Woman Watts, Liz


Written by Kathryn Mcleod, National Film and Sound Archive

Liz Watts is an independent producer who began her career in film working in the camera department. Her interest in producing was sparked when she realised that she wanted to be involved in film development and scripting and 'not just for the six or seven weeks of shooting, but actually right from beginning to the end' (Watts quoted in AFI interview, 2010). She took on roles at Film Australia, Beyond and Southern Star and began managing short films. In 1997, Watts and fellow producers Vincent Sheehan and Anita Sheehan established the production company Porchlight Films. Watts has since produced the acclaimed and award winning films Little Fish (2005), The Home Song Stories (2007), Animal Kingdom (2010), The Hunter (2011) and Lore (2012).

In 2010, Watts received a Churchill Fellowship to 'explore innovative production, distribution practices and content creation within independent American cinema in the USA and UK' (Watts quoted in Metro Screen 2011). She was also named in Harpers Bazaar's Top 25 Women in Australian film in 2012 and as a patron of The World of Women (WOW) Film Festival in 2013. Of her involvement with the WOW Film Festival, Watts has said: '"I've been fortunate in my career in never really questioning why I couldn't do something as a woman. But I know that's precisely because of the fantastic work done by many to push and platform the work of women filmmakers. We need champions and mentors - they are vital for our industry as a whole. I do think women tell stories slightly differently, and would hope that their voices will continue to be heard in cinema here and internationally' (Watts, WOW Film Festival, 2013).

In 2013 Watts' latest film The Rover, directed by David Michôd was currently in post-production and expected to be released in 2014.

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