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.

Lauren Elliott Nominated for 40under40 Award

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Mad Kids Producer and Managing Director Lauren Elliott has been nominated for a 2019 40under40 Award!

Established by Business News here in Western Australia, the 40under40 Awards recognises and celebrates WA’s 40 leading business entrepreneurs under 40. Held annually since 2002, the awards boast an alumnus of over 600 business achievers. Past winners have represented a variety of industries including business, the arts, academia, technology and service to the community.

Lauren, who is currently undertaking the role of Series Producer on season two of the ABC’s hit comedy Squinters, was put forward for the awards program by her Mad Kids team earlier this year. After starting out producing comedy videos for YouTube on nights and weekends, Lauren has spearheaded Mad Kids’ growth over the last six years, including securing broadcast commissions, receiving Screenwest’s $100,000 Emerging Producer Initiative and launching Ad Kids, our commercial division.

So far in 2018, Lauren has been nominated for an AACTA, produced two ABC comedy series (Squinters and Sando), two web series (LIFT and The Big Spaghetti) and five commercials including our most recent campaign, Nature Knows Best, for Water Corporation.

The rest of us at Mad Kids are keen to see Lauren’s hard work rewarded and are keeping our fingers crossed for her! In addition to the 40 winners, one entrepreneur will also be awarded the People’s Choice Award, voted by the public. Voting is open NOW and closes Friday 11 January 2019. Cast your vote for Lauren here: https://www.40under40.com.au/Peoples-choice

The 40under40 Awards will be presented during a black-tie gala evening on 13 March 2019. Wanna come? Tickets are available here: https://bit.ly/2FXxm0A.

Good luck Lauren!

LAUREN ELLIOTT JOINS SQUINTERS AS SERIES PRODUCER

Mad Kids is excited to announce that Lauren Elliott has undertaken the role of Series Producer on the new season of Jungle Entertainment’s comedy Squinters!

A hit for the ABC at the beginning of this year, the half-hour series is returning for a second round with filming currently underway in Sydney and Los Angeles. A celebration of the comically mundane ritual of the daily work commute, Squinters was described by the Sydney Morning Herald in February as “unequivocally one of the funniest comedies of the year.”

Season two features a diverse cast of new and returning Australian actors, including WA-raised cast members Andrea Demetriades, Ernie Dingo and Mandy McElhinney. We’re no stranger to Mandy’s comedic talents - she featured in our ABC TV pilot, The Legend of Gavin and the New Best Mate alongside Squinters co-creator, Adam Zwar.

Lauren’s first introduction to Jungle Entertainment was in 2016 at SPA’s Screen Forever conference, where Jungle partner and COO Chloe Rickard was appointed Lauren’s mentor as part of the Ones to Watch program. Squinters marks Lauren’s second producing gig on a Jungle production in 2018; earlier this year she undertook the role of Associate Producer on comedy series Sando, which premiered on ABC in March 2018.

Squinters is supported by Screen Australia in association with Create NSW and will screen on ABC1 and ABC iView in 2019.

Congratulations Lauren!

 Squinters stars Andrea Demetriades, Rose Matafeo and Susie Youssef. Photographer: Toby Burrows

Squinters stars Andrea Demetriades, Rose Matafeo and Susie Youssef. Photographer: Toby Burrows

AD KIDS PRODUCES 'NATURE KNOWS BEST' FOR WATER CORPORATION

We were thrilled to produce and direct The Brand Agency’s new campaign for Water Corporation, Nature Knows Best, which has just landed on TV and online.

Henry Inglis took the reins as Director alongside Lauren Elliott as Producer and Michael McDermott as Director of Photography. It was our biggest Ad Kids project to date and our first collaboration with The Brand Agency, who brought us on board earlier this year to execute their funny, mockumentary-style concept about a crew of ‘Water Watchers’ who ensure that the community stays water wise.

We got to cast four of our favourite comedy performers, Broden Kelly as Cockatoo, Zach Ruane as Bilby, Amberly Cull as Quokka and Ben Sutton as Tree’. Caitri Jones exceeded all expectations with her four incredible costumes built from scratch. We produced 12 spots all up, including a 30 second TVC and a 2 minute digital short. Check it out below and view the entire campaign on Water Corporation’s website here.

'SMALL TOWN HACKERS' NOMINATED FOR 2018 AACTA AWARD

We are thrilled to announce that Small Town Hackers has been nominated for an AACTA Award in the category of Best Online Video or Series!

Created by Henry Inglis and Matt Lovkis and produced by Lauren Elliott, Small Town Hackers was the first Australian series to be commissioned by Above Average, the digital studio founded by legendary comedy producer Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video (Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Portlandia).

