Leadership Matters Report


Screen Well is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Jonathon Dutton (Independent Consultant) and the University of Melbourne on the report, Leadership Matters, to be released on the 14th of March 2024.

Bullying, discrimination, harassment, and destructive work conditions have all emerged as central themes in previous screen industry reports, leading to calls for cultural change.

“This research partnership is an exciting first for Screen Well, as part of our evolution this year is identifying and addressing some of the systemic underlying issues that impact mental health in our sector,” says Screen Well founder Ben Steel.

While the cultural impacts on mental health and wellbeing have been reported in the past, Leadership Matters goes a step further by examining the impacts on creative and commercial outcomes, as well as detailing how leaders can and do play a pivotal role in improving these outcomes and the long-term sustainability of the industry.

“So many people who are leaders in our industry have little or no training or support in these challenging roles. Leadership training is rarely a key feature of film school curriculum, nor are there opportunities to upskill in a largely freelance workforce.” Briscoe says. “This report highlights the importance of leadership development given we found only 7% of leaders are trained in a screen-specific context”.

As part of the launch, the University of Melbourne will be hosting a free webinar from 12pm- 1pm AEDT where the researchers and authors, Jonathon Dutton and Jo Briscoe, will take the audience through the need for this research, the key findings and their recommendations.

“While the report details many of the industry’s cultural problems and their underlying causes, it also highlights how some leaders do create environments that get better results.” Dutton says.

The researchers believe if screen leaders are better supported by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need, the culture of the industry can improve over time. Dutton says: “This report offers a practical path forward to improve the culture of our industry and is a valuable resource for all leaders and screen businesses.”

To attend the launch, and receive a copy of the full report, register for the free webinar via the orange button.


Jonathon Dutton has worked in the screen industry for over twenty-five years, primarily as a director/producer. He also has an Executive MBA and works as an independent screen industry and creative business consultant, with a particular focus on workforce sustainability, leadership, and culture.

Jo Briscoe is a Production Designer and Senior Lecturer in Design at the Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne. She has a particular interest in leadership training as a key aspect of industry preparation for students. She is a member of the National Executive of the Australian Production Design Guild.