen Australia

Article excerpt

Australia is abuzz with long-awaited news: Graeme Mason is the new chief executive of government agency Screen Australia.

Mason [pictured] is currently chief executive of the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and has held executive roles at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Channel 4. He will take up the role in November.

"After so many years away I am delighted to be coming home to Australia to take on such an exciting role and to build on the great work of Ruth Harley and her team," said Mason in Screen Australia's statement. "I am really looking forward to working as part of the Australian screen industry to help tell our stories to domestic and global audiences and to continue to build a vibrant and sustainable screen sector."

The joke that is rolling off everyone's tongue is that the NZFC will soon be as famous for producing chief executives for Screen Australia as it is for financing New Zealand films. Mason also replaced Harley at the NZFC.

"Graeme is a very experienced executive with great knowledge of the distribution and production industry," Brian Rosen, president of the Screen Producers Association Of Australia (SPAA), told Screendaily within minutes of the announcement.

"SPAA looks forward to working with him, especially in constructing new financial paradigms to embrace the rapidly changing distribution model that the internet has instigated."

Warp Australia's Anna McLeish, the producer of Snowtown who recently filmed Shopping in New Zealand, said the appointment was encouraging given his track record in New Zealand.

"He ensured talent were supported while also embodying changes in the marketplace and moving with those changes," McLeish said. "Screen Australia is a bigger machine with many challenges ahead. Notwithstanding this being another offshore appointment to the industry, he embodies a great deal of the proactive mindset needed to tackle these challenges and move forward."

Robyn Kershaw, producer of one of Australia's biggest recent local hits, Bran Nue Dae, said she was thrilled for both the organisation and the industry.

"Graeme brings tremendous and expansive international and agency experience and a great love of filmmakers and their compulsion to tell stories," she said. …

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