Pride is everyday! Celebrating Pride Month mid-way through the year is a great way to remind ourselves and our communities of the importance of being visible and proud, especially in the face of challenges. Despite major progress over the years there is still a long way to go to ensure our industry and society is truly inclusive, joyful and safe for everyone.
We have so many incredible LGBTQIA+ members in our ranks at WIFT VIC. Thank you to the people who offered to share their stories for this special edition. Collecting and creating these profiles has reminded me of why Pride is so important. You can’t be what you can’t see.
Thank you to the trailblazers like Julie Peters, Brenda Clarke and Kim Miles! Without your passion, determination and courage to be your authentic self and champion LGBTQIA+ rights we would not have the pathways and support we can access today.
To those on the rise, we stand on the shoulders of giants! Our generation continues to make breakthroughs and challenge the status quo. We are moving things beyond a tick box and bringing our stories to the forefront in our way.
I also want to give a shout out to Jacs Shields, another WIFT VIC member and a strong ally. Jacs is the producer and co-host of Sidelined – JOY FM’s deep dive into LGBTQIA+ sports news!
We love being able to share the stories of our members, it is one of our greatest honours. If you would like to and feel safe to share your story, know it will be received with love and pride!
~ By Alex Riches – WIFT Vic Membership Coordinator
Brenda Clarke is an Australian Screenwriter/Director with a unique voice. She has decades of experience working in front of the camera and now concentrates on creating high concept feature films as well as binge worthy television dramas for streaming platforms. And LGBTQ narratives. She writes with emotional integrity for her characters on screen as well as creating an emotional response with an audience.
Her screenplays place highly in competitions:
- TOP 10% ORIGINALITY Creative Screenwriting “Diversity”
- TOP 100 Table Read My Screenplay, Chicago
- SEMI FINALIST Diverse Voices/WeScreenplay
- Participated in “Originate” Writers Lab with Film Victoria
Brenda writes/produces/directs short films, corporate DVD’s and live theatre productions, as well as being consulted for feedback on new works by other writers.
Her mantra for all of her creative endeavours is “To Uplift The Human Spirit”. She is currently looking for a producer for her lesbian character driven short film ‘My Hero’.
Brenda is a writer for hire. Would you like her to develop your idea into a screenplay ???????? rewrite an existing work?
She also works as Dramaturg for live theatre productions and new works.
Want to improve your chances in a screenwriting contest or need assistance with your screenplay? Brenda knows how to write “a page turner!”
Brenda writes with the Producers Perspective in mind with regards to key elements that include:
high concepts, creating roles that attract A-List actors, targeting specific audiences within the four quadrants, produce unique and compelling characters, utilise well developed structure and generate dynamic stories.
Brenda has worked in the entertainment business for decades in front of the camera and on stage throughout Australia, UK and West End. She is a long-term active member and has served on the committee of WIFT VIC. Brenda has been married for 5 years to her wife, since the laws changed but has been in a relationship with her for 27 years and lives in the Hepburn Shire.
“I’m Trans/mild AIS intersex (I think!)……I like to say gender diverse.
I was acting before moving into filmmaking/digital art. A few years ago I had the urge to return to acting, such an evolved person these days.
I was excited about increased visibility of the GD and thought this may help with getting more acting jobs. (hasn’t) and now we are confronted with all the nasty stuff happening.
However private I may feel, I think now is an important time to stand up , and out. Show how beautiful / fab we are.
I’m developing a theatre piece showing positives in this area. (film too expensive).”
Julie Peters joined the ABC in Feb 1971 on a starting salary of $2200/yr. As a uni dropout interested in showbiz, she was rapt to drag cables on the Kamahl Show, Bellbird and Adventure Island in her first week. As the ABC moved to colour in 1975, she was the audio assistant on the first episode of Countdown. Julie loves the creativity encouraged in public broadcasting and only left this year. Her first decade: camera, vision mixing, vision control. Second decade: Technical Producer, OB Tech Director, Lighting Director. Third decade: specialist music & comedy Ligthing Director, DOP. Fouth decade: OB Tech Manager and Ops Supervisor: Fifth decade: project work.
What complicated Julie’s career was being trans. Julie was assigned male at birth. But since childhood she knew she would be much happier in life, work and relationships if the world saw her as female.
Initially she was very secretive about this belief. In the workplace, she was so hard to read that people gave her the nickname “Ghost”. Being trans certainly held her back in the 70s and 80s. In 1990, Julie found the energy to transition. The change invoked intense reactions both positive and negative. To misquote Nietzsche – “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” – and it did make her stronger and happier. Once over the transition, both her work and day to day life dramatically improved. Over these
five decades Julie has seen incredible changes in gendered behaviour, the role of women and the technology.
Parallel to her ABC career, Julie is an activist in making life more liveable for trans and gender diverse people. This culminated in a PhD on trans public health and the anthropology of gender.
Alex (she/they) is WIFT VIC’s membership administrator and an independent filmmaker. They have written and directed short films, music videos, and promotional videos for not-for-profit organisations. Since graduating from Victoria University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Screen Media, she has focused on making content that elevates the voices and celebrates the stories of the LGBTQIA+ communities.
Alex was a key creative in the verbatim-theatre production “Thrive” which featured in this year’s Midsumma Festival. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 15 years in various administrative roles for Oxfam Australia and Amnesty International. They were part of the work-group that created AIA’s LGBTQIA+ Ally Guide in 2023.
She sees her work as an extension of her values and they have enjoyed volunteering for the Australian Red Cross, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival over the years.
Alex lives near Castlemaine in their tiny house with their partner and ad-hoc camera assistant, Rachel, their dog and two bunnies.
Dany has been actively involved in creating and supporting queer content and creators since 2016. She has produced three LGBTIQ+ rom-com feature films, created a queer women’s film festival, and curated panels and workshops to support queer filmmakers in the United States.
Dany is passionate about bringing queer stories to the screen and creating a safe environment for our communities to create content and share our experiences. She is excited to bring her wealth of experience back home to support Australian productions.