KGB TRAILER DROPS ONLINE TODAY!

Check it out, people!!

Our brand new indigenous comedy web series, KGB, dropped its OFFICIAL TRAILER online today and it’s already getting an epic response on social media! Created by Western Australian indigenous filmmaker brothers, Luke and Dan Riches, will premiere on ABC iview on Sunday 7 July and nightly on ABC COMEDY from Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July during NAIDOC WEEK 2019.

Set in Perth’s notorious KGB (Koondoola, Girrawheen, Balga), the series follows two rookie detectives, tough guy Jack and gentle giant Nigel, as they deal with the chaos of their new jobs, no-nonsense boss, work rivals, drug dealers and suspects who consistently turn out to be family. Despite battling their own insecurities at every turn, and the fact that Jack bullied Nigel in high school, these two might just turn out to be KGB’s finest detectives.

The series boasts a stellar Australian cast including Clarence Ryan (Wrong Kind of Black, Cleverman, Wanted), Bjorn Stewart (Black Comedy, Get Krack!n), Genevieve Morris(No Activity, Bloom, Comedy Inc.) Mark Coles Smith (Pawno, Last Cab to Darwin, LIFT),Aaron McGrath (Mystery Road, Glitch, Jasper Jones), WAAPA alumni Jesse Phillips in his television debut and indigenous theatre stars Lynette Narkle and Amy Smith, as well as a number of up-and-coming Western Australian performers. The legendary Ningali Lawford (Last Cab to Darwin, Rabbit Proof Fence) also features in a very special cameo role.

Check out the OFFICIAL TRAILER above and our OFFICIAL POSTER below!

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KGB'S SERIES PRODUCER TARYNE LAFFAR SELECTED FOR ONES TO WATCH 2019

Taryne Laffar, our amazing Series Producer for KGB has been selected for SPA’s prestigious 'Ones to Watch' Program for 2019!

Now in it's seventh iteration, Ones To Watch is an annual initiative by Screen Producers Australia (SPA) aimed at accelerating the careers of Australia's screen makers. Sixteen emerging producers from across Australia have been chosen for this year's program after a competitive submission process which included compliance with strict application guidelines. 

Taryne descends from the Bardi and Jabbir Jabbir peoples of the Dampier Peninsula in WA and has a wonderful mixed global heritage of Filipino, German, Slavic, English and Scottish. Having worked in Indigenous Arts realms for her adult life, her interest in the film and television industry began in 2006, with work as a 2nd AD attachment for Deadly Yarns Short Film production, MAIN ACTORS. Later that year did Taryne did her first work in the Extras Casting Department on SBS TV Series, THE CIRCUIT and wrote and directed her first short documentary WHO PAINTIN’ DIS WANDJINA?

Taryne has since worked in the industry professionally as Extras/Casting Coordinator/Casting Director for feature films STONE BROS., BRAN NUE DAE, MAD BASTARDS, A FEW LESS MEN and GO KARTS. And on talk show STRAIGHT SHOOTIN’, feature documentaries JANDAMARRA’S WAR and YAGAN and short films ONE FINE DAY, HIGH TIDE and DARK WHISPERS.

Taryne has also now completed numerous projects as Producer; BINGO! and RAINFOREST WARRIORZ, are her first scripted and factual projects respectively. Taryne has also managed the now completed Indigenous Community Stories initiative in 2013-2014, co-producing over 15 of these archival stories, some of which included broadcast versions for NITV.

Taryne produced five short documentaries for NITV in 2015; including Directing RUBEUN YORKSHIRE & Co-Directing BECCY GARLETT. Co-Writing (with Karla Hart) and Co-Producing (with Mago Films) ON COUNTRY KITCHEN, a 6 x 30-minute television series starring chef Mark Olive and presenter Derek Nannup in 2016. The series was broadcast on NITV and SBS Food Networks in 2017 and is now available on iTunes internationally.

