The Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network announced incoming SDIN co-chairs who will lead the advocacy group for the next two years.
They are the Head of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University, Olivia Khoo, and SBS Scripted Commissioning Editor, Loani Arman, succeeding Michelle Cheng (SBS Content Industry Diversity Manager) and Kelrick Martin (ABC Head of Indigenous),
Olivia Khoo (pictured right) said: “I am excited to contribute to this new phase of the future of the network. With the second iteration of the Everyone Counts report to start work on, the Australian film industries are well placed to make strides in enhancing diversity and inclusion and I look forward to working with our film organisations, research and education institutes and my co-President Loani Arman to make that happen.
Loani Arman (pictured left) said: “I am thrilled to be working closely with Olivia and the members of SDIN to continue the work we need to be doing across the industry, building on The Everyone Project and seeking out and developing talent from across historically excluded settings through programs and measurable long-term funding. I would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of outgoing Co-Presidents Kelrick Martin and Michelle Cheng and thank them for all the work they have done over the past two years.”
In the meantime Latecomersproduced by Lazy Susan Films and Mad Ones Films, it was announced as the winner of the annual SDIN Award, at the 21st Annual SPA Awards.
Latecomers was created by Angus Thompson and Emma Myers, who drew on their own experiences living with cerebral palsy to tell the story of two strangers with cerebral palsy who, after seeing their assistants dating in a bar, are determined to explore one’s relationships with sex and with each other. The series stars Angus Thompson and Hannah Diviney, and Alistair Baldwin, who identifies as a live-in with a disability, directed one of the episodes.
Michelle Cheng and Kelrick Martin said:
“Latecomers is unlike any program Australia has ever seen – exhilarating, relatable and groundbreaking – it showcases the power and authenticity coming from experienced creators, telling stories about their community. As Sarah and Frank navigate their relationships with sex and each other as people with cerebral palsy, this groundbreaking series is changing perceptions and attitudes towards people with disabilities in Australia.
The shortlist was also recognized The first daysecond series, produced by Epic Films and KOJO Studios e The Australian Wars by Blackfella Films.
Olivia Khoo is Head of Film and Screen Studies at Monash University. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Australia. Olivia is a Fellow of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts and is internationally recognized for her research on Asian and Asian Australian cinema, gender, sexuality and film media. She is the author/co-editor of seven books, including Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas and Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures. Olivia is president of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network, which she co-founded in 2006. With Audrey Yue and Belinda Smaill, she has produced a database of over 500 Asian Australian films, as part of an ARC Discovery Project grant funded by the Government on the History of Asian Australian Cinema. Olivia has partnered with international organizations to promote screen diversity, including the Hong Kong Film Archive, Taipei Artists Village and the Asian Film Archive, Singapore. She was for many years Associate Editor of Metro magazine (ATOM: Australian Teachers of Media) and Series Editor of the Gender, Sexualities and Cultures in Asia book series (Palgrave Macmillan). In her spare time, Olivia sings with Australia’s longest running LGBTQIA+ choir, the Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus, Inc, of which she was a former secretary, and she volunteers for Wildlife Victoria to rescue injured native animals.
Loani Arman is a proud Indonesian-Australian woman and joined SBS in 2022 as a Scripted Commissioning Editor. In the role, Loani works through the development and production of scripted content and oversees SBS’ short film roster and other talent development initiatives. For SBS, she executive produced Latecomers, which was the only Australian production screened at this year’s Series Mania, and Appetite, which recently screened in competition at the Canneseries. Prior to SBS, Loani was Director of Content at Screen Queensland where she led development programs and initiatives. Early in her career, she was a Drama Associate for Showtime Australia, working on original drama commissions including Cloudstreet and Tangle. As a screen creative, Loani has developed a drama series through the STAN / Screen Queensland Premium Drama Fund. In 2020, her documentary series My Body Says (ABC) won the inaugural AIDC Best Short Form Award; and in 2019, Loani was the winner of the AACTA Pitch Competition with her film, Our Greatest Escape.