Miranda Culley has been hired as the new MD of Australian indie Aquarius Films, replacing the outgoing Rachel Okine, who has taken a new position as head of features and development executive at the streamer Stan.
Aquarius has also hired Erica Harrison as head of development, with both roles to commence with immediate effect and both reporting to company founders Angie Fielder and Polly Staniford.
Culley will be responsible for driving new business opportunities and financing models, working with the founders to strategise the company direction, and steering Aquarius Films through the next stages of its continuing growth, including maintaining strategic partnerships and establishing new ones.
The exec brings more than 25 years of experience to the role. working across independent and government sectors in development & production, financing, commissioning, and policy, for both scripted and unscripted content.
Most recently, she served as an executive producer for arts at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and has also worked in business development at LibertyOne and was MD and EP at Sydney-based Sonar Music Pty. She was also VFX producer for the Mel Gibson-directed feature film Hacksaw Ridge.
A growing slate
Harrison, meanwhile, will be charged with managing the development slate across both TV and film, on projects including the recently announced series Fight Like A Girl, based on the feminist memoir of Clementine Ford, and The Subjugate, based on the novel of the same title written by award-winner Amanda Bridgeman and co-produced with Anonymous Content.
Harrison has more than 10 years of experience working as a screenwriter, script producer, and story development professional. She has served as scripted development manager at Fremantle and has numerous writing credits, including three seasons of the Netflix series Beat Bugs, two seasons of the Netflix original Motown Magic and The Unboxing, the first scripted comedy series commissioned by Facebook Watch outside the US.
“We are thrilled to continue attracting talent to our company with whom we share the same values, including a commitment to continue supporting under-represented voices on the screen. Both Miranda and Erica have extensive and impeccable careers and bring decades of experience working for the most acclaimed filmmakers, companies, and organizations in the industry,” commented Fielder and Staniford.
The founders also praised the outgoing Okine, saying: “Rachel has been a great asset to Aquarius during her tenure, helping to steer the company through the challenges of the pandemic.
“She has contributed significantly to the company’s growth in the last 18 months and we want to express our enormous gratitude to her. We wish her success in her new role at Stan and look forward to continuing to collaborate with her.”