Taryne is the unannounced recipient of Screenwest’s Spark Yearlong Indigenous Initiative 2018/2019 and is currently in development for a half hour pilot for NITV and will soon begin her Producers Attachment on Mystery Road Series 2.

"SPA has an impressive history of nurturing the next wave of Australia’s talented producers," said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner. "In tandem with the industry expertise of our project partners and valued mentors, we are excited to support the journeys of the 2019 Ones To Watch as they are exposed to exclusive industry opportunities and grow as distinctive Australian storytellers."

The Ones To Watch will spend six months being mentored by some of the most accomplished and experienced producers in the Australian screen industry, as well as attending development workshops and opportunities, before being provided with a specially curated itinerary at SCREEN FOREVER 2019 (12-14 November, Melbourne).

They will also be given the opportunity to participate in one-on-one pitching sessions with commissioning editors from SBS, with one participant being awarded the $15,000 ‘SBS First Look Grant’ to assist in the development of ideas and project concepts. 

Additionally, the participants are eligible for the Screen Australia supported 'Screen Internship', a $20,000 grant which allows the recipient to work with a host production company from any country, including Australia, and for any screen content type.

The recipients of both grants will be announced at the 19th Annual Screen Producers Australia Awards at the Forum Theatre, Melbourne on the final day of SCREEN FOREVER 2019.

CONGRATULATIONS TARYNE and a very special shout out to EMILIA JOLAKOSKA, fellow Western Australian producer extraordinaire!

Check out the Class of 2019 here: https://www.screenproducers.org.au/ones-to-watch

THE BIG SPAGHETTI DROPS ONLINE TODAY

The Big Spaghetti dropped online today, thanks to the good folk at Cinema Australia!

Following its international premiere at Slamdance Film Festival 2019 and Director Zoe Pepper’s win for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series at the 2019 Australian Directors’ Guild (ADG) Awards this month, our delicious new web series is now available online.

The Big Spaghetti is a beautiful, surreal, tragicomedy series written by Pepper, Adriane Daff andTim Watts, directed by Pepper, produced by Susannah Day and executive produced byLauren Elliott from Mad Kids.

The 5-part series tells the story of Gabby (Tim Watts) who seeks solace in Melissa’s (Adriane Daff) home to mend her broken heart and reinvent her life. But when Gabby’s fierce alter ego becomes the object of Melissa’s affections, their blissful playground breaks apart at the seams.

Pepper, Daff and Watts are also the writers and creators of The Irresistible, the Helpmann-nominated stage play that has just sold out a season at DARK MOFO 2019, which kicks off in Hobart next month.

Check out all 5 episodes HERE and make sure you check out Zoe Pepper’s guest article at www.cinemaustralia.com.au

LIFT SCOOPS OFFICIAL SELECTION AND FOUR AWARD NOMINATIONS AT MELBOURNE WEBFEST 2019

MELBOURNE WEBFEST 2019

*** OFFICIAL SELECTION ***
LIFT

*** BEST AUSTRALIAN DRAMA ***
LIFT

*** BEST SCREENPLAY - NOMINEE ***
LUCY DURACK, JESS MURRAY AND LEON MURRAY

*** BEST LEAD ENSEMBLE - NOMINEE ***
LUCY DURACK AND DUNCAN RAGG

*** BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - NOMINEE ***
MARK COLES SMITH

Following our television premiere on Valentine’s Day, LIFT has been officially selected to screen at Melbourne WebFest 2019, and we’ve also been nominated for four awards - Best Australian Drama, Best Screenplay, Best Lead Ensemble and Best Supporting Actor - CONGRATS TEAM!

MWF is Australia’s international web series festival. MWF was the fourth festival of its kind in the world, and remains the biggest celebration of web series in the Southern Hemisphere. Digital series entertainment is growing rapidly and is fast rising to challenge traditional modes of producing, distributing and engaging with screen content. Innovative web series creators are a driving force in this storytelling evolution.

