Adaptation Symposium

Thursday 29th October, 7.30pm – 9pm

Join a live panel of industry experts, authors and filmmakers to explore the nuts and bolts of adapting micro-fiction to micro-films.

Panelists include micro-literature expert, Cassandra Atherton, scriptwriting teacher, Craig Batty, filmmaker, Rachel Landers and scriptwriter, Alana Valentine. You’ll also get to hear from guest speakers Denise Faithfull author of Adaptations A Guide To Adapting Literature To Film and Hajer, from ABC TV’s comedy series Halal Gurls on diversity in storytelling and filmmaking and interviews with authors and filmmakers.


Rachel Landers

Professor Rachel Landers is a filmmaker with a PhD in history. Her films have screened all over the world and won a number of prestigious awards. In 2011/12 she received the NSW Premier’s History Fellowship and was appointed Head of Documentary at AFTRS. In 2015, she released the ABC/DVA/Screen Australia documentary Lest We Forget What?for the centenary of World War 1. She published her first non-fiction book Who Bombed the Hilton? with New South Books in 2016 for which won the national Nib award for excellence in research in the creation of a literary work. In 2018 she was appointed head of Media Arts and Production at UTS. Her feature film A Dog and Her Boyis in development with support from Screen Australia, Film Victoria and Screen West and she had recently been commissioned to write the book Hybrid Documentary and Beyondfor Routledge.

Craig Batty

Professor Craig Batty is Head of Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. He is the author, co-author and editor of 15 books, including Script Development: Critical Approaches, Creative Practices, International Perspectives (2020), The Doctoral Experience: Student Stories from the Creative Arts and Humanities (2019), Writing for the Screen: Creative and Critical Approaches (2nd ed.) (2019) and Screen Production Research: Creative Practice as a Mode of Enquiry (2018). He has also published many book chapters and journals articles on the topics of screenwriting practice, screenwriting theory, creative practice research and doctoral supervision. Craig is also a screenwriter and script consultant, with experiences in short film, feature film, television and online drama. His passion for drama came from a childhood of watching British soap opera.

Microflix Festival Alana Valentine

Alana Valentine is a multi award winning playwright. Her writing has been nominated for a 2011 Queensland Premier’s Award for Best Drama Script, 2007 Helpmann Awards for Best New Australian Work and Best Play, awarded the 2004 Queensland Premier’s Award for Best Drama Script, the 2003 NSW Writer’s Fellowship, the 2002 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award and an International Writing Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. She also received a 2001 commendation for the Louis Esson Prize, a 1999 AWGIE Award, a residency at the Banff Playwrights’ Conference in Canada, the ANPC/New Dramatists Award in NYC and a Churchill Fellowship. Barbara and the Camp Dogs, co-written with Ursula Yovich, and presented at Belvoir in 2017 was nominated in the 2017 Sydney Theatre Awards for Best New Australian work and Best Original score.

MC Cassandra Atherton

Cassandra Atherton is an award-winning prose poet and expert on the short form. She is series editor of Spineless Wonders microlit anthologies and judge of the joanne burns award. Cassandra was a Harvard Visiting Scholar in English and a Visiting Fellow at Sophia University, Tokyo. She has published 30 critical and creative books and edited special editions of leading journals. Cassandra is the successful recipient of many national and international grants including VicArts and Australia Council Grants. Her most recent books of prose poetry are Leftovers (2020) and Fugitive Letters (2020). She co-wrote Prose Poetry: An Introduction (2020) and co-edited The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (2020) with Paul Hetherington. Cassandra is a member of the Microflix Steering committee, she has published papers and addressed international conferences on both digital writing and multiplatform publishing. She was the emcee of the inaugural Microflix Awards.

Special Guests

Denise Faithfull

Denise Faithfull’s background is in publishing, journalism and education, both in Australia and in California. After re-settling in Sydney, she worked as a free-lance book editor. Later she taught Business Communication at the University of Technology Sydney before joining TAFE, where she taught Film and Media Studies, Communication and English for the HSC.  Denise’s PhD thesis, completed at the University of Sydney, explores the adaptation of literature to film. It is the basis for Chapters 2 – 6 of the book Adaptations: A Guide to Adapting Literature to Film,published by Currency Press.  She ran a short course and workshops on adaptations at the University of Sydney based on this book.Born and raised in Western Australia, Denise lives in Sydney, is married to a photographer, and has two sons.

A bundle of joy and contradictions, Hajer is an Iraqi-Australian writer that is trying to figure it all out. From screenplays to short stories to essays, she explores themes of womanhood, dysfunctional families and every now and then she’ll tell you how she feels about that trending topic on twitter. She has a Medium blog  where she shares her many opinions about the world. She has exhibited ‘Loss and Freedom’, an audio installation featuring Zainab and her parents accounts of the night Zainab runs away from home. Most recently, Hajer’s first folklore piece, ‘The Tigrisian Women’ set in an imagined ancient matriarchal Mesopotamian society featured in a Sydney Writers Festival project being rescheduled to 2021.