Producer and RMIT University alumnus Joanna Werner has won a top award for outstanding achievement in the Victorian screen industry.
Film Victoria this year presented the Greg Tepper Award to the RMIT media graduate, who is co-creator, producer and executive producer of the successful teen drama series Dance Academy, now seen in more than 130 countries.
After graduating from RMIT's then Media Studies degree in 2000, Ms Werner's career began with producing the AFC-funded short film Heartworm and a 50-minute feature film The Heartbreak Tour for SBS, about a group of friends on a nostalgic night out in Melbourne.
She began working with Jonathan M Shiff Productions in 2002, first as a trainee producer on Wicked Science, assistant producer on Scooter: Secret Agent and as associate producer on the first series of H2O - Just Add Water, before moving up to producer on two award-winning series: H2O - Just Add Water Series 2 and The Elephant Princess.
In 2008, Ms Werner stepped out on her own, establishing Werner Film Productions.
The company's first series, Dance Academy, first screened in June 2010 in Australia and was a ratings hit.
The show's loyal fanbase has grown stronger with each series, delighting and engaging children, teens and adults.
The company went on to be named the 2012 Australian Children's Television Producer of the Year at the SPAA Independent Producer Awards.
Dance Academy has won multiple awards, including two Logies for Most Outstanding Children's Program as well as accolades at Chicago Film Festival's Television Awards, the New York Festival's Television Awards and the Asian Television Awards among others. In 2011 it was recognised with an International Emmy nomination and the show's website has proved a hit too - winning Best Companion Website at the Kidscreen conference this year in the US.
The show also recently received another Logie nomination.
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