Porchlight Films to cease operations as partners pursue new opportunities

• The three partners will retain ownership of Jetty Distribution

The award-winning Australian production company Porchlight Films has announced it will cease operations as its three founding partners Vincent Sheehan, Liz Watts and Anita Sheehan move on to pursue new opportunities individually.

Founded in 1997, the prolific and proudly independent production company leaves behind an immense legacy of bold, cinematic screen content that has advanced the careers of numerous Australian directors, writers and actors, including 15 feature films, five television series, two documentaries and three short films.

Vincent Sheehan

Vincent Sheehan and Liz Watts will continue to work on individual projects currently in development, with Anita Sheehan, who has been managing director of Porchlight since 2015, leaving to pursue other opportunities after a short break. Productions currently being financed will continue to be produced under the Porchlight banner into 2021 including Kitty Flanagan’s comedy series Entitled and Nakkiah Lui and Gabe Dowrick’s Preppers.

Liz Watts

The three founding partners said: “We are indebted to our many brilliant and talented colleagues for their incredible contributions to Porchlight Films’ productions. We thank our very committed staff for their dedication and hard work, and we thank our many partners locally and internationally for their faith in the Porchlight brand. You have all contributed to Porchlight’s success and longevity. We have loved working together for the past 23 years and remain enormously proud of our catalogue of work. As we all move into a new phase in our careers, individually, we hope to continue to work with you all long into the future.”

Anita Sheehan

Porchlight Films’ award-winning film & TV legacy includes:

Rake creator Peter Duncan’s new political satire, Operation Buffalo (2020), currently airing on the ABC starring Ewen Leslie, Jessica de Gouw and James Cromwell.

Justin Kurzel’s interpretation True History of the Kelly Gang (2020) starring George MacKay, Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam, Nicholas Hoult, Charlie Hunnam and Russell Crowe which was distributed on Stan.

The King (2019), David Michôd’s epic feature for Netflix starring Timothée Chalamet, Sean Harris, Joel Edgerton, written by David Michôd and Joel Edgerton, which premiered at Venice Film Festival 2019.

Garth DavisMary Magdalene (2018) starring Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara for Universal/Focus Pictures.

The psychological thriller The Kettering Incident (2016) created by Vicki Madden and Vincent Sheehan and starring Elizabeth Debicki and Matthew Le Nevez which won the AACTA Award for Best Telefeature or Mini Series, the Silver Logie for Best Mini Series and the Special Jury Prize at Series Mania Festival.

Michôd’s outback dystopian drama The Rover (2014), which screened in Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival in 2013, starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.

The feature film Jasper Jones (2017) directed by Rachel Perkins and based on the award-winning best seller by Craig Silvey, starring Toni Collette, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice and Hugo Weaving.

Indigenous playwright Nakkiah Lui’s web comedy Kiki and Kitty (2017), and her upcoming TV series Preppers (2021) co-written with Gabe Dowrick.

Michôd’s directorial debut, AFI-winning, Oscar-nominated Animal Kingdom (2010), which won the World Cinema Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 2010 and spawned five seasons of the nihilistic family drama of the same name for US cable station TNT.

Two seasons of AFI Best Comedy series for the ABC, Laid (2011-2) with creators Marieke Hardy and Kirsty Fisher starring Alison Bell and Celia Pacquola.

Tony Krawitz’ first two feature films Jewboy (2005), which premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival in 2005, and Dead Europe (2012) starring Ewen Leslie, Marton Csokas and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

Black Widow director Cate Shortland’s second feature film, Lore (2012), a German-British-Australian historical drama based on Rachel Seiffert‘s lauded novel The Dark Room, which screened at Toronto Film Festival.

Willem Dafoe starrer The Hunter (2011), which screened at Toronto Film Festival and SXSW, from first-time feature director Daniel Nettheim, who went on to direct episodes of critically acclaimed and beloved British TV shows Line of Duty, Broadchurch and Doctor Who.

The Home Song Stories (2007), Tony Ayres’ biographical feature film starring Joan Chen and his debut feature film, Walking on Water (2002) both of which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Rowan WoodsLittle Fish (2005), starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, which was nominated for 13 AFI Awards including five wins.

Long-time collaborator David Michôd said: “I feel incredibly lucky to have been taken into the Porchlight family. Liz, Vincent and Anita are brave and smart and tasteful, but most of all they are good eggs. Animal Kingdom would not have happened without them and so, of course, I will be forever grateful to them for everything that has happened for me since.”

The three partners will retain ownership of Jetty Distribution, which will continue to manage the ongoing rights in Porchlight’s catalogue.

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