LAAFTA (The Los Angeles Australian Film and Television Association) was launched in LA on May 16. The networking organisation was founded by AusFILM commissioner David Pratt, producer Paula Paizes Gonda and entertainment lawyer Debbie Zipser. In its first year, the organisation will host at least four events including film and television screenings and Q&As with entertainment industry leaders.
Guests at the first event included co-chair of Fox Jim Gianopolus, vice president of international marketing for Paramount Pictures John Rentsch, Moulin Rouge producers Fred Barron and Martin Brown, executive vice president of Worldwide Productions for Village Roadshow Michael Lake, senior VP of investment and acquisitions at Warner Bros Robert Fisher, Ben Lewin, Rod Hardy, Ross Grayson Bell, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick and Michael Rymer.
LAAFTA is currently putting together a board of advisers, and appointments to date including President of International theatrical for Twentieth Century Fox Scott Neeson, vice president of interntional marketing for Paramount Pictures John Rentsch and president of Coote/Hayes Productions Greg Coote.
The organisation’s founding sponsors are the Australian Trade Commission, the Australian Consulate, Twentieth Century Fox and Couch Nobelius Media and Public Relations.