Creative Industries

Qld-designed and made activewear to change the game

DANIELLE LARKIN has shifted the goal posts with her d+k activewear range. For a start, she is playing a ‘home’ game.

Right from the kick-off, each piece within her brand has been 100 percent designed, produced and delivered from the one warehouse, based in Queensland.

At just 27 years old, Danielle Larkin is bringing ‘beautifully crafted’ disruption to Australia’s massive - and growing - activewear industry. 

Though just 18 months old, her activewear brand d+k has already experienced 257 percent growth in the last six months, with the company positioned to surpass those figures again in 2019.

While the style, functionality and overall aesthetic certainly play an intrinsic role in this success, it is d+k’s significant points of difference that have helped it gain so much traction in such a short time in what is currently one of our most competitive industries.

 “Originally I had planned to get everything manufactured off shore,” Ms Larkin said. “However I wasn’t happy with the standards that I found overseas, so from both an ethical and a business standpoint, the only option that remained for me was to start doing it on my own, right here in Australia.

“That’s when the real journey began. I found an amazing patternmaker, built a great Aussie team, and here we are today.” 

She said d+k was committed to making a difference in the future of sustainable clothing, with each piece proudly made from quality materials ranging from Italian lycra to organic bamboo, incorporating recycled content where possible.

Of course form and functionality are also paramount, with each piece thoughtfully conceived, tried, and tested. Moisture wicking, quick dry, stretch technology, ultra-breathability, muscular support and UV protection are also integrated with these subtle, yet essential, textile details designed to support the wearer no matter their shape or chosen activity level.

“That’s another reason why I started the label,” Ms Larkin said. “I felt that the fitness industry needed to focus on choosing internal wellbeing and self-love, rather than trying to look a certain way or adhere to a certain fitness regime. We want our pieces to make all people feel good. To make them feel strong, supported and comfortable.

“When designing, I work with the shape of the body, and I really take the time to think about how people move and feel in their clothing, and what I can do to make that a better and more positive experience for them.”

This ethos, has also led to d+k’s brand philosophy, she said, “Be Bold. Be Brave. Be You.” 


Hit crime drama Harrow backed for season two

THE ABC, Hoodlum Entertainment and Disney-owned ABC Studios International are backing a second season of Harrowafter its critically-acclaimed and popular first season.

Starring Ioan Gruffudd as forensic pathologist Doctor Daniel Harrow, 10 new episodes of the crime drama will begin filming in South East Queensland in September.

ABC’s head of drama, comedy and indigenous, Sally Riley said,  “Harrow has been an incredible launch to our drama slate this year with ABC audiences loving the cast and the stunning Queensland locations. 

“It is performing brilliantly for us on broadcast and on our video on demand service iview. We look forward to continuing the adventures in season two.”

It has won praise internationally too.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response to Harrow and to our incredible star, Ioan Gruffudd as Dr Daniel Harrow,” said Keli Lee, ABC Studios International managing director.

“We’ve put together an amazing cast and a stellar crew, and we’re looking forward to more of Dr Harrow and his exciting story.”

Hoodlum Entertainment’s Tracey Robertson said, “We have been so thrilled with the response to the show and it is very exciting to bring the wonderful Ioan Gruffudd and our other fabulous cast and crew back home to Brisbane for a second series.”

Harrow was co-created by writer Stephen M. Irwin (Australia Day, Wake in Fright, Secrets & Lies) and Leigh McGrath (Australia Day, Secrets & Lies, Strange Calls), and will again be produced by Hoodlum Entertainment’s Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield.

“Ioan is the star of Harrow but best supporting actor belongs to Brisbane,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “Anyone who hasn’t seen Harrow hasn’t seen our backyard shown off in such a spectacular way.”

The series was the first drama production for the Disney-owned ABC Studios International, and Disney Media Distribution will license international rights. The series has also been supported by Screen Queensland and ABC is the domestic broadcaster.


Babyteeth coming through for Mendelsohn and Davis

PRODUCTION funding for Babyteeth, a bittersweet comedy feature film starring Ben Mendelsohn (Ready Player OneAnimal Kingdom) and Essie Davis (Game of ThronesThe Babadook), has been announced by Screen Australia.

Making her feature film directional debut is Shannon Murphy, interpreting a script based on the successful play by Rita Kalnejais. Babyteeth will be produced by Alex White and executive produced by Jan Chapman (Bright StarThe Piano). Create NSW is also investing in the title, with Australian distribution by Entertainment One (eOne) and international sales by Celluloid Dreams.  

“I’m delighted to be working with such a strong and gifted female team in producer, Alex White and director Shannon Murphy interpreting Rita Kalnejais’ vivid, insightful and funny screenplay about how precious life is,” executive producer Jan Chapman said.

“We so appreciate the support of Screen Australia, Create NSW, and Spectrum Films along with our distributor Entertainment One for Australia and international sales agent Celluloid Dreams, whose imaginations Babyteeth captured and who were all essential in enabling Rita’s fresh and original voice to move to production.

“To have Ben and Essie illuminate that voice is perfect.”

