Production assistant Gina Song and script editor Madeleine Ruskin have been announced as the successful recipients of the highly coveted Victorian Screen Development Internships.
The internship program – supported by VicScreen, Paramount Australia and New Zealand, Blackfella Films and Fremantle Australia – is designed to overcome traditional barriers to entering the screen industry, as well as supporting emerging screen creatives to fast-track their careers.
Song and Ruskin begin their 12-month internships, which include four-month placements at the participating organisations, this week.
They will gain first-hand experience across the entire process of developing content, from sitting in on a writers’ room, to assessing scripts and funding applications, to working with principal producers at world-leading production and distribution companies.
A graduate from the University of Melbourne’s Bachelor in Media and Communications, Song is passionate about authentic Australian television and underrepresented stories, and has a range of experience as a Production Assistant and journalist, with her work published by The New York Times and SBS Voices.
‘The Screen Development Internship is a dream opportunity to work with leading professionals and learn everything about getting Australian scripts to screen,’ Song said. ‘I’m so excited to be where change happens, and I hope to use the skills from this year to better advocate for emerging and underrepresented storytellers.’
Ruskin is driven by her love of storytelling and determination to centre stories by and about disabled and chronically ill people on screen. She has previously worked as a Scripted Coordinator for SBS and in script development for Such Much Films, and recently graduated from the University of Melbourne with a masters in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing.
‘I’m so excited for this opportunity to foster my passion for story by working within the development space and I’m grateful to be supported by workplaces who are keen to accommodate my different needs,’ Ruskin said. ‘Behind the scenes, on the screen and in the writers’ room, disabled and chronically ill people are underrepresented in the screen industry. I’m really looking forward to using this internship as a gateway to help make the industry more accessible and inclusive in the future.’
The Victorian Screen Development Internship is now in its third year. Nikki Tran, Davey Thompson, Ravi Chand and AP Pobjoy are all alumni of the program.
CEO of VicScreen, Caroline Pitcher said VicScreen was ‘proud to continue to see alumni take strides in the industry’.
Managing Director of Blackfella Films, Darren Dale said: ‘Blackfella Films has a proud history of developing new generations of Australian screen creatives. We’re excited to welcome Gina, one of this year’s incredibly talented recipients, to our company, supporting her growth as a dynamic storyteller and screen industry professional.’