We provide opportunities to up-skill professionally.

ScreenACT and ACTSIA  offer a variety of workshops as part of its career development responsibility. Our workshops are hosted by industry professionals sharing their  knowledge and teach the know-how of their craft.  In this learning environment participants collaboratively work on ideas, share opinions and exchange experience. Detailed Information bookings and application forms for all our initiatives can be found and accessed via your MyDashboard.



Upcoming Workshops

Business of Screen Acting with Anousha Zarkesh


Want to know what it takes to be a professional screen actor?




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Workshop Archive




Do you work in film, television, online or games and want to engage with new audiences? Do you have a story idea that has the potential to expand across multiple platforms?


ScreenACT’s DigiPOD is a 4-day workshop series led by internationally renowned story consultant Mike Jones (The Craftsman, The Transgressions Cycle), who will shepherd participants through a 4-week development program for multi-platform projects. Featuring practical, hands-on exercises the program will provide eight ACT-based screen practitioners the opportunity to explore the possibilities that a well-considered multi-platform strategy can bring to their projects, and offer them ongoing feedback to help develop a market-ready package to begin seeking funding and production opportunities.


DigiPOD is designed to take a holistic approach to story development by framing grounded narrative principles within a process that can flexibly adapt a story to a variety of forms – both traditional and new media, episodic and interactive. The program integrates ideas of Storyworld Design, Episodic Narratives, Cross-platform experiences and interactive mechanics. Participants will receive clear, focused feedback from Mike Jones, as well as the opportunity to workshop their project within the group in a constructive writers’ room environment.

Stephen Cleary’s – Mastering the Plot Workshop – 16 – 17 April 2016


Program Overview

ScreenACT presents an intensive 2-day screenwriting workshop this April (16-17) with international story consultant Stephen Cleary. The workshop is aimed at writers, directors and producers who want to give an existing or new project a rigorous structural workout to bring the plot and characters of their project into sharp focus. This workshop gives participants a deeper understanding of the interplay between plot and character over the whole sweep of a story, sequence by sequence and through individual scenes. Understand what story structure really means, and how plot, character and theme can be organised into a successful, coherent whole.



Stephen Cleary’s Philosophy Behind the Course

“In my experience screen stories fall into sequences and it’s the job of the creative team to work out where they fall and set about organising them so the story plays as well as it can. Exactly how it plays, and how you organise the sequences, depends on the kind of story you have and what you want to do with it. Sequence structuring is not about applying pre-existent templates to your work, it’s about getting to grips with, in a deep and profound way, what plotting is really about, which is the structured revelation of truth to the characters, and via them, to the audience.


So sequence structuring is not a magical key that opens up a new world of success for you, but it is a crucial part of the true craft of storytelling and it bears some serious study. With hard work and some concentrated time it can be understood and mastered, simply through practice.


This workshop is new and entirely original, taking a few simple known ideas as a jumping off point to places previously unexplored. It will be an intense and rewarding experience.”



Stephen Cleary’s Bio

Stephen Cleary is a story developer and feature film producer. He has developed over 60 produced features with directors including Ken Loach, Milcho Manchevski, Michael Caton-Jones, Michael Winterbottom, Beeban Kidron and Marc Evans.


Stephen founded Arista, Europe’s largest private film development agency from 1996 to 2006. Graduates of Arista programs have written, directed or produced over 250 feature films, including The Last King of Scotland; Brick Lane; Totsi; The Flying Scotsman and London to Brighton. Stephen was also the key consultant on ScreenACT’s Low Budget Feature POD and SAFC’s FilmLab Program.


More recently Stephen has worked as story consultant on the BBC TV series Hinterland, now going into its third series. He developed 52 Tuesdays, The Infinite Man, Inner Demon, Touch, My Mistress, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom which is about to go into production, story consultant on Graceful Girls which just won best documentary at MIFF, on Bad Girls, currently shooting in WA, on the Swedish film Nordic Light to be directed by Dolph Lungren, on the BBC Film’s Wrong Planet, on the Piki Films (NZ) Achtung Bro. Stephen was a consultant on documentary What happened Miss Simone currently airing on Netflix and was author of Nina Simone’s autobiography (as ghost writer).




