What is Screen Canberra?



Screen Canberra is a not-for-profit membership based organisation that is governed by a board of highly diverse and influential people in the Australian Film Industry.

Screen Canberra supports the growth of the ACT screen industry through development, opportunities and providing a voice for the local screen community.

We are aiming to build a stronger ACT screen industry. Let us know how we can help you.

Screen Canberra Staff

Monica Penders


For the past eleven years Monica has been at the helm of Screen Canberra, steering it from a one-person initiative to an independent organisation that is now responsible for the delivery of the $5million CBR Screen Fund.  Monica has a diverse background in international business including advertising and public relations, marketing with the Walt Disney Company and her last corporate role was as Vice President of Corporation Communications at Lend Lease in New York.

In 2008 she produced the US$27million film The Secret of Moonacre which was shot in Budapest, Hungary and enjoyed a global theatrical release. Monica graduated from Griffith University, Australia with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in film and media studies and has undertaken film studies at the University of NSW, New York University, the New School in New York and received a Certificate IV in Training from Canberra Institute of Technology.  Monica has been shortlisted three years running for the Natalie Miller Fellowship, is a member of the CBR Brand Board and is on the steering committee for The Orchard, supporting women in film in Canberra and the working party for the national Screen Diversity Inclusion Network.

Contact Monica Penders – monica@screencanberra.com.au

Sophie Harper


Sophie joined Screen Canberra as Senior Manager in 2019 to take on administering the $5 million CBR Screen Fund, as well as Governance and Research for the organisation.
Sophie started her career in Canberra with Bearcage Productions (now Wildbear) where she directed, edited and/or produced dozens of corporate videos and short films. She then worked in Research at the Australian Film Commission for 5 years, and at Screen Australia as Governance Manager for its first year of operation. She then jumped at an opportunity to teach producing and documentary at the European Film College in Denmark, where she stayed for seven years and became Vice Principal.
On returning to Canberra in 2015 Sophie launched the audio documentary podcast series “Not By Accident”. It’s received media attention, award success and over a million downloads internationally.
Sophie has a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University and a Diploma in Filmmaking from the European Film College. She is Canberra-born and bred and feels lucky to be able to give her six-year-old daughter a Canberra childhood too.

Contact Sophie Harper – sophie@screencanberra.com.au

Alex Mirabito


Alex is the Project Manager for Screen Canberra. Alex is responsible for the planning and implementation of Screen Canberra’s professional development programs and events.

Alex previously held the position of Coordinator.

Alex grew up in Sydney and after completing a degree in Entertainment Business she began her career as a Production Intern at Chaotic Pictures. With a clear focus and strong interest in Production, Alex continued her studies attending the International Film School and completed her Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media. Since then she worked for Transmission Films until moving to Canberra in 2015.

Contact Alex Mirabito – alex@screencanberra.com.au

Emma Eichler


As the Coordinator of Screen Canberra it is Emma’s responsibility to monitor the planning and implementation of communication and marketing strategies in conjunction with organisation of day-to-day office operations.
Emma studied locally at Canberra Institute of Technology graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media, while completing her studies she was simultaneously one of Screen Canberra’s interns. Since then she has worked internationally on a television series and continues to develop her practical skills within the realm of content production and has a strong focus on creating a sustainable film culture within the Canberra region.

Contact Emma Eichler – emma@screencanberra.com.au

Screen Canberra Board

david court

Dr. David Court


David Court is Founder of Compton School, Australia’s first creative business school. He was formerly Head of Screen Business at the Australian Film Television & Radio School where he developed Australia’s first screen business qualification. David has been involved in the financing of more than a dozen film and television productions including John Weiley’s Antarctica, Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom, Dean Cavell’s The Wiggles Movie, Jerzy Domaradski’s Lilian’s Story, Robert Connolly’s The Bank, Guy Gross’s Old Tom, Andrew Horne’s The Animated Leunig and Don Featherstone’s The One Percenters. David was founding editor of the authoritative industry newsletter Entertainment Business Review. As author of Film Assistance: Future Options (Allen & Unwin, 1986), he was the policy architect of the Film Finance Corporation, established by the Australian Government in 1988. In 2010, with Sir Peter Jackson, he undertook a review of the New Zealand Film Commission for the NZ Government. David holds a PhD from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. 

Sandra Sdraulig AM


Sandra Sdraulig AM is an Executive Coach and owner of Through the Roof: Executive Coaching Women, Chair of the Adelaide Film Festival and Vice President of the Natalie Miller Fellowship. She is also a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a film and TV executive in both the commercial and cultural sectors of the Australian film, TV and digital media industry.

Previously, she was the CEO of Film Victoria; Producer and Presenter of Friday on My Mind, a weekly live interview program for practitioners across film, TV and new media; Director of the Melbourne International Film Festival and Film Distribution and Marketing Manager for Palace Entertainment. In 2012 she was awarded an Order of Australia for her leadership and contribution to the Australian film and TV industry.

Julian Widdup


Julian Widdup has a strong interest in the screen industry. He is an experienced director having served on the boards of over 20 major corporations including Rural Funds Group, Palisade Investment Partners Limited, Darwin International Airport, Alice Springs Airport as well as major superannuation, port, power utility, agricultural, timberland, defence, hospital and healthcare entities. Julian’s directorships include ASX listed entities and international corporations.

Julian has a professional background in finance, public-private partnerships, corporate strategy and risk management. He has held executive roles with Access Capital Advisers (now Whitehelm), Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson) and the Australian Government.

Julian has a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University, is a Fellow of the Actuaries Institute, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lisa Barlin


Lisa Barlin has been an equity Partner at independent commercial law firms for the past decade. She brings 18 years’ experience as a solicitor, predominantly working in commercial and government law. She has routinely provided legal advices on corporate governance issues and provided crisis management services at a board level.

Most recently Lisa was a director and then Deputy Chair of Snowy Hydro SouthCare Rescue Helicopter Trust Fund. This Trust Fund was owned and funded by the ACT and NSW Governments and the helicopter flew 6,900 rescue missions across the ACT and Southern New South Wales region.

In 2014 Lisa was appointed as company secretary to lead the major corporate restructure for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, a body originally established in 2001 by the Australian Parliament with a $115 million grant. The Foundation was established to distribute funding for programs and research that aimed to prevent the harms caused by alcohol and licit substance misuse.

For more than ten years she has also been a director for not-for-profit community boards across the education, health and safety, and sporting sectors.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts/Laws from the Australian National University and is admitted to practise in the High Court of Australia.

Sue Edwards


Sue worked in film and television production for many years prior to 2007 when she joined Film Victoria, the state government funding agency for the screen industry (film, TV, games). She spent 8 years with Film Victoria managing a variety of programs including Production Investment and Incentives until returning to the production sector in 2016.

Since then she has worked as a Line Producer for different companies including FremantleMedia Australia, Hoodlum Entertainment and Playmaker Media on projects such as WENTWORTHFIVE BEDROOMS and the final series of HOUSE HUSBANDS.