Melbourne based Werner Film Productions (WFP) is an award-winning film and television Production Company specialising in the creative development and production of high-quality live action drama.
Who We Are
Melbourne based Werner Film Productions (WFP) is an award-winning Film and Television Production Company specialising in the creative development and production of high-quality live action drama.
Thrice Emmy Nominated, AFI/ACCTA and Logie Award winning Producer Joanna Werner established WFP in 2008, enabling her to put her individual stamp on the content she was planning to create.
Internationally recognised for the three hugely successful seasons of Dance Academy and its follow up Feature Film, Dance Academy The Movie, the company has continued to flourish producing the AACTA award winning Telemovie Riot, six part adult drama Secret City and tween drama Ready For This.
In 2021 the company produced the 6 part mini-series The Newsreader for the ABC & EOne which went on to win five 2021 AACTA awards, including Best Drama Series, then in 2022 collected Logies for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actress (Anna Torv). Season 2 of The Newsreader is currently in post-production and will air on the ABC in 2023. The series has been a big hit for BBC2 and sold extensively around the world.
Also produced in 2021 was the ten episode tween series Surviving Summer which premiered worldwide on Netflix in June 2022. The series was an instant hit climbing into Netflix’s Top Ten in over 42 countries including the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil. A second season is currently in development. The company has just completed production on Creator/Director Nicholas Verso’s tween horror-comedy Crazy Fun Park, for the ABC & ACTF. This distinctive ten episode series will screen on ABC Me in 2023.
Werner Film Productions has an active and diverse development slate, working alongside some of Australia’s most talented writing and directing creatives. The company continues to expand its production partnerships locally and globally and is focused on creating more distinctive dramas for audiences to enjoy.
What We’ve Won
When you make good work, awards are a nice side effect. Here are a few we’re especially proud of.
Crazy Fun Park
Winner, Most Outstanding Children's Program
Nominated, Most Outstanding Children's Program
Winner, Most Outstanding Drama Series
Winner, Most Outstanding Actress
Winner, Drama Series Production of the year
Winner, Best Drama Series
Winner, Best Direction in Drama or Comedy
Winner, Best Lead Actress in a Drama
Winner, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama
Winner, Best Production Design in Television
Nomination, Best Editing in Television
Nomination, Best Costume Design in Television
Nomination, Best Sound in Television
Nomination, Best Cinematography in Television
Winner, Best Telefeature or Mini Series
Winner, Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama
Winner, Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama
Winner, Best Casting
Nomination, Most Outstanding Actor, 2018
Nomination, Most Outstanding Actress, 2018
Winner, Most Outstanding Actress, 2017
Winner, Most Outstanding Supporting Actor, 2017
Ready For This
Nomination, Children and Young People, 2017
Ready For This
Winner, Most Outstanding Children’s Television Series, 2016
Ready For This
Winner, Best Children’s Television Series, 2015
Dance Academy Season 2
Winner, Most Outstanding Children’s Program, 2012
Dance Academy Season 2
Winner, Children’s Television Producer of the Year, 2012
Dance Academy Season 2
Nomination, Children and Young People, 2011
Dance Academy Season 1
Nomination, Children and Young People, 2010
Dance Academy Season 1
Winner, Most Outstanding Children’s Program, 2010
Nominated, Most Popular New Talent - Lilliana Bowrey
Our team is small but mighty. Collectively, we have decades of experience and passion.
COMPANY DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE & CREATIVE PRODUCER
Joanna Werner is a creative Producer and Executive Producer for film and television and is Director of Werner
Joanna’s work has been defined by consistent acclaim, with multiple AACTA awards and Logies and three
Emmy nominations. Joanna has amassed production credits on an array of internationally acclaimed work –
most recently on AACTA and Logie winning series The Newsreader for the ABC, Netflix hit Surviving Summer
and the Netflix Original Clickbait. Other credits include Riot for the ABC, Secret City for Foxtel, as well as the
two-time Emmy-nominated Dance Academy.
Joanna serves on the Board of Screen Australia and is Chair of Screen Australia’s Gender Matters Task Force.
Crazy Fun Park, a teen horror comedy for ABC ME has recently launched on ABC iView and The Newsreader 2 for the
ABC which are set for release in 2023. Joanna is currently in pre-production on Surviving Summer 2 for Netflix.
MANAGING DIRECTOR / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Stuart is a television executive with extensive experience in content creation, executive producing, commissioning, channel management, programming and financing. Most recently Stuart has executive produced for Werner Film Productions the acclaimed ABCTV The Newsreader seasons 1 & 2, Surviving Summer for Netflix and the upcoming Crazy Fun Park for ABCTV. In 2018 Stuart was Australian producer for the co-production The Cry.