Babyteeth is the first feature for Australian development and production company Whitefalk Films following the success of short films Trespass (winner of Best Australian Short Film, MIFF 2017) and Florence Has Left the Building (winner of Best Short Film at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards 2015). 

What might have been a disaster for the Finlay family leads to letting go and finding grace in the glorious chaos of life, as the script unfolds Henry (Mendelsohn) and Anna (Davis) realising to their horror that their seriously ill teenage daughter, Milla, has fallen madly in love with a drug dealer, Moses.

This romance is Milla’s protective parents’ worst nightmare – but Milla doesn’t want to play it safe anymore. Things get messy and morals go out the window, as the lives of those around the family – their disarmingly honest pregnant neighbour, a brilliantly flawed music teacher, a child violin prodigy and Moses’ family – become intertwined.

“I first saw Rita Kalnejais’ humorous and profoundly moving play Babyteeth at Sydney’s Belvoir Street Theatre in 2012 with executive producer Jan Chapman,” producer Alex White said.

 “Rita’s exquisitely delicate examination of the life of a teenage girl and the people who constellate her was a life-affirming experience. It felt like the perfect work to be translated to screen.”

Sally Caplan, Screen Australia’s head of production said, “The combination of distinguished experience, top cast and dynamic emerging talent bodes well for this distinctive, emotionally challenging, but darkly funny and affirming screenplay.

“This film will resonate with Australian and international audiences. We are excited to see Shannon Murphy make her feature film debut, having worked on some impressive and popular television dramas including Love Child and Offspring.”

Grainne Brunsdon, acting executive director of Create NSW said, “Babyteeth made its stage debut at Sydney’s Belvoir in 2012, and we are delighted that Create NSW is involved in bringing the production to the screen with such a high calibre of talent involved.

“It is particularly pleasing to see a great female creative team on board, including Academy Award nominee Jan Chapman and AFTRS graduate Shannon Murphy and that this film promotes emerging talent with Alex White following her impressive start with short filmmaking."

Babyteeth is a Whitefalk Films production with major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW, and was financed with the support of, Whitefalk Films, Jan Chapman Films and Spectrum Films.

It was developed by Whitefalk Films in association with Katherine Slattery and Jan Chapman with the assistance of Screen Australia, Create NSW and Waking Dream Productions. Australia/New Zealand distribution through Entertainment One and international through Celluloid Dreams.

Entertainment One Ltd (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specialises in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.

Entertainment One’s robust network includes newly-launched Makeready with Brad Weston; content creation venture Amblin Partners with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; leading feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures; unscripted television production company Renegade 83; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning digital agency Secret Location.

The company’s rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 80,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks.

Celluloid Dreams has been at the forefront of international sales, production, and financing of quality independent films for more than 30 years. Its Directors Label stands for the discovery and subsequent promotion of a large number of the most important, awarded and respected film directors of our times, the ‘future classics’.

Celluloid Dreams Cannes line-up includes Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces competing for the Palme d’Or, School’s Out by Sébastien Marnier starring Elle’s Laurent Lafitte, Why Are We Creative?, a documentary by Hermann Vaske who spent 30 years asking world famous celebrities ‘why are you creative?’.


Talent LA curtain call for writers and directors

SCREEN AUSTRALIA and the Australian Writers’ Guild are backing up to 10 Australian directors and screenwriters to take part in Talent Los Angeles (Talent LA) in September.

Last year’s inaugural Talent LA – a week-long program of targeted and curated meetings, workshops and networking opportunities – was highly successful according to attendees and organisers alike. 

“Talent LA was an incredible experience, both creatively and professionally,” the writer, director, and producer – best known as one third of comedy trio Skit Box – Sarah Bishop said of her experience in 2017.

“I heard from some amazing storytelling minds including A-List writers and directors, and had access to some of the top studio and network executives, with whom I am continuing to talk to about Australian and international projects.

“It was an absolute game changer in terms of my professional development and I made some great connections with my fellow alumni in the process,” Ms Bishop said.

The delegation will be led by Screen Australia senior development executive, Nerida Moore, and international manager Harry Avramidis. Also leading is Australian Writers’ Guild professional development manager Susie Hamilton.

“We are looking for directors/screenwriters who can demonstrate recent international audience traction from an online series, TV series, short films and/or low-budget features officially selected or awarded at A-list festivals,” Ms Moore said.

Screenwriters who have been a recipient of a significant international screenwriting award, such as Black List, PAGE or Academy Nicholl fellowship, or who are part of the Australian Writers’ Guild Pathways Program are also being encouraged to apply.

According to Screen Australia, creatives with slates suited to the US market and with one or more market-ready long-form TV series at an advanced stage of development will be prioritised. Screen content-makers representative of the diversity of Australia were being encouraged to submit applications.

Successful Talent LA applicants will be in LA from September 16–21, 2018, inclusive. Screen Australia will also encourage attendees to stay longer in LA to capitalise on introductions and opportunities.


