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Lizan Yee and Russell Leadbeater win BEMAC short film competition

Lizan Yee and Russell Leadbeater win BEMAC short film competition

Congratulations to filmmakers Lizan Yee and Russell Leadbeater, who scooped up first prize in our short film competition. Held in partnership with Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) and Screen Queensland, the short film competition invited local emerging filmmakers to enter their production for the main prize of gaining a meeting with Screen Queensland and APSA, and 4 hours of mentorship from BEMAC’s creative staff.

Lizan and Russell

Theirs and the other two finalists’ short films were also screened at the QMC in preview to the BrisAsia screening of “The Portrait” on 13 February 2019.

The winning short Coming Home is an artfully made drama about an orphan girl’s adoption. Producer Lizan Yee said the motivation for the film was to create a simple and enjoyable film with one strong emotion throughout, with Queensland actors and actresses and local locations to showcase Brisbane and Ipswich.

“While we have won a couple of awards in Amsterdam, the fact that we have won this short film award is so exciting because it’s where we are from and it is so great to be able to give this film exposure in our home town,” Yee said.

A self-taught producer, Yee has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience with agencies dealing in media, as well as previous experience working on Broadway musicals like “Wicked”. Yee says producing has been easy for her to fall into because a lot of her experience is a great fit for the role.

“To be able to produce films from the ground up with minimal crew has been such a steep learning curve but a very rewarding one,” she said.

On top of her work producing short films, Yee has recently founded a Women in Film and TV group called the Women’s Co-Lab Brisbane with the sole purpose of empowering women from different cultures in film and TV, and work together on productions to pitch to international sales distributors.  “My hope is to be able to utilise the skill-sets from women in industry from different cultures and get projects pitched as a collaborative team.”


Russell Leadbeater has a little formal training, but is mostly self-taught.  Together with Yee, he formed Progression 7 a little production team based in Brisbane. Coming Home is the third of five short films the team has created.

“We have been focusing on developing a big slate of content which we would like to take to the international market in the form of TV series and feature films, something we are super excited about with this opportunity with BEMAC, APSA and Screen QLD,” he said.