Melbourne WebFest is working to acknowledge digital screen producers and is creating a hub for networking and professional development in the heart of Melbourne. It is also an opportunity for the public to experience the best in digital series entertainment from around the globe. The festival includes screenings, keynotes, discussion panels, masterclasses, and, a live pitching competition.

The Festival will be held in Melbourne in July 2019 and all details can be found online at www.melbournewebfest.com

ZOE PEPPER WINS AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD (ADG) AWARD FOR THE BIG SPAGHETTI

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Zoe Pepper has won the 2019 Australian Directors Guild (ADG) Award for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series for our gender-bending and genre-bending web series, The Big Spaghetti, following its international premiere at Slamdance Film Festival in Utah.

The annual Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledge individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers.

Zoe attended the Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner at the City Recital Hall and Ivy Ballroom in Sydney last night, alongside fellow winners including Warwick Thornton for Sweet Country, Rachel Perkins for Mystery Road and Jeffrey Walker for Riot.

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series

  • Zoe Pepper for The Big Spaghetti - WINNER

  • Corrie Chen for Homecoming Queens

  • Sophie Hyde for Fucking Adelaide

  • Nina Oyama for The Angus Project

  • Henry Stone for Be Your Own Boss

CONGRATULATIONS ZOE!

Check out the complete list of winners on the Sydney Morning Herald here.

ZOE PEPPER NOMINATED FOR AUSTRALIAN DIRECTORS' GUILD AWARD FOR THE BIG SPAGHETTI

The ADG has announced the nominees for the 2019 Australian Directors’ Guild Awards (ADG Awards) and Zoe Pepper has been nominated for Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series for The Big Spaghetti.

The annual Awards recognise excellence in the craft and art of directing, as well as acknowledge individual contributions by Australian Screen Directors to film, television, documentary, animation and interactive media. The ADG Awards are the only opportunity for Australian directors and their work to be acknowledged by their directing peers.

The 2019 ADG Awards Ceremony and Gala dinner will be held at the City Recital Hall and Ivy Ballroom in Sydney, on Monday 6 May 2019.

Best Direction in an Online Comedy Series

  • Zoe Pepper for The Big Spaghetti

  • Corrie Chen for Homecoming Queens

  • Sophie Hyde for Fucking Adelaide

  • Nina Oyama for The Angus Project

  • Henry Stone for Be Your Own Boss

CONGRATULATIONS ZOE!

LAUREN ELLIOTT 40UNDER40 WINNER - CLASS OF 2019

Lauren won! Mad Kids Founder / Managing Director / Producer Lauren Elliott has been recognised as one of Western Australia's 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40, out of 104 impressive nominees from across the state.

Established in 2002 by BUSINESSNEWS, the 40under40 Awards program is designed to recognise and celebrate Western Australia's 40 leading business entrepreneurs under the age of 40. The program recognises not only personal determination and commercial drive, but also the philanthropic pursuits that balance these young individuals' professional achievements, recognising the less public contributions to the welfare of Western Australia.

The black tie Awards Gala for 2019 was held at Optus Stadium in Perth on Wednesday 13 March. 750 guests celebrated the evening including the Mad Kids team Henry Inglis, Joel Gray and Clare Toonen together with Lauren’s family Kathy Elliott, Ryan Elliott, Alana Elliott and Luke Andrzejuk.

When asked what her top business quote was, Lauren said , “If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help build theirs. This quote always resonates with me. Whenever I face challenging days, it propels me to see the bigger picture, reminding me of the personal and professional gratification I'm working towards.”

Check out the entire class of 2019 here and check out some images from the night below.

CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN!


MAD KIDS INDIGENOUS COMEDY SERIES 'KGB' GREENLIT BY THE ABC

THE CAST OF KGB: Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Mark Coles Smith, Jesse Phillips, Aaron McGrath.