Previously, Stuart was the Head of Content and Creative Development at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABCTV) and oversaw all commissioned production. In 2010, Stuart was appointed the inaugural Controller of ABC2, the network’s younger skewing digital channel.
HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT
Rachel Davis is an experienced creative producer and development executive, starting her career in the UK, before moving to New Zealand and then to Australia in 2010.
Her past roles include Head of Development for CBBC Drama, Script and Development Executive for the ACTF and as an Executive Producer for the ABC and for Viacom. She has collaborated on projects with some of Australia’s most highly regarded production companies and has creatively helmed dramas and comedies that have been recognised with nominations for Logies, AACTAs, BAFTAs and the Prix Jeunesse. In 2019, Mustangs FC, a show that she co-created and co-produced for Matchbox Pictures and that champions women both in front of and behind the camera, was nominated for an International Emmy.
In 2022, she co-produced and co-created a new drama for the ABC, Turn Up the Volume, which will air in 2023.
DIRECTOR OF CONTENT & OPERATIONS
Jenni comes to Werner Film Productions with over 35 years of industry experience. As the ex CEO of Film Victoria and most recently the Managing Director at Princess Pictures, Jenni has a deep and practical knowledge of the Australian screen industry. In addition to this, Jenni has worked as an Independent Producer, Line Producer and Consultant to a who’s who of Australian and International production companies. Most recent credits include Production Supervisor on 'Surviving Summer' (2022) and Producer of 'How to Stay Married' (2020).
PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE( on maternity leave until 2024)
A graduate of The University of Adelaide, Sarah has extensive experience across production and development in TV, Film & Online content in both Australia and the U.S. Her credits include 13 Reasons Why, Transformers: Bumblebee, Always be my Maybe, Wine Country along with local shows Clickbait and Aunty Donna 1999. Sarah has worked as a stage manager as well as in art, locations and production departments. In addition to her scripted work, Sarah has produced over 20 TVC's and delivered viral marketing campaigns for the Asia pacific region.
Sarah joined the Werner team in late 2020, and has since worked across The Newsreader seasons 1 & 2 (ABC), Surviving Summer (Netflix) and Crazy Fun Park (ABCMe). Sarah is involved in the entire WFP slate, now with a focus on production and post production.
Sarah's passion lies in creating harmonious, safe and enjoyable workplace environments in which to tell authentic and compelling stories.
Katia Nizic originally hails from the publishing world and graduated from the AFTRS in 2012, producing a number of short films including the acclaimed “Violent Florence” (SXSW 2014).
In 2016 she formed independent production company Generator Pictures with writer & producer, Emma Dockery, with a mission to produce screen stories that celebrate diversity, with a particular emphasis on delivering meaningful roles in front of and behind the camera.
Her recent productions under the Generator Pictures banner include HOMECOMING QUEENS (2018), the award-winning digital series that was the first online commission for SBS On-demand and the documentary PAPER TRAILS (2017) for the ABC about activist, broadcaster, and feminist writer Anne Deveson’s experience with Alzheimer’s.
Most recently in her role at Carver Films, she produced the feature documentary FIRE FRONT (2022) working with director Eddie Martin, about the 2019/2020 Black Summer Bushfires, which premiered at MIFF 2022. She was also Associate Producer on the feature drama RUN RABBIT RUN starring Sarah Snook and directed by Daina Reid, which premiered at Sundance 2023 and was bought prior to the festival by Netflix.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - PLACEMENT SUPPORTED BY SCREEN AUSTRALIA'S ENTERPRISE PEOPLE FUNDING
Hannah Ngo is an early career producer originally hailing from the West Coast. She draws on her heritage to help drive stories that engage in an unexpected and uplifting way which can be seen in her catalogue of award-winning short films. Hannah’s more recent credits include the SBS series Iggy and Ace which premiered at the prestigious Seriesmania and is currently in competition at the C21 International Drama awards. As a producer, she wants to help make creative decisions that bring original and significant projects into being and in 2021, Hannah was named one of Screen Producer Australia’s Ones to Watch and one of the 20 Australian creatives for International Women’s Day by Screen Australia.
Paul De Ieso
Paul De Ieso is a financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, financial management and general management. He has direct experience in the property industry. He holds a degree in accounting and has been an integral part of developing organisations that he has worked for.
Gabs is Executive Assistant to Joanna Werner. Gabs comes from an animation background where she specialises in experimental 3D animation and visual effects.
Business Affairs Associate
Olivia joins us as a recent law and literature graduate. She assists Stuart Menzies across the legal affairs for the company. Having studied at Monash and ACU, she is now currently completing her articles and will be admitted into practice in early 2024.