Audience Engagement Workshop – 31 Oct – 1 Nov 2015

Facilitated by Laurel Papworth


ScreenACT presents an intensive 2-day workshop with audience engagement specialist Laurel Papworth on how to develop new strategies to engage, build and retain audiences online.


Early audience awareness and engagement have become critically important for content creators in today’s development and distribution landscape. ScreenACT’s Audience Engagement Workshop will outline the key steps to building, reaching and activating audiences during a project’s development stage (including crowdfunding campaigns), at the moment of its distribution and beyond.


Join Laurel Papworth in a practical workshop that will focus on specific audience engagement strategies, with a special emphasis on how to employ social media as an effective community-building tool. Participants will have the opportunity to share their own audience engagement situations and challenges, and will receive expert feedback on how to build a successful audience engagement strategy for their project.





Accelerator POD & Screen Accelerator – June – September 2015

Facilitated by Karel Segers & Michael Farvelle

ScreenACT is excited about a new development initiative that will be delivered in partnership with the ACT Screen Industry Association, Griffin Accelerator and Odin’s Eye International.

  • Accelerator Pod, a 10.5 day development program
  • Screen Accelerator, an intensive 6-month development and commercialisation program for projects selected from Accelerator Pod (maximum of 4 projects)

Our industry research has shown there is a strong interest in low-budget genre feature films. Michael Favelle (ODIN’S EYE INTERNATIONAL) is an Australian based international sales agent and distributor who will help guide and eventually select up to four projects to enter the Screen Accelerator.  Odin’s Eye will be attached as a distributor and sales agent to the selected Accelerator projects, and will be heavily involved throughout the process.



Accelerator Pod will educate participants on everything they need to know about developing a commercial low-budget genre feature.  Led by well-known script expert Karel Segers (founder of THE STORY DEPARTMENT), Accelerator Pod will assemble a team of top industry experts to consult at each of the program’s four phases to ensure a solid foundation in making films with strong market potential. Individuals will get ongoing feedback on their ideas at a number of stage points from a variety of leading industry voices.



The Pod will be delivered in four phases, and each phase will concentrate on a particular set of skills and outputs. Designated time blocks between each phase will allow participants to put their learning into practice. All workshops have been designed to run outside of work hours (evenings and weekends), and will be held in Canberra for Phase 1 and 2. Monday evening webcasts will be included for our interstate participants.





DocoPOD (29 – 30 Aug 2015)

Facilitated by Susan McKinnon

Documentary producer Susan MacKinnon (Paul Kelly – Stories of Me, Life in Movement, The Oasis) will be visiting Canberra this August (29–30) to run ScreenACT’s DocoPOD, a 2-day intensive course aimed at giving filmmakers the necessary skills to develop their documentary idea into a solid project with strong market potential.


Across the two-days you’ll learn everything from how to develop an idea, how to pitch your project to commissioning editors, and how and where to apply for funding. Susan will also give a studied overview of what is currently happening in the world of documentary, and what options are available to emerging filmmakers.During DocoPOD participants will also have an opportunity to share their documentary ideas with Susan, and receive expert feedback.



WebiPOD (3 – 5 Jul 2015)

Facilitated by Mike Jones

WebiPOD was an intensive development program for content creators working in online media to learn how to create episodic narratives and webTV. The online environment is one of open access and direct audience engagement, with an absence of traditional industry gatekeepers. The opportunities stemming from this are enormous, but so too are the challenges. WebiPOD explored ideas and strategies that help participants navigate the process with an improved understanding of the current digital landscape.



The Writers’ Room (27 Feb – 1 Mar 2015)

Facilitated by Shelley Birse (creator of The Code)

The Writers’ Room was about the process, and trying out a development strategy that embraces teamwork by replicating the model used in the United States (where many major TV shows use writers’ rooms that gather around a ‘showrunner’ so ideas can be bounced around in a high-pressure creative environment). The idea was to import the writers’ room experience into the workshop environment to demonstrate the creative potential that can be drawn from a culture of cooperation. It’s hope was that the experience would foster new creative partnerships and collaborations that will continue long after the workshop.