THE CAST OF KGB: Clarence Ryan, Bjorn Stewart, Genevieve Morris, Mark Coles Smith, Jesse Phillips, Aaron McGrath.

Together with Screenwest, Screen Australia and ABC Indigenous, we are thrilled to announce KGB, a comedy web series created by Western Australian indigenous filmmaker brothers, Luke and Dan Riches, has been greenlit by the ABC thanks to Screenwest’s Indigenous Online Initiative – Originate.

Originate is a Screenwest and ABC Indigenous narrative web series development and production initiative for emerging Western Australian Indigenous screen practitioners looking to hone their storytelling skills across a series of episodes. The successful series is awarded development funding, production funding and an experienced Executive Producer, as well as a series commission by ABC Indigenous.

Set in Perth’s notorious KGB (Koondoola, Girrawheen, Balga), the series follows two rookie detectives, tough guy Jack and gentle giant Nigel, as they deal with the chaos of their new jobs, no-nonsense boss, work rivals, drug dealers and culprits who consistently turn out to be family members. Despite battling their own insecurities at every turn, and the fact that Jack bullied Nigel in high school, these two might just turn out to be KGB’s finest detectives.

The series boasts a stellar Australian cast including Clarence Ryan (Wrong Kind of Black, Cleverman, Wanted), Bjorn Stewart (Black Comedy, Get Krack!n), Genevieve Morris (No Activity, Bloom,Comedy Inc.) Mark Coles Smith (Pawno, Last Cab to Darwin, LIFT), Aaron McGrath (Mystery Road, Glitch, Jasper Jones), WAAPA alumni Jesse Phillips and indigenous theatre stars Lynette Narkle and Amy Smith, as well as a number of up-and-coming Western Australian performers.

The Riches are the founders of Ardiol Media, a Perth-based production company. After leaving behind their day jobs to pursue their dreams in the film industry, the brothers received a crash course in television production through the making of Lost Diamonds, a documentary coming soon to NITV. The boys are excited to endeavour on a web series comedy which they describe as Hot Fuzz meets Black Comedy.

"We were surprised to be selected given the competitive field of applicants, but also super thankful and excited for the opportunity Screenwest and the ABC are providing us. KGB will allow us to explore our creativity in a whole new genre." said Luke and Dan.

KGB will be Executive Produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, produced by Taryne Laffar and written by the Riches, together with emerging WA screenwriters Joel Gray (Small Town Hackers, Aussie Rangers) and Clare Toonen (You, Me and Karen, Rift). The Riches will direct, with Henry Inglis (Small Town Hackers, DAFUQ?) as Director’s Mentor.

“I’m so glad KGB won because I really want to watch it! I feel very privileged to be selected by Screenwest and ABC as EP, and I’m excited to be mentoring Luke, Dan and our Series Producer, Taryne Laffar. This opportunity is a real coup for Mad Kids as it will allow us to support emerging indigenous Western Australian talent, as well as produce a show that we think is bloody funny.” said Lauren.

Following a competitive Originate Stage 1 Development Workshop about web series production, how to examine collaborative techniques, what concepts work well for short form narrative, how to effectively reach your online audience and how to execute using minimal resources, KGB was selected by an expert industry panel from 11 shortlisted Originate applications.

“Online series are the new short film in terms of carving a career pathway, and this initiative in particular will provide Luke and Dan with invaluable experience and access to the large ABC audience.” said Devina McPherson, Screenwest Indigenous Programs Manager.

“ABC Indigenous is a proud supporter of new Indigenous voices in the screen industry. Partnering with Screenwest on the Originate initiative ensures that we can continue to provide amazing career opportunities for exciting Western Australian Indigenous talent like Luke and Dan Riches. We can’t wait to share this show with our ABC audience!” said Kelrick Martin, Head of Indigenous for ABC.

