Charlie’s Desk: Melbourne Uni, AiF provide LA opportunity to alumni

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In addition to a chance to work in LA, the Melbourne Screen Fund aims to raise $5 million in donations to support current VCA students and alumni.

By U2B Staff 

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A new partnership between the University of Melbourne and Australians in Film (AiF) will provide an opportunity for Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) film and television alumni to work in Los Angeles.

This three-year partnership is the first of its kind and will allow mid-career film and TV graduates to work at Charlie’s Desk, a dedicated work and networking space for Australian filmmakers in Hollywood located on the Raleigh Studios lot.

This partnership announcement came as the university revealed the establishment of the Melbourne Screen Fund, which aims to raise $5 million in donations to support current VCA students and alumni.


Commenting on the fund, VCA head of film and television Sandra Sciberras said, “We are all aware of the difficulty of financing films and the vital need for gap finance to support ambitious work that might not otherwise get produced.”

The agreement between the university and AiF aims to connect with early to mid-career film and TV alumni based in or visiting Los Angeles.

Sciberras added, “I want to be able to capture the uniqueness of the filmmakers that come through our doors at the VCA and who have the ethic of hard work and talent that will enable them to navigate a changing screen industry.”

The first VCA graduate to be selected for the programme is Nick Watson, a comedy and animation writer.

Watson wrote for the second season of Conan O’Brien-produced Final Space, an animated space opera comedy-drama for TBS and Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block Adult Swim, and for Hasbro Studios’ Littlest Pet Shop: A World of Our Own, animated kids show that ran on Discovery.


Watson is currently developing animated children’s show which is co-produced by Pirate Size Productions and Starburns Industries, with funding from Screen Australia.

Watson has also worked as a screenwriting lecturer at the University of Melbourne and as a creative executive in film and TV development in Los Angeles.

The executive director of AiF, Peter Ritchie said the partnership would be of great benefit to creators as they develop their careers in the United States.

Ritchie said that this partnership provides an ideal base for its alumni in Los Angeles, and offers a network of like-minded screen creatives, with a view to creating opportunities that can accelerate their projects and careers.