When actress and writer Ansuya Nathan returned to Australia in early 2021 after nine years in the United States, applying to SBS’s newly launched Emerging Writers Incubator, or any other similar initiative, was no surprise. priority.

Having shown up for “countless” diversity programs in Los Angeles, she admitted to being a little exhausted by the process, while also wary of the changing climate in the industry following the civil unrest sparked. by the death of George Floyd in the first half of 2020. .

“As a result of this social reckoning, the entertainment industry in the United States began to examine its practices with respect to people of color, and what was highlighted is that even if the programs diversity may have started with the best of intentions, they have often become another hoop for marginalized people to jump through to validate their talent or work,” she told IF.

“More often than not they didn’t lead to significant career momentum because there was little support afterwards.”

However, Nathan would eventually try his hand at the SBS incubator, encouraged both by the broadcaster’s track record of diversity and the fact that the incubator “seemed to be unique for the writer and the company in which he was placed”.

“[SBS’s] The charter incorporates diversity and inclusion, while giving a voice to marginalized people,” she said.

“They hadn’t advertised the companies [when I applied] but knowing that people like Tony Ayres, whom I really admired, had been instrumental in bringing the program together really pushed me to apply.

Nathan, who is of Indian descent, concluded a one-year internship with Closer Productions last month, after being chosen as the South Australian participant in the first round of the incubator.

Supported by Screen Australia and the South Australian Film Corporation, her time with the company included a presence in the writers room for the second season of Aftertaste and assisting series director Renee Webster with pre-production. She also played the role of Janine in the last episode.

Nathan received feedback on his own work from development director Matt Vesely, producer Rebecca Summerton, director Sophie Hyde and writer Matthew Cormack, and even ran his own writers room for a one-man comedy. half hour on which she works with actress Claire Hooper entitled So you want to be famous?

“The fact that Closer is a collective with people who have very different perspectives, but also different skills that they bring to the business was really interesting to me because I’ve always seen myself as a multi-trait union rather than just an actor or a writer,” Nathan said.

Ansuya Nathan (second from right) attends a writers room at Closer Productions.

“They were also family friendly. I have a four-year-old, so being a full-time working parent is a whole different ball game. I feel like they’ve been great at understanding what it’s like and adjusting to the days when he can’t come into the office. »

The Closer placement and his previous acting role in the original Stan The touristmarked a more permanent return to the South Australian industry for Nathan, who left his hometown of Adelaide aged 19 to attend NIDA in Sydney.

She has since studied and worked in New Zealand, the UK and the US, while appearing in Australian productions such as Hotel Mumbai and Right.

The designer is also known for her work in theatre, as company producer and co-artistic director of Tamarama Rock Surfers – the resident independent theater company at Sydney’s Old Fitzroy Theater – and writing and performing a one-man show, Long live the kingat the Edinburgh Fringe in 2010.

The pilot adaptation of Long live the kingwhich tells the story of a young Indian couple who emigrate to Australia the day after Elvis Presley’s death but who cannot get rid of the presence of the crooner, was the project for which she was selected for the Emerging Writers ‘ Incubator and is now also made into a novel.

Other upcoming projects include Rakshasaa horror film co-written with her husband about a female US Army Ranger, who along with her team is sent to investigate a terrorist stronghold on the Kashmir border, only to find the entire village viciously wiped out by a Rakshasa – the very real Hindu Demon on which all vampire myths are based.

After completing a project, the pair court the interest of an American producer.

Speaking about her plans for the future, the Adelaide native said she was looking forward to the opportunities on both sides of the camera.

“I’m thrilled to be back available as an actor and to audition again,” she said.

“It’s been really great and some interesting things have come to my desk in that regard.

“But I’ve always been interested in creating work and now I feel like I have the skills to bring those ideas to TV format.”