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

Internationally recognised for three hugely successful seasons of the Emmy-nominated and Logie Award-winning 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 in association with Matchbox Pictures and Emmy nominated, Logie and AACTA Award winning tween drama Ready For This, a co-venture with Blackfella Films.
Werner Film Productions produced the popular drama 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. The highly anticipated Season 2 of The Newsreader aired in September of 2023. Season 2 secured 15 AACTA Award Nominations and five AACTA Awards, including Best Drama Series. Season 2 also has been successful internationally, earning a nomination for Best Returning Drama in the 2023 C21 Drama Awards alongside international television juggernauts.
Werner Film Productions also made an international splash with the Netflix teen series Surviving Summer. Season 1 premiered worldwide on Netflix in 2022 and was an instant hit, climbing into Netflix’s Top Ten in over 42 countries. Season 2 launched in September of 2023, gathering a cult teenage following across the world with it reaching Netflix’s Top 10 in 49 Countries and 31.8 million hours viewed in the first month.
In 2023, Crazy Fun Park a tween horror-comedy premiered on the ABC to a fabulous reception. It has been critically acclaimed with nominations for Best Children’s Program at the 2024 AACTA Awards and the show beat out children’s television giant Bluey at the 2023 Logie Awards to take the award for Most Outstanding Children’s Program. The series also sold internationally to CBBC and Hulu.
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 looks forward to creating more ground breaking, high-quality drama programs for audiences to enjoy.

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What We’ve Won

When you make good work, awards are a nice side effect. Here are a few we’re especially proud of.

Werner Film Productions
Winner, Screen Producers of Australia, Production Business of the Year

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Screen Producers of Australia, Drama Series Production of the Year

Crazy Fun Park
Winner, Screen Producers of Australia Children’s Production of the Year

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Best Drama Series

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Best Direction in Drama or Comedy

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Best Lead Actress in a Drama - Anna Torv

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama - Hunter Page-Lochard

The Newsreader S2
Winner, Best Costume Design in Television

Crazy Fun Park
Winner, Most Outstanding Children's Program

Surviving Summer
Nominated, Most Outstanding Children's Program

Suriviving Summer
Nominated, Most Popular New Talent - Lilliana Bowrey

The Newsreader
Winner, Most Outstanding Drama Series

The Newsreader
Winner, Most Outstanding Actress

The Newsreader
Winner, Drama Series Production of the year

The Newsreader
Winner, Best Drama Series

The Newsreader
Winner, Best Direction in Drama or Comedy

The Newsreader
Winner, Best Lead Actress in a Drama

The Newsreader
Winner, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

The Newsreader
Winner, Best Production Design in Television

The Newsreader
Nomination, Best Editing in Television

The Newsreader
Nomination, Best Costume Design in Television

The Newsreader
Nomination, Best Sound in Television

The Newsreader
Nomination, Best Cinematography in Television

Riot
Winner, Best Telefeature or Mini Series

Riot
Winner, Best Lead Actress in a Television Drama

Riot
Winner, Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama

Riot
Winner, Best Casting

Riot
Nomination, Most Outstanding Actor, 2018

Riot
Nomination, Most Outstanding Actress, 2018

Secret City
Winner, Most Outstanding Actress, 2017

Secret City
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

Our Team

Our team is small but mighty. Collectively, we have decades of experience and passion.

Joanna Werner

COMPANY DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE & CREATIVE PRODUCER

Joanna Werner is a creative Producer and Executive Producer for film and television and is Director of Werner
Film Productions.
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.

Stuart Menzies

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 the Australian Producer on the Synchronicity Films production of 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.

Rachel Davis

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.

Jenni Tosi

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).

Sarah Irvine

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

PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE

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.

Paul De Ieso

FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

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 Wills

EA/OFFICE MANAGER

Gabs is Executive Assistant to Joanna Werner. Gabs comes from an animation background where she specialises in experimental 3D animation and visual effects.

Olivia Petrie

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.