June 2012


Do you know who Sid Sheinberg is? You probably should. He’s the guy who mentored a young Steven Spielberg and turned him into the filmmaker he is today. As Spielberg took his first job with Universal Studios at the age of 22, Sheinberg offered ” …a lot of people will stick with you in success… I’ll stick with you in failure.”

The belief Sheinberg invested in Spielberg is not an isolated incident. For those working in the film and television industry, a supportive and influential mentor is probably the reason you’re here today. They are someone who recognised your unique talent, believed in you, and helped you break into the notoriously difficult industry of film and TV.

Each year, mentors give thousands of unpaid hours of guidance to emerging filmmakers across a broad scope of disciplines, including directing, writing, producing, cinematography, composing, production designing, or editing. Their support goes largely unrecognised. Until now.

In an Australian first, Indie Gems is shining the spotlight back onto Australian mentors with the 2012 inaugural Mentor of the Year Award. The Award is an opportunity for mentees to publically recognise and honour their mentors.



The inaugural 2012 Mentor of the Year Award goes to TOM ZUBRYCKI.

“I find mentoring incredibly rewarding. It’s the knowledge that you’re passing on a skill-set to the next generation of filmmakers and nurturing some really great talent” explains Tom.

Tom was nominated by Sydney based filmmaker Ana Tiwary.

“Tom has been mentoring me for a couple of years and he has been incredibly generous with his time and advice. Over the years, Tom has mentored formally as well as informally several emerging documentary filmmakers and given them the practical guidance needed to enter an industry that creates very few opportunities for young filmmakers. I am thrilled that he has been awarded the inaugural Indie Gems ‘Mentor of the Year’ Award and thank Titan View for creating this important award to acknowledge the wonderful mentors in the screen industry.”

Ana Tiwary is a Sydney based filmmaker and owner of ‘inDiVisual films’. She is currently in post-production of her documentary ‘Sunshine & Shade’ and is being mentored by Tom Zubrycki. 

Tom’s documentaries currently in production include “Light from the Shadows” – writer/director John Harvey, and “The Sunnyboy” – writer/director Kaye Harrison.

Congratulations to Tom from the Indie Gems Team