New appointments add edge to global push from production house Sweetshop & Green

Sweetshop & Green add to its roster of unique influences with Ester Harding and Alice Burgin who is supported by Screen Australia.

Sweetshop & Green, a commercial and independent film production company based in Melbourne and Sydney, today announced that Alice Burgin has been appointed as Documentary/Factual Executive, while Ester Harding has been promoted internally to Head of Drama.

Sweetshop & Green was set up eighteen months ago as a tri-cultural production company based on taking difficult local stories from a wide variety of cultures and making them for international audiences. With Australians, it brings together creatives from New Zealand and Israel, two cultures with small but vibrant independent screen sectors based on tight, low budget stories.

The company is an alliance between Sharlene George of Sweetshop, a New Zealand originated global production company specialising in commercials, and and Gal Greenspan of Green Productions, a substantial Israeli drama production company. 

Green Productions is involved with Moshe Edery, producer of some memorable Israeli films with international exposure like Lebanon, Rock the Casbah and Scaffolding.

Three announcements seem to have been co-ordinated here. Ester Harding has been in her job since December, while Alice Burgin has also been funded by Screen Australia in today’s list of Enterprise recipients. 

According to the release, ’Alice Burgin, former CEO/Conference Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference, is developing her documentary production practice in a two-year placement as Documentary/Factual Executive at Sweetshop & Green (Vesna), working under Co-Managing Director Gal Greenspan.’

Read: Exit interview: Alice Burgin finds joy in changing future

Vesna is a feature film from Australian-Slovenian writer/director Sara Kern, which has received production funding from Screen Australia and Film Victoria from August 2020.

For Alice Burgin, this role is a move into production. Until she came back to Melbourne in 2015 for AIDC, she worked in New York programming shorts for the Tribeca Film Festival and as a pre-screening committee member for American Documentary/POV. She is very focused on the festival and conference circuit and sees her local work in terms of global screen culture. 

She has a doctorate in French studies, cultural studies and film studies from the University of Melbourne which included a stint at the University of Paris at Nanterre. 

Ester Harding was a Development Executive at Screen Australia for two years, and a producer at See Pictures for three years, where she was co-producer on comedy feature Swinging Safari. Among other productions, she has also worked as production manager and all-media producer on Surgery Ship.

As a graduate of the Metro Screen Multiplatform Screen Producing Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media she was an early proponent of social media and digital tools in the screen sector. She was the all-media producer for Storm Surfers, a now legendary project in cross-media repurposing.

She has a Masters in Screen Production from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, and is the host and chapter-co founder in Sydney of the fascinating global immersive storytelling community, StoryCode

David Tiley was the Editor of Screenhub from 2005 until he became Content Lead for Film in 2021 with a special interest in policy. He is a writer in screen media with a long career in educational programs, documentary, and government funding, with a side order in script editing. He values curiosity, humour and objectivity in support of Australian visions and the art of storytelling.