Arts research at your fingertips

THE Australia Council has developed a new online resource giving up-to-date information about arts and culture engagement, employment and business activity across Australia.

The Australia Council’s interactive resource provides region-specific data broken down into Australia’s 150 federal electorates. It reveals how the majority of Australians engage with arts and sport, and demonstrates how people living in regional Australia are prepared to travel for cultural and sporting events.

The interactive page allows users to choose an electorate from a drop-down menu or map which then displays statistics on arts and culture engagement.

Some of the other valuable insights include ticketing trends and participation rates. The tool helps people working in the arts and culture sector gain a better understanding of audience habits and preferences.


Australia Council electorate profiles


Animated feature 100% Wolf funded for fun

FLYING Bark Productions animated feature 100% Wolf has won production investment from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Create NSW.

The feature-length 100% Wolf is based on the book of the same name by Western Australian author Jayne Lyons. The film will be directed by Alexs Stadermann and has been adapted for the big screen by long-time collaborator Fin Edquist, with Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale producing. 

The movie tells the story of Freddy Lupin, heir to the leadership of a proud family line of werewolves.  Positive he will become the most fearsome werewolf ever, Freddy is in for a shock when on his 14th birthday his first ‘warfing’ goes awry, turning him into a ferocious… poodle.

The pack elders give Freddy until the next moonrise to prove he has the heart of a wolf, or risk being cast out forever. With the help of an unlikely ally in a streetwise stray named Batty, Freddy must prove he is 100% Wolf.

“The experienced team at Flying Bark Productions have a successful track record in delivering animated features with global appeal, including Maya the Bee and Blinky Bill: The Movie, which combined have released theatrically in over 80 countries,” Screen Australia’s head of production Sally Caplan said.

“With a great script exploring universal themes of friendship, difference and acceptance, 100% Wolf is sure to be a hit with family audiences worldwide.”

Rikki Lea Bestall, Screenwest acting-CEO, said the production provided a fantastic opportunity for WA production company Siamese and local animators.

“For a number of years Screenwest has worked with and supported Francesca Hope and the talented team at Siamese, who will co-produce with Flying Bark Productions, and we are delighted to back 100% Wolf,” Ms Bestall said. “It’s great to see a story set in Fremantle that will provide long-term employment opportunities, broaden the skills capabilities of the local screen sector, and raise the global profile of the Western Australian animation and post production sector.”

“We are thrilled to have received so much support from Screen Australia, Screenwest and Create NSW to bring Jayne’s book to life,” said producers Barbara Stephen and Alexia Gates-Foale.

100% Wolf is a great opportunity for the Australian production industry to work together to create a world class animated feature. Freddy and Batty have wonderful character journeys in this film and we are positive their stories will resonate with audiences in Australia and around the world.”

Studio 100 Film will handle international sales for 100% Wolf.


Innovation supercharges creative economy

THE TRADITIONAL image of artists and other creatives needs a big makeover, according to detailed analysis of the 2016 Census by QUT researchers.

According to their findings, digital content and creative software professionals lead the salary race for creatives; newspapers and magazines are rapidly shrinking as employment prospects; and for most creatives, it is either ‘go digital’ or face artistic struggle street. 

“The creative economy is in better shape than it’s ever been in, with jobs in creative services growing at three times the rate of the overall workforce,” QUT research leader Stuart Cunningham said.

“The 2016 Census tells a story of continued strong growth in Australia’s creative economy. New analysis of the Census, and comparisons with previous Censuses going back to 1986, show that, as a share of Australian employment, the creative workforce grew from 3.7 percent in 1986 to 5.5 percent in 2016.

“The most recent data shows almost 600,000 people work in Australia’s creative economy, a term that is wider than creatives employed in cultural production (film and broadcasting, music and performing arts, publishing and visual arts) and creative services (advertising and marketing, architecture and design, creative software and digital content),” Prof. Cunningham said.

“It also includes support professionals who work in these creative industries, as well as ‘embedded’ creatives who work outside the creative industries, across the rest of the economy.

“The creative economy is a job intensive sector. It immerses human talent in meaningful, creative, well-remunerated activity at a scale few other sectors can offer. It is growing at a rate nearly twice that of the Australian workforce as a whole and it is highly likely to continue to grow into the future.”

Prof. Cunningham cited recent reports from the UK on the future of work which predict creative skills are some of the most likely to grow in employability.

“The creative services part of the creative economy is a highly innovative sector, with new jobs being created to satisfy new kinds of economic activity,” Prof. Cunningham said.

“Software and digital content, and new forms of social media management and marketing, are growing especially robustly as destinations for creative talent.

“Our general image of creative workers as barely surviving is not borne out in what we can learn from the Census. However it is definitely still true that those in music and performing arts, and in visual arts, earn well below the Australian mean income – and their relative situation is stagnant or deteriorating.

“It is also the case that publishing (mostly newspapers and magazines) has continued its downward spiral as an employer.

“On the other hand, creative services employment was remunerated at a rate more than 30 percent higher than the Australian mean, with software and digital content professionals earning the highest incomes of the whole sector.”


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