Lee Naimo, Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia said, “Screen Australia champions the development of home-grown online projects, and this is a fantastic opportunity for the Riches brothers to further develop their careers, working with EP Lauren Elliott whose credits include the AACTA-nominated Small Town Hackers, Lucy Durack’s screenwriting debut, LIFT and ABC iview original series, DAFUQ? KGB reimagines the much-loved detective comedy genre with a fresh local twist and I’m confident its relatable characters will resonate with audiences when it premieres online in 2019.”

Mad Kids are the team behind a number of original digital and television comedy projects including Small Town Hackers, LIFT, The Big Spaghetti, DAFUQ?, The Legend of Gavin Tanner, The Shapes, Henry & Aaron’s 7 Steps to Superstardom and viral sensations It’s a Snap! and Set Yourself Free.

We kick off filming in Perth this month and the series will premiere on ABC iview in 2019.

LIFT TO PREMIERE ON 10PEACH ON VALENTINE’S DAY

Mark your calendars! Our romantic comedy LIFT is making its broadcast debut on the most romantic day of the year. The screenwriting debut of musical theatre and TV star Lucy Durack, LIFT is set to screen on Network Ten’s 10Peach on Valentine’s Day.

A seven-part series, LIFT starts Durack, Duncan Ragg, Mark Coles Smith and Vivienne Garrett. When serial temp Olivia (Durack) steps into an elevator for her 46th job this century, she needs to make this one stick. Inside she meets strait-laced Simon (Ragg) preparing for a nerve-wracking rooftop marriage proposal. Despite a disastrous first impression, confusing office politics, interfering colleagues (Coles Smith and Garrett) and Simon’s impending nuptials, these two might just fall in love, one elevator ride at a time.

LIFT was created & written by Durack, Jess Murray and Leon Murray of writing collective Platinum Lining, directed by Western Australian director Zoe Pepper, produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids and Executive Produced by Chloe Rickard of Jungle Entertainment.

LIFT was funded by Screenwest’s Elevate Initiative and made its world premiere at CinéfestOZ Film Festival in Busselton in 2018. It was 1 of 6 projects selected by an expert industry panel from 14 writer/producer/director teams who were shortlisted from 57 applications.

The broadcast is an especially exciting one for us - LIFT is the first Mad Kids project to air on commercial TV in Australia!

Catch all seven episodes at 9.20PM on February 14 on 10Peach. Going on a hot date and might miss it? The series will also be available to stream on TenPlay and YouTube.

Watch our brand new trailer below:

THE BIG SPAGHETTI OFFICIAL SELECTION AT SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2019

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The Big Spaghetti has been officially selected to make its North American premiere at the acclaimed Slamdance Film Festival 2019.

The Big Spaghetti is a five-part web series created and written by Adriane Daff, Zoe Pepper and Tim Watts, directed by Pepper, produced by Susannah Day and executive produced by Lauren Elliott from Mad Kids. The series tells the story of Gabby (Tim Watts) who seeks solace in Melissa’s (Adriane Daff) home to mend her broken heart and reinvent her life. But when Gabby’s fierce alter ego becomes the object of Melissa’s affections, their blissful playground breaks apart at the seams.

The Big Spaghetti held its World Premiere at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in July 2018. It subsequently screened at the 2018 Next Gen Webfest, winning Best Director for Zoe, Best Actress for Adriane and Best Editing.

Founded in 1995 by a group of indie filmmakers, Slamdance runs concurrently with Sundance Film Festival in Utah every January and focuses on emerging filmmakers and low-budget independent films. The festival boasts a slew of acclaimed alumni including Christopher Nolan, Lena Dunham, Lynn Shelton and Bong Joon Ho.

"Slamdance's ongoing commitment to first-time filmmakers provides an opportunity to be cherished. The festival was a legitimate platform to get my work out there during a time when no one was asking to see it." — Christopher Nolan

The Slamdance Film Festival 2019 will run from January 25 - 31 in Park City, Utah.

Watch the trailer for The Big Spaghetti below and check out the complete festival lineup here.