This recognition by AACTA is the most prestigious industry-based nomination Mad Kids has received to date. Henry picked up the 2018 ADG Award for Best Direction of an Online Comedy Project and the series is also nominated for Best Web Series at the 2018 ATOM Awards, with the ceremony set to take place in Melbourne in late November.

The series was released online globally one year ago today, after premiering at an exclusive screening event in Hollywood thanks to Australians in Film. It has since screened at festivals across Australia and the globe including Melbourne Webfest, Berlin Webfest, Revelation Perth International Film Festival, CinéfestOZ and Next Gen Webfest where it won Best Comedy, Best Editing and Best Actor for Sam Campbell.

The series tells the story of Alex Gout (Tim Watts) who, when he returns to his backwater hometown of Durran, is shocked to discover the police lied about the death of his high school sweetheart, Lucy Boddington. Alex must enlist the help of his idiot younger brother, Devon (2018 Barry Award winner, Sam Campbell) and his ragtag gang of wannabe hackers (Adriane Daff - The Irresistible and Trystan Go - The Family Law) to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Watch the entire series here.

The 8th annual AACTA awards ceremony will take place on 5 December 2018 at the Star Event Centre. Tickets to the event are available here.

View all the other nominees for feature film, television, documentary and short form here.

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'SMALL TOWN HACKERS' NOMINATED FOR 2018 ATOM AWARD

Hold the phone! Our web series Small Town Hackers has just received a 2018 ATOM AWARD nomination in the category of ‘Best Web Series’.

The ATOM Awards recognise film and media excellence. Since 1982, the ATOM Awards have been celebrating the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals. They are the second-longest-running film and media awards in Australia, behind the AFI/AACTA Awards, having been held annually for over thirty-five years.

This year, The 2018 ATOM Awards feature thirty-four categories covering everything from feature-length films and television programs to animation, short fiction, educational resources, and new media including web series, apps and games.

Small Town Hackers is one of four Australian web series to receive a nomination in its category. The web series was directed by ADG Award winner Henry Inglis and written by Mad Kids’ Inglis, Matt Lovkis and Joel Gray. It was commissioned by US platform Above Average and collectively the series has received over 400,000 hits on YouTube.

But wait, there’s more! Rift, a short drama written by Mad Kids production co-ordinator Clare Toonen, has also received a nomination for ‘Best Tertiary Short Fiction’. The film, made in collaboration with the Aboriginal Theatre students at WAAPA in 2017, was made during Toonen’s year of post-graduate study at the WA Screen Academy.

The winners of the 2018 ATOM Awards will be announced on Thursday 29 November at a live ceremony at the Alex Theatre in Melbourne.

JOEL GRAY AND CLARE TOONEN PROMOTED TO PRODUCTION COORDINATORS

We are thrilled to announce we have promoted Joel Gray and Clare Toonen to Production Coordinators, as we look to diversify our slate of television projects, as well as grow our commercial division, Ad Kids.

Joel and Clare will play an integral role in building the capacity and efficiency of our small business.

Since launching Ad Kids earlier this year, we have already produced content for Water Corporation, Fringe World, Woodside, Swan Valley, Telstra Perth Fashion Festival and Jungle Entertainment.

Our Ad Kids collective consists of six Western Australian directors; Henry Inglis, Matt Lovkis,
Zoe Pepper, Mat de Koning, Joe Henderson and David Vincent Smith and twoWestern Australian producers; Lauren Elliott and Anthea Smyth.

Gray is an emerging writer/director/producer and comedy aficionado. Since joining Mad Kids as an intern in 2015, he has assisted Mad Kids across all things development, production and post-production, and has also secured two screenwriting credits on two web series, Small Town Hackersand Aussie Rangers. He starred as ‘Joel the Intern’ in satirical web series, DAFUQ?and he also joined Lauren, Matt and Henry on a pitching trip to Los Angeles in 2017. In addition to his filmmaking expertise, he has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Western Australia.

“It’s so great that we get to develop comedy projects here in Perth and I’m really excited about where Mad Kids is heading. I can’t believe that after three years, they still haven’t fired me.” said Gray.

Toonen is an emerging screenwriter and lifelong film buff. Since volunteering as a Production Assistant earlier this year, she was offered a three-month internship assisting Mad Kids across their slate of comedy and commercial projects. In 2017, she completed a Master of Screen Studies at the WA Screen Academy and her graduation short film, You, Me and Karen won the Channel 9 Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting. In 2018, Clare was awarded $10,000 Generate short film production funding from Screenwest for her script, Brotherswhich is set for release in 2019.

"I'm stoked that Mad Kids want to keep me around! It's so exciting to be part of a fast-growing narrative comedy team right here in Perth. I can't wait to assist in the development of brand new local comedy series." said Toonen.

Mad Kids is represented by CAA in Los Angeles, which has resulted in a number of exciting opportunities in the US, including a producing partnership with Sacha Baron Cohen’s production company, Four By Two, who saw “early shades of Ali G” in Mad Kids’ work, as well as their series Small Town Hackers being commissioned by Above Average, Saturday Night Live’s digital studio.

Our latest projects include two web series, The Big Spaghetti written by Zoe Pepper, Adriane Daff and Tim Watts and LIFT created by and starring Lucy Durack. Both series are set to premiere online later this year.

We are passionate about making premium television and telling great stories with authentic characters, and we’re delighted to welcome Joel and Clare aboard our growing team!

'MARGARET'S GOT TALENT' WINS FUNNIEST SKETCH AT CINÉFESTOZ

We won! Our Mad Kids Originals sketch, Margaret's Got Talent, was awarded Funniest Sketch at Australia's Funniest Shorts as part of CinéfestOZ 2018!

Starring Tegan Mulvany, Emily Rose Brennan, James Helm, Liam Graham and Cameron Whiteford, Margaret's Got Talent was directed by Henry Inglis and produced by Lauren Elliott. We're delighted to receive a cash prize of $500, which we are of course putting towards producing more comedy - hopefully this means we'll be seeing Australia's Funniest Shorts again next year!

The screening, part of CineféstOZ, took place at the Rose Hotel in Bunbury on Saturday 25 August. A massive thanks goes out to to the event organisers, our talented MKO team and to the audience for watching (and for laughing!).

MKO is our 100% Western Australian YouTube channel and collective releasing sketches, music videos, animations, web series and digital shorts year round. Visit and subscribe to the channel here, and watch Margaret's Got Talent below!

OUR FIRST EVER DOCUMENTARY ‘DIGILANTE’ RELEASED WORLDWIDE

Melbourne-based filmmaker, Mike Nayna (Dayne’s World, Fancy Boy) has cemented himself as one of the most exciting voices in Australia’s next generation of documentary filmmakers, and after a successful festival run throughout North America and Australia, his debut half-hour documentary, Digilante was released worldwide today!

Digilante is a fascinating case study of the often-destructive relationship between social and traditional media. The film made its international premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2017, continuing on throughout North America and Australia, attracting significant press attention and picking up awards for Best Short Film and Best Sociological Documentary along the way.

Digilante was the season finale in a series of five half hour documentaries produced as part of the 2016 season of Opening Shot, an ABC and Screen Australia initiative, designed to see young filmmaking teams bring a fresh perspective to some of the big issues facing younger Australians. Since 2013, Opening Shot has commissioned 19 documentaries and Digilante was the first to be selected for Hot Docs.

Producers Mark Conway from Checkpoint Media (Dayne’s World, Fancy Boy) and Lauren Elliott from Mad Kids (Small Town Hackers, DAFUQ? The Legend of Gavin Tanner) joined forces to bring Mike’s story to life. After a string of successful comedy projects, Digilante was the first documentary and first co-production for both Checkpoint Media and Mad Kids.

Digilante was produced with the assistance of Screen Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Film Victoria.

Watch Digilante below:

LUCY DURACK'S 'LIFT' TO PREMIERE AT CINÉFESTOZ WEB SERIES SHOWCASE

Fresh out of post-production, Lucy Durack's screenwriting debut Lift has secured its world premiere at CinefestOZ 2018 in a special Web Series Showcase event!

A 7-part romantic comedy web series, Lift stars Lucy Durack, Duncan Ragg, Mark Coles Smith and Vivienne Garrett. Set entirely in an elevator, the series is an intimate look at the literal and metaphorical ups and downs of jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none Olivia and uptight Simon as they travel the floors of their corporate office building.

Lift is the brainchild of Lucy Durack, Jess Murray and Leon Murray of Platinum Lining, a brand new screenwriting collective, and is produced by Lauren Elliott of Mad Kids, directed by Zoe Pepper and Executive Produced by Chloe Rickard of Jungle Entertainment. The series received Elevate funding from Screenwest and was filmed in Perth by an all-WA crew.

The evening will also showcase five fabulous Western Australian web series:

Calling - Directed by Miley Tunnecliffe

The Big Spaghetti - Directed by Zoe Pepper

Small Town Hackers - Directed by Henry Inglis

Aussie Rangers - Directed by Kelli Cross

600 Bottles of Wine - Directed by Ainslie Clouston

The event will feature an exclusive Q&A with Lucy, Zoe, Lauren and more, and is taking place on 24 August at the River Hotel, Margaret River. Tickets are available here.

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