Sweetshop & Green has bolstered its team with the new appointment of Alice Burgin as Documentary/Factual Executive, while also promoting Ester Harding to Head of Drama.
Burgin is best known for her role as the CEO/Conference Director of the Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) where she oversaw more than one million dollars of project funds and skills development training invested into the documentary and factual sector. During her time, she instigated Cut to the Chase, AIDC’s curated marketplace with over 120 projects passing through it annually, as well as the Indigenous Creators Program, Leading Lights and numerous initiatives to support project development from production through to completion.
She has over a decade of experience in the film and television industry in Australia and overseas, as well as a dual research PhD. in film funding policy, awarded from the University of Melbourne/Université de Paris X, France. She has programmed a number of film festivals across three continents, including working as Associate Shorts Programmer at Tribeca Film Festival. She completed two seasons on the selection committee of PBS’ award-winning documentary series POV before moving to Melbourne to become AIDC’s Conference Programmer, being appointed CEO/Conference Director the following year.
Burgin has also sat on numerous juries including at the Hot Docs Documentary Festival, Doc Aviv Film Festival and Doc Edge NZ Film Festival, Chairs the Department of Film and Animation Course Advisory Committee for the Swinburne University of Technology and has been a member of a number of Creative Victoria assessment panels.
“After spending six years within the walls of AIDC, I have experienced first-hand the overwhelming talent and audacity of our documentary and factual community. This new role feels like a dream come true – allowing me to take the logical next step towards finding and nurturing new and diverse talent to tell powerful true stories with international appeal. I am incredibly grateful to the Sweetshop & Green team as well as to Screen Australia for this exciting opportunity,” Burgin says.
Harding joined Sweetshop & Green in mid-2020. As Head of Drama she focuses on Australian and New Zealand narrative features and series with international co-production and financing potential. Developing from both underlying IP and original ideas, her ambition is to bring talent-driven, culturally diverse and thematically relevant stories to domestic and international audiences. Harding previously worked at Screen Australia as a development executive, where she oversaw narrative features, episodic and extended reality projects, and the fostering of emerging talent.
Since joining Sweetshop & Green, Harding has led development on the narrative series and documentary feature adaptations of FIGHTING FOR HAKEEM, narrative feature film TAKE ME HOME, and kids animation series LIVING WITH LANDLUBBERS, as well as building a diverse slate of original and optioned IP and a strong network of creative collaborators.
“I feel incredibly grateful to be working at Sweetshop & Green. Partnering closely with Gal, Sharlene and the team to develop and finance a suite of distinctive, bold projects with some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most exciting talent, has proved to be a dream come true. Stepping-up to become Head of Drama is a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to delivering compelling stories to domestic and international audiences,” says Harding
Gal Greenspan, Co-Managing Director of Sweetshop & Green adds: “I’ve always believed a company is only ever as strong as its talent. And so, we feel honoured to be at this stage in Sweetshop & Green’s journey and to be able to entice talent to our team as remarkable as Alice and Ester. These are two strong and incredibly driven creative filmmakers who will ensure Sweetshop & Green continues to evolve and develop a range of fascinating projects.”