Towne, McGovern among Sydney speakers

SYDNEY — Writers Robert Towne and Jimmy McGovern, casting director Mike Fenton, showbiz lawyer John Sloss and acquisition-sales execs Graeme Mason and Wouter Barendrecht are among the speakers lined up for the Screen Producers Assn. of Australia’s annual conference, to be staged in Sydney Nov. 15-18.

Tagged “A New Way Forward,” the confab will focus on new ways of doing business in a changing world economy and feature sessions on business planning, international financing and the advantages of strategic partnerships.

“The conference is freshly designed for greater delegate input,” SPAA exec director Nick Herd said. “The sessions will allow producers to talk on a personal level with established business and creative professionals.”

Writers confab overlap

Event will overlap with the first day of the Australian Writers Guild confab, a move designed to strengthen the relationship between writers and producers.

Towne and McGovern (TV’s “Cracker” and “The Lakes”) will each appear in sessions entitled “In Conversation With …”

Mason is the U.K.-based president of acquisitions of Universal Pictures Intl.; Barendrecht is co-chairman of Fortissimo Film Sales.

Other speakers include Greg Brennan, head of drama for U.K. producer Tiger Aspect; Miramax Films acquisitions VP Matthew Brodlie; Paola Corvino, prexy of Italy’s Intrafilms; and Jonathan Olsberg, a London-based producer and management consultant.

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