Series Mania brings the creators behind your favourite shows to Melbourne

Series Mania returns with a four-day television event delivered free and online with a world-class line up of speakers as part of Screen Industry Day on 14 October.

Through a partnership with Film Victoria and ACMI, the jam-packed program of talks and masterclasses has been designed to inspire and connect local screen industry practitioners with some of the best creators of our time including Tony Ayres (Clickbait), Craig Mazin (Chernobyl), Sierra Teller Ornelas (Rutherford Falls), Prentice Penny (INSECURE), Lucy Prebble (Succession), and Joanna Werner (The Newsreader).

Prolific showrunner, executive producer and director – Prentice Penny (INSECURE, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Scrubs), kicks off the festival in conversation with award-winning actor Miranda Tapsell. Penny will join the audience from the edit suite of HBO’s hit award-winning comedy INSECURE, just weeks before the highly anticipated fifth and final season drops on Binge.

Tapsell will also be joined by Navajo and American showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas (Rutherford Falls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Superstore). Ornelas is one of only two First Nations showrunners in the United States and a graduate of the Walt Disney Television Writing Program.


Craig Mazin, creator of the award-winning miniseries Chernobyl and host of the indispensable Scriptnotes podcast will dive into what it takes to make television based on true events, and Series Mania’s Creative Director Francois-Pier Pelinard Lambert will deliver his much-anticipated snapshot of fiction trends and formats.

International guests also include popular playwright and screenwriter Lucy Prebble (Succession, I Hate Suzie, Secret Diary of a Call Girl) in conversation with Benjamin Law.

Local creators will even take over our Series Mania screens with talks from those behind the successful Victoria-made series which recently dropped, including Clickbait, The Newsreader and Fires. Tony Ayres, Debbie Lee, Sally Riley and Belinda Chayko will dive into some of Australia’s TV industry’s most pressing questions like do we need to do things differently to be competitive in the globalised commissioning environment?

ABC's The Newsreader (image - ABC)
ABC’s The Newsreader (image – ABC)

Exclusively for Series Mania Melbourne’s Screen Industry Day, Werner Film Productions will share a first look at their teen surfing drama Surviving Summer which has been commission by Netflix. Series Creators Joanna Werner and Josh Maplestone with Director Ben Chessel will share a work-in progress of the young adult drama that shot under COVID-Safety protocols across Victoria’s Great Ocean Road earlier this year.

Series Mania announced this month a public program of premiere screenings,
giving TV fans a first look at some of the most anticipated series from around the world.

The free screenings program runs from 14 – 17 October, kicking off with the first two episodes of the highly anticipated second season of political drama Total Control, starring the multi award-winning Deborah Mailman and Rachel Griffiths. Other highlights from the public screenings program including Hellbound (South Korea), L’Opera (France) and Nakkiah Lui and Gabriel Dowrick’s brand-new comedy series Preppers.

Tickets to all events, including the 2021 Screen Industry Day and public screenings are free and available now. To register for free, visit

Series Mania kicks off on Screen Industry Day this Thursday, October 14.

Matthew Simmonds
Matthew Simmonds is a journalist and blogger, with a keen interest in the world of Reality TV. He loves exploring both what’s happening in front of the camera but also how the magic comes together behind the scenes. If not glued to the TV bingeing one of the newest obsessions or a timeless series, you’ll find Matthew endlessly scrolling through Twitter (and he may even tweet a time or two). Matthew’s also a final-year Communication student, majoring in Journalism, at the Queensland University of Technology.



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