Jackie O’Sullivan, who has divided her time between the Australian and UK film industries for many years, will take up the role of chief executive of marketing body Ausfilm from August 10.
The new job will see her take responsibility for the international promotion of Australia as a production and post-production centre, and a co-production partner.
“While the traditional side of Ausfilm’s work [providing locations and services to the US studios] is important, I don’t think co-production opportunities have been fully investigated and I will be delighted if I can help Australia to work more closely with the UK and European industries through my connections,” O’Sullivan told Screendaily.
Producers can claim back 15% of their Australian expenditure for filming or post-producing big-budget footloose productions in Australia, but the financial incentive rises to 40% for co-productions.
O’Sullivan was one of the producers on the 2005 Australian/UK co-production The Proposition, and in 2007 worked as head of development and executive producer at Sydney’s Animal Logic.
British-born, she first worked in Australia as a lawyer then moved into legal and executive roles within production companies, including Artists Services and Columbia Tri-Star Productions.
She was head of business affairs at the UK Film Council for the three years up to 2003, and this year she has been in the UK developing her own projects and working as a consultant. Production and financing company Cinemanx, based in the Isle of Man and London, was one of her clients.
“I think there is real energy and opportunity in Australia at the moment with the films coming out now having a more international focus, which I would like to build on.”
Ausfilm is a member-based partnership between private companies and national and state governments. O’Sullivan replaces Caroline Pitcher who decided not to renew her contact but to return to Melbourne to take up a new role in the film industry.