icon icon

Meet Jill Kingston: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

To commemorate International Women’s Day 2024, we’re putting the spotlight on our incredible Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) alumnae, highlighting their achievements, their perspectives on leadership in the screen industry, and the impact of education on their careers as screen business leaders. 

Jill Kingston finds inspiration in films that help the audience expand their sense of the world and dedicates her time to feature film as a Producer at Pacific Shadow Pictures, she has previously worked as a lawyer in the finance industry for over 10 years. 

Tell us a little more about your current role or focus area.

My name is Jill Kingston. I am a lawyer and producer. I worked as a lawyer in the finance industry for over 10 years. I completed my Master of Arts Screen: Business in 2022. Since then, I have worked on several films, including in 2023 as a producer’s assistant to Bunya Productions and independent producer Matt Reeder on the Rebel Wilson musical-comedy The Deb. This year, I am producing a found footage horror feature with writer/director Jorrden Daley. Jorrden is also an AFTRS alumni and had her last film premiere at Sydney Film Festival in 2022.  

How do you approach leadership in the screen industry, and what perspectives can you share about fostering inclusivity and gender equality within this sector?

I’m only just embarking on my own leadership journey in the film industry, but the best leaders I have come across so far are those who communicate clearly and explain the reasons behind their decisions and instructions. It’s obviously hard in a fast-paced environment, but I do think it is crucial to an effective and harmonious team. 

In terms of inclusivity and gender equality, I think it’s about understanding each person’s ‘why’ – why they want the role, what they can bring to the project that is unique to them and having an honest conversation about expectations and the overall goals for the project. And of course being open-minded about people! 

In honour of International Women’s Day, could you elaborate on what tools and mindset you draw on to challenge traditional gender norms and advocate for diverse voices and stories in the screen business?

For me personally, it’s about putting myself out there. Putting my hand up for any opportunities that come my way and really giving it my all. I often feel pretty out of my depth (and if I’m being really honest, quite scared) but I once heard this great talk about each person’s ‘circle of confidence’ – how each time you do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone, it broadens what you feel comfortable (and confident) doing in the future – and that really resonated with me. And also being kind to myself (much easier said than done) when things are a bit tough or don’t go as planned.  

Is there a female or female-identifying leader in the screen sector whose work you have found particularly inspiring?

Greer Simpkin – the work she and David have done at Bunya is incredible. High Ground is one of my favourite movies.  

Reflecting on your journey through the Master of Arts Screen: Business, how do see your leadership and the skills you developed advancing the screen industry?

I think what I am good at is organising things and bringing people together. What I learnt in the course (that has been so valuable) is how to really speak and engage with people with confidence, clarity and knowledge. I mean it’s still very much a work in progress, but I try to really think about what I am asking people, make sure I understand their background, how they can help me (or how I can help them) – to ensure I have informed conversations about the screen industry and my projects.   

What leadership skills do you see as being essential for the next generation of screen leaders?

Clear communication, really understanding what needs to be done on a project, finding the right people and resources to get it done efficiently and creating a fun and safe environment to work. The screen industry is hard – someone once said to me that most people working in film could be making a lot more money doing something else (and with a lot less stress) but we’re all here because we love it. So embracing that, that passion and love, and making people feel safe and valued.  

What advice would you give someone considering studying the Master of Arts Screen: Business?

Do it! Of course, not every subject or lecture will resonate with you, but gosh it’s a great course. The people you meet, the conversations you have, the projects you get exposed to. I remember sitting in a lecture by Dr Gerard Reed about ethics and literally having chills. He was so incredibly articulate and inspiring. It was honestly like a two-hour overview of the history of mankind. I mean, what better inspiration for film students – because I think we’re all really making films to try to make sense of the world. 

Read more interviews here. 


Link to
Mid-Year Applications Now Open for the Master of Arts Screen: Business

Apply now for AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business, Australia’s foremost screen business program, and succeed as a leader in the screen business and media sector.

Link to
Master of Arts Screen: Business (Mid-Year)

Designed for a new generation of screen leaders, AFTRS’ Master of Arts Screen: Business is Australia’s foremost creative screen business course.

Link to
Mastering Leadership: Celebrating Women in Screen Business

This year International Women’s Day coincides with the launch of our Master of Arts Screen: Business (MASB) mid-year application window – a course that champions innovation and acceleration for current and future screen leaders.