Chang will take a leading role in developing SBS’s pipeline of commissioned scripted fiction projects which reflect and explore the diversity of Australia. As well as working across long form event series, she will also support the development and production of SBS’s short form and feature initiatives which provide opportunities for emerging talent from often underrepresented backgrounds, to share their unique stories of contemporary Australia.
Chang joins SBS from Lingo Pictures where she was head of development, working there since 2018 across a range of projects including The Secrets She Keeps. Prior to that, she was a development executive at Screen Australia, and has been a story development external assessor for Screen Australia since 2015. She spent several years working in the UK after being selected as one of three emerging Australian producers to win a six-month international placement with Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, in London, where she continued to work for several more years as a production executive before returning to Australia.
Amanda Duthie, head of scripted (acting) at SBS, said: “It is exciting as we exit the Covid cloud to be gearing up with commissioned content across the slate and welcoming the exceptional talents of Donna Chang to the SBS team. With big plans for SBS across features, short form and prime time series, Donna brings experience and sensitivity in developing outstanding fiction, demonstrated by her work in Australia and overseas.”
Donna Chang said: “It’s been a dream of mine to work in the nexus of screen and inclusivity. There is a real audience hunger for authentic, distinctive storytelling from underrepresented communities, and I’m elated to be joining the SBS Scripted team at this critical time. I look forward to supporting creators in making world-class content.”
Chang’s appointment to the scripted commissioning team comes as SBS’s new comedy-drama series, The Unusual Suspects, starring Aina Dumlao, AACTA award-winner Miranda Otto and Michelle Vergara Moore continues production in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Other commissioned dramas coming up for SBS include New Gold Mountain, a four-part revisionist western telling the untold story of the Australian gold rush from the perspective of Chinese miners, and The Tailings, a short form drama series giving an insight into life in regional Tasmania, and set to premiere on SBS On Demand in 2021.
In the role of development executive, scripted, Chang will report to and work closely with the head of scripted. Chang commences 12 October.