Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award
Debbie Lee. (image - Sydney Film Festival)

Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award

Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award – Acclaimed NSW producer Debbie Lee is the recipient of the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award.

Debbie is currently Director of Scripted Development at Matchbox Pictures, where she has served as Executive Producer on award-winning projects including House of Gods, Class of ‘07, The Heights, Hungry Ghosts, Safe Harbour, The Family Law and Mustangs FC. Debbie was previously ABC TV’s Head of Comedy and has also worked at SBS and its commissioning arm, SBS Independent.

The award was presented to Debbie Lee by Head of Screen NSW, Kyas Hepworth in front of guests at Sydney Film Festival’s Closing Night Gala at the State Theatre.

“Screen NSW is thrilled to present this award to Debbie, who has, across her career, continually produced and supported exciting and groundbreaking content, which has entertained audiences locally and around the world,”

– said Ms Hepworth.

“Debbie has been a champion for standout Australian content that reflects the varied and unique voices and stories of our nation, and her dedication to fostering and developing new voices has greatly contributed to the colourful tapestry of the Australian screen industry.”

Debbie said she was surprised and honoured to receive the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award.

“It means so much to be recognised in my hometown – and especially as part of the Sydney Film Festival which has been an intrinsic part of my life for so many years,”

– said Ms Lee.

“I feel lucky to be part of this industry which is equally joyful and endlessly challenging.  I’m proud to have played some small part in being an advocate for storytellers and creative teams who help to expand our perspectives and notion of what makes an Australian story.

“Biggest thanks to the many co-conspirators and creative collaborators I’ve had the great fortune to work with over the years and to the teams who bring these stories to life.”

The $10,000 cash prize, which was established in 2016, is presented annually by Screen NSW, under the auspice of Sydney UNESCO City of Film. The award is for a trailblazing NSW-based screen practitioner, someone whose work stands for innovation, imagination and high impact.

Previous recipients of the award are Chris Godfrey (2023), Caitlin Yeo (2022), Karina Holden (2021), Blackfella Films (2019), Warwick Thornton (2018), Leah Purcell (2017) and Lynette Wallworth (2016).

About Debbie Lee

Debbie Lee is Matchbox Pictures’ Director of Scripted Development, having been with the company for over ten years. In her role, she provides creative leadership to the development of scripted content across a broad range of genres and markets and has served as Executive Producer on many award-winning projects including House of Gods, Class of 07, Turn Up the Volume, Bad Behaviour, The Heights, Hungry Ghosts, Safe Harbour, The Family Law and Mustangs FC.

Prior to Matchbox, Debbie was ABC TV’s Head of Comedy, where she commissioned shows including A Moody Christmas, Please Like Me, Laid, It’s a Date, Upper Middle Bogan and The Strange Calls. She also spent a number of years at SBS and its commissioning arm SBS Independent, serving as series producer for experimental short film program ‘Eat Carpet’ before she went on to commission dramas and comedies such as Wilfred, Bogan Pride, The Circuit and John Safran vs. God.

Debbie is a Director on the Board of the Sydney Film Festival. She was previously Chair of Diversity Arts Australia, a national organisation committed to making cultural and linguistic diversity a central concern across the creative arts sectors.

Debbie is a passionate advocate for screen stories with distinctive views of the world and believes stories told well have the power to connect people and build understanding and empathy.

Photo credit: UNESCO City of Film Award recipient Debbie Lee. Supplied by Sydney Film Festival.

Media Release – Screen Australia

Link to Screen NSW HERE

Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award

TV Central Screen Australia content HERE

Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award
Debbie Lee receives the 2024 Sydney UNESCO City of Film Award

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