TV Talks

AFTRS TV talks TV Talks regular MC Denise Eriksen with guests Craig Reucassel and Paul Fenech
AFTRS TV Talks TV Talks: Anita Jacoby
AFTRS TV Talks TV Talks guest Manu Feildel with audience members
AFTRS' TV Talks AFTRS' TV Talks - dedicated TV industry panel discussions



TV TALKS is an opportunity to watch, listen and laugh along with a panel of engaging TV industry guests who talk about TV 'stuff' for TV 'people' complemented with some good, old-fashioned networking afterwards!

  • First Tuesday of the month, February through to November.
  • All welcome - however places are limited and RSVP is essential
  • To be placed on the invite list please email sfgdsfg
  • You can RSVP to the current event by clicking on the following link and registering your details through Eventbrite:



Australians are loving seeing their history on screen. We’ve seen an explosion in “true stories” lately, with famous and infamous events and characters bought to life via big budget dramatised documentaries, and even bigger budget “based on actual events”  TV.  At this months TV Talks we’ll be talking to several producers responsible for some of the highest profile “event TV” this year – from The Story of Us (Essential Media), to The House of Hancock (CJZ) and Gallipoli (Endemol). We’ll explore the challenges for producers creating entertaining, engaging TV while still staying (mostly or closely) true to the facts. Or while bearing the facts in mind.


  • Claudia Karvan – Producer, House of Hancock
  • Paul Bennett – Head of Drama CJZ
  • John Edwards -  Producer, Gallipoli
  • Chris Hilton – CEO, Essential Media


  • Denise Eriksen

Guest Bios

Chris Hilton is one of Australia's most prolific and award winning producer/ directors who has made films across a broad spectrum of subjects for the world’s major broadcasters. Chris is CEO and founding partner of Essential Media and Entertainment, a multi award winning Sydney-based production company with a track record in high end factual, television drama, feature films and children’s animation. He is also a founding partner of the North American factual entertainment producer Essential 11 Television with offices in Los Angeles and Toronto.

Chris has produced over 300 hours of programming for international broadcasters such as PBS, BBC, Channel Four, Discovery, National Geographic, Sundance and Arte as well as all Australian television networks. His recent Executive Producer credits include: Australia: The Story of Us, The Real Mary Poppins, Australia: The Time Traveller’s Guide, My Brother the Serial Killer, Voyage to the Planets, Miracles, The Floating Brothel, Seduction in the City and The Grammar of Happiness.

Chris serves as a Documentary Councillor for Screen Producers Australia and won the 2014 Stanley Hawes Award for his outstanding contribution to the documentary industry in Australia.

Paul Bennett began his career in film as a staff writer on the SBS strip drama Going Home. For two years Paul developed new television dramas for BBHTV including the 13 part children’s series Ocean Star which he wrote for and script edited in 2002.

After working as a script editor on McLeod’s Daughters, he was offered a position at Network Ten as deputy to Sue Masters, Head of Drama. In his capacity as Network Drama Executive Paul worked on The Secret Life Of Us, Neighbours, Blackjack, Small Claims, The Cooks, The Incredible Journey Of Mary Bryant, The Surgeon, The Society Murders, Tripping Over, Bombali and Murder In The Outback – The Joanne Lees Story.

He has been Head of Drama at CJZ since Nov 2008 and delivered the anticipated tele-movie The Great Mint Swindle for Channel Nine’s 2012 schedule. Most recently Paul produced the telemovie House of Hancock which has just aired on the Nine Network.

Claudia Karvan has been working in the Australian Film and Television industry since 1980 as an acclaimed actor, producer, director and creator of multi award winning television series.

Claudia was creator, producer and star of Love My Way which won numerous awards nationally and internationally including the Australian Film Institute (AFI) for Best Television Drama Series three years in a row.  For her role as Frankie in Love My Way, Claudia was two time winner of both the Silver Logie Award for Most Outstanding Actress and the AFI for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She was also creator, producer and star of Spirited, which attracted AFI nominations for Best Drama Series and won the Sydney Morning Herald Guide’s Couch Potato award for Best Drama Series and secured a passionate audience following.

The House of Hancock is Claudia’s first mini-series as producer.

John Edwards has produced more than 600 hours of television drama that have won 29 Logie Awards, 39 AFI and AACTA Awards, 8 ASTRA Awards, numerous awards within Australia and a number of international awards, as well being the only Australian television producer nominated for the Golden Globe Awards.

John's television credits include Gallipoli (which he produced with Imogen Banks and Robert Connolly), Puberty Blues, Offspring, Tangle, Dangerous (with Imogen Banks); Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War and Rush (with Mimi Butler); Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo, Spirited (with Claudia Karvan and Jacquelin Perske); Beaconsfield, Love My Way (with Claudia Karvan); Marking Time, The Surgeon (with Judi McCrossin); The Secret Life of Us (with Amanda Higgs); On The Beach and Police Rescue (with Sandra Levy). He is currently working on The Beautiful Lie for ABC.

In 2011, he was conferred an Honorary Masters degree by the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

Past TV Talks