Session Announcement: Benjamin Law, Julie Eckersley and the SBS team

Thursday 24 March 2016

ATOM and ACMI are excited to announce that the team behind the hit TV series The Family Law will present at the Summit.

The Family Law provides a vivid glimpse inside the gloriously dysfunctional world of a hilarious and heart-warming Chinese–Australian family through the eyes of fourteen-year-old Benjamin.

Benjamin Law, Writer (Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 5) & Creator

Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter, and has completed a PhD in Television Writing and Cultural Studies.

He is the author of two books — The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), both of which have been nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards — and the co-author of the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle and illustrator Oslo Davis.

Benjamin is a frequent contributor to Good Weekend magazine (Sydney Morning Herald/The Age), frankie and The Monthly, and has also written for over fifty publications, businesses and agencies in Australia and worldwide.

Benjamin Law’s 2010 memoir The Family Law was an immediate hit upon its 2010 release. Nominated for Newcomer of the Year, Biography of the Year and Book of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs), it has been translated into French (Les lois de la famille, 2012) and drawn comparisons to the work of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. It is currently in its third reprint. With its pitch-black humour and frank tales of dysfunction and disrepair, it portrays the kind of family and embarrassing coming-of-age experiences that are instantly recognisable to most readers, but rarely seen on television.

Julie Eckersley, Producer

Julie is a creative producer with over twenty years’ experience in the industry. She most recently produced The Family Law. She originally trained as an actress and has worked nationally and internationally on stage and screen and winning numerous awards before moving to the other side of the camera.

After completing her Graduate Diploma in Producing at AFTRS, she undertook a producing internship at Matchbox Pictures and subsequently became their Multi-Platform Producer. Her initial role in the company was to develop and produce cross-platform narratives for projects, engage new audiences through social media and to develop and produce online projects for the company. She initiated and oversaw the online campaigns for ABC drama’s The Slap and The Straits, and developed the ambitious transmedia project for Nowhere Boys, which has been sold internationally – it was nominated for numerous awards and recently won an international iKids Award.

Julie currently works as a producer at Matchbox Pictures. She has produced the documentary series Anatomy 4, Tim Winton’s The Turning – ‘Cockleshell’ (Tony Ayres, 2013), animation series ZuZu & the SuperNuffs, The Real Housewives of Melbourne (as Associate Producer) and Maximum Choppage, Australia’s first kung-fu comedy, which was nominated for a Screen Producers Australia Award. She was also Associate Producer on ABC’s supernatural drama Glitch.

Andrew Arbuthnot, Content Manager, SBS Outreach

Andrew is the Special Broadcasting Service’s (SBS) Content Outreach Manager. He helped grow the Content Outreach agenda in his previous role as Outreach Producer and is an integral member of the SBS Corporate Affairs team. Andrew has worked in the production sector for over fifteen years and has extensive experience in development, production, marketing and distribution. Prior to joining SBS, he worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Channel 4, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Foxtel, Endemol, and Essential Media & Entertainment. He has worked on recent Australian productions The Code, Redfern Now, Rake and The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, 2012). Andrew has also been a delegate for Screen Australia at Sheffield Doc/Fest and Sunny Side of the Doc.

Moneth Montemayor, Education resource writer 

Moneth is a Senior Film, Television and New Media teacher, Year 11 Coordinator and this year has taken on a position on the Learning and Teaching Team at Indooroopilly State High School in Queensland. She has worked with the Australian Institute for Teaching School Leadership (AITSL) for the launch of Teacher Feature in 2012, delivered a presentation at the 2013 Adolescent Success (formerly MYSA) and national ATOM conferences. Moneth has been an executive member for ATOM Queensland since 2014 and became Professional Development Manager in 2015. Recently, Moneth Montemayor worked with SBS Outreach and Benjamin Law to create a screenplay resource for The Family Law.

This session will be moderated by Mark Poole: 

Mark is a writer and director based in Melbourne, Australia. He served for five years as the Chair of the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG), Victoria, and regularly judge the AWG’s AWGIE Awards and their INSITE Award for emerging screenwriters.

Mark was awarded the Richard Lane Award in 2008 for screenwriting and received two other AWGIE nominations. He wrote the feature film A Single Life (1987), starring Tina Bursill and Steve Jacobs, who won an AFI Award for his role. Mark co-wrote the book Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute (2007) with Lisa French, which is available as an iBook on iTunes.