The brainchild of award winning AFTRS graduate Julie Kalceff, Starting From Now (SFN) explores the lives of four inner-Sydney lesbians as they struggle to work out who they are, find a place where they belong, and maybe even find someone to love along the way.
After building an international viral following across the first three seasons, producers Julie Kalceff and Rosie Lourde secured significant funding from Screen Australia and Screen NSW to create Seasons 4 and 5.
Seasons 4 and 5 were acquired for broadcast television and screened on SBS2 in March, 2016. This followed the World Premiere of Season 4 as part of the Mardi Gras Film Festival on 1 March, the first ever online content to screen at the festival.
JULIE KALCEFF (writer/director/producer)
Julie Kalceff is an award-winning writer, director and producer. A graduate of the Australian, Film, Television and Radio School with a Masters Degree in Scriptwriting, Julie has been working in the film and television industry for over 15 years.
Julie is the creator, writer, director and a producer of the international hit multi-platform drama Starting From Now. Attracting both critical and popular acclaim, the series is one of Australia’s most successful multi-platform projects. It has amassed over 110 million views, been watched in over 230 countries, and was sold to and screened on broadcast television in Australia.
Starting From Now has played on the global festival circuit, winning a number of awards including the International Academy of Web Television Award of Recognition at Hollyweb Fest, 2017; the Outstanding Diversity Award at Melbourne WebFest, 2017; the Audience Award at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, 2016; Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Drama Series at LA WebFest, 2016; and Best Web Series at She Webfest, 2015. Julie also won the award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series at LA WebFest, 2016 and was nominated for Best Writing (Drama) at the International Academy of Web Television Awards, 2017; and Best Director at the Asia Web Awards, 2017. Starting From Now was a finalist at the Screen Producer Awards (Australia) in 2015 and 2017. Julie was the sole writer and director on all 30 episodes of the series and was a producer on all five seasons.
With Starting From Now, Julie went against the online comedy trend and created a web series model which is now used as a case-study around the world. Julie has also helped raise public awareness around the lack of diversity on screen. She has paved the way by embedding diverse characters in stories with broad appeal. Julie is highly sought after as a speaker, panelist and judge at industry events and festivals.
In 2017, Julie was commissioned by the ABC to write and direct First Day, a stand-alone television episode about a 12 year-old transgender girl starting high school. Julie won the Best Screenplay Award (My Queer Career) at the Mardi Gras Film Festival, 2018, for her work on First Day, which also picked up the Audience Award. First Day was nominated for three awards at the prestigious Prix Jeunesse International Children's Television Festival, 2018 - Best Children’s Television Episode (7-10 Fiction), UNESCO Special Prize, and the Gender Equity Prize – winning the Gender Equity Prize. Julie was also nominated for an Australian Directors' Guild Award, 2018, for Best Direction of a Children's TV or SVOD Drama.
In 2018, Julie was selected to participate in Screen Australia’s Talent USA Program that introduces the best emerging Australian talent to the international market.
Julie’s award-winning short films have also screened in numerous festivals around the world. Her short, ex, was an official selection at over 20 film festivals, winning awards such as the Panavision Award, My Queer Career: Mardi Gras Film Festival, and Best Gal’s Short, Phoenix International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. She was a writer/director on the 2011 web series The Newtown Girls.
Julie received development funding through Screen Australia’s Gender Matters initiative and is in development on her half-hour drama series Torn as well as a female-led sports comedy feature film, Out of Bounds.
Julie is the founder and director of the Sydney-based production company Common Language Films. Common Language Films focuses on developing and producing high quality stories for the screen, utilizing humour to tell dramatic, character-driven, female-centric stories that appeal to a wide audience.
ROSIE LOURDE (ACTOR/PRODUCER)
Rosie is an actor and a producer and is a recipient of the Screen NSW Emerging Producer Placement as well as the SPAA Ones to Watch, 2015. She is a producer and lead actor on the international hit online-drama STARTING FROM NOW which amassed over 45 million views since March 2014. SFN won Best Webseries at She Webfest 2014 and received federal and state screen agency funding to create the Series 4 and 5.
Rosie’s producing debut feature film, SKIN DEEP, was awarded Best Indie Film 2015 by AfterEllen, received an Honourable Mention for Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Film Festival and was nominated for an AWGIE for Best Original Screenplay 2015. As an actor Rosie can be seen in many projects including Stu Willis’ upcoming sci-fi series RESTORATION, Joel Edgerton’s FELONY, Stephen Sewell’s EMBEDDED, and hotly anticipated sci-fi TV series CLEVERMAN.