Niki Aken and Charles Billeh chosen to complete paid Create NSW Emerging Producer Placements
Niki Aken and Charles Billeh are the two NSW-based emerging producers who will undertake customised six-month paid internships in industry, courtesy of Create NSW.
The up-and-coming filmmakers will now be matched with NSW production companies to suit their respective skillsets and creative forms, learning under some of the best names in the business.
Up first is Niki, who has just begun a three-month stint under Create NSW Screen Investment Senior Manager Sally Regan and the Sector Investment team where she will learn about all aspects of the production finance process. Already an accomplished screenwriter, during her time with Create NSW, Niki will work with Sally to secure a production company where she can focus on extending her producer experience across the remaining three-months of her paid placement.
Charles will join the Create NSW team in February 2018, in time for the next production finance round.
Create NSW Director for Sector Investment Sophia Zachariou said, “We are always looking at how we can help to encourage a more diverse Australian screen industry, so supporting talented emerging practitioners is a priority for us.
“In looking for practitioners that had at least one credit under their belt, Niki and Charles’ experience made them our standouts this year and we’re very confident about their futures. It’s really quite exciting to play an active part in helping screen practitioners find the best direction for them, so I look forward to tracking their development in years to come.”
During their Emerging Producer Placements, the pair will also be given the opportunity to attend key industry events to encourage further professional development.
Niki Aken is an award-winning screenwriter and emerging producer. Her writing credits include Underbelly: Badness, ANZAC Girls, Janet King 2 & 3, Hyde and Seek and Chosen. Niki was previously the lead researcher on Underbelly: The Golden Mile and Underbelly: Razor. Poppy, a 15-minute dramedy which Niki wrote and produced, screened at Flickerfest, the St Kilda Film Festival and the Canberra Short Film Festival. Niki has written for multiple film and television projects in development including Seconds, a television comedy series with producer Nel Minchin and In Films.
After graduating from the Australian Film Television Radio School (AFTRS) in 2013 with a Graduate Diploma in Screen Producing, Charles completed an internship at See Pictures where he worked on feature films including Josh Lawson’s The Little Death and Michael Petroni’s Backtrack. As an emerging producer, he has worked on award-winning projects including documentary Cast from the Storm and short film Melon Grab. Charles is currently a co-producer on the Create NSW-supported international feature film, SLAM, written and directed by Partho Sen-Gupta (Sunrise) and in 2018 will be producing his very own independent horror/thriller feature film, Awoken.
The Emerging Producer Placement scheme is an annual program offering professional placements for two emerging producers. In 2017/18 the opportunity was targeted at producers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Published: 6 November 2017