There’s never enough time to talk to all the people we want to any given year. But here is a quick selection of our favourite interviews and profiles from 2021, unlocked for your reading pleasure.
From Alice Springs-based writer and actor Trisha Morton-Thomas to extraordinary industry figures like Tony Ayres and Sue Maslin, to Newsreader creator Michael Lucas and journalists like Annabel Crabb and Karla Grant, these 21 people (or in some cases, groups of people) mattered this year. They’re just a sprinkling of the many talented and hardworking people who’ve kept us interested, engaged and inspired.
- DALEY PEARSON
Daley Pearson, from his heart, showing the soul of Bluey: In his usual modest way, Daley Pearson pondered the idea of an Australian story, on the edge of launching Bluey.
- CHRISTIAAN VAN VUUREN
Christiaan Van Vuuren gets sincere in Big Deal: Best known for comedy roles, the writer, director and presenter talks about Big Deal, a documentary exposing how donations corrupt Australian democracy.
- TONY AYRES
Tony Ayres talks ‘Fires’ and talent-spotting: The key Australian producer-creator talks about Fires on the ABC, Clickbait on Netflix, and what worries him about the industry.
- HOODLUM ENTERTAINMENT
Hoodlum Entertainment – from the dole to a global company: Hoodlum built a modest empire from financial caution, great ideas and a mind for digital storytelling.
- ANNABEL CRABB
Politics from the female perspective: an interview with Annabel Crabb: The journalist and series creator talks about the making of Ms Represented, a powerful ABC documentary about women in politics.
- TRISHA MORTON-THOMAS
Horrible Histories Aboriginal-style: Trisha Morton-Thomas bites back: The Alice Springs-based actor and producer talks about her one-hour comedy special bringing a light touch to heavy history.
- MICHAEL LUCAS
The Newsreader – Creator Michael Lucas talks ambiguity, archives and the 80s: The creator and producer talks about his inspiration for the show and gives advice for emerging writers.
- JUSTIN KURZEL
NITRAM: An interview with director Justin Kurzel: The director discusses the highly contentious film and gun reform, and why this was the most difficult project of his career.
- TANZY OWEN
Sustainable productions and ABC drama ‘Fires’: a case study: Tanzy Owen talks about her work as sustainability consultant on Fires, and the free resources available to all productions wanting to go greener.
- KARLA GRANT
Karla Grant, Living Black and keeping it fresh after 18 years She’s interviewed everyone from the Dalai Lama to Kevin Rudd, but Karla Grant says unearthing the stories that matter to Indigenous Australians is what keeps her hungry.
- KIRSTY STARK
Kirsty Stark on producing, coaching and the Seth Godin altMBA: From starting in camera departments to running South Australia’s Epic Films, Kirsty Stark took her time to really think about building a business aligned with her values.
- ZAREH NALBANDIAN
Animal Logic: On creating a more competitive Australian industry Celebrating thirty years of Animal Logic, Zareh Nalbandian has some clear ideas about improving the sector.
- KATIE MILWRIGHT
Katie Milwright ACS on grit, gratitude and getting to the Pilbara: The award-winning Australian cinematographer talks about her 25-year career and the drive that sustains it.
- JUDI LEVINE
Judi Levine reflects on going global in a filmmaking family: Judi Levine and Ben Lewin took their family with them as they went global on their filmmaking partnership. It is possible to stay small, hang in, and make the films you want.
- BETTINA DALTON
Playing with Sharks: beauty, archives and a life redeemed: Playing with Sharks: The Valerie Taylor story is much more than a toothy adventure. Producer Bettina Dalton muses on hero(ines), modern archival techniques and some wonderful interviews.
- NERIDA TYSON-CHEW
From home to the world – an honoured screen composer has her life sewn up: ‘The ability to focus, without interruption and just inhabit a beautiful space where you’re working extremely fast with clarity,’ Nerida Tyson-Chew reflects on life as a screen composer.
- ANGIE FIELDER & POLLY STANIFORD
‘Team up for producing success’: Angie Fielder & Polly Staniford: Aquarius is a company with a broad slate. We talked to the dynamic duo about their philosophy, advice and key issues they’re facing at this moment.
- SUE MASLIN
Courage, Confidence & Strategy: Sue Maslin’s advice for women pursuing leadership: Inspired by Natalie Miller, Sue Maslin says we need more women taking the leap into positions of financial and creative power in the screen industry.
- JULIE KALCEFF
Julie Kalceff on ‘First Day’, trans representation, Hulu deals, and ‘Here Out West’: Writer-director Julie Kalceff talks about the internationally acclaimed series about a transgender student, and the Hulu deal that got S2 over the line.
- TRUCE FILMS
Hail Draconis – funding a show controlled by our reptile overlords with imaginary money: Hail Draconis is a key step in a ten year battle to build a feature production company from commitment, commercials and crypto-currency.
- BRETT APLIN
So you want my screen job: Brett Aplin, composer
Meet Brett Aplin, the film and television composer whose credits include The Gloaming, Